Issue 1543
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "The lockdown has brought far more people on to public footpaths, raising concerns about the threat of aggressive cattle to members of the public walking across farmland. Is there anything that can reasonably be done to reduce the likelihood of death or injury to walkers? The threat is higher in spring when cattle are turned out from winter housing to graze on pastures just as people are tempted outside by better weather. Added to that, many cows are grazing with their young calves at foot, as most are born in the spring…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget confirmed that the government's 'Decarbonising Transport' blueprint, presumably designed to impress at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow (now postponed a year to November 2021), is in fact hogwash. 'We want public transport and active travel to be the natural first choice for our daily activities,' the blueprint proclaimed last year. 'An important aspect of reducing emissions from transport will be to use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network.' On 1 March, the government hiked rail fares by 2.6 times the official inflation rate…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Between Sunday 7 March and Tuesday 9 March, a sequence of shows screened that will cause chroniclers of the British monarchy to wear out replay and freeze-frame. The royal procession began with A Service Of Celebration For Commonwealth Day, a sort of pan-global Songs of Praise, anchored from Westminster Abbey. It was very 2020-21: choristers, clergy and interviewees punctiliously split by two metres in the chancel of a church containing no worshippers, with Will and Kate Cambridge and Sophie Wessex zooming in from home…”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Regular readers will know of the equivocal position occupied by National Grid plc (NG). As statutory 'system operator' (SO), it is expert in keeping the lights on reliably, if not cheaply. At the same time it owns the central core of that system and is perversely incentivised, via guaranteed rates of return (paid for by us), to invest ever more into 'the wires', whether it's optimal or not. Whenever it's asked about the feasibility of outlandish proposals, it's always 'Yes, minister!'…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O'Boulez: "The world of stage performance, still struggling for a future beyond Covid, has just been dealt a blow to its past. The Victoria & Albert Museum, which has problems of its own, is planning to close its theatre and performance department in a series of budget cuts. The museum has camouflaged its actions as a reorganisation; but the result is not only to reduce public access to a vast and unique stage collection – it's an insult to the many people who fought for decades to establish the collection in the first place…”
in the city
With Slicker: "The history of City regulation is one of evolution, Big Bangs and selective extinction. The Greensill Capital death spiral, following on from the London Capital & Finance crash and the implosion of Neil Woodford's fund management group, signals another Big Bang should be on the way. For decades, the rules of the London Stock Exchange club and an invitation to take tea with the governor of the Bank of England were seen as sufficient to maintain order among City gentlemen…”
eye world
Letter from Kinshasa
From Our Own Correspondent:
"By trumpeting a death sentence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as vindication for its billionaire Israeli mining client Dan Gertler, City PR firm Powerscourt, accompanied by lawyers from France, Switzerland and the UK's own Carter-Fuck, may have sunk even lower than its oligarch-serving peers in the world of reputation management. On 26 February, a consortium of investigative journalists published a new exposé of how Afriland, a major African bank audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, handled tens of millions of euros in suspect transactions for Gertler…”
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Next issue on sale: 28th April 2021
Private Eye Issue 1543
In This Issue
Peaceful vigil turns violent when group of men described as ‘the police’ turn up… Spot the logical fallacy! The Eye’s Grand Royal Interview Quiz… Families allowed to dream up excuses again not to visit Granny as care homes reopen… Senior TV royal gives up public service role at Good Morning Britain… Syria misery intensifies as coronavirus tests positive for Assad-19… Only way to avoid a new lockdown is to maintain current one, insists Prof Chris Whitty… NHS Test & Trace unable to track down any member of the public who thinks it’s wasted £37bn… Jordan B Peterson’s Rules for Life, as told to Craig Brown

Protocol error
Food export fiasco and a major diplomatic row

Fringe politics
Lockdown sceptics look to the right

Royal Special
The Street of Shame’s Paper Tigers

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28th April 2021
Private Eye Issue 1542