Issue 1513
medicine balls
With MD: "This year marks the 20th anniversary of the missed deadline for the World Health Organization’s Health for All by the Year 2000 campaign. The target was announced in 1975 in a speech by WHO director-general Dr Halfdan Mahler, who predicted that ‘in a generation the world’s population will achieve an acceptable level of health evenly distributed throughout it’. He had ‘not the slightest doubt that we will achieve this goal by the year 2000’…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "While arguing that this month’s above-inflation fare rise is needed to fund improvements, the rail industry has stuffed its 2020 catalogue of goodies with projects it failed to complete earlier. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing the entire industry except the Department for Transport (DafT), estimates that £20bn will be spent ‘running and improving the railway’ this year. DafT has stuck upgrade schemes in a ‘pipeline’ or simply abandoned them, but RDG’s Investment Report 2020 gushes: ‘In 2020, electrification of the Midland Main Line will go live.’ Really?…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "At a time when fewer and fewer people believe the TV news is true, viewers seem curiously happy to consume the dramatic genre of fake truth. The new year starts with another two docudramas in which ‘some incidents and characters have been invented for dramatic purposes’. Following the success of the Jeremy Thorpe bio-drama A Very English Scandal, BBC1 has alighted on the 1963 compromising of secretary of state for war John Profumo by sharing a lover with a Russian spy…
[reviews of the The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC1) and White House Farm (ITV)].”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "If there’s one music institution not enjoying a happy new year, it’s the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. It is feeling hard done by and wondering where to find the money to keep its glittering £57m-worth of new buildings up and running. On the surface, Birmingham might seem to be doing OK. After decades of being the conservatoire you only went to if you weren’t accepted anywhere else, it’s been getting its act together with a vengeance, appointing a high-profile and well-connected principal in Julian Lloyd Webber, opening the new buildings, acquiring ‘royal’ status and scoring bucket-loads of brownie points when piano student Lauren Zhang won the BBC Young Musician competition in 2018…”
in the city
With Slicker: "A new decade and capitalism is in trouble. That’s not the verdict of the usual suspects, but of leading capitalists during 2019. Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio: ‘Capitalism is broken’ and must ‘evolve or die’. Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman: ‘Capitalism is a damaged ideology and needs to be reinvented for the 21st century.’ Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: there is ‘a growing crisis of capitalism’. Internet billionaire and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: ‘Capitalism as we know it is dead’…”
eye world
Letter from Addis Ababa
From Our Own Correspondent:
"Suddenly Ethiopia is the future. Our economy is one of the world’s fastest-growing and the IMF and World Bank have just lent us $5bn while warning the rest of Africa about a debt crisis. Cranes dot the landscape of our old imperial capital, with its shiny new metro line and six-line highways. Architecture in Addis Ababa has changed from faded Italianate to proto-Beijing in less than a decade. In the city centre, the headquarters of the African Union resemble a flying saucer, just landed with its own communications tower. In some ways it is. AU officials told France’s Le Monde that the Chinese construction company had built in transmitting microphones with a direct line to servers in Beijing. No question, Addis is bristling with spies, western and eastern…”
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Next issue on sale: 18th February 2020
Private Eye Issue 1513
In This Issue
How dare the Great Satan act like us! Tehran Times Exclusive… US president attacks Trump for dragging US back into Middle East morass… UK teenager facing jail in Cyprus begs PM not to get involved in her case… Aussie PM ‘turning us into a laughing stock’ says Sir Les Patterson… US reveals ‘nuclear winter’ plan to reverse climate change… Labour fury as Phillips and Starmer enter leadership race and risk being popular with voters…

Weirdo News
Dominic Cummings’ Diary

World of Spart
Keir Starmer, student tyro

Capitalism 2.0
Even plutocrats say it’s bust

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18th February 2020
Private Eye Issue 1512