Issue 1563
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "Ever since Brexit, English farmers have been eager to learn how the £2.3bn EU farm subsidy they have been receiving for the past 16 years is to be replaced. All they have known to date is that the subsidy is to be cut substantially and phased out completely by 2027. But if environment secretary George Useless (aka Eustice) thought he was spreading a bit of early Christmas cheer when he announced details of the government's 'Sustainable Farming Incentive' scheme earlier this month, he was mistaken…"
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "The government is ramping up bureaucracy as it belatedly tries to cut rail subsidy. Passengers face a worsening service – but at least the accountants' jobs are safe. As Eye 1519 pointed out in April 2020, the rational response when Covid slashed train usage – wrecking every rail franchise – was to renationalise and unify the network; cutting bureaucracy and duplication would have helped the industry respond coherently to the pandemic and the inevitable need to lower costs. But the Tories couldn't bring themselves to dump the fragmentated system they concocted…"
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Apart from the massive expansion in channels, the biggest change in the consumption of television has been the visibility of archive. Where earlier generations of viewers waited first for scheduled repeats, then VHS or DVD release, now the history is easily available. All six seasons of the celebrated comedy-drama Sex and the City (HBO, 1998-2004) can be viewed through Amazon, and a collection of 'classic' editions via Sky. Almost a quarter century on, the show is still fast, smart and funny…
[Reviews of Sex and the City (Amazon Prime/Sky On Demand) and And Just Like That… (Sky Comedy)]”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Even though UK customers are temporarily sheltering under an energy price cap, thanks to the acute global energy crisis prices are significantly worse than last winter when we reported on Calon, an obscure and bankrupt electricity generator backed by the self-proclaimed 'aggressive' American bank, Beal. Beal and other backers had withdrawn Calon's gas-fired power stations from the market, causing higher power prices and additional use of coal-fired power in winter 2020…"
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O'Boulez: "It's fair to say that English Touring Opera (ETO) has ballsed up the handling of fall-out from its decision to dump half its long-standing freelance orchestral players – a decision bluntly described in the dismissal letter as driven by a need for 'increased diversity... in line with the firm guidance of the Arts Council'. The decision was disowned by Arts Council England and attacked by the Musicians' Union, which campaigned to support the ejected players. Finally, ETO issued a statement that ought to have been an apology, but offered no acknowledgement of the harm done…"
in the city
With Slicker: "That Boris Johnson should turn to recently ennobled peer David Brownlow last year to refurbish his Downing Street flat in the style to which wife Carrie wishes to stay accustomed should be no surprise. Brownlow is after all a noted philanthropist, especially when it comes to Tory prime ministers. He was a generous donor to Theresa May and funded Samantha Cameron's loss-making fashion business. Multimillionaire Brownlow has donated £3.3m to the Tories since 2005 and is a former party vice-chairman (2017–20) who just happened to become a peer…"
eye world
Letter from Canberra
From Our Own Correspondent:
"It all seems to have gone downhill for the Australian prime minister since COP26. Scott Morrison returned from Glasgow a jaded man, ridiculed for his brochure-approach to climate change ('the Australian way', he called it), to face a flurry of rearguard actions from government members. The junior party in his coalition, the Nationals, had already fought net neutrality goals on carbon emissions and the phasing out of coal by 2050…"
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Next issue on sale: 2nd February 2022
Private Eye Issue 1563
In This Issue
Christmas agony continues for young who CAN now spend festive season with families… Christmas parties are fine, but, er, not really – those new Covid rules in full… Say no to NHS waiting list misery with the new DIY Home Operating Theatre from Gnomemart… Labour wants Father Christmas to investigate No 10 parties to find out who was naughty or nice… Jeremy Corbyn sees off Angela to win Sparts Personality of the Year Award again… I’m a Celebrity Squid Game – Eye Christmas TV Viewing Guide… Fury at unsolicited dick pics beamed into homes as England batsmen surrender meekly in the Ashes… Experts agree that sharing a home with Prince Andrew makes Sarah Ferguson the most persecuted female royal in history… A stress-free Christmas Diary, as told to Craig Brown

Late bargains!
Gnome’s world-famous Christmas Giftmart

Cash prizes!
£250 anniversary quiz and £250 bumper crossword

Festive funnies!
Christmas cartoons galore

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2nd February 2022
Private Eye Issue 1562