Good Morning everyone, another week of reporting stretches out in front of me. I had a good read of the papers this morning and loved the story of the Royal Navy who turned up for his duty in charge of 16 nuclear missiles on HMS Vigilant drunk and clutching a bag of leftover barbecue grilled chicken for his lunch. The Submarine was docked in the US Navy Kings Bay for maintenance and it is reported that the officer had been drinking all weekend. Fortunately, members of the crew realised he had been drinking, he was relieved of this duty and has been sent back to the UK.
I’m not one for McDonald’s food myself but I know someone who is. He was reading out of the paper to the Little Otter this morning that McDonald’s are launching a new breakfast roll on Wednesday. The white roll will include a sausage patty, bacon, cheese and an egg, he seemed quite excited by the prospect. The Little Otter was quite firm that he was not to have one on one of his trips out. He said OK but had his fingers crossed behind his back and he winked at me. By the way, I hear that if you want freshly cooked chips at McDonald’s always ask for them with no salt. Chips are cooked in big batches, salted and kept warm. To supply non-salted they have to be fresh and not kept warm.
Grunt Shatts has told an air travel conference this morning that he is recommending to Bozzie that when someone arrives back in the UK from one of the coronavirus List countries they should be able to take a private PCR test after seven days. This could half the length of time travellers spend in isolation but only for those who can afford to pay for it at around £100 a time.
I hear that Steptoe has been breaking the rules once more. At the weekend he was at a memorial service for the founder of “Take Back Wall Street” and was photographed without a mask, not social distancing and in a gathering of over 100 people. Another one pictured breaking the rules was ex-PM B Liar. He had been to a conference in New York and not having an exemption should have been quarantining for 14 days. He was photographed coming out of a London restaurant yesterday. Why is it that senior Labour politicians continually ignore the rules?
The Labour MP for Bolton South East, Yasmin Quresh, has been admitted to hospital in Manchester. She is reported to be suffering from pneumonia after testing positive for coronavirus. She has been unwell for two weeks and has now got much worse. She is one oh the MPs against Manchester going into Tier 3. I wonder if she will change her mind now.
Manchester is still hanging out for more money to go into Tier 3. As I said last week, the Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is being a good socialist and going on about how he is standing up for the workers. I can’t see how killing more people by not increasing the strictness of the regulations is helping the workers. In Wales, the devolved Government has decided to go for a “Firebreak” lockdown for two weeks from Friday. I bet that’s another lot who will be looking for more money from the English taxpayer.
So it looks like the EU has blinked first in the Brexit standoff. The Gove told Parliament this afternoon that in a phone call between Lord Frost and Michel Barnier, the EU chief Negotiator Barnier, has offered to enter into “intensive” talks and to start talking about legal texts. Both these things were refused by the E.U. before Bozzie told them he was walking away on Friday. From what I hear around the offices this is not yet enough for Bozzie to authorise fresh talks. What we need now is for them to come to their senses over their impossible Fishing and Level Playing field demands.
Another dry morning, but a bit nippy when I popped out into the garden before breakfast. However, the grass was very wet with dew so I stuck to the paths as I headed to my favourite bit of loose earth. Bozzie was reading the papers and eating a bowl of porridge when I got back. I was only just in the time to chase the Mutt away from my cat bowl, he is very bold when I am not around but scarpers quickly when I appear. Bozzie has given Manchester a deadline of midday to come to an agreement of come to an agreement to go into Tier 3. From what he was saying to the Little Otter I get the idea that there isn’t going to be an agreement, Burnham just wants to play politics despite being offered very nearly the amount of money he was asking for.
I understand that the polls in the USA have closed sharply in the last couple of days and that the Democrat elders statesmen are not very happy. They are having visions of the same thing happening in November as happened four years ago when Killery was said to be 10 points ahead but still lost. But this time along has come the Hunter Biden laptop story and the voters look to be moving earlier. What if Sleepy Joe is drawn in deeper will he have to stand down as the candidate. I did hear that the elder statesmen want Killery to step in and take his place. Is that legal considering that millions have already voted?
