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Columnists
Issue 1388
medicine balls
With M.D: "On 3 March Dr Bill Kirkup published his report on the failures in maternity care at Furness General Hospital… The investigation found 20 instances of significant or major failures of care at the hospital which could have contributed to the deaths of three mothers and 16 babies. The report concluded that one mother and 11 babies could have been prevented from dying if they had been given different clinical care… Most patients and parents will forgive a human error made under pressure, but they will never forgive being lied to, or the harm being covered up so that others are harmed too…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Most senior jobs at the BBC are awarded through ‘boards’ – panel interviews at which candidates are asked how they might perform in certain hypothetical situations. One such query, for instance, might be: ‘Suppose the drama production slate included two lavish costume dramas set in the 1780s and starting with a scene of red-coated British soldiers in action. How might you schedule these series?’ Most people would suggest keeping such similar shows as far apart as possible… [But] the correct answer, it turns out, is starting one of them on BBC2 on a Thursday and the other on BBC1 the following Sunday…
[ Reviews of Poldark (BBC1), Banished (BBC2) and Arthur and George (ITV)]”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "When the European Commission U-turned on its rejection of subsidies for new French-built nuclear power plants at Hinkley and Sizewell, we wondered what political concession the government had made to achieve this… Now the answer is becoming clear. Secretly, the coalition has signed up for the ‘European Energy Union’, a vast new grab by Brussels to take control of energy policy in the same way it controls agriculture via the Common Agricultural Policy…”
nooks and corners
With Piloti: "The Old Rectory at St Columb Major in Cornwall, that most interesting Victorian Gothic Revival building by the young William White, listed at Grade II*, continues to lie empty and rotting. It is owned, neglected and abused by Mr Jamie Brown who, in 2012, was jailed for possession of cocaine and illegal firearms. If ever there was a case for a local council to carry out emergency repairs at the owner’s expense or compulsory purchase, this is it. But Cornwall council argues that, thanks to government cuts, it has no money to protect the county’s architectural heritage…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "Almost everyone agreed it was a good idea for Britain’s leading orchestra to bed down with Britain’s leading conductor; and Sir Simon Rattle’s arrival can only be a relief to LSO managers after years of coping with the unreliability and embarrassing political affiliations of his predecessor. Unlike Gergiev, Rattle will be a loyal company man who gives the orchestra his full attention and doesn’t shirk rehearsals. Better still, nor is he known to be a close personal chum of Vladimir Putin…”
books and bookmen
With Bookworm: "Absent from the many pages of lamentation following Terry Pratchett’s death was any expression of regret over the way the same publications had ignored him until recently, let alone any acknowledgement of bookish snobbery or hypocrisy. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s the broadsheet press rarely reviewed Pratchett’s books or interviewed him, and literary and media folk (with the honourable exception of AS Byatt) were happy to leave him to their school-age or student offspring…”
in the city
With Slicker: "The leading figure in the new owners of the BHS store chain has been made bankrupt twice in the past ten years while also being involved in two multi-million-pound company crashes to add to a previous sizeable business failure. The less than stellar business CV of former racing driver Dominic Chappell, along with the colourful City career of the new BHS chairman, former stockbroker Keith Smith, and the past achievements of other members of their Retail Acquisitions syndicate do little to reassure that they can turn round the ailing high street retailer – especially as this is a task that has defeated veteran retailer Sir Philip Green, who is effectively paying Retail Acquisitions – which has no retail experience despite the name – to take BHS away…”
road rage
With Fokker: "Scotland’s biggest airports have moaned for years about Air Passenger Duty deterring ‘inbound’ tourists from abroad, and the SNP Scottish government wants control of Scottish APD (although flights for remote communities are already exempted). Last week the SNP ‘welcomed’ an ‘excellent report’ on APD by Edinburgh airport which doesn’t mention the obvious possibility of airlines exploiting reduced APD to increase fares. The report highlights potential economic gains from inbound tourists but ignores spending by the far more numerous outbound tourists who are taking their cash abroad. At least the SNP doesn’t pretend to base its policies on objective, independent evidence…”
Letter from Yangon
From Our Own Correspondent: "
Students are protesting, farmers are demonstrating and workers are on strike. After all the years of dictatorship and with elections in sight, Burma is a boiling cauldron ready to spill over at any moment. Most ominous is the rise of violent Buddhist nationalists who target our Muslim minority and whatever else the militant monks regard as a corrupting foreign influence…”
To read all these columnists and more in full, you can buy the latest edition of Private Eye - or subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale:
31st March 2015.
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Private Eye Issue 1388
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Famous Five Go to Syria, by Enid Blyton… Nursery Times: Is It The End of the Road for Toad?... Those Alan Yentob Hacked Voicemails in Full… Top Gear: That Episode You’ll Never See… New from Apple – the Apple Apple… What This Piece About Ed Miliband’s Kitchen Tells You About Me, by Sarah Vain… Kanye West: Blown Ma Own Nose, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- Radio silence: The other big media group that sat on the tax avoidance story
- Leak stew: Fixers and shady sheikhs emerge from the HSBC shadows
- Telegraph timeline: Inside story of the once-great paper’s fall from grace
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: 31st March 2015.

Private Eye Issue 1387
gnitty