Good Morning everyone, it’s not raining and the sun is trying to come out but it’s windy and chilly. That’s better than last week. Bozzie is still a bit grumpy but not as bad as Saturday, he only shouted at the radio once during breakfast and dropped the papers on the floor rather than throwing them. There was a “leak” hunt going on yesterday and I can assure you it wasn’t me, I went in the garden. Handoncock, The Gove and Richie Nik-Nak all denied it was them, but they were the only ministers in the meeting with Bozzie. So who leaked, was it one of the civil serpents?
Has someone in America been telling porkies? With the presidential election tomorrow it is very odd that Sleepy Joe has suddenly lost what the media has been saying was a huge lead in swing states. The latest poll says he is 7 points behind the GKP in Iowa and a number of other swing states are too close to call after Sleepy Joe was supposed to be leading by miles. For example, in Florida, I hear Sleepy Joe is still ahead but a long way behind where Killery was at the same stage four years ago and GOP voters like to vote in person on the day.
Transport for London has got a bit more money out of the Government. Not the £5.65 billion it said it wanted, the strings tied to it were too stringent for Sad Dick. Instead, they have settled for £1.8 billion, enough to get through the next six months. However, the money does have some conditions attached TfL will have to stop any spending on the proposed Crossrail 2 and have to investigate driverless trains. I would have thought that 2nd point was a no brainer. The trains are already operated by a driver, who doesn’t drive. All he does is push a button to shut the doors and start the train off, it then runs automatically to the next station where it stops and the doors open. If they need someone on board for safety they don’t have to be paid a drivers basic wage £55,000 a year before shift allowance, weekend working and overtime.
Johnny Depp, aka Cap’n Jack Sparrow, lost his libel case against The Sun today so I can now call him wife-beater Johnny Depp. The judge found that 12 of the 14 alleged assaults were proven within the civil limits and dismissed his claim. I haven’t heard anything about costs, but the loser usually pays both sides. Depp is said to have “lost” £650 million but to still be worth £200 million so he can afford it financially. But can he take the hit to his reputation? Will the film studios still want to employ him, will the audiences still want to see him, will he lodge an appeal? Lots of questions to be answered.
Renault has been boasting about the sales of the latest version of its electric car the Zoe. They claim that it is because they have “banished” range anxiety by the new model being able to go 100 km further on a single charge. The latest car can now go for a claimed 249 miles. Personally, I don’t think that has a lot to do with it, I think their record sales in France has a lot more to do with its cost, where government subsidies, a scrappage scheme and manufacturer’s discounts can knock more than a third off its price. With 11,500 Euros off it becomes much more competitively priced against petrol and diesel-powered models.
In an effort to speed up its approval the Medicine Agency is to carry out a rolling review of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The idea of a rolling review is that the agency gets the data from the trials on a real-time basis. In most new drugs all the data is drawn together and reviewed at the end of the trials. In this case, the agency is checking the results of the trials as they progress and are subsequently in a position to give early approval. While on the subject of vaccines and immunity, I had heard that immunity fades quickly in those who have had COVID so you could need several vaccine boosters a year to maintain immunity. But one important thing this missed was that T cells are just as important and new research has found them in good numbers six months after infection. The thing about the AstraZeneca vaccine is that it generates a strong T cell response.
I saw a photo on the internet thingy today from the Netherlands of a train crash. An empty commuter train ran through an elevated station, crashed through the buffers and landed up balanced on a whale tail sculpture above a lake. Part of the train was still on the elevated track, but the lead carriage was perched precariously on the sculpture, fortunately, nobody was hurt.
What a strange morning, it was bright and sunny so I popped out before breakfast. I was down at the end of the garden in the loose earth and it started raining. Not just raining but pouring, I sprinted back indoors just as fast as my old legs could carry me, but it was still bright and sunny. I don’t know what is going on.
Well, it’s election day in the US. I know that we are ahead of them time-wise so we won’t have a good idea who has won until tomorrow morning. If it is close we might not know for days, maybe weeks, while the late postal votes are counted and the lawyers fight. I will try to tell you what I am hearing today but as Swiss Bob publishes my diary delayed by a week you will probably all have partied hard or drowned your sorrows by the time you read this.
