Issue 1532
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: “The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is racing, belatedly, to come up with an interim system to support English farmers as it withdraws EU farm subsidies from next year. But with less than 90 days until the end of the EU withdrawal transition period, how does the government work out which farmers genuinely need taxpayer support? The new scheme, the Sustainable Farming Incentive, is described as a series of environmentally based payments. But while the scheme boasts green credentials, its raison d’être is to sustain farm incomes while an “environmental land management scheme” is developed for rollout in 2024 or later…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: “The government has belatedly accepted that rail franchising wastes money (as the Eye has warned since franchising began) and replaced it with contracts which, er, also waste money. When Covid slashed ticket revenue, franchises which hadn’t already collapsed got temporary deals whereby the Department for Transport (DafT) took all revenue and paid firms their costs plus a 2 percent fee. DafT then had six months to bring the trains in-house and give Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines control of trains and tracks, thus cutting costs and transferring decision-making from DafT mandarins to rail managers. But turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, even DafT ones…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: “The rhythm of Sunday Brunch is unusual. Tim Lovejoy has to dovetail his interviews with the progress of the dishes that co-host Simon Rimmer prepares and cooks live at his kitchen island on the other side of the studio. (Fire precautions mean cookery shows already incorporate social distancing.) ‘That goes into our creamy mix and then we whizz it about for a bit and pour over the gelatine and rosewater,’ says Simon. Then, while the mess sets, Tim asks a former member of a boyband what jobs he did before he was briefly famous, before Simon resumes with rules for the perfect coulis…”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: “EDF’s prospective new nuke at Sizewell is not the only vast energy scheme threatening Suffolk’s rural amenities and running laughable “consultation” exercises (Eyes passim). Only two miles away, Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) is right up there with EDF – on both counts. SPR’s ‘East Anglia Hub’ would be a 3 gigawatt offshore windfarm complex in the North Sea. Designed to produce sustainable electricity out of sight over the horizon, the plan has broad support – in principle…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: “Whichever speechwriter slipped the phrase ‘viable jobs’ into the mouth of chancellor Rishi Sunak last week must be wondering about the viability of his/her own position after the fury those two words generated among singers, actors and just about everyone else in the music and arts community. Their livelihoods appear to have been written off by the government as having no future or appreciable value. Sunak explained that his extension of post-Covid job support would only apply to people who were still able to work one-third of their normal hours. Anybody else was, apparently, engaged in non-viable activity and should find something else to do…”
in the city
With Slicker: “Logistics Group, the billionaire Barclay family-owned company that runs the loss-making Yodel courier business, is red-flagged as three months late in filing its 2019 accounts at Companies House. The accounts to June 2019 were due by 30 June 2020. The 2018 accounts were filed on 25 March last year. Failure to file accounts in time is a criminal offence for which directors are personally responsible. There are automatic late filing penalties starting at £150, rising to £375 after three months and £1,500 after six months – chump change for the Barclays, but embarrassing…”
eye world
Letter from Seoul
From Our Own Correspondent: “
Here we go again, tearing ourselves up about tearing down Japanese colonial-era architecture. It’s more than a century since Korea was annexed by Japan, and independence was restored in 1945. But those years remain a constant source of tension in a much longer and often difficult history. Part of Korea’s identity is still measured in opposition to the island across the water. Many zainichi, descendants of those who migrated to Japan, forcibly and otherwise, during the years of empire, are even today far from integrated…”
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Next issue on sale: 20th October 2020
Private Eye Issue 1532
In This Issue
World’s most powerful virus red-faced after catching Trump – ‘I thought President was a hoax’… Next US presidential debate between Hubris and Schadenfreude confirmed… Emperor who cried wolf now suffering from wolf… Christmas cancelled by Procter Johnson – The Cromwellian Times exclusive… Queen to be honoured by an audience with Dame Mary Berry… Dr No Release, Tomorrow Never Screens, Live and Let Cinema Die – Those new Bond films in full… ‘I’m as fit as a Prime Minister’ – A Butcher’s Dog writes… Charles Moore: My Television, as told to Craig Brown

Ofcom calling?
The quango Paul Dacre loves to hate

Brexit ahoy!
Why UK ports are all at sea

MD’s health warning
The wider risks of lockdown

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20th October 2020
Private Eye Issue 1531