Another week and it was a little warmer when I popped into the garden before breakfast. While Bozzie was eating his Breakfast he got a phone call from Handoncock. I could only hear half the conversation but Bozzie kept saying “yes”, “no” and “if you say so”. I wish I could hear what both of them were saying, but Bozzie wasn’t happy when he put the phone down. I expect I will find out later.
After my revealing that the Chinese were reconsidering their stake in Sizewell ‘C’, I see that the Government says that the power station is central to its planning. They say they are going to enter into talks with EDF at the earliest opportunity. Between them they think that Sizewell and Hinckley Point will be able to supply 14% of the UK’s electricity demand. The Government also say they are going to invest £1.3 Billion in electric vehicle charging points.
Last week a told you that Swampy was trying to stop HS2 from building a temporary bridge over the River Colne. The bridge is needed to give constructive equipment access to land surrounded by rivers, lakes canals and flooded gravel pits. Well, it appears that there was a 12-hour standoff before the police and bailiffs moved in and the pre-assembled bridge was quickly erected. Swampy wasn’t arrested this time.
Another one of those silly stories today. One of the papers as a list of all the Royal Mail last posting dates which it says are earlier than normal “because of Covid”. However it goes on to list not only the domestic 1st and 2nd class and special delivery date which are still to come, but it lists all the overseas dates nearly all off which have passed, with the exception of a few nearby European nations.
Handoncock turned up in the Commons this afternoon to make a special coronavirus statement. When I saw it on the office TV I realised that must have been what he was telling Bozzie about this morning. It appears that the labs have identified a new strain of coronavirus and they think it is that is causing a jump in cases in London and to the north of London in Hertfordshire. Consequently, Handoncock announced that they were going into Tier 3 at midnight Wednesday. He was in a rush because the tiers were due to be reviewed tomorrow anyway. Handoncock says the new strain is being analysed by scientists at Porton Down and they should know more about it soon, but they think the existing vaccines should still be effective.
I was watching the office TV and it was showing old people in Scottishland being vaccinated. The nurse spoke to the patient and I didn’t understand a word she said. Then the commentator said that the lady being vaccinated lived in somewhere called Hamilton and was 91. Then the old lady said something and once again I couldn’t understand a word. Do they speak a different language in Scottishland?
I forgot to mention that yesterday the Dreamies girl whispered to me that she was going to be off for a couple of days but that I should still turn up for my “cat advent calendar” treat as one of the other girls had been deputised. So I shall be heading down to the office, as usual, later when I have digested my breakfast.
I have been looking at an interesting report on the NuScale 250Mw modular reactor by the US Department of Energy. The report says that a bi-product of this model of reactor is that it produces hydrogen and hydrogen is one of the “clean” sources of energy expected to replace fossil fuels. But hydrogen does not exist freely in the atmosphere, it has to be produced from either water or fossil fuels. In the case of one of these reactors they use a pressurised water circuit to cool the nuclear fuel and this water is used to heat more water, in a boiler section, to produce superheated steam. In making the steam around 50 tons of hydrogen is produced every day. This is the principle known as “steam reforming”. So these small reactors have a number of uses, the steam produced can be used to turn a steam turbine to produce electricity, the used steam can be used to produce hot water for district heating and hydrogen is made which can be used in a clean internal combustion engine. Of course in this country Rolls Royce are proposing a similar small modular reactor.
Mr Barnier is not happy with the UK proposals for fishing claiming that effectively we want to nationalise our fishing industry. The man is deluded, what doesn’t he understand, they are our fishing waters and our fishing industry. If we were to nationalise them, what is it to do with him? He concludes that it would hit hard Dutch and Spanish firms that own boats in the UK. We have said that in future legislation we will ensure that UK registered fishing boats must be majority UK owned. Well, I say tough. When did the EU ever worry when they decimated our fishing fleet and stole 80% of the cod fishing in the channel.
I hear more and more shocking things coming out of the United States election. I little while ago I read of the test on voting machine in one state where 100 votes, divided half for Trump and half for Biden were fed through a machine and it counts 30% more for Biden. Then I read that an audit of machines in one Georgia county where being withheld by state officials. If the results proved the machines were straight those results would have been published in a rush. When the result leaked, a judge ruled that they should be released. What did they say? Well, the machines had an error rate of over 68% when by law they must have an error rate of 1 in 250,000 votes (around 0.0008%). On top of that, most of the internal logs were missing, itself against the law, and one of the logs that was still there revealed that someone had tried unsuccessfully to wipe the rest of them. The report concluded that the counties results should never have been certified.
I hear that Sleepy Joe has been plagiarising a speech again. He was criticised earlier for taking large parts out of a Kinnock, the Welsh windbag, speech. Yesterday he plagiarised a Margaret Thatcher speech when he made his acceptance speech after the Electoral College votes were announced. Is he so thick that he doesn’t realise that his speechwriters are incapable of writing something original?
