COLUMNISTS
Issue 1617
pandemic update
With M.D.: "A study by Public Health Scotland published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has found that no cervical cancer cases have been detected in fully vaccinated women in Scotland following the human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme started in 2008, initially for girls aged 12-13 and now offered to all pupils. HPV is a common virus, usually spread through sexual contact, and is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer…"
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "Faced with widespread farmer protests in France, Germany and Belgium, the European Commission was quick to water down its targets to cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use, and even scaled back proposals to leave more farmland for wildlife across the EU. Could the same happen in Britain if farmers protested against similar policies that are being introduced by the UK's national governments and regional assemblies?…"
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "The Tories contradicted themselves when denigrating London mayor Sadiq Khan's plan to test cheaper peak-time tube and train travel on Fridays from next month. They reckoned the plan was a pre-election ‘gimmick', but polls put Khan streets ahead of his Tory rival for May's election, so perhaps luring voters isn't his main aim. There's a big shortfall in rail commuters on Fridays, when trains have a lot of unused capacity…"
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "Monday nights must be an increasingly popular time for freemasons' meetings across the UK. Certainly, no serving police officer wants to be in front of terrestrial TV as four hours of often unsparing cop documentary play out across the fourth and fifth channels. At least a scheduling clash means Inspector Knacker and colleagues would only endure two hours of this live-to-air…"
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "As attention turns to how a Labour government might keep the lights on while achieving net zero, Keir Starmer's spectacular retreat from the promise to spend £28bn every year on ‘green prosperity' has been very public. But somehow his party still briefs that its green energy commitment – ‘cheaper, zero carbon electricity by 2030' – remains unchanged. This was described as ‘a moonshot' and ‘probably infeasible' even by well-disposed commentators when announced…"
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O'Boulez: "Though the London Chamber Orchestra did perform a scheduled concert at Cadogan Hall last week, O'Boulez was told it was a very close thing as players, who say the orchestra is on the point of breakdown, had threatened to down-tools. The LCO is long-established and well-connected thanks to conductor Christopher Warren-Green, who presides over its artistic administration (along with his wife, Rosemary) and has an address book that opens the door to royal weddings…"
in the city
With Slicker: "‘Those are my principles and, if you don't like them... well, I have others.' A quotation attributed to comedian Groucho Marx which could increasingly apply to Keir Starmer's Labour party, particularly in its campaign to win over the City. In recent weeks shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has declared that Labour would ‘unashamedly champion' the financial services sector, would cut regulation, would not reverse the previously criticised removal of the cap on bankers' bonuses…"
eye world
Letter from Bouaké
From Our Own Correspondent:
"We have gone from ghost town to host town! Barely a decade ago, half the shops here in the centre of Ivory Coast were boarded up, banks had closed and good luck finding something to eat or drink. Now the streets have been freshly resurfaced, and the pavements are bustling with maquis – our open-air restaurants and bars. Also part of the pricey makeover is the vast Stadium of Peace. The African Cup of Nations (Afcon) football tournament is our guest…"
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Next issue on sale: 28th February 2024
gnitty
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In This Issue
Second huge metaphor fails to leave port… Super Bowl 2024 ruined by American football… That royal illness coverage in full… Memory loss to determine election… Labour launches new ‘blue investment plan'… Rat deserts sinking ship that he sunk… Who or what is Kimchi?… Dental crisis hits Nurseryland… Mystery poet fails to do obvious joke in obituary for Ian Lavender… The Greatest Night in the History of the World (Netflix), as told to Craig Brown.

Tax takes
Slicker on the mythical threat of capital flight

Royalballs
The press's attempts to report royal news with no information

Going postal
Find out who barristers called "a parade of liars"

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