Issue 1504
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "That the Rural Payments Agency has fouled up again – this time paying 1,000 farmers a total of £5m they weren’t entitled to – is no surprise to weary observers of this failing branch of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). But can the RPA, long a byword for Whitehall incompetence and waste, ever be made fit for its single purpose of paying subsidies to 80,000 English farmers?…”
medicine balls
With MD: "Urinary incontinence in women is a largely preventable and treatable condition that is certainly not an inevitable consequence of ageing. So why do so many women believe it is normal, and that they should ‘pad up and shut up’, rather than seek help? The Royal College of Nursing recently challenged Tena over its advert featuring a young mother, happily donning black absorbent pants, saying: ‘I won’t let a bit of wee stop me being me.’ In a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority, the RCN said: ‘[The] advertisements inaccurately portray that it is normal to be incontinent post-childbirth, providing no data to support the claim and with no acknowledgement that there is treatment available.’…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "BBC Radio 4 has a slot called Classic Serial, which, as the name indicates, consists of adaptations of well-known novels. Such is the hunger in telly, though, for long-form narratives that can be box-setted or syndicated that book-based projects are almost obliged to carry on beyond the last full stop. What might be called post-period pieces include Poldark, the fifth and final series of which, concluding over the bank holiday weekend, consisted entirely of dialogue created by adapter Debbie Horsfield, filling in a ten-year gap in the narrative of the original sequence of novels by Winston Graham. The Handmaid’s Tale, which began with ten episodes closely based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, has so far continued for 26 off-the-Peggy instalments. And, with the BBC and ITV having televised Jane Austen’s six completed novels so often it would be possible to stream multi-series box-sets of each individual title, premier Austen-adapter Andrew Davies has been inspired to turn the 11 extant chapters of the novelist’s unfinished 1817 book into a six-part ITV drama. Sanditon precisely shows the problems with off-book drama…
[reviews of Poldark (BBC1), The Handmaid’s Tale (C4) and Sanditon (ITV)]”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "While Boris Johnson decides whether to continue with Theresa May’s craven policy of munificence towards the French nuclear giant EDF, there is a more pressing need for ministers to tackle the potentially lethal culture of the nuclear industry as a whole: inevitably secretive, but often oppressive to staff. Last month, reports surfaced on working life at Hinkley Point, EDF’s current construction project… Unions speak of poor mental health among workers: a bullying, macho ‘construction culture’ is depicted, with multiple suicide attempts and management trying special measures (including sessions hosted by ex-boxer Frank Bruno on his own mental health struggles) to get on top of the problems…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "Glyndebourne has just finished its 2019 season, which is probably just as well since the company has been having a spot of trouble with its chorus. An ongoing legal action for unfair dismissal has attracted some press interest, with former chorus-member Neil Williams claiming he was ‘discarded like a rag’ for being too old (at the age of 46). If he succeeds, it will require a major rethink about how Glyndebourne’s chorus works – because it largely functions like a finishing school through which young artists pass on their way to bigger and better things. The youthfulness of the ensemble singing is supposed to be what it’s about…”
in the city
With Slicker: "The first year report on a new director of the Serious Farce Office is always more about promise than performance. That first year tends to be dominated by legacy cases inherited from the previous director: the wins accepted, the losses taken without ducking blame. But there are decisions that impact their own legacy, some faster than others. So what is the first year report on Lisa Osofsky, whose US credentials (Department of Justice/FBI) persuaded the then attorney general Jeremy Wright (remember him? Thought not) that she was what the SFO needed. The verdict has to be more minuses than pluses…”
road rage
With Hedgehog: "A fuel-duty cut, expected to be announced as part of chancellor Sajid Javid’s spending statement this week, would fly in the face of Boris Johnson’s pledge that Britain will lead the world on decarbonisation. Fuel duty has already been cut massively in real terms, simply by being frozen for a decade. Last year the Treasury estimated the freeze had cost £46bn in revenue the public coffers would have received had fuel duty risen in line with inflation. By now the lost revenue exceeds £50bn – enough to have averted many of the worst excesses of austerity…”
eye world
Letter from Kuala Lumpur
From Our Own Correspondent:
"Here in multi-cultural Malaysia we’ve been wrestling with the tiresome issues thrown up by the rights associated with free speech, which duly arrived with our new democracy post the May 2018 elections. Ever since, there has been a tendency for everyone to be offended by everybody else. This is fertile ground for the provocateurs – not least our own televangelist and Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik. Wanted for his poisonous preaching against non-Muslims back in his native India, we have given him safe haven for several years now, despite an extradition request for him citing money laundering and his alleged incitement of terrorist incidents, including a deadly bombing of a café in Bangladesh in 2016…”
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Next issue on sale: 17th September 2019
Private Eye Issue 1504
In This Issue
African Union in Crisis Talks Over Fears for UK Democracy… God Warned Not to Intervene in Brexit Debate… What Happens Next? Dominic Cummings’ Masterplan to Sack All MPs… Ruth Davidson Quits Over Baby PM Who Throws Toys Out of Pram… Establishment Photo of Prince Andrew on Balcony ‘Clearly a Fake’… Shortage of Civilians to Slaughter Leaves Yemen on the Brink…

End-of-summer madness!

P is for Paxman
Craig Brown’s Diary

Who knew what?
HS2 covers its tracks

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17th September 2019
Private Eye Issue 1503