Columnists
Issue 1453
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: “This failure of disease control measures to reduce the number of cattle becoming infected with bTB means that in 2016 the taxpayer coughed up more than £100m in compensation to farmers for the compulsory slaughter of 29,000 bTB-infected cattle, as well as the cost of more frequent cattle testing. With cattle movement restrictions proving ineffectual; in reducing the disease, and cattle vaccination still not a credible solution, it throws huge importance on the as yet unknown effectiveness on the on-going farmer-funded English badger cull…”
medicine balls
With M.D.: “This seasonal crisis comes on top of the everyday crisis of finding beds for patients in the NHS. The 2014 OECD league tables show that the UK, at 2.8 beds per 1,000 people, has among the fewest beds relative to population size, with England pretty much at the bottom. In the past decade more than a quarter of hospital beds have been closed, with 37,000 fewer general and acute beds now than in 2006/07.”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: “It frequently seems that the only professions with which TV commissioners are familiar are cops, docs and teachers. But the depressing reason for this is that networks never like to be far away from a recognisable genre. For all the chronological gimmick in Rellik, the “Who do you believe?” hook in Liar, and the Gothic plotting of Doctor Foster, each experiments within the safe frame of characters, narratives and settings familiar from Holby City, Broadchurch or Waterloo Road.…
[review of Rellik (BBC1), Liar (ITV) and Doctor Foster (BBC1)]”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: “Greens and energy policymakers frequently blame “market failures” when their pet projects don’t spontaneously materialise. There is, however, one sector where genuine market failure can readily be identified: energy saving measures that would eventually pay for themselves – if only the would-be beneficiaries had the resources to install them in the first place. The classic example is tenants in draughty homes who could in principle benefit from reduced energy bills but have neither the money nor the right to install good insulation, or who don’t expect to stay long enough to benefit from the savings...”
nooks and corners
With Piloti: “Number 15 Small Street in the centre of Bristol had managed to escape destruction in both the Blitz and the post-war clearances. Inside this house was a superb decorative Jacobean plaster ceiling, dating from 1620. Not any more. Developers appropriately called Midas properties/G&E Baio Ltd had proposed converting what had been the Big Chill Bar into (yet more) student flats, and when they learned last month than an urgent request for listing had gone to Historic England they sent in the men with sledgehammers to pull down and smash up a most lovely and rare piece of building craftsmanship that was almost four centuries old.…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: “Month by month, this column records the prospective death of so many music organisations due to local authority budget cuts that eyes may well glaze over at news of another. But the threat to the Performing Arts Library at Dorking is so outrageous that it merits letters to 10 Downing Street and acts of public disobedience in the streets of Surrey…”
in the city
With Slicker: “The law of unintended consequences lies at the heart of the May government’s phony outrage over its inability to deduct the cost of Hurricane Irma’s flattening of Britain’s three Caribbean outposts from the aid budget. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands are just too wealthy to qualify for aid under international rules. And that wealth, mainly shared by an expat minority and earned serving clients with homes and assets safely far away, largely flows from the islands’ success as offshore financial centre, aka tax and secrecy havens…”
eye world
Letter from Berlin
From Our Own Correspondent: “
Like Cameron, Theresa May’s team think thy have an ally in “Mutti” and that, once her new ministers get their feet under the table, the EU Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier will get instructions to cut Blighty some slack. Based on recent history, this is shaky logic. Cameron put his faith in Merkel’s mystical powers during his ill-fated renegotiation, assuming that the EU’s chief power broker would grant him the crackdown on EU migrants claiming benefits that he craved. The lesson from that miscalculation does not appear to have been learned, to the bafflement of those close to Merkel…”
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In This Issue private eye
Ryanair cancels flights to improve punctuality… Daily Tudorgraph: Protests Over Henry VIII’s ‘Power Grab’… Let’s Parlezment Franglais!… James Murdoch’s Argument for Allowing Fox to Take Over Sky, as Presented to the Competition and Markets Authority… Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Reasons To Be Uplifted In Modern Britain… Hillary Clinton: The Milk that Spilt, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- Winter is Coming: Can the NHS cope with the seasonal crisis?
- A spook too far:
Le Carré’s tinker trouble
- Myanmar Crisis Watch:
Too strategically useful to be criticised?

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Private Eye Issue 1452