Issue 1526
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "Whenever post-Brexit food trade policy is discussed by politicians or the media, there is usually reference to the threat of cheap US ‘chlorinated chicken’ being imported into the UK. In fact, the rinsing of chicken carcasses in a chlorine solution on a production line to reduce the presence of salmonella (and only 10 percent of US chicken is chlorinated anyway) is a distraction from the much more important issue of what happens to farmed chicken while they are still alive. In the US there are no federal regulations to control or safeguard the welfare of chicken (or any other farmed animals)…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Official watchdog Transport Focus demanded ‘urgent rail fares reform’ this month, but it would take a cultural transformation in Whitehall to abolish the byzantine ticket rules and annual above-inflation fare rises. Ministers have promised simpler fares since 2007 but mandarins feared that tinkering with the system would lead to demands for greater subsidies – even though a clearer, fairer system might also attract extra passengers. Simplifying fares would have involved contractual negotiations with franchisees, who were free to define time restrictions on tickets and exploit the revenue ‘settlement plan’ to their individual advantage…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Soap operas, screening several episodes a week, are the building blocks of the TV schedules. But with production suspended by lockdown, their constancy and prominence became a problem. The vague, sad awareness that the fifth series of Line of Duty hasn’t appeared is different from the obvious gaping holes left by the interruption to perennials. With Coronation Street (ITV) eking out the stock of pre-viral episodes by cutting its weekly output from six to three shows, and EastEnders (BBC1) currently off air after emptying its cupboard, Emmerdale (ITV) is the first soap to return with new material shot under Covid-safe rules agreed by culture secretary Oliver Dowden…”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "More on Thurrock council’s highly controversial £600m punt on solar farms, which involves a questionable investment in bonds issued by the convoluted Rockfire/Toucan group of companies, all controlled by one Liam Kavanagh. According to the Financial Times (which with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed the arrangement in May), when compared to publicly listed solar companies, Rockfire’s ratio of debt to asset value is worryingly near 100 percent. Kavanagh disputed this, adding that although a £200m loan from Barclays bank has first security on Rockfire/Toucan, Thurrock too has ‘security against the solar farms’…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "The government’s £1.5bn bail-out for the arts was as much a surprise as a relief. Only the week before, the culture secretary had been vacuously talking up a five-point plan to save a sector which is edging towards annihilation, without any suggestion of cash attached. So the decision is a dramatic policy U-turn. How will the money be allocated? The cap-in-hand queue will be long. Someone after that £1.5bn is Horace Trubridge, general secretary of the Musicians Union… But some members lay the responsibility for this on Trubridge himself…”
in the city
With Slicker: "HM Revenue & Customs was unusually quick to question whether two of boy wonder Rishi Sunak’s gimmicks to boost spending – the £1,000 per furloughed job retention bonus and the £10 ‘eat for Britain’ dining out voucher – were value for money. Similar questions involving far bigger numbers should be asked about the Treasury-backed, Bank of England-run Covid-19 corporate financing facility (CCFF), which has provided more than £18bn through purchasing short-term unsecured debt (commercial paper in City jargon) issued by more than 60 large companies…”
eye world
Letter from Kampala
From Our Own Correspondent:
"On the morning of 2 May residents of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, woke to discover that part of the road up the hill to the country’s biggest Anglican cathedral had been renamed Singh Katongole Road. Teeth were gnashed and social media bristled with indignation. Naming roads after pompous suits isn’t uncommon, but Katongole was no ordinary politician. He was once treasurer of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, which has been in power only since 1986, and was briefly area MP in 2011 before the high court threw him out for stealing votes…”
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Next issue on sale: 11th August 2020
Private Eye Issue 1526
In This Issue
Cruella De Vil furious at ‘Ghislaine Maxwell’ comparison… Daily Rishigraph praises massive spending spree to be paid for with massive tax cuts… Guardian slams miserly £94 zillion billion rescue package of Rishi Scroogenak… World ‘stands united’ over Hong Kong and does nothing… Lost marbles row: Greece wants Stanley Johnson to be returned to UK… Dave Spart calls for himself to be cancelled for signing nauseating letter calling for end to intolerance… Stanley Johnson’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

Coronavirus latest
MD on a road to recovery

Loan wolves
Slicker on Covid cash for big corporates

Telly vision
The BBC’s rout of the regions

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11th August 2020
Private Eye Issue 1525