Issue 1500
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "With less than four months to go until the next Brexit deadline, wannabe prime minister Jeremy Hunt has proposed a £6bn ‘war chest’ to help farmers and fishermen cope with the cost of a possible no-deal Brexit. All well and good; but would the UK actually be allowed to subsidise its farmers in a post-Brexit ‘free trade’ environment as Hunt suggests, once it has left the EU and is trading under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules? As this column has pointed out repeatedly since the 2016 EU referendum, the consequences of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal are likely to be catastrophic for UK farming…”
medicine balls
With MD: "Why has the cost of some vital generic (ie non-brand) drugs risen so exorbitantly, and why is the government doing nothing about it? In June 2018, the National Audit Office (NAO) published an investigation into generic medicine costs between 2017-2018. It found NHS England had spent an extra £315m to fund higher prices for generics – seven times higher than the previous year – and that 10 medicines represented half the additional spend. The cost of some medicines increased more than 10-fold. Quetiapine 100mg tablets, an antipsychotic, peaked at £113.10, 70 times higher than its previous price of £1.59. The hikes were partly due to the fall in the value of sterling after the EU referendum and the suspension of some manufacturers’ licences causing shortages that pushed up costs. But there was rank profiteering too…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "As recently as April, transport secretary Chris Grayling said he was due to award the next west-coast mainline franchise in June, seven years late. The deal will commit the winner to running services on the existing line and the HS2 high-speed line, where construction still hasn’t begun and the whole project is under review. June came and went with no award, so there’s still no end in sight for the franchise Virgin won in 1997, which has been such a goldmine for Richard Branson and his partners at Stagecoach…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Most TV programmes have the life span of a mayfly. But, amid those broadcast ephemeroptera are some astonishing exceptions. Coronation Street had already been on air for ten months when Private Eye published its first edition in 1961; EastEnders launched when issue 604 was on the newsstands in mid-February, 1985. As this organ reaches 1500, ITV’s mock-Salford soap is at 9,814 episodes, while the mockney opposition on BBC1 has been screened 5,951 times. So, within a year, the franchises will be running extra, longer editions to mark their ten grand and six grand counts. [but] there may not be much to celebrate…
[reviews of Coronation Street (ITV) and EastEnders (BBC1)]”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Last year, green energy supplier Good Energy was miffed when we pointed out that production of the ‘biomethane’ it sells to its gas customers involves using edible beet and maize, not ‘all sourced from food waste’ as it stated (Eye 1462). Having been rumbled, over subsequent months it quietly and appropriately modified its claims. The gas, produced for it by Cannington Enterprises (a farm complex in Somerset), now comes from ‘organic matter such as leftover food’, GE says – neatly dodging the awkward facts of what else is involved; and ‘unfortunately, we’re not able to neutralise emissions that might come about as a product of producing gas in the first place’. That’s because the biogas generation process gives off, er, lots of CO2…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "More on the dispiriting saga of Westminster Cathedral Choir School, which no longer seems interested in supporting the choir for which it exists. The school, which feeds singing boys into the world-famous choir of the next-door Catholic basilica, has decided to end full-time boarding for those boys: a decision that is seen by many as a first step in abandoning the choir as an elite ensemble (Eye 1497). The church-music world is up in arms and parents are incensed…”
in the city
With Slicker: "An ‘unsavoury’ and ‘unhealthy’ relationship between share traders and financial journalists was criticised during the trial at Southwark crown court of Walid Choucair, which ended two weeks ago with his conviction for insider trading. One of the more ‘unsavoury’ aspects of evidence in the case, said trial judge Joanna Korner QC, sentencing Choucair, was the ‘unhealthy relationship which seems to exist between journalists desirous of printing a scoop on potential mergers and acquisitions, and traders using that desire to provide information which will result in the journalist ‘leaking’ a story which will lead to a rise in shares they own’…”
eye world
Dispatch from Ankara
From Our Own Correspondent
: "The secular opposition candidate may have won the rerun Istanbul mayoral election last month with barely a murmur of fuss – but forecasts of a softening in our descent to authoritarianism may be more than a little premature. Just as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was enjoying the photo opportunities at the G20 summit in Osaka, a drill ship belonging to state oil company Turkish Petroleum was making its way towards Cyprus. It is planning to explore for oil in waters claimed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognised by, er, Turkey) and the Republic of Cyprus (recognised by everyone else, and a member of the EU)…”
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Next issue on sale: 20th August 2019
Private Eye Issue 1500
In This Issue
UK Pot Calls US Kettle ‘Dysfunctional and Inept’… Ivanka Trump Stunned by Theresa May’s Presence at G20… Boris to Scrap Taxes on Traditional Sinning… Fury As Fury Grows At Just About Everything… Senior Civil Servants Fear They’re Too Frail to Cope with a Corbyn Government… Love Island: Are the Viewers the Dumbest People on the Planet?... Frogmore Prince Defends Luxury Pad Costing 2.4m Gold Coins…Gwyneth Paltrow: How to Walk, as told to Craig Brown

Front page news
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Dough nuts
Johnson’s big backers

Free cheers!
1500th edition prize quiz

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20th August 2019
Private Eye Issue 1499