Len McClucky had a row with ex B Liar henchman Peter Mandelson on Newsnight last night. McClucky doesn’t like Stoma while Mandelson is a supporter and said ‘I would suggest that Peter just goes into a room and counts his gold and not worry about what’s happening in the Labour Party. Leave that to those of us that are interested in ordinary working people.’ Unfortunately, Mandelson comes from Jewish stock and this was seen to be anti-Semitic. The old trade union dinosaur has had to make a grovelling apology.
The EU are still wriggling over our walking away from Trade Negotiations. As I told you yesterday they had come back and made an offer to drop a couple of their demands and Bozzie had said it wasn’t enough, they needed to make fundamental changes to their demands. I hear that Barnier has been back on the phone to Frosty this morning, but I haven’t yet heard if he is has made another offer. I did hear that the EU are shocked, they thought they were winning and that Bozzie was going to crumble at the last minute just like the old lady who used to live here.
Two bits of coronavirus news I have heard. Firstly people travelling to some places from London’s Thief row will be able to get a fast coronavirus test at the airport before they travel. Some countries, like Cyprus, demand a negative test report in the last 24 hours before people are allowed into the country. So if you turn up early for your flight and have already booked and paid £80 online for a test you can get a certified result in an hour. You could save yourself flying to somewhere, being tested and banned from entry. Secondly, a test is to take place to speed up the development of a vaccine by deliberately exposing some vaccinated people to the virus. The trial will take place at the Royal Free Hospital early next year in conjunction with an Irish pharmaceutical company and will involve young healthy volunteers. This sort of test is called a “challenge trial” and is not uncommon, in fact it is what the common cold research lot have been doing for years.
I understand that in a week when the Twattersphere hardly mentioned the teacher beheaded in France for daring to teach children about free speech has got irate over a Tattooed man. Darren Lumsden is a bald-headed white man with loads of tattoos, even on his face, who is taking part in a new Sky Arts program “Chopped: Britain’s best Woodworker”. I see that some of the viewers say that the tattoos are right-wing. People have been posting things like “Get this Nazi off my TV”. How very tolerant of the Lefties.
So the talks with Manchester went past the 12 o’clock deadline and finally broke down at 2 o’clock because the government wouldn’t meet the amount of money Burnham demanded. Bozzie held a press conference this evening and basically said tough to Burnham you are going into Tier 3 on Thursday. Jonathan Wig Wam did the usual presentation of scary slides showing how the virus was bad in the North and not so bad in the South and West with the Manchester area being the worst.
My last story tonight is that the coronavirus has not been all bad for industry. Since lockdown, condom sales have soared with Durex seeing a 10% jump in sales. The owners of the Durex brand Reckitt Benckiser reported the increase today and also increases in sales of their vitamins, air fresheners and cleaning products. Maybe a share to purchase?
My, was it wet this morning, so wet that even a full bladder couldn’t tempt me to go out and forced me to use the hated litter tray. Bozzie had a good suit on and was practising not answering questions at Breakfast, reminding me that it’s PMQs day. I like to pop into the office to watch, even though it’s pure theatre. There is another advance of watching from the office, the Dreamies girl is there.
RRS Sir David Attenborough, better known as Boat McBoatface, finally set off for 2 weeks of sea trials today, before sailing on its first voyage to Antarctica. The ship has cost £200 million to construct and has taken 4 years to be built by Cammell Laird. Ironically she is supposed to be going to Holyhead for the trials but can’t dock there as the ship is coming from Tier 3 Liverpool to lockdown Wales.
I was amazed to see Crayons shouting “scum” at a fellow Liverpool MP this afternoon. He has just brought up the undisputed statement by another Labour frontbencher, Kate Green, who talked about “not letting any good crisis go to waste”. Crayons, who was ticked off by the Deputy Speaker, didn’t dispute that she had called him “scum” or even apologise. Instead, she justified what she had said by complaining that her fellow MP had been “misleading the house”. She was lucky not to been thrown out for a period.
