Blood on the carpet

That morning The Mole had scurried to the Travellers, worried by alarming stories that the service was to be restructured again following the ballyhoo over Iraq. But after a little chat and some bacon and eggs The Mole was overjoyed. There was blood on the carpet all right, but it was not going to be his blood. In fact he was getting a promotion. Henceforth he would be a Counsellor. And better still the Motor Racing and Tinpot Dictator Department was getting its name back, although it would now be known as the Motor Racing and Trade Development Department, a much more Blairite title.

"Suitable for the Christian Socialists running this country," said The Mole's source, with a hint of contempt.

The Whitehall mandarin departed soon afterwards and The Mole completed The Times crossword in 12 and a half minutes before heading off to Vauxhall to tell the troops.

"Our role has been redefined," The Mole told his assembled staff. "Our new job is to gather information and do undercover work for the Government Motorsport Unit. We must ensure that the sport continues to grow in Britain. There are good guys and bad guys again. Just like the Cold War. We are to be like an independent "station", based in London, rather than in a foreign embassy. Penelope (Roedean) will be my new deputy - but will remain operational."

"Everything is working fine," said Penelope with a big smile.

"We have a lot to do to save the sport from itself!" said The Mole. "Yes, there will be internal watchdogs yapping in the corridors but we need not worry."

"Hear, hear," said Schmutzli, the archivist on one of his rare outings from "The Morgue".

"There are battles to be won!" cried The Mole, quite overcome with the excitement. "So back to your workstations and let us go forward together!"

The speech had gone down well and The Mole disappeared into his office as the cheery staff gathered around Penelope with congratulations.

He was staring through the triple-glazing in the direction of parliament, wondering if a knighthood might still come when Penelope walked in.

"We've got a lot to do," she said.

"Indeed we do," said The Mole. "Where do you think we should start?"

"We need to look into the coup d'etat at Silverstone," she said.

"The coup d'etat?" said The Mole. "I thought there was a vote."

"There was a vote," said Penelope, "but you know Adolf Hitler was elected as well."

"I am not entirely sure that one can compare Jackie Stewart with Adolf Hitler," said The Mole.

"I'm not," said Penelope. "I was just illustrating my point."

"Do we know the details?" asked The Mole.

Penelope smiled.

"Of course," she said. "The girls have been very busy. They board has been very discreet but it seems that one of them brought up the issue of who was in charge and things got out of control and it ended up with Alex Hooton, the chief executive, saying he would resign unless he knew for whom he was working: Jackie Stewart or Ray Bellm. There were attempts to stop the whole thing getting out of hand but apparently a vote was forced and Bellm lost by six votes to four. The post of chairman was cancelled."

"Any idea who voted for whom?" said The Mole.

"We will find out," said Penelope. "I would guess that before one can say Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti the board will be full of Stewart supporters."

"After a difficult birth, the BRDC became Jackie Stewart's baby," said The Mole to no-one in particular. "I must say it all sounds a bit odd," said The Mole.

"What do you think we should do?" asked Penelope.

The Mole paused.

"There is always direct action," suggested Penelope.

"What do you mean? said The Mole, rather shocked.

"Well, you know," said Penelope. "He could slip on a banana skin."

"Good Lord," said The Mole. "Jackie Stewart is a knight of the realm. We cannot go knocking off people like that."

"Well there are precedents," said Penelope. "There was Sir Roger Casement for a start. He seemed like a good sort. He was knighted for his services to King and country and then joined the Irish nationalists and then in 1915 went to get help from the Germans."

"No cricket at all," said The Mole.

"Off to the Tower and hanged for high treason," said Penelope, with a glint in her eye.

"Yes," said The Mole, "but Stewart cannot be accused of high treason. If you really want to know I think the whole BRDC thing is a dead issue. The British GP has been saved. Thank goodness Bellm was able to do that before he got the bullet. What happens now is really not that important. It just a lot of old millionaires arguing about who is the most important. The race is OK for five years."

"Oh," said Penelope.

"What else do we have?" said The Mole.

"Ecclestone, the Banks and the GPWC," said Penelope.

"Millionaires fighting over power," said The Mole.

"Mosley and Regis," said Penelope.

The Mole smiled.

"I have to have a chat with Downing Street about that one," he said. "I am not sure which side we are on."

"We're not joining up with the French are we?" said Penelope in horror.

"In case you've forgotten," said The Mole, "we just celebrated 100 years of the Alliance Francaise."

There was a pause.

"The other thing is that we need to try to make sure that Jordan Grand Prix remains British," said Penelope.

"In that case," said The Mole, "I think we need to hang an Irish nationalist."

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