Private Eye logo
twitter
twitter
rss
rss
rss
rss
gnitty
Columnists
Issue 1400
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board imposes a fixed levy on farmers for each litre of milk, tonne of grain or potatoes, or head of cattle, sheep or pigs they sell, regardless of how much they receive for their produce. This keeps the AHDB income stable; but with grain, lamb, milk and pork prices very low, the levy is taking a bigger proportion of farmers’ net receipts. Many would like to see more of their money spent on promoting their produce, but roughly a third of it pays staff salaries”
medicine balls
With M.D.: "The average job span of an NHS trust chief executive is two and a half years and only one in 10 trusts has had the same chief executive for a decade or more… The jobs are so tough, and the culture of fear and blame so prevalent, very few clinical staff want to do them. And yet the NHS will collapse if they don’t… Encouraging the brightest clinicians to take up senior leadership roles in the NHS is vital. This makes the government’s threat to impose rushed new contracts on consultants and junior doctors all the more nonsensical. A decade of austerity is tough enough without alienating the staff who are best placed to keep the NHS afloat.”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "In 2006 the Scottish parliament voted to reinstate the track to Tweedbank in a scheme expected to cost £155m and finish in 2011. Then the SNP won the 2007 Scottish election. Instead of letting Network Rail (NR) press on with the scheme, as local councils wanted, the Scottish government sought a 30-year private finance initiative-style deal. After four years of fruitless negotiation, the job went to… Network Rail. Now the scheme is quoted as costing £300m – despite cuts in its scope.”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "On the ITV website, School Swap was described as a series in which ‘the headteachers and three pupils from a public school and a private school trade places to experience life on the other side of the fence’. As the distinction between public and private schools in Britain is largely a matter of history and snobbery, this felt like a minor concern for a social experiment to explore. Thankfully, it turned out that the description had been written either by an illiterate or an American, as the doc’s opposition was between a Wiltshire private school and a state one in Derbyshire.”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Relying in the short term on the third-world expedient of paying for standby diesel generators to provide electricity when the grid can’t is no way to run a modern economy. Likewise, long-term reliance on “carbon capture and storage (CCS)” – which doesn’t actually exist – isn’t very clever either. But the vultures are now starting to circle energy secretary Amber Rudd’s dysfunctional domain.”
nooks and corners
With Piloti: "Edinburgh city council is bust to the tune of £2bn, a debt which costs £100m a year to service. It is thus desperate to support any old commercial development which might bring in money, forgetting that tourists do not come to see new hotels and shopping centres but a beautiful city – which its own policies are steadily ruining. Edinburgh city council isn’t fit to look after the Athens of the North.”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "Whatever prejudice existed in the past, it’s likely that the continued absence of black instrumentalists might owe more to economics – the lack of opportunity to learn a classical instrument in a lower-income family, perhaps, or the loss of formal music lessons in state schools – than it does to institutional discrimination.”
books and bookmen
With Bookworm: "Despite shrinking sales and evidence that Christmas shoppers are becoming less likely to give books as gifts, it was tweenagers who rode to the rescue in 2014, with Minecraft manuals and titles by YouTube vloggers Zoella and Alfie Deyes. This year there are even more vloggers with their names on the front of books (though whether they actually wrote anything inside themselves is another matter), and they’ve been joined in the publishing rescue squad by adult colouring books, which currently occupy the top five positions in the paperback non-fiction bestsellers list.”
in the city
With Slicker: "Nothing excites more interest than a sudden arrival from nowhere in the higher echelons of the Sunday Times Rich List – especially if that individual has a colourful rags-to-riches-twice back story that involves two company crashes, personal bankruptcy, allegations of fraud and donations to the Tory party, as well as endorsement by Lord Mandelson. Such are the achievements of Lars Windhorst, 38, a German former “Wunderkind” and “Young Global Leader”.”
Letter from Caracas
From Our Own Correspondent: "The Venezuelan regime has had to struggle along on little more than $1 trillion in oil revenues over the past 15 years, aided only by the fact that it controls the parliament, courts, army, oil industry, electoral authority, most of the national press and 20 out of 23 state governments. Who can blame our moustached, charismatically challenged president Nicolás Maduro for the world’s highest annual inflation rate (set to hit 200 percent), the collapse of the health service or the fact that rice, milk, flour, essential medicines, nappies and a host of other basic goods have disappeared from the shelves? An ungrateful populace, that’s who.”
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:
15th September 2015.
gnitty
More From This Issue
Number
Crunching
more »
Number
Top Stories
Street Of Shame
more »
Top Stories
Lookalikes
Are they related?
more »
Lookalikes
Also Available Online
More From This Issue
Private Eye Issue 1400
private eye Only In The Magazine

The First 100 Days of the Corbyn Premiership: Daily Mail Exclusive… Those Disillusion Honours in Full… Corbyn Proposes ‘Train Carriages’… Press Office Issues Picture of PM Not on Holiday… Top Scientist Comes Up With New ‘Pooh Sticks’ Formula… Summer Gnomemart

And also...

- How to speak Corbyn: A headline-writer’s guide to twisting a politician’s words
- Inside Iran:
Philip Hammond ignores human rights worries as the British embassy reopens
- PLUS:
Dissolution honours roundup; cracks in Caracas; and Atos in a mess again.
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: 15th September 2015.

Private Eye Issue 1399
gnitty