The South Yorkshire area of Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley have agreed to go into coronavirus Tier 3 from Saturday. Unlike Manchester, they have come to an agreement on funding that is comparable to Liverpool and Lancashire. The more this sort of result happens the more obvious it becomes that Burnham, The Mayor of Manchester, has been politicking. In fact, he was caught out this morning with his faux expression, last night, of surprise about being put into Tier 3 when Robert Jenrick told live TV that he had personally phoned him and told him 2 1/2 hrs earlier.
Once again Wee Krankie want to prove how independent she is by inventing her own Tier system instead of going with the one in use in England. She is talking about introducing a 5 Tier system as opposed to Bozzie’s 3 Tier System. The lowest tier would be like normal, basically a Tier 0 in Bozzie’s system. The next 3 levels would be almost exactly the same as Tier 1, 2 and 3 in England. Scottishland Tier 5 would be more strict than English Tier 3 almost a full lockdown. It was always possible that an extra Tier could be introduced in England which is why we dropped a traffic light scheme as I told you a couple of weeks ago.
Trade Talks with the EU are to resume in London tomorrow. This follows a speech by Barnier in Brussels this morning where he indicated that the E.U. was at last willing to compromise on some of its “Red Lines”. They have been shaken by Bozzie’s firm line and a number of the fishing nations are really worried about losing any access to British Waters. French fishermen are particularly upset as they catch the vast majority of their fish in what will become British waters. The Irish are scared that the French will try to switch to their waters. In addition, the lost fishing quotas are likely to be spread out among the rest of the EU fleets leaving all of them unhappy. We are reported to have offered them access on an annually reducing basis for five years. A French fishermen’s leader is reported to have said that it is better to have a slice of something rather than nothing at all.
Oh, it was lovely Felix Chicken for breakfast this morning. It does start my day off on the right foot and it does give me something to look forward to for my dinner tonight. Anyway, that’s enough waffle let’s get down to today’s news.
Pretty Petal has announced that she wants to change the law to allow them to throw out rough sleepers from the EU. At the moment this is very difficult due to the free movement rules. We can currently chuck of all the hangers-on and crooks from outside the EU, if the courts don’t intervene on Human Rights grounds, but not the EU. The new law is primarily aimed at EU murderers, rapists and drug dealers and this is a convenient side effect. However, I then heard that these rough sleeping ne’er do wells will be given every opportunity to reform and take up a more normal life first. Does this mean giving them jobs and housing in preference to British natives? I certainly hope not.
So another week and another announcement on the replacement Fleet Solid Support Ships for the RFA. First, they were going to open tender and it looked like the order would go overseas as per EU tendering rules. The resulting row asked the question why these weren’t specified as Warships so that they could be reserved for UK production. It seems the bids for these ships was looking to be much more than the budget, so the competition was pulled. In the next round of bidding the number of ships was reduced from 3 to 2, with one possible future, to get the cost down. It was still too expensive so the next round, announced today, has “simplified” the ships removing much of the very expensive but unnecessary fancy equipment on board. It seems that this has managed to get the indicated costs from the shipbuilders back in line with the budget and we are back to the 3 ship requirement. But at last, the penny seems to have dropped with the Ministry of Defence, they are now calling them warships and saying they will be built in Britain. The only thing I can’t understand is that the new competition won’t officially start till next year.
While on the subject of the FSS contract the Built in Britain rule seems to have reduced competition to two consortia. It is a bit difficult to be sure as I have heard that the MoD has made the bidders sign none disclosure agreements so news is a little hard to come by, except for official announcements. One consortium is believed to be “Team UK” made up of BAE, Babcock, Rolls Royce and Cammell Laird. This group would build the ships in the same way as the successful Aircraft Carrier Alliance assembling the ships in Rosyth from blocks made by all the partners. The second consortium is Team Resolute made up of Belfast’s Harland and Wolff, naval designers BMT and Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. This group would build ship 1 in Spain and 2 & 3 in Belfast. Surely this doesn’t comply with the Built in Britain rule.
