Well, that was a lovely wet and windy weekend. I didn’t go outside any more than was absolutely essential, it’s not nice getting wet fur and being blown all over the place. I’d much rather stay in the warm and dry, curled up in a comfy chair, sometimes I have to go out though, I just don’t like that litter tray very much. There’s lots of news about the Labour Party and their trials and tribulations at the moment. Yesterday it was reported that as many as 50 of their MP’s could quit the party if Rebecca Wrong Daily wins the leadership election. They think she’s learned nothing from the recent election defeat, is ignoring the public and intends to carry on with Corbynism. Talking of Steptoe, I hear that his nominations for peers have been delayed because of the controversial nature of some of his selections, Bercow, Fatty Watson and his old “friend” and office manager Karie Murphy, are being scrutinised by the vetting committee and that could take weeks.
The Labour Party has accused Keir Stoma’s team of hacking into the party membership database. Strange really as he’s entitled to access the data for canvassing purposes anyway. Stoma’s lot deny it. His team say they’d had a report that the database was insecure and hackable. All they were doing was trying to establish if this was true and in any case they hadn’t broke into it! We shall see. While taking of odd goings on by the Labour Party, I hear that at party HQ, they’ve converted all toilets to be transgender, some people aren’t happy about it. How does that work within the law? I recently mentioned how some people were confusing various black people with others, well it’s happened again! This time Labour MP Abena Oppong Asareaskey was asking a question about deportations to Jamaica when Parliamentary TV misidentified her as fellow Labour MP Taiwo Owatemi. Do all female Labour MP’s look alike?
While on the subject of Parliamentary TV, I happened to catch a snippet on one of the TVs in the office; Steptoe was sitting on the front bench listening to a debate on the floods. He started picking his nose and wiped the snot on his beard, proving, I suppose, that he really is a bogeyman. No wonder that an opinion poll had just found that dislike of Steptoe was one of the big drivers behind traditional Labour people voting Tory at the general election. Over in Ireland they are still counting the last few seats in their election. It looks like Sinn Féin are the big winners, although they won’t get enough seats to form a government. They’re exploring the possibility of forming a coalition with some of the minor parties. They’re already saying they want a border referendum within 5 years.
I was just off to bed when I heard Bozzie moaning. It seems that, at the last minute, the Court of Appeal has issued an order stopping the deportation of those Jamaicans because they didn’t have a mobile phone signal when they were in pre-deportation custody. It looks like this will stop as many as 17 from being slung out. Bozzie wasn’t at all happy.
I woke up this morning and joined Bozzie and the Mutt for breakfast in the flat. Bozzie was telling the Little Otter that on this day in 1975 the saintly Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative Party. I wasn’t around when she was in No.10 but I have often walked past her picture that’s on the big staircase with all the other past PM’s pictures. He was a bit happier when he learned that the deportation flight had taken off in the early hours with most of the Jamaicans on board.
Bozzie was also having a good laugh at predictions in the morning papers of his Government reshuffle that’s happening later this week. I heard him tell the Little Otter that the press really have no idea and are just guessing. He’s delighted that the leaks which dogged the old woman who used to live here seem to have been plugged. Bozzie spent some time looking at reports about his idea for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. A feasibility study is likely. There is speculation about starting off from Scotland with a tunnel to an artificial island and then carrying on with a bridge to Larne. The bridge would be “double decker” with railway on the bottom and a road bridge above. The nearest railway in Scotland runs to Stranraer so an extension would be needed, the Northern Ireland railway runs to Larne Harbour. However even I, a cat, know that while Britain runs on standard gauge (4’-8 1/2”) all of Ireland has its own 5’ – 3” gauge making it is impossible to run through trains onto Irish tracks. Maybe that’s been thought about, but somehow I doubt it. As usual, Wee Krankie has jumped straight in and called it “impossible”. She wants the money to be diverted into the Scottish economy.
Only 3 days after the vote the Irish have finally got their election result. There are 180 seats, like us they have one uncontested for their speaker, so 90 seats for a majority. No one party got anything like that number of seats! Fine Fáil got 38, Sinn Féin got 37 and the Teashops lot, Fianna Gael got 35. The rest of the seats went to Independents, Greens, Labour and others’ so not even a coalition of two parties would have a majority. They’ll need to form what’s on the continent as a grand coalition, that could take months.
It’s PMQ’s day and I had to watch in case Steptoe picked his nose again. He didn’t, but while he was asking a question an MP could be heard muttering in the background “what a stupid man you are”. In another bit of Labour news, I see the party has expelled 25 members for anti-Semitism. I wonder if this is a record for one day. Rebecca Wrong Daily says she isn’t concerned that she only has half the number of CLPs supporting her that Keir Stoma has. She says it doesn’t matter because she’s going to win the contest. She could be right; we’ll know on 4th April. While on the subject, Keir Stoma says that if he’s elected and becomes PM he will bring in a “Prevention of Military Intervention Act” which would make going to war conditional on a UN resolution and the agreement of Parliament. If it became law could we ever go to war again? Would we have to get permission before retaliating when attacked? What a daft idea.
Last week Bozzie came up with the idea of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035. Not content with that Grant Shapps was on radio 5 this morning floating the idea of bring the ban forward by 3 years to 2035. The car makers say it’s a ridiculous idea and impossible to meet.
There could be a row brewing over Bozzie’s Christmas holiday. He has declared the accommodation on his and the Little Otter’s trip to Mustique was a £15,000 gift from a Tory party donor. The donor is David Ross, co-founder of Car Phone Warehouse. The Labour Party are sniffing around, I’m sure they will do their best to dig something up. The final bit of news for today is that Wee Krankie is once again doing what she does best, being awkward. The government has arranged a drug summit in Glasgow on 27th Feb to discuss the Scottish drugs crisis. Wee Krankie has arranged for her own spoiler conference the day before.
