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Columnists
Issue 1373
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "The British Veterinary Association is continuing to ratchet up its campaign for a ban on ‘non-stun’ animal slaughter… Unfortunately, the whole issue of an exemption from UK animal welfare regulations for shechita (Jewish) and halal (Muslim) slaughter techniques has recently become politically toxic…”
medicine balls
With M.D.: "“With hospital finances increasingly weak, growing pressures on staffing and the goal of moving care out of hospitals and into the community proving elusive, the NHS is heading for a funding crisis this year or next.” So said the Nuffield Trust last month, with mental health services particularly hard hit. Many hospitals are already on ‘black alert’ and turning ambulances away. So can anything achieve the quick and massive efficiency savings needed to get the NHS out of financial meltdown? No, is the simple answer – not that you’d realise it as the government and NHS England try to paper over the cracks in the run-up to an election…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Direct trains to distant parts of the country are a godsend to many passengers, but that cuts no ice with Whitehall officials whose priority is to simplify the rail-franchise map. East Midlands Trains’ hourly Norwich-Liverpool route has linked a dozen cities and transport hubs (including Ely, Peterborough, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester) for decades, but these days it crosses several franchisees’ territory… The Department for Transport wants to split the route at Nottingham and transfer the western part to the TransPennine franchise. That would force another 350,000 passengers a year to change trains at Nottingham… but DafT dismisses them as a ‘relatively small amount’, easily trumped by the ‘operational cost efficiency’ from pulling East Midlands Trains out of the Liverpool outpost…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "To entertain an increasingly ageing population, there will presumably be more and more shows about trying to carry on for ever while getting creakier, but both Boomers and New Tricks, young and old examples of mature TV, make an urgent case for the option of some sort of televisual Dignitas…
[review of Boomers and New Tricks, both BBC1].”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "As the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) starts investigating energy bills, the likely suspects are rushing to get their side of the story out first. The Big 6 energy companies, former and current regulators: all want to point the finger at anyone but themselves. In truth the electricity sector has become so politicised there is no ideologically neutral way the CMA will be able to determine very much at all…”
nooks and corners
With Piloti: "Aberdeen Art Gallery… like most museums and art galleries is also a building which is of interest in itself – though too often that is of no concern to ambitious curators and directors. First opened in 1885 in Schoolhill and later extended, it is one of several noble Classical buildings for which the ‘Granite City’ is famous, and it was designed by a local architect of great talent, Alexander Marshall Mackenzie… In 1905, he created a fine top-lit central sculpture court, with granite columns and a marble floor. Later still, in 1923-25, Mackenzie and his son, A.G.R. Mackenzie, added a brilliantly composed extension overlooking the Denburn Viaduct and Union Terrace Gardens which contains the city’s War Memorial – a great circular hall – and the Cowdray Hall. And now all this is to be gratuitously spoiled…”
books and bookmen
With Bookworm: "Though Jeff Bezos’s $150bn Amazon empire began with books, they’ve become an ever lower priority at the online retailer: they’re the fifth-ranked category on the drop-down menu on Amazon.co.uk, and the eighth in the US (after video, appliances, automotive, baby and, er, cosmetics) on Amazon.com. Yet Amazon still takes books seriously enough to get entangled in a summer-long dispute with publishing group Hachette, making enemies of many leading American and British authors…”
in the city
With Slicker: "It is approaching five months since the Financial Conduct Authority scored a spectacular regulatory own goal that destabilised the insurance market. Its mismanaged briefing on a planned industry review sent insurance company share prices tumbling by up to 24 percent, until it finally corrected the false impression after a silence of more than six hours. Now there is another curious silence – on the review ordered by the FCA high command… [and] that delay is encouraging suspicions that what is now happening is a damage limitation exercise to decide who will take the fall, how that will be spun and whether this can be achieved without the departure of FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley and/or the man who gave the briefing, FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson…”
Letter from Hong Kong
From Our Own Correspondent: "
The Motherland has done so much for us by favouring us with light-touch regulation, global connections, a rich, healthy and educated population and no party control. Our envious enemies in the major cities of China feel this favouritism keenly. We have the ungrateful and troublesome pedigree, left by the despised British, that allows us to criticise the government. So from now on only good ‘patriots’ will be rewarded with high position. We all want to be a patriot, if it means being part of a small group of politically connected cadres who unthinkingly do the government’s bidding. We may be respected academics or senior civil servants, but let’s now trash everything we stand for. It is just like being a party member on the mainland!...”
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Next issue on sale:
2nd September 2014.
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Private Eye Issue 1373
private eye Only In The Magazine

‘No Boots on Ground’ as Army No Longer Has Functioning Boots… David Caesar Welcome Brutus Johnsonius Back to His Team… Seventeen Ways Mainstream Media Misrepresent BuzzFeed as a List Site… ‘We’re Bitter Together’ – Best Jokes from Scotland’s Festival of Fun… Fruity A Level Girls Jump 10% Less High on Front Pages than Previous Years… That Denis MacShame Prison Diary in Full.

And also...

- Stat attack: BBC’s statistics expert forced to backtrack over Gaza casualty statistics
- SuicideWatch: Editor’s code torn up as papers report the death of Robin Williams
- Doom & loom: From harmless craze to cancer warnings: how the Mail went potty
For all these stories you can buy the magazine or subscribe here and get delivery direct to your home every fortnight.
Next issue on sale: 2nd September 2014.

Private Eye Issue 1372
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