I was amazed to read that Crossrail has made more progress in the last few months than expected. Although some stations are still well behind schedule the only one holding things up is Bond Street and that be in a position to allow through running in a month. However, the work on the testing of tunnels is said to be progressing well. The latest word is that instead of opening across London in mid 2022, it is just possible that it could open in December 2021. The timetable at the moment is for full scale running tests to start in March 2021 and last for six to nine months. One advantage of the core tunnels delay has been that the new trains have been able to have a full shakedown by using them on the east and west sections which are already in use.
Guinness have launched a new “beer” called 0.0, is alcohol-free and has only 80 calories per can. The “stout” has taken them four years to perfect and is claimed to taste very similar to the real black stuff. I am not sure why anyone wants to drink non-alcoholic Guinness, I tried the real stuff from a glass that was left hanging around at a No10 reception and I thought it was disgusting, frankly I prefer water. Surely the only reason you lot drink beer is for the alcohol, you can’t enjoy the taste.
I was hanging around just outside the door so that I could listen to tonight’s No 10 presser. I must admit I was a little surprised when I heard Professor Balance say it could be possible that we have some doses of coronavirus vaccine available before Christmas. He did say that the majority of doses probably wouldn’t be available until next spring. He did say that progress with developing the vaccine was “remarkable”.
As usual, Thursday is the day for changes to the coronavirus safe travel list. This week there are a number of additions and one subtraction. Holidaymakers keep a close watch on the list as people wanting some sunshine need to know where they can go for a week without having to quarantine for a week. This week, Liechtenstein has been taken off the list, but I don’t expect many people go there on holiday. However, the countries added are of much more interest to holidaymakers being, Denmark, The Canary Islands, Mykonos, the Maldives. How long does it take for the holiday companies and airlines to react?
I’m off for my second feed of Felix Chicken. Laters.
I had a lovely sleep last night with my belly full of my favourite food. Breakfast this morning was Felix Lamb, very nice but not as good as chicken. But I digress I’m not here to review cat food, as much as I would like that gig so it’s down to the serious stuff.
Liz Truss has been in Japan putting her signature to the Japan trade deal. OK, it’s only reckoned to be worth £15 billion but that’s not bad. Anyway if it’s a big step towards joining the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership. However, I hear that there are a lot of other deals about to be signed off with Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Veitnam and Malaysia. Then comes Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. Of course, the big one is the USA but that looks like it depends on the GKP being re-elected.
Two things I heard about the EU Trade talks that restarted yesterday afternoon. Firstly I heard that Barnier thinks that he can get an agreement on nearly everything. His big worry is fishing, where Macaroon is refusing to give him any room to manoeuvre and is threatening to veto any deal if an inch is given. The other thing is that the EU have been suggesting that if there isn’t a deal they plan to make it as rough as possible to trade with them for six months in the hope that we would crawl back to the negotiating table.
I keep hearing all sort of things about the Presidential Election. Last night was the second and final debate and I was interested to hear what the MSM were saying after I saw edited snippets on the TV this morning. The Biased Broadcasting Company played quotes trying to make Sleepy Joe look good but many of them were just of him smirking. Anyway, they said the debate was a draw which must mean that the GKP won easily! I also hear that early voting is still not looking good for the Democrats and the opinion polls have started to move against Biden and his lead is within the polls limit of accuracy. All this is despite the US media trying to ignore Laptopgate.
After yesterday’s announcement confirming that Hong Kongers with British National Overseas Passports can apply for a five-year visa to live and work in the UK has upset the Chinese who have demanded that we “immediately correct the mistake”. The visa will cost £250 and would allow the holder to apply for full citizenship. About a million Hong Kongers are thought to be eligible under the new rules but they would not be allowed to claim any benefits.
There is a bit of a row brewing over the Welsh “firebreak” lockdown. The Welsh Labour Government has decreed that only shops selling essential items can open. When these rules were applied across the whole of the UK. Supermarkets were allowed to sell all their normal ranges not just food, but clothing and electronics. But this time the Welsh government has decided that supermarkets may only sell “essential” items. But what are “essential” items, well obviously food but the Welsh Government says the supermarkets will have to make up their own minds and they won’t publish a list. They have, however, said that alcohol is essential but clothing and hairdryers aren’t.
The Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence have come to an agreement with the US Navy to develop a number of high tech devices. The US is setting up a company called London Tech Bridge in London to jointly work on artificial intelligence, unmanned and autonomy, biotechnology, space, and lasers/directed energy. I guess our Dragonfire Laser gun has impressed and they would like to get their hands on the technology.
I read that a woman from Burton on Trent has pleaded guilty to embezzling over £500,000 from a company in nearby Lichfield. She was in charge of the accounts and over a period of nearly 10 years she transferred large amounts to her own bank and credit card accounts. She bought a number of new cars and a luxury holiday home on the Yorkshire coast. The company, SPA Technique Ltd, went into administration in 2016 probably because of the fraud but was able to carry on trading. However, the fraud was discovered in 2018. She paid back a substantial amount of the money and was sentenced to 16 months.
It a bit dull this morning and I had a short constitutional before breakfast because I heard chatter in the office that it’s likely to rain later. Anyway, my trot around the garden gave me a decent appetite and I devoured my Felix in double-quick time. Now I have indigestion, do they make an antacid for cats?
I read that the GKP has signed a new law creating a new grade of “permanent” civil servants. In the US many civil service positions change with the President. What the GKP has done is pass a law reclassifying certain jobs like those making or defining policy into the new permanent grade. In the new couple of months, he can pack these positions with his supporters. If he wins the election he is up and running straight away. If he loses he has stuck sleepy Joe with a load of his men in key positions that are hard to get rid of.
As of 6 o’clock last night, as I wrote about yesterday, only shops selling essentials were allowed to be open. I see that the big supermarkets have been putting up barriers to stop people going anywhere near the clothes, books and electrical good. But surely there are times when new clothes or a new washing machine are essential? But what is not clear is if you could buy them on Amazon and get them delivered. What is really important is whether cat food is considered ‘essential’. I am certain it is, but with that dopey looking bloke who is in charge in Wales you never know.
The AstraZeneca vaccine trial has restarted in the US after a long pause caused by the death of one of the test subjects in Brazil. The other countries involved in the trial Britain, India, South Africa and of course Brazil had all resumed the phase 3 trial weeks ago after concluding that the vaccine had nothing to do with the death. I also hear that an independent report says that the AstraZeneca vaccine promotes a very strong antibody result in recipients. The report says the vaccine is based on a virus that causes a cold in chimpanzees. Some 20% of the virus is modified and parts of the coronavirus are inserted which means that the virus can’t infect humans but they do produce an immunity to the coronavirus.
The Welsh police have been setting up checkpoints on roads crossing the border into England, while the Gloucestershire police have been checking traffic on the other side. Of course, motorists stopped in England either heading to Wales or coming from Wales have committed no offence in England However the Gloucestershire police will shop to the Welsh fuzz so that they can issue fines. Are we going to see people crossing the border in the dead of night smuggling black market sheep out of Wales in exchange for clothing and microwaves going in the opposite direction? This situation is getting silly.
Do you remember that a told you that the Canary Islands, Mykonos, the Maldives were back on the safe list? Well, yesterday the some of the tour operators announced a resumption of holidays, particularly to the Canary Islands. Their website is reported to have gone mad with people trying to book a last-minute trip to the sun for the half-term holidays. With average temperatures of 25°C in Tenerife at this time of year who can blame them.
What a farce this Welsh lockdown is proving to be. A company has been planning to put on a series of drive-in horror movies for Halloween using the Chester FC car park. When Wales announced the Lockdown it was realised that the border between Wales and England ran through the car park. The car park entrance was on the English side so that was OK but the position chosen for the screen was in Wales. A quick rearrangement moved the screen into England but the border ran through the toilet block so it looked like the screening would have to be cancelled anyway. Welsh customers were already having their money returned but it looked like the English would also have to be refunded, until a number of Portaloos were sourced to save the project going down the pan. The organisers say they are flushed with their success in getting the screening on. The Flintshire Police say they are going to police the Welsh side of the car park to ensure the hated English do not encroach on the land of our fathers.
My week is done, see you on Monday.
© WorthingGooner 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file