I read that Amazon has signed an agreement with Sky so that they will carry each other’s programs on their platforms from yesterday. Sky will make Amazon’s Prime Video available as an app. If you are a Prime member you can now quickly log in on Sky by using the voice command to go to Prime. In reverse Prime will make Sky Next available on their platforms. This is just in time for Amazon’s big week of Premier League Football matches the first of which are tonight.
The RAF is planning to join the “green revolution” by adding up to 50% biofuel to the kerosene that its aircraft use. They claim that if it is properly refined it will not affect their aircraft’s performance. Whether it’s old chip shop oil, fermented grass cuttings or rotted down bruised fruit they claim provided it’s done right it can all be converted into high octane fuel. Next time you see an RAF F35B or a Typhoon whizz overhead, have a good sniff. If you can smell chips you will know that it is using biofuel.
I see that in the city of Chongqing in China has been plagued by swarms of wasps coming from over 100 giant nests in trees surrounding the city. Local people have come up with a novel solution. They have clubbed together and bought a large drone. Then the local men have adapted it with a petrol tank and created an improvised flame thrower. The drone hovers near the tree and a jet of flaming petrol is shot at the nest incinerating it and its inhabitants. The nest burns and drops off the tree leaving it only slightly damaged. So far they have dealt with 10 nests, only another 90 odd to go.
Sunny again but I hear it is going to rain later. I better get my patrol around the garden in early.
That Ursula woman is wittering on again about a deal being possible. When will people realise that she is doing her best to put pressure on Bozzie by making it look like if talks break down it’s all his fault? She and the EU still haven’t given an inch on fishing. She still wants to take hundreds of tons of fish annually out of our water. She seems to have agreed to a joint authority to rule on level playing field disputes instead of the European Court. But this is such a small move as to be meaningless. Bozzie is saying that No Deal is still most likely.
I see the Supreme Court overruled the Court of Appeal this morning and said a 3rd runway at Heathrow would be legal. The CoA had ruled that the Secretary for Transport should have considered the Paris Climate Change Agreement before approving the principle of the runway. But the CoA said he acted entirely legally as he made his decision before the agreement came into force. Interestingly it wasn’t the Government who had taken the case to the Supreme Court, it was Heathrow Airport that took the action.
So 180,000 people have been vaccinated in the first week of the Pfizer vaccines availability. This rate will be speeding up as more and more vaccination centres become available. Then I hear that the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are very close to being approved and it both could be approved before Christmas. If that happens it will really speed up the vaccination program.
Bozzie was on TV with another press conference this afternoon. He has been chatting with the other three nations leaders about the Christmas arrangements. They have agreed not to change things but are changing things anyway. The Welsh and Scots have both reduced the number of families who can meet from three to two. But they are all the nations suggest that people should not use all the flexibility that the rules allow them to so as to stop passing on the virus.
A couple of bits of Brexit news this evening. Bozzie has decided that the Commons go on their Christmas holidays tomorrow. This sends the message to the EU that he doesn’t think that the troops are going to be needed to vote on an agreement with the EU. Now I don’t know if this is Bozzie boxing clever as he could, of course, recall Parliament if he needed to. We have signed yet another trade agreement, this time it’s with Mexico. At the moment it is a simple continuation of the EU agreement but they are going to develop into a full FTA as soon as possible.
The loudmouth SNP MP, Drew Hendry, has been suspended from the Commons today for doing what he does best shouting out in the middle of a debate and refusing to shut up when told to by the Speaker. He even tried to pick up the mace and walk out with it. I wonder if he could land up in even more trouble when it is reviewed. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.
Sleepy Joe says he is “confident” that his son, Hunter, has done nothing wrong. Well, he could hardly say anything else could he! Druggy Hunter is under investigation for umpteen things, not the least not declaring $400,000 of income for tax. But, it is also reported that he also had income from Chinese business deals and these have been under investigation for over a year. However, the investigation has been hushed up until after the election. It is reported that as head of the Biden clan Sleepy Joe has been on a cut from all of Hunter’s deals, which explains why he has to say he is “confident” Hunter is innocent.
Morning folks, a little bit brighter this morning after all that rain yesterday. I have just seen Bozzie’s official Christmas card design for this year. It’s a picture of the Mutt with a tinsel collar. How could he? If he wanted a picture of a famous No10 resident what is wrong with yours truly. I am the senior pet in this household, I have an official title, the Mutt is just that, a Mutt. I am giving Bozzie a yellow card and starting to plan my revenge. He has been warned.
Handoncock made his long-awaited announcement as to changes in coronavirus tiers this to the Commons this morning. There were a lot more going up a level to Tier 3 than coming down to Tier 2 or Tier 1 so a lot of people were disappointed. I suspect the only people who are happy tonight are the residents of Bristol and Herefordshire which both dropped to Tier 2 and Tier 1 respectively.
