COLUMNISTS
Issue 1621
pandemic update
With M.D.: "Labour leader Keir Starmer has promised to 'hold the door open' to more private sector outsourcing of NHS work, just as Tony Blair did before him. Already more than half of all NHS cataract treatments are done by private providers (Eyes passim), and more than 75 percent in some cities. Superficially, it looks like a good deal, with private providers able to get through more patients for the same cost per cataract, and pay their staff more. But is it fair competition?…"
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "Fearing UK food production might collapse amid inducements to English farmers to devote more of their land to wildlife conservation and environmental initiatives, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has unexpectedly limited the level of farmer participation. Whether this 'cap' will be enough to prevent a quick and dramatic decline in the UK's perilously low level of food self-sufficiency (60 percent) remains to be seen…"
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Having admitted in 2021 that the railways 'are too fragmented' and lack 'coherent leadership and strategic direction', the government now wants to see even more private operators running services – a move which will only, er, increase fragmentation. So far only three 'open access' firms (free from franchise obligations) compete with government-controlled ex-franchises, two of them owned by FirstGroup and one by the German government…"
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "The co-writer of Netflix's much-publicised Scoop, offering the fictionalised skinny on the 2019 Prince Andrew Newsnight interview, is Peter Moffat. He's a respected screenwriter (Cambridge Spies, Silk), but cynics may wonder if the streamer hoped viewers casually scanning the credits might think the scripts were by Peter Morgan, showrunner of The Crown. Certainly, Scoop is effectively a mash-up…"
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "From the start of EDF's interminable development of two new nukes at Hinkley Point in Somerset, we were promised big efficiencies thanks to EDF's prior experience with the same design at Flamanville (France, pictured) and Olkiluoto (Finland). Yet every year EDF announces Hinkley will cost even more and will start operations even later. If you've ever wondered why, here's an example recently uncovered by the Eye…"
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O'Boulez: "When St John's College, Cambridge, announced the closure of its affiliated choir St John's Voices, the master and fellows perhaps assumed it would attract little attention. But the English choral lobby has leapt into action with a campaign reminiscent of what happened when the BBC tried to close the BBC Singers. Grandees from Rowan Williams and John Rutter to Sandi Toksvig are on board, while a petition has garnered 12,000 signatures…"
in the city
With Slicker: "There have been growing discussions of a UK arms sales embargo on Israel following the killing of the World Central Kitchen aid workers. But there are probably more effective if less symbolic economic measures that could be used to put pressure on the Netanyahu government for a ceasefire in Gaza, or to persuade any subsequent Israeli government to progress a two-state solution despite the unjustifiable Hamas atrocities. The UK is an important trading partner of Israel…"
eye world
Letter from St Petersburg
From Our Own Correspondent:
"The horrific violence at Moscow's Crocus City Hall last month, where an Islamic State offshoot claimed responsibility for killing at least 137 people, has led to a new crackdown on migrants from Central Asia. After the attack, four Tajik nationals were detained and tortured and the Kremlin tried to link the terrorism to Ukraine and the west. It is, however, migrant workers from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, on whom the Russian economy depends, who are now feeling the effect…"
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Next issue on sale: 24th April 2024
gnitty
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Private Eye Issue 1621
In This Issue
Top Tory in ‘moneytrap' sting… Humza Plotter and the Half Baked Crime Bill… MP in second home shock… Nurseryland honeytrap sting warning… Benjamin Netanyahu's guide to surgeons attempting to remove his hernia… Britain ‘prepared to do nothing'… Are there enough senior royal reporters to go round?… A new short story by Clara Sill, Britain's top romantasy novelist… A Very Royal Scoop Scandal, the untold story… Vital issues of our day (1): the Garrick Club, as told to Craig Brown.

Russia Watch
The fallout from last month's Moscow terror attack

Where's Boris?
GB News is missing its star signing

Jackwatch
The latest flag tweak to attract tabloid fury

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