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Columnists
Issue 1393
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "Both Prince Charles and the Badger Trust have been criticised for lobbying on badger culling. But a recent change in stance by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is likely to have much more impact than lobbyists on whether a widespread badger cull ever occurs in England…”
medicine balls
With M.D.: "On 19 May the Health Service Journal reported that the Care Quality Commission and NHS England had written to the General Medical Council saying the system for securing patient consent for treatment was open to abuse. Allegations are being investigated that some doctors have retrospectively altered consent forms to cover up mistakes; and although patients should routinely be given copies of their completed consent forms, many aren’t. The GMC will doubtless look into this as a matter of urgency (ie within the next decade)…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "The last time the Tories had a Commons majority they privatised the railways because they were convinced competition between train firms would push down subsidy. This time around, they’re trying to stop subsidy being pushed up by… competition between train firms!...”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "It was just before the First World War when the Royal Horticultural Society first hired the Royal Chelsea Hospital lawns to show off the country’s best growing, and the annual event seems to have been part of the BBC2 schedules for almost as long. Aimed at the more senior end of a BBC2 audience already heavily weighted towards older viewers, the coverage tries to give the sense that things remain unchanged – the Queen forever stepping out of a Daimler, a jokey bloke giving tips for getting the best out of hydrangeas – but the 2015 coverage confirmed that the programmes have been smothered in the manure of management attempts to cultivate more relevance and accessibility…
[review of RHS Chelsea Flower Show (BBC2)].”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Amber Rudd, the new secretary of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has stated three ambitions: ‘To keep the lights on, carbon emissions down, and save money on energy bills.’ Existing energy policy barely achieves the first of these at times of peak demand, and then only by resorting to costly, polluting stand-by diesel generators, with the crunch winters of tightest electricity supply margins still to come. If she ever gets past urgent short-term concerns, Ms Rudd would do well to review long-term UK energy policy, which turns out to rely totally on a technology that, er, doesn’t exist…”
nooks and corners
With Piloti: "Last year, in Eye 1360, I revealed that Cardiff city council has plans to redevelop the magnificent interior of the former Coal and Shipping Exchange in alliance with a developer. The building, so very important in the history of the city, whose hall was considered for use as the home of the Welsh Assembly, had been used as a live music venue until its closure was suddenly ordered by the council because of unsubstantiated ‘structural issues’. This has provoked strong local opposition. A petition was submitted to the National Assembly for Wales to ask for an investigation into the council’s behaviour over the listed building (whose owner – not the council – has gone into liquidation) and last September a company, Save the Coal Exchange Ltd, was set up to raise money to restore it. There have been some interesting developments…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "John Whittingdale’s appointment as secretary of state for culture, media and sport may be causing anxiety at the BBC, where policy staff see him as an enemy; but elsewhere in the arts world his pros and cons seem more balanced. Past opposition to same-sex equality won’t have earned him many friends in the creative sector, but at least he is seen as someone with experience of what that sector does. English National Opera for one is rejoicing – because if there’s one thing Whittingdale likes even less than the BBC, it’s the Arts Council…”
books and bookmen
With Bookworm: "The biennial process whereby winners of the Man Booker International Prize are chosen is lengthy, elaborate and intended to be rigorous. Its ‘e-council’ of more than 75 worthies (past Booker judges or winners) recommend authors whose oeuvres they deem up to snuff, before the judges – this year chaired by Dame Marina Warner – get down to work as global literary headhunters or model scouts, usually managing some long-haul travel (such as March’s announcement in Cape Town) as they assemble a list of ‘finalists’, debate their merits and pick their favourite. The not uncomical result is a 2015 winner who is looked after by Warner’s own agency. Not only are she and László Krasznahorkai both with Rogers, Coleridge and White, but so too is the little-known Hungarian novelist’s current British publisher (of his Seiobo There Below, published just a fortnight before the winner announcement), Tuskar Rock...”
in the city
With Slicker: "As multi-billion fine follows multi-billion fine, it is finally dawning on those who head the City’s banks and regulators that the real problem is and has always been the ‘greed is good’, anything goes banking culture that has spread like a virus since the Thatcher years and is now embedded and endemic within every high street bank and their foreign rivals. The virus is spread by the movement of bonus-driven bankers from bank to bank in pursuit of ever bigger remuneration, infecting all those with whom they work and trade and then rising up the internal corporate food chain as performance is rewarded by promotion, in turn bonus-driven…”
Letter from Kabul
From Our Own Correspondent: "
At the once notorious L’Atmosphere club, old leaves and broken glasses in the empty swimming pool are all that remain of the good old days when, behind heavily armoured steel doors, Kabul had a thriving alcohol-fuelled social scene. Rents in the diplomatic quarter have halved as the aid gravy train leaves town. Taking its place are the jihadists from Pakistan. Pretty much everything destructive that has happened in Afghanistan since the Russian invasion in 1979 has been caused by Pakistan for supposed strategic reasons in the event of yet another war with India…”
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Private Eye Issue 1393
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Ukip’s Supreme Leader Purges Rivals: North Korean Times Exclusive!… Heist thieves not arrested: bankers avoid jail… Homophobic Russia Celebrates Eurovision Success… Qatar Builds State-of-the Art Prisons for World’s Media… Captain of Lib Dem Titanic to be Given Key Role… Those Extremist TV Highlights Mrs May Wants to Ban… The Letters of Bernard Berenson & Kenneth Clark, as told to Craig Brown.

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Next issue on sale: 9th June 2015.

Private Eye Issue 1392
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