Issue 1525
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "As the controversial Agriculture Act progresses towards the statute books, the National Farmers’ Union has launched a petition calling for safeguards for ‘UK’ food standards that has gained 1m signatures and been endorsed by the likes of Jamie Oliver. But is the NFU a credible promoter of ‘food standards’ given its long-term support for industrial super-dairies (where cows are housed all year round) and mega pig farms, and its relentless lobbying for the use of pesticides and the growing of GM crops in the UK?…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "The government’s plans for the railways, reported as ‘renationalisation’ last week, are in fact just another Whitehall power grab, with sundry train firms to carry on pocketing ‘management fees’. British Rail was run by railway managers and engineers, with economies of scale and coordinated operations and planning. But once it was dismembered for privatisation, civil servants became increasingly involved in rail management. The more Whitehall cocked up, the more control it accrued. When Covid scuppered all rail franchises, the obvious solution was to merge them and Network Rail into one outfit led by railway managers. Instead, the same firms are paid ‘management fees’ to run the trains…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Usefully for media studies classes doing online modules from home, BBC1 is offering a compare-and-contrast of the sort of TV drama that used to be made and the only kind possible now. The Luminaries, based on Eleanor Catton’s 2013 Man Booker Prize winner, is an epic six-parter, not only filmed outside, with crowd scenes, but in New Zealand. You couldn’t do that now, although The Luminaries does not convincingly make the case for having done it then…”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Mark Shorrock, promoter and biggest single beneficiary of the would-be Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, is never short of specious arguments for why he should get everything he wants from the government. In the spring, as a critical lagoon development permit neared expiry due to his inactivity, he claimed the only thing preventing him ‘commencing works’ on time was civil servants sitting on a vital document they’d ‘approved in March’. The truth? A freedom of information response confirmed they’d only received his draft in May…”
in the city
With Slicker: "London’s high court, particularly the commercial court, is one of the City’s deepest goldmines – partly because it has become irresistible to super-rich or state-funded litigants from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine or their favourite offshore tax haven, Cyprus. For many, it seems, litigation is just endless war by other means, with little regard for the rules or niceties of English courts, while playing out private, family or political feuds. It’s a lucrative abuse that lawyers (obviously) and judges (less so) appear only too happy to indulge…”
eye world
Letter from Colombo
From Our Own Correspondent:
"It’s been a good lockdown here in Sri Lanka – or that’s what our government is telling everyone. Official statistics put Covid-19 deaths in our island nation of 22m at barely double figures. Curfew restrictions have eased, shops and restaurants have reopened, people are back at work and the airport is set to reopen on 1 August, heralding (it is hoped) the return of foreign tourists with hard currency. All in all, a pretty good performance: more people of Sri Lankan origin have died of Covid-19 in the UK than in all of Sri Lanka, and we also seem to be doing better than our bigger neighbours. But there’s another side to the story…”
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Next issue on sale: 11th August 2020
Private Eye Issue 1525
In This Issue
Mark Zuckerberg ‘down to his last $78bn’ as ad boycott bites… House prices about to rise/fall – Daily Mail exclusive… The Trump Guide to Mathematics…A message from our sponsors: That Gnomes Radio launch in full… Glasto 2020 coverage guaranteed to cure Britain’s sleep crisis… ‘We must learn the lessons we were going to learn last time and the time before that’: full terror attack update… PMQs ‘just not the same’ without the fans… John Bolton’s Trump Diary, as told to Craig Brown

Offshore swimming
Tory MP Marcus Fysh says sorry

Health for all?
MD’s full round-up of the coronavirus crisis

Shorrock horror
What Swansea lagoon’s promoter did next

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11th August 2020
Private Eye Issue 1524