I hear that Sad Dick is to move the London Government from City Hall to the Crystal Building in East London’s Royal Docks. Over 1000 employees of the Greater London Authority were told this morning. City Hall is owned by a Kuwaiti property company and the GLA pay some £11million a year in rent while it owns the Crystal Building. Sad Dick says it will save the GLA around £60 million over the next 5 years. The GLA leased City Hall in 2002 for 25 years but there is a break clause at the end of 2021 (after 20 years). The new building is smaller than City Hall and can’t accommodate all the current staff. The idea is that the overspill will be accommodated in the London Fire Brigade HQ building in Southwark which has already had several million pounds spent on upgrading it to make it suitable. I hope the heating works in the new building and Sad Dick doesn’t have to keep wearing his padded coat under his suit jacket.
I see that the Welsh football manager, Ryan Giggs, is in trouble again. He was arrested last night for assaulting his girlfriend although later released on bail. He has been suspended by the Welsh FA for at least the next 3 Welsh national team matches. I seem to remember it was Giggs who had a gagging order on the press over his sex life. Funny how trouble seems to follow some people.
The UK terrorist threat level has been increased today severe. This means that a terrorist attack is considered imminent. I am hardly surprised considering what has been going on in Europe, firstly that teacher was beheaded, then there were several knife attacks on people in France and last night there were gunmen on the loose in Austria killing several people and one being shot and killed by the police. The 20-year-old’s flat was searched and ISIS documents were found. The Islamists have been quiet in the UK recently so I guess it’s only logical that the UK should be put on high alert.
Well, l kept hearing that Sleepy Joe was going to walk this election, but today all I hear about is the number of Republican voters that are turning out this morning US time. On early votes Sleepy Joe was ahead in Florida, but as the morning has progressed their lead slowly reduced and leaked away to nothing and then the GKP moved into a slim lead. Last time I heard he was leading by 50,000 votes and increasing. The other big Sleepy Joe hope in the South is North Carolina and I hear that there too the GOP vote is out in force. In the North, there are a number of reports of Democrats stretching election law with posters outside polling stations and even people accompanying voters into the booth to “show them how to vote”. The lawyers must be rubbing their hands together.
It’s just gone 8 o’clock, I have had my dinner and I thought I would check on the US election before I went to bed. The GKP is up nearly 150,000 votes in Florida. Rumours are that Democrats vote is collapsing in the swing states. Well, I can’t stay awake all night but I can get up early and pop down to the office. The night shift is bound to have the TV on, with one of the US outlets, Fox I hope, on the big screen.
I woke up fairly early and ambled down to the big office to see who had won the presidential election. Well, I was wasting my time, it was stuck on nearly equal electoral college numbers and it looks like the final result might not be in until next week. But as several swing states have paused their counts we could have a better idea when they resume later. But what I what to know is how did all the polling organisations get it so wrong.
At home, I learn that the scary graphs the 2 professors showed us on Saturday were based on out of date information. The numbers actually were from 3 weeks ago, before the tier system went into use so it had not had a chance to influence any of the numbers of infections. It seems that in some of the areas put into tier 2 or tier 3 the numbers are actually coming down. In addition, the hospital data was based on information from just 28 of the approximately 1250 national hospitals. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
I also hear that the NHS says that it is ready to vaccinate all its staff before Christmas if a vaccine is approved soon. They say they could then move on and vaccinate all “vulnerable” people by Easter. I do wonder two things, who counts as a “vulnerable” person and just how many would refuse a vaccination?
Over in the socialist republic of Camden, it seems the residents are complaining about construction noise from the HS2 works. The Council is moaning that soundproofing work promised on it’s Regent Park estate has only been partially done and unless it is carried out urgently they will rehouse 130 households and bill HS2 an estimated £129 million. This seems to me to be a ridiculously high sum of money, do council houses in Camden cost £1 million each?
