Issue 1516
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "With a growing scientific consensus that meat consumption must be cut drastically to tackle climate change, Britain’s beef, sheep, pig and goat farmers need to develop niche markets for special high value meat with good local provenance and high animal welfare. For such trade to thrive, small-scale local slaughterhouses are vital: they can keep journey times from farm to slaughter low, and cater for small specialist consignments of livestock…”
medicine balls
With MD: "A retired bishop was an unusual choice to chair an inquiry into a dodgy surgeon – akin to asking a retired surgeon to chair an inquiry into a dodgy bishop. The Right Revd Graham James landed plenty of blows on incarcerated surgeon Ian Paterson, but missed the opportunity to demand changes to the profit-driven, unsafe and unaccountable business model of private practice. Or was his independent report written by Department of Health civil servants, keen to let ministers and the private sector off the hook? The government is keen on private outsourcing, and less keen on evidence that shows it may be unsafe…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Who will be able to afford a seat on HS2 when its trains eventually pull out of the sidings? The price of tickets remains a mystery, despite it being fundamental to the ‘business case’ of the mega-project that was given the go-ahead last week. The high-speed railway is mainly for boosting transport capacity. Relocating expresses to the new tracks will increase the number of long-distance seats and of regional and freight trains on the west-coast mainline (London Euston to Birmingham, Crewe and beyond). But whether that seriously cuts road traffic and domestic flights depends on pricing policy…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "The iPlayer trigger warning that Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude ‘contains some nudity’ seems to assume stupid viewers. But dim people who don’t mind statements of the obvious would be the ideal audience for the Cambridge classicist’s latest TV vehicle…”
[Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude (BBC2)]
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Facing reelection in May, London mayor Sadiq Khan boasts loudly of his green credentials… So how is he meeting the latest challenge? Euro-regulations require him substantially to eliminate harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates emissions from ‘non-road mobile machinery’ (NRMM) – the diggers, bulldozers, forklifts, pumps and electricity generators on building sites all over town. In particular, all but the smallest diesel generators must be fully ‘Stage V’ NOx-compliant by September. The trouble is, literally not one of them is...”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "English National Opera’s uncanny ability to disappoint continues; and despite some good singing, the badly received new production of Verdi’s Luisa Miller that opened last week was par for the course. What shocked the most stoic ENO-goers though was the vacuity to which its programme-books have now sunk. ENO programmes used to be informative and well-written. But Luisa Miller's had all the literary panache of an Instagram posting – kicking off with a feature explaining that Verdi was ‘the daddy of Italian opera!... pretty famous for his sympathy with the Risorgimento movement, which is a fancy way of saying he liked the idea of a united Italy’, and was ‘kind of a big deal’…”
in the city
With Slicker: "[A long] public mea culpa from private equity veteran Guy Hands earlier this month to students at the London School of Economics demonstrates once again how City and Wall Street figures live in a world all of their own. Self-awareness not required. Hands is the man who in 2009 left his wife and four children behind at the Kent family mansion to become a tax exile in Guernsey – even though he admitted in 2010 that this meant he ‘never visited’ his school-age children. They had to visit him. He also demonstrated just how much avoiding tax meant, by adding: ‘I do not visit my parents in the UK and would not do so except in an emergency’…”
eye world
Letter from Sao Paulo
From Our Own Correspondent:
"European explorers combing the mountains of South America never found the mythical city of gold, but here it is: Eldorado, a small municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil’s south-east, about the size of Tewkesbury. The town was given its name in allusion to the period of gold exploration here from the 17th century, mined by African slaves. It’s also where our charming president Jair Bolsonaro grew up and has become a personal fiefdom for his family, whose members own the estate agencies, furniture outlets, even the shop that sells our lottery tickets…”
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Next issue on sale: 3rd March 2020
Private Eye Issue 1516
In This Issue
‘It’s what Caroline would have wanted’ – ITV keeps Love Island on air after consulting widely with its accountants… Latest Royal Couple to split as Lion and Unicorn go separate ways… Gay man comes out as presenter on morning TV… China says coronavirus source is now dead so can no longer infect anyone with dangerous facts… Chinese emperor offers to help rebuild Rome in a day… Shock as supervillain Dominic Evil appoints evil Mini-Me as his special adviser… John Bercow’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

Bar humbug!
Brave Suella’s rise to the top

Diamond geezer
Tory treasurer’s associate in court

HS2 Special
Trebles all round for the suits

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3rd March 2020
Private Eye Issue 1515