COLUMNISTS
Issue 1624
pandemic update
With M.D.: "AstraZeneca is removing its Covid-19 vaccine worldwide for commercial reasons. Other vaccines are more effective against the versions of Covid that are now most common, and demand for jabs has fallen as global immunity has risen. In the first year of the pandemic, 3bn doses were provided and they helped save an estimated 6.5m lives – but many countries stopped using the AZ jab when it emerged that around one in 50,000 recipients developed a blood-clotting condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome…"
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "The National Farmers Union (NFU) has published annual figures showing that English and Welsh farmers' confidence in their financial future is at its lowest ebb since the union's first such survey 14 years ago. Farmers cite the withdrawal of EU farm subsidy as one of the main reasons for their pessimism, and they have good cause – English farm incomes have fallen by 78 percent over the past year (see Eye 1620). Yet a majority of farmers reportedly voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum…"
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Labour's pledge to take the remaining ex-franchises in-house (see last Eye) will make redundant masses of different unregulated train fares that were designed for individual franchisees to grab 100 percent of ticket revenue. Money from regulated tickets – such as standard and saver returns and season tickets on commuter routes – is divvied up between firms. But the party seems in no hurry to make fares less confusing if it wins power…"
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "The saying that success has many fathers but failure is an orphan has a particular twist in television, where hits have many bastard offspring. Even among such progeny, though, it's rare to find two perfect sets of identical twins in one week. Rob and Rylan's Grand Tour is BBC2's brazen knock-off of Sky Max's Rob & Romesh Vs, while The Fortune Hotel is the lumpenly literal reply to ITV programme director Kevin Lygo's plea…"
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "When the high court ruled this month that the government hasn't presented adequate plans to achieve its 'legally binding' net zero targets for 2050, it decreed that Grant Shapps (when energy secretary) was 'irrational' to rely on the plans being achieved on time and in full. Given the history of government projects – and Shapps' own record (Eyes passim ad nauseam) – "irrational" was perhaps too kind…"
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O'Boulez: "It's been one gaffe after another from Emma Stenning, CEO since April last year of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Stenning's idea of encouraging people to film concerts on their phones made headlines last month when the tenor Ian Bostridge stopped mid-performance, bothered by flashes. But that's just one of many problems…"
in the city
With Slicker: "Some of the Barclay family's creditors appear to be getting nervous. A flurry of new charges to secure assets has been registered – the most recent this month – to protect their positions. These follow the expected and now confirmed government block on the Telegraph sale to Abu Dhabi, raising the issue of how the £1.16bn its ruling family organised to repay bankers Lloyds will itself be repaid by the Barclays. The new charges all relate to the Barclays' ownership of online retailer Very…"
eye world
Letter from Abuja
From Our Own Correspondent: "With our chiefs, emirs and kings, Nigerians love a good royal show, especially when it comes with a bit of celebrity sprinkle. Harry and Meghan may be loathed by the British tabloids, but their recent visit to Africa's biggest country was a huge success. Harry met with Nigeria's usually forgotten army veterans injured in our horrific 15-year war with Islamist groups. Meanwhile Mrs Sussex, having revealed that she was "43 percent Nigerian", delighted those curious to know from which part of our divided homeland her ancestors might have come…"
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Next issue on sale: 6th June 2024
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ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
ONLY IN THE MAGAZINE
Private Eye Issue 1624
In This Issue
Shock as liar in liar case calls key witness 'a liar'… Rishi list proves that the economy has finally turned the corner… Gyles Brandreth admits, 'I am the Grim Reaper'… Noah tells God, 'Drop the rainbow nonsense'… Mortgages to become merely 'ruinous'… Me and my Spoon: Dominic Cummings… Why Starmer's government is already failing Britain… 'I was stalked by Baby Reindeer' – member of public tells all… The National Gallery at 200: my favourite painting, as told to Craig Brown

Currency affairs
Nigeria's crypto concerns

Burning issue
Old Sparky on the government's "irrational" net zero plan

Legal get-out
More dodging of responsibility at the Post Office

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