This evening’s propaganda from the NHS is that they now have enough COVID patients to fill 22 hospitals. What kind of rubbish is this? Anyone with a brain, or has read my bit from earlier knows that that is a tiny fraction of the NHS Hospital capacity. But it also begs another question, how big a hospital, a huge teaching hospital, or a tiny cottage hospital. But don’t they have the Nightingale Hospitals for just this reason? Why doesn’t anyone question these dubious statements?
As if it wasn’t enough to for the country to be suffering from a coronavirus pandemic, we now have an outbreak of bird flu. On Monday it was found on a farm in Kent and 500 chickens were killed. Today there has been an outbreak at a farm in Cheshire. This time 13,000 bird are to be put down. A 3km protected zone has been imposed around the site. I think we should all be thankful that we don’t treat outbreaks of coronavirus at hospitals and old people’s home the same way and cull the residents.
As I head for my cat basket I note that we are nowhere nearer getting a result for the presidential election, in fact as the GKP’s team is taking legal action we might be even further away. Oh well, it will all come out in time, I must learn to be more patient.
Morning all, it’s bright sunny and frosty out, thank goodness the building’s central heating has been turned on. Bozzie was a little more happy this morning. I can always tell his mood from how he deals with the morning papers when he finishes skim-reading them, today they were just dropped on the floor. The headlines all seem to be on the US election which still seems to be taking ages to resolve. I know that sometimes our elections seem to take ages to have a final result but it is usually only a day while the more remote constituencies get their results in. I am amazed just how long some of the American states are taking to count the votes. Then there will be legal actions, I wonder how this will all end up.
So today is the first day of the next lockdown but from the traffic reports I heard on the radio over breakfast, it doesn’t appear to have made a lot of difference to commuter traffic. If anything they were reporting that the roads, tube, buses and trains were busier than usual. Last time many people took things very seriously and worked from home. Then they went back to work and now they seem to be staying at work. Last night lots of shops and businesses stayed open until late. I saw pictures of a very busy Oxford Street last night, packed with both pedestrians and traffic, which hasn’t happened for a long time. But it wasn’t just London, it was most places including Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle.
Richie Nik-Nak was up in the commons to launch an extension of the already extended 80% furlough scheme. Now it is to go on until March. He was also very careful to decouple any link between this extension and any possible extension of the current lockdown, insisting that the lockdown would end at the beginning of December and the furlough would continue due to lessons learned in the summer.
I was a little disturbed to learn that 17 million mink are to be culled in Denmark. It has been found that when the coronavirus gets into Mink it mutates into a more virulent form and this strain can be caught by humans and is resistant to most know treatments. The big worry is that it would render any possible vaccine useless. Consequently, the Danish Government has decided to cull every Mink in the country despite it being a huge business. I only hope that nothing similar is found to happen in cats.
You might remember that on Monday I told you about how Sad Dick had secured a new load of Government money for TfL. Today it was confirmed what a treacherous little man he is. The press were told that this money had been given but the press release was embargoed until after an announcement was to be made in Parliament on Monday. But this wasn’t good enough for the little publicity seeker who wanted to show how wonderful he was in getting more money from the Government. So he put out his own press statement on Sunday without any embargo on it. The Government gets a lot of stick from Labour and Mr Squeaker for not telling Parliament, first before making announcements, when they try to do this they are not helped by the nasty little Labour mayor ignoring embargoes.
The chocolate bar manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland has come under huge abuse on the internet for incorporating a Union Flag on some of the packaging for chocolate bars. The demand is that they scrap the Union Flag and replace it with the Saltire to show they are from Scottishland. Unfortunately, this anti-English mob have no knowledge of why the packaging carries the Union Flag and if they had only asked they would have found it was for a very good reason. Foreign importers had specifically requested it. The Union Flag is recognised all over the world and importers want the colourful flag on it to make the export only version of the chocolate bar stand out from the competition. A cross of St Andrew just didn’t do the job of trading on Britain’s good name and was too dull to stand out.
