Columnists
Issue 1463
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "A new report from the Committee on Climate Change, which advises government on emissions targets, concludes that despite a statutory reduction target of 36 percent by 2030, agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have fallen not a jot over the past six years. Can anything be done to reduce farming’s high levels of GHG pollution?…”
medicine balls
With M.D.: "The government’s 2015 manifesto pledge that the NHS will offer ‘the safest and most compassionate care in the world’ has looked terminal since the winter crisis. But it may now have been killed off forever after the General Medical Council (GMC) struck off Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Scots finding their kitchen engulfed in fire or hearing a kitten mewing piteously from a tree may, if they summon the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, suffer mild déjà vu. It’s possible the attending firefighter will be Stevie McCrorie, who won the singing contest The Voice UK as recently as 2015, but is already back on the engine. Yet, despite this compelling evidence of the failing power of TV karaoke shows, commissioners prove stubbornly reluctant to find another way to fill Saturday peak-time…
[reviews of The Voice (ITV) and All Together Now (BBC1)].”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "January saw the first big public outing for Simone Rossi, new UK head man at French firm EDF, as we bid farewell to Vincent de Rivaz, who retired at the end of last year. De Rivaz fronted for the Hinkley Point nuclear project from when it was first ‘promised’ in 2007, when he said it would start generating electricity in, er, 2017 – or else we’d have no Christmas turkey. ‘Without it the lights will go out,’ he said. Hinkley would need an electricity price of just £24 per MWh, we were told. In pursuit of France’s mission to have British electricity bill-payers bail out the technically bankrupt EDF (Eye 1448), de Rivaz ran rings around successive governments – and steeply ramped up the price. Cannily employing Gordon Brown’s brother Andrew as chief lobbyist, he negotiated a guaranteed electricity sales price for Hinkley that, with index-linking, has now reached £100/MWh…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "Not long ago, the Venezuelan music education programme known as El Sistema was hailed as miraculous: a life-changing experience for the thousands of poor children from deprived backgrounds it assisted. It launched the career of conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Its flagship youth orchestras, the ‘Simon Bolivar’ and ‘Teresa Carreno’, became internationally famous. And it spawned copycat projects everywhere, not least in Scotland, where a Sistema-based scheme called the Big Noise attracted instant funding and the support of names like Julian Lloyd-Webber. But how things have changed…”
in the city
With Slicker: "Rare indeed is the company chairman who manages to do the unenviable double of starring in two major City scandals. Usually the first ensures there is no repeat – but Philip Green (the one of Carillion infamy, rather than BHS) has managed that unwanted feat. Green and other Carillion directors face a grilling by MPs this week. But way back in the Thatcher days – which laid the ideological foundations for the PFI-style contracts which helped sink the construction and outsourcing contractor – he also featured in another scandal with echoes of Carillion, involving management over-optimism, creative accounting, corporate governance issues and a pension row…”
road rage
With Hedgehog: "Britain’s private bus firms are determined to protect their monopolies in Scotland, after their lobbying failed to deflect new legislation in England. When the Tories pushed for more elected mayors in England, they promised legislation so that regions which signed devolution deals could introduce their own bus franchises, stipulating routes, timetables and fares, in place of Margaret Thatcher’s deregulation free-for-all. Her system entitles firms to cherry-pick and leave unprofitable services (eg evening buses for passengers to return home) dependent on councils finding cash for subsidies – unaided by revenue from profitable journeys. Thatcher thought competition would keep fares down, but most passengers have just one bus firm…”
eye world
Letter from Berlin
From Our Own Correspondent:
"Germany’s political zombies are a horrifying sight. Angela Merkel, Horst Seehofer and Martin Schulz hope to lead a new grand coalition, despite German voters last September delivering their parties’ worst results in almost 70 years. Bereft of ideas and shorn of popular support, it is a political old guard that clings ever more desperately to its patrons in big business. There have been signs of what is to come even during the post-election caretaker government. In December Germany performed a U-turn on the continued use of the dangerous herbicide glysophate in the EU, which it had been blocking. The reason was simple: that evil American firm Monsanto, which is the main producer of glysophate, has been bought by our wholesome German chemicals company Bayer, which means glysophate is now good for us…”
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Next issue on sale: 20th February 2018.
gnitty
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In This Issue private eye
Theresa May Defies Critics by Pledging to Remain Tory Leader Until The End of This Article… Moron Interviews Moron: Those Killer Questions in Historic Trump Interview… Fantastic Mr Fox Warns ‘Things May Not Be Fantastic Right Away’… It’s Eugenie vs Meghan in the Big Wedding Play-Off!... Ban the Catwalk Fashion Girls, Says No One At All… Sarah Ferguson’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- Service industry: The soldiers, sailors and airmen on loan to the arms trade
- We are sailing…
British ports and their offshore owners
- Worst among equals:
How the BBC made the pay gap crisis worse

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Private Eye Issue 1462