Bozzie was up early this morning and in discussion with Dom, making last minute adjustments to his reshuffle. After breakfast he shot off smartly to the Commons for an 08:30 start to the sackings; it’s the unlucky 13th for some ministers. I’m told the press were hanging around the corridors and were soon reporting that Julian Smith, Teresa Villiers, Andrea Leadsom and Geoffrey Cox were among those who were out. The media then switched to Downing Street to see who was in. Sue-Ellen (Suella) Braverman is Cox’s replacement. The big surprise was the resignation of The Saj. He quit when Bozzer demanded that he sack all his spads and form a joint team with No 10. He’s been replaced by Rishi Sunak as the new chancellor. I get the impression that most of those on the way out are Remainers or have crossed Bozzie. Most of those coming in are Leavers.
I hear Sunak is a rich man who married the daughter of a billionaire. He has four houses, including an £8 million one in London and an £18 million estate in Yorkshire. Just when I thought I had got rid of Bailey I hear that Sunak has a Jack Russell just like the Mutt. I hope it lives with his wife and daughters; I don’t think the No 10 flat will be posh enough for them! Last week I was relating the saga of Brabin’s black dress and it’s bid status on eBay. The auction closed at 18:41 this evening and the winning bid was £20,200 plus £3.48p postage. Another ongoing saga has been the presidency of COP26. It was finally announced that the honour had gone to Alok Sharma, the new International Development Secretary. Good luck to him.
Today is my anniversary. David and his family rescued be from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on this day, 14th Feb. 2011. I had to share duties in Downing Street with George Osborne’s Freya until I saw her off in 2014.
Sunak has started off by going in hard. He’s told ministers they have to cut their budgets to allow him to boost spending. He told them that “deep savings” are required. The Saj has aimed a thinly veiled barb at Sunak by saying that having joint spads with No 10 is not something any “self-respecting minister” would accept. The big question is will Sunak stick with 11th March for the Budget. I think he will but we’ll see. Last night the Jewish Labour Movement held their leadership hustings in a North London synagogue. I hear that Lisa Nandy Pandy was very impressive and the JLM have decided to back her. Lady Nugee is fast running out of possible backers and her position is getting desperate.
Today’s biggest news is the disclosure of the Northern Powerhouse rail plan although it isn’t a lot different to what was expected. The main line will run from Liverpool to Hull and Newcastle, via Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds and will cost £39 billion. That price is dependent on using some of the new HS2 tracks and upgrading some existing Trans Penine tracks. The only all new lines would be Manchester to Leeds via Bradford, Liverpool to Manchester Airport and some links to new HS2 lines. The plan is to have it all done by the early 2030’s. This would be 10 years before HS2 is scheduled to reach Manchester so its a good job the plan is to merge HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail. Late this evening I heard my prediction about Lady Nugee was right. She can no longer get nominated by 33 CLPs, so she’s out of the contest.
The Guardian website had a couple of good stories tonight. It says that the Government is to hold preliminary discussions with state owned China Railway Construction Company over building HS2. CRCC is said to have written to HS2 Ltd. saying they could finish the line in just 5 years, considerably cheaper than budgeted. They have a lot of experience having built 15,500 miles of high speed lines in China. The other Guardian story is about an 101-year-old Italian man who came to Britain as a child who is attempting to register for settled status. When he used his phone to scan his passport he got the message that he needed his parents to confirm his identity. It seems that the programme can’t deal with three digit ages and was reading his age as one. Another good bit of Government programming.
Another stormy weekend, this time Storm Dennis is threatening to be very windy and dump loads of rain. Bozzie has gone off to Chequers for the weekend and has taken the Little Otter and the Mutt. As usual, I’ve been left behind again with a stand-in to feed me. I do hope it’ll be the girl who gives me Dreamies. I hear this morning that Rolls Royce, who want to build a network of mini nuclear reactor power stations, have suggested that Trawsfynnydd would be the ideal site for the first one. The site originally housed a Magnox reactor but it was decommissioned in 1993, it still has a nuclear license as the reactor buildings and storage ponds still haven’t been demolished. It would also be fairly simple to link it back into the National Grid.
This Corona virus thing is getting very nasty. Lots more cases have been diagnosed on the cruise liner “Diamond Princess” which is moored in Japan. Still lots of cases in China but fortunately no new ones here. One of the “nine” people who were infected by the so called “super carrier” attended a bus conference before they were put into isolation, consequently, two Labour MPs who attended the conference have decided to self isolate.
Fatty Burgon, who’s running for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, is suggesting that The Tramp would make a fine shadow Foreign Minister and could keep carrying the “Radical Torch” He’s a rabid left winger who supports Rebecca Wrong Daily and her ideology. She has said that she gives Steptoe 10 out 10 so it they both win it could happen. At the same time Stoma has refused to promise Wrong Daily and Nandy Pandy positions in his shadow cabinet if he wins. Both of the ladies have promised Stoma a job if they were to win. Given his stance I wouldn’t bank on it being a very important job if I were him. The new leader of the Tories in Scotland has been announced. It’s the current temporary leader, whose name I think I heard as Jack Colslaw. I read that his first action as leader was to delete a derogatory blog post about Wee Krankie.
The first death in Europe from Corona virus has been announced. It was an 80 year old tourist from Hong Kong who died in Paris. He was in France with his daughter who is also being treated. At 80 he meets the profile of most of the deaths in China.
Right it’s cat basket time. I’ll be back on Monday provided that the temporary remembers to feed me. As I understand it Bozzie and the gang won’t be coming back until Monday. I might take a nap on his bed.
© WorthingGooner 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file