Talking about the elections in America, it wasn’t just the President that was up for election. In many states and counties, all sort of positions are voted for. It could be anything from a sheriff to a dog catcher. In the town of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky they have just elected a new Mayor. Wilbur Beast, a French bulldog was elected with 13,123 votes out of 22,985 votes casts, second was Jack Rabbit, a beagle while Poppy, a golden retriever was third. There has been a dog mayor in the town since 1998 and the election is held every four years at the same time as the presidential election. The mayoral election is basically a way of raising funds for the Rabbit Hash Historical Society who charge $1 for a ballot paper. I think we should have an election for a cat mayor of London. If I stood I’m sure I would win and I would be a much better mayor than Sad Dick.
Good morning again. It’s just like yesterday weather-wise, dry, sunny and cold. However, unlike yesterday Bozzie is Mr Grumpy again. I have worked it out that he is upset with the two mad professors, Statler and Waldorf, for the iffy data they presented to the Him, the Gove, Handoncock and Richie Nic-Nak that made them agree to another lockdown. S&W have long been pushing for a “firebreak” lockdown and the inner circle have been resisting on economic grounds. But then they turned up with all these scary graphs and things and the inner circle finally agreed. After the data was presented on the TV the ONS have seen it and pulled it apart. The data was weeks old and didn’t take account of the effect tiered restrictions were having, hospital data was, as I said earlier in the week, only based on a few hospitals and totally ignored Hospitals with no coronavirus cases. The ONS pointed out that the deaths projected was rubbish and was the worst possible scenarios from a number of models and not real data. Bozzie was moaning that S&W had made him look bad and he was going to have to reissue corrected graphs and curves.
In addition to the iffy data S&W seem to have held back the information that the number of coronavirus cases in Liverpool had started to fall, even before going into lockdown. Bozzie was muttering about, not being able to stop lockdown now. I don’t fancy S&W’s chances of being believed by the government in future. Bozzie was going on about a little boy shouting Wolff but I really didn’t understand that.
The GKP is not very happy either by the reports I see on the TV and read in the papers. They have all written him off and are proclaiming Sleepy Joe the next president before all the results are in. But the GKP is promising to go to court over what he calls illegal votes so until that is resolved there can be no “president-elect”. The MSM all seem to be singing the same song, nothing illegal has happened and the GKP hasn’t produced any evidence. Funny, I have seen all sorts of odd things on the internet, bundles of ballots from the military overseas dumped and not counted, reports of dead people voting, a postman with ballots in the boot of this car driving into Canada, in Texas over 3,000 people who had moved elsewhere voting, even video of tellers filling in piles of votes. Surely this sort of thing is illegal, even without the sudden dumping of thousands of votes for Sleepy Joe at 4 in the morning when all the observers had been told to go home as the count was halted for the night. I can see this dragging through the courts for weeks.
Frosty is back from Brussels and from what I understand he is getting nowhere with the negotiations. The talks are due to start again in London on Sunday but hopes are not too high. Anyway Bozzie is going to talk to Ursula Von Der Leyen tomorrow in the hope that she can move things on a bit. I don’t think Bozzie expects the video call to have any positive results and is prepared for no deal.
Three years ago failing Grayling cut the planned electrification of several rail line to save money. Now I hear that the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris is reinstating the projects to help the Government to meet its green commitments. It seems that there are still a very high proportion of Diesel trains on the network, 62%, mainly on rural and cross country routes and it is these that are the big producers of greenhouse gases.
I heard that the House of Representatives in America is thinking about a change of speaker. Nancy Pelosi is not terribly popular among Democratic Representatives and is now 80 years old. I’m sure if there was a coup not a lot of people would be very upset.
The pilot scheme for testing anyone who wants a coronavirus test got underway in Liverpool today. The tests will only be available for 2 weeks but the idea is to find it people without symptoms can be found early. There were long socially distanced queues today. Some people got the standard PCR swab Test, but somewhere getting the new simple Laminar Flow Test. Anyone who get a positive result from the LF test will then be given a confirmatory PCR Test.
After losing his court action against The Sun, wife-beater Johnny Depp has been “asked to resign” from the latest movie he was making. He was playing nasty Wizard Grindelwald in the latest Fantastic Beasts film. Depp says he has agreed to the request “out of respect” and the part will be recast. It looks like the Depp brand is toxic. I wonder what else he can do for a living, or does he have enough money to retire.
