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Columnists
Issue 1397
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "As the British dairy farming crisis deepens, its most obvious recent casualty has been Sir Jim Paice, chairman of First Milk (a farmers’ cooperative based in Glasgow) and former coalition farms minister (see Eye 1384). Having announced a £22m annual loss for the firm, Paice has now quit; but where does that leave the co-op’s 1,300 dairy farmers who are paid a pittance for their milk and the thousands of other dairy farmers who are struggling to survive?…”
medicine balls
With M.D.: "The eighth patient safety congress in Birmingham in early July turned out to be feistier than M.D. had predicted (see last Eye). In a show of hands, the vast majority of the audience – largely patient safety experts - declared it wrong that NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) had been told by Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, to halt its work on safe staffing levels in different NHS settings, including emergency departments. The work was a recommendation of the Francis report into failures at Stafford Hospital. Professor Mark Baker, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE, told the conference: ‘I think the reason they don’t want it is they don’t like the answer to the question… The underlying problem is that the NHS has survived for most of its history by taking risks and not getting found out’…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "The writer Jorge Luis Borges memorably dismissed the Falklands conflict as ‘two bald men fighting over a comb’. The battle taking place between the Tory-Murdoch-Rothermere-Barclay forces and the Hall-Cohen-Purnell-Yentob BBC management over the future of the corporation is something far worse: two packs of fools fighting over a jewel…
[The future of the BBC (everywhere)]”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Two government U-turns have rocked ‘green’ industries who didn’t see them coming, even though the warning was in the Conservative party manifesto… George Osborne’s budget on 8 July altered exemption rules for the climate change levy, a little-known tax on energy consumed by businesses and the public sector. Electricity from renewable sources had previously been exempt, which in a roundabout way put more money in the hands of renewable generators. Cancelling the exemption will bag the Treasury £4bn over six years. This is a relatively small part of the subsidies received by renewables firms, but they are still squealing loudly…”
nooks and corners
With Piloti: "After the rugged old cathedral dedicated to St Machar (Who he?), the finest building in the remote but great city of Aberdeen is surely the new building for Marischal College, part of the University of Aberdeen, designed by Alexander Marshall Mackenzie and put up at the turn of the 20th century. It is like a souped-up Palace of Westminster, with its vertical filigree Late Gothic detail all executed, astonishingly, in granite. This amazing building – the largest granite structure in the world after the Escorial in Spain – used to be a landmark in the city centre, but soon it will have to compete with the exciting new Marischal Square development on the opposite side of Broad Street, a £107m complex of offices, shops and an hotel rising in places to 10 storeys…”
books and bookmen
With Bookworm: “Authors are increasingly fed up not receiving their fair share of the growing e-books market. For backlist e-book sales, latest figures show that authors are paid 25 percent of net receipts, with publishers taking 75 percent. Yet publishers rarely actively sell books that are no longer new or bestsellers. They sit on the backlist with no marketing or promotion – and in the case of e-books they don’t even take up shelf space, just a tiny amount of data storage…”
in the city
With Slicker: "“Maxwellisation is the process, required by law, whereby anyone subject to potential criticism is given an opportunity to see those references, comment in response and have those comments considered by the person preparing the report. We and the PRA [Prudential Regulation Authority, which now oversees banks] are committed to publishing the report as soon as possible but the legal process of Maxwellisation… can be lengthy.’ This was how the Financial Cock-Up Authority’s 2015 annual report last month explained why the report into the taxpayer rescue of HBOS in 2008 – commissioned in 2012 to be published in 2013 – still has no publication date…”
road rage
With Hedgehog: "Chancellor George Osborne is showering money on England’s ‘strategic’ roads such as motorways, but… what of the other 98 percent of England’s roads, the ones used by pedestrians, cyclists, tractors, buses and, er, everybody? ‘Local’ roads – from regional arteries to residential streets and rural lanes – take two-thirds of England’s traffic, yet maintenance is left to austerity-hit councils. Their backlog of repairs (in England and Wales) is estimated at £12.2bn – a 16 percent rise in just two years...”
Letter from Pristina
From Our Own Correspondent: "
Visit Pristina’s Backgarden Pub, the watering hole of choice for expats (‘a lock-in on weekends and smoking allowed inside’), and the one thing you’ll not hear discussed is the idea that the Balkans in general and Kosovo in particular are being overrun by a creeping Islamist jihad. But that’s only because political discussions of any kind are banned by the management. Elsewhere, strolling along George Bush Boulevard or sitting by the statue of Bill Clinton, both created by a grateful nation after the 1998/9 war, people talk of little else…”
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Next issue on sale:
4th August 2015.
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Private Eye Issue 1397
private eye Only In The Magazine

Royal Family Salutes Edward VIII… Cameron orders Britons to leave UK… Jihadis Split – ‘It’s All Over,’ Says John… Athens Latest: Prometheus Accepts Punitive Terms… Heracles and the 12 Conditions… Cameron Learns from Greece How to Negotiate with EU… That BBC Celeb Letter You Won’t Read… Tim Farron: Me and My Spoon… Marina Warner: What is a story? as told to Craig Brown.

And also...

- Heil Watch: Hurrah for the Mail & Mirror!
- Budget brief: George’s merciless medicine
- PLUS: Phone hacking latest; how Sun supergrasses are rewriting history; the SNP’s business-friendly New Girl; and Remote Controller on wither (geddit?) the BBC
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: 4th August 2015.

Private Eye Issue 1396
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