Issue 1510
agri brigade
With Bio-Waste Spreader: "The widespread damage caused to farms by flooding after recent heavy rains, particularly in the north-east of England, has devastated many businesses. But were the floods caused by unusually heavy rain in October and November – or were they an inevitable consequence of the long-term neglect of rural drainage systems? Managing farmland drainage is complicated as it rests with several different bodies…”
medicine balls
With MD: "Boris Johnson and hapless health secretary Matt Hancock keep shamelessly parroting that the Conservatives will build ‘40 new hospitals’ but have so far only set aside £2.7bn over five years for six “upgrades” (two in London, two in the East of England, one in the Midlands, one in Yorkshire). Of these, only Whipps Cross in east London is currently likely to qualify as a new entire hospital and then, as usual, with fewer beds than now and surplus land sold for housing…”
signal failures
With Dr B Ching: "Boris Johnson’s promise of £500m to reconnect left-behind towns to the rail network won’t go far, thanks to the rocketing costs and sluggishness of rail schemes since the privatisation the Tories implemented to make the railways more ‘efficient’. One of the simplest schemes would reinstate three miles of disused track between Bristol and Portishead, Somerset, and add two tiny new stations. The estimated cost (£15m in 2008) rose to £145m-£175m by 2017…”
eye tv
With Remote Controller: "In a freaky collision of television journalism and fiction, the third series of the Windsor drama, The Crown, box-dropped on Netflix just hours after the airing of Prince Andrew and the Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview. Following Andy’s sacking from The Firm, the consequences of the programme have made its actual content irrelevant, except in as much as it confirms TV Eye’s recent suggestion (Eye 1508) that, in royal telly, the documentaries are tedious but the interviews transformative (Brian, Cheryl, Hazza & Meg, and now Andy)…”
keeping the lights on
With Old Sparky: "Why do both main political parties promote building nuclear power plants, which cost the earth and contribute little to our real energy needs? Take Hinkley, the current new-build project. When EDF entered the UK nuclear sector in 2009, it said Hinkley would commence production in 2017: straightforward, because it would be a copy of a French prototype, Flamanville-3, already under construction. A decade later, both projects remain many years away from completion…”
music and musicians
With Lunchtime O’Boulez: "Following the sudden departure from the Southbank Centre of right-on creative director Madani Younis (Eye 1508), Tamsin Ace, the head of public programming, has also now resigned. Younis left after less than a year having done nothing of significance except prove himself the wrong man for the job and been actively hostile to the traditions for which the Southbank was built. Ace had been there longer than Younis but had increasingly similar preoccupations…”
in the city
With Slicker: "There may still be no prosecution from the eight-year fraud and corruption investigation into mining group Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), but the legal war between its oligarch owners and their Serious Farce Office (SFO) pursuers rolls on – with costs for ENRC alone approaching £100m. But a new slant on this battle for the ages has been provided by the selective leaking of a large number of emails clearly designed to embarrass the SFO – and, no doubt by complete coincidence, to assist ENRC’s campaign…”
eye world
Letter from Yangon
From Our Own Correspondent:
"Did you hear the one about the Myanmar soldier who… Well, no: not if you live in Yangon, you didn’t. The army has no sense of humour and that’s the law. Which is why six daring young comics are now in jail doing hard labour. They showed a picture of a dog in uniform; they criticised the army’s hold on politics; and, most provocative of all (and possibly what did for them), they suggested our generals should be up before the International Criminal Court in The Hague…”
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Next issue on sale: 10th December 2019
Private Eye Issue 1510
In This Issue
Grand Old Duke of York relieved of duties… Those Labour promises to the Waspi women in full… City firms cut ties with prince’s charities… Game of Thrones actress “pressured over nudity”… New business conglomerate offers solution to UK flooding… Students rally against attacks on their democratic freedom… China pledges to crush democracy more respectfully after Hong Kong elections… Jeremy Corbyn writes…

Spy bye
An ex GCHQ director joins a company with a shady record

Intelligence test
The man vetting Tory candidates is uniquely qualified

Broad swipe
Osborne’s conflict of interests over BT broadband

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10th December 2019
Private Eye Issue 1509