Issue 1519
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "Treasury adviser Tim Leunig’s leaked email in early March, describing the UK farming and food sector as ‘not critically important’, could not have come at a more awkward time for the government. Amid the Covid-19 chaos, national food security has suddenly become a highly sensitive political issue as the government devises its increasingly controversial post-Brexit food trade policy…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "The Covid-19 pandemic makes abolishing rail franchising – shaky even in normal times – necessary and easy; yet the government remains reluctant to switch off the financial life-support which has sustained this ludicrous outsourcing for two decades…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "When ‘Thomas Sanderson – Shutters, Blinds, Curtains’ signed up to sponsor Julian Fellowes’ Downton-surrogate Belgravia, the company could scarcely have envisaged that, by the second episode, most of the nation would be stuck behind their window coverings by government order. In one sense this is good news for the franchise’s backer, as the Covid-19 lockdown vastly raises potential viewing figures; however, viewers will probably wait to see in which direction that cough of theirs goes before upgrading the furnishings…

[reviews of Belgravia (ITV), Liar (ITV), Trigonometry (BBC2) and The Nest (BBC1)]

keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Whatever the world looks like when the Covid-19 crisis abates, the lights must stay on and our homes warm. What, then, of our energy supplies – now, and in the future when two diametrically opposed policy factors will be in play?...”
in the city
With Slicker: "There has been rapturous applause for the more than £400bn a right-wing Tory government is prepared to provide to minimise the expected coronavirus impact on the economy by providing a financial lifeline to companies and individuals. But that support package falls far short of what was provided by the Labour government to save the banks during the 2008 global financial crisis…”
eye world
Postcard from Beijing
From Our Own Correspondent:
"A pandemic might have been a great opportunity for China and the west’s top brains to set aside their differences and find a vaccine. It was only in January that a consortium of our researchers published a draft genome of the coronavirus, and health experts such as Jeremy Farrar at the UK’s Wellcome Trust hailed a ‘potentially really important moment in global public health’. But since then the exchange of research has fallen foul of dreary politicking: cue a trade between tags about the ‘Chinese virus’ and weirder still conspiracies peddled by officials here about the origin of coronavirus…”
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Next issue on sale: 14th April 2020
Private Eye Issue 1519
In This Issue
Crisis brings out true national spirit as Brits grass up neighbours to police… Stable Door Strategy slammed by World Horse Organisation… Britain now completely socialist, says a victorious Jeremy Corbyn… World King Cnut rethinks how long it will take to turn back tide… Love in the Time of Corona, a Sylvie Krin Royal Special… Police Urge Archers Fans not to Drive to Borsetshire… Nightmare for virus as it tests positive for Weinstein.

Banks a million
Slicker on Rishi’s bailout

Horizon scandal
Six-page special on the Post Office pariahs

Posh tosh
Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia

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14th April 2020
Private Eye Issue 1518