Very chilly this morning. The heating woke me up when it came on at six o’clock making a lot of noise. It must have woken up Bozzie as well as he was wandering around the various radiators with a little key. I heard the Little Otter call out asking what he was doing. He said “Bleeding Radiators” and she replied that he shouldn’t swear in front of Wilf.
Still no result from the US election. In fact, things seem to be going backwards. When I retired to my cat basket last night some of the states where showing 99% and 100% counted. This morning they have only counted 95% or less. I know I am only a cat but I really can’t understand what is going on. Have they suddenly found a load more votes tuck down the back of a radiator? I now hear that the software used in many places is being questioned. In one county in Michigan 6,000 Trump vote with given to Sleepy Joe. One of the guys in the office was watching an interview with a man from a security company who said that the software had more holes in it than a Swiss cheese.
After the long queues to get a coronavirus test in Liverpool yesterday, there are to be another 8 testing stations opened today bringing the total to 14. The army, who are running the test stations, are staying in a holiday camp and are themselves all being regularly tested. Next week mobile squads are to go out to schools and old people’s homes. Will they be allowed into the old people’s homes as friends and relatives aren’t?
I’m not really old enough to remember Princess Diana but in the photos, she looks to have been nice. But I have been reading about this Martin Bashir thing and how he lied and cheated to get the famous BBC Panorama interview with her. It has come to light that Bashir got someone to forge two bank statements to make it look like one the staff of her brother, Lord Spencer, was being paid by the media to spy on him and the family. Spencer had long suspected someone was leaking family inside information to the papers and in return for being told who he persuaded his sister to do the interview. The BBC has found this out and is not amused at the criminal behaviour. Now I read that two flats have been broken into recently and computer files containing the forged bank statements have been stolen. Sound like our very own Watergate. What should we call it, Spencergate, Dianagate, Statementgate or my favourite Bashirgate.
I see that the latest coronavirus statistics released by the ONS indicate that around one person in 90 has the infection. The numbers catching it seems to have levelled off in most areas and in fact, has dropped from 51,900 a day last week to 47,500 a day this week. This is all happening before the latest lockdown kicked in so is lockdown justified?
At the last Thursday’s lockdown protest in Trafalgar Square, the police turned on reporters and photographers who were documenting their dealings with the protesters. They told them to leave or they would be arrested. The press replied that they were essential workers and so able to be there. The police replied that they as far as they were concerned they were not. The next day a letter was fired off to the Association of Chief Constables asking for clarification. The reply confirmed the press were considered key workers. What were the Met trying to hide on Thursday?
I have noticed that suddenly there are a lot of adverts on the TV for secondhand cars from Cazoo and Cinch. That made me wonder where they got their cars from. Well, the answer seems to be they both get them from the same place that most of the second-hand cars come from, British Car Auctions. If you trade in a car and the dealer doesn’t want to put it on its own forecourt most of them land up at one of the giant BCA sites. Incidentally, Webuyanycar is a BCA brand and their cars also go to BCA, Cazoo buy their cars there and Cinch as a BCA brand source them from there as well. It’s a small world.
Tonight’s daft story is that moves are underway to make Bridlington in Yorkshire Britain’s lobster capital, maybe even Europe’s lobster capital. Academics at the University of Hull have suggested that various methods should be used to promote this idea with the intention of attracting additional tourists. The local fishermen land about 300 tons of lobsters annually but very little of it is available locally, most is exported to Europe. It is being suggested that local cafes and restaurants put locally caught lobster on their menus. They say that in America and Canada, you can get a lobster brioche roll with mayo and a side salad for around £6, you can get lobster pizza, lobster mac’n’cheese, lobster fishcakes, lobster and chips, lobster with nachos and think we should offer similar delicacies. There is to be a meeting early next year to push it further.
Right, that’s it for another week, it’s time to got and see what’s for my dinner and then to retire to my cat basket. I have spotted a chicken in the fridge for Bozzie’s dinner tomorrow, I do hope it is going to be roasted and I get some with a bit of gravy.
© WorthingGooner 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file