I hear that there is a little bit of a mystery going on at the moment regarding Princess Eugenie. You may remember me telling you that Ginge and Whinge had loaned them Frogmore Cottage which was said to be ideal for them with it newly built nursery. Well, Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank only stayed there six weeks before moving back to their former home in Kensington Palace. I wonder why? Could it be that they were being charged too much? Or did they just hate the newly redesigned “cottage”? Maybe it was haunted by the ghost of Whinge.
The Elizabeth Line has put a virtual walkthrough of the new station at Farringdon up on its website. It allows you to wander around the new station levels and platforms and go up and down the escalators. The station is finished and is ready for passengers, it’s just a pity that not all the other stations are ready yet and the trains are only just being tested. The new station looks very nice and big, shiny and clean. I don’t know how that will last when the passengers finally get to use it.
It’s Thursday and as usual, it’s coronavirus travel news day. No new travel corridors announced today but three were closed. Namibia, Uruguay and the US Virgin Islands were removed from the green list. Not that it should make much difference to travellers, as you could only get to Namibia via South Africa and there was no corridor to there. As for the other two, well they were accepting tourists anyway. British Airways has announced that it is suspending 15 long haul routes from 1st January. Tenerife despite being of the travel corridor list continues to accept British tourists provided you have a clear test first. But you will need to self isolate on return. Royal Caribbean Cruises is considering whether to only allow those who have been vaccinated on board. It might be a bit early to do that as only those over 80 are currently being vaccinated.
I see that there is to be a new version of the London Underground map availability very soon. The main change in the new version is the addition of the Thameslink service. It has been on the map before, but only the core service between London Bridge and St Pancras. Now, most of its routes in the London area are being added to coincide with many of the stations it serves being transferred to the London Overground Network. My problem is that it makes the map much harder to read as the extra lines have been squeezed in. It’s a good job I don’t have to use the map to get around London!
I told you yesterday that SNP MP Drew Hendry had been suspended from the Commons. Today it has emerged that his timing could hardly have been worse. He has been suspended for five working days, and while suspended he gets no pay. I think yesterday was day 1 and today is day 2. The parliament is in recess until 5th Jan making that day 3. So he can’t come back until Friday 8th Jan. meaning he is actually suspended without pay for 3 weeks costing him around £7,000 in wages.
Bozzie had another chat on the phone with that Ursula woman tonight. Afterwards, they both confirmed that they were no nearer an agreement. Bozzie said that it is down to the EU to move on fishing to get an agreement. I really hope he means it.
The discussion over breakfast this morning was the news that the Covid R number for England is back over 1. Now I wonder if that has put the shutters down on the Christmas easing of lockdown. I suspect it might just give Bozzie the excuse he has been looking for to harden up on the Christmas restrictions. It might even give him and excused to reintroduce a full lockdown.
The papers this morning have all been on about fishing being the big barrier to a trade deal with the EU. Have they forgotten we still don’t have an agreement on the level playing field and governance? I think the MSM is playing games, they are trying to make it look like Bozzie is willing to trash the talks over fishing, that represents only a tiny part of our trade, while ignoring the impossible to accept EU demands on the level playing field and governance.
I read that scientists looking for alien life forms have found radio wave coming from the star Proxima Centauri. The signal is reported to be on 980 MHz and focused in a narrow beam. Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star and is the nearest star to our own sun at 4.2 million light-years away. The scientists have already ruled out that the signal is coming from a satellite or originated on earth and is bouncing back to earth off something. Are those little green men trying to get in touch?
Big companies in the US are being taken to court and it might cost them a lot of money. MasterCard has already lost a case brought by someone who claimed that there rules and regulations added costs to every retailer that were passed on to the cardholder. If the court decision is not successfully appealed they will have to refund every cardholder about £350. Now a load of states have come together to sue Google alleging that they have been running a monopoly and fixing search results. Now I hear that other groups are looking to sue Facebook and Twitter. I shall be keeping an eye on these cases.
It looks like a second coronavirus virus vaccine is about to be approved in the US. The Advisory Panel of the Food and Drug Administration voted 20-0 in its favour clearing the way for the Moderna vaccine to get emergency use permission. But it hasn’t been granted yet. This vaccine is one that is easier to handle than the Pfizer one as it doesn’t need to be kept frozen. They applied for emergency use a day or two before the AstraZeneca one so that must also be getting near to getting permission. In the UK the AstraZeneca Vaccine was submitted for approval before Moderna one. The EU has just bought another 100 million doses of the Pfizer but turned down an offer of another 500 million doses as too expensive. I find it amusing that the Government were criticised for not joining the EU drug purchasing scheme and doing our own thing on licensing the Pfizer drug. So far we have vaccinated over 200,000 people it and the EU still haven’t given licensed it and we have acquired 350 million doses.
One Web, the satellite company that the Government bought into earlier this year, launched another 36 satellites from Russia on an Ariane rocket this afternoon. They will be added to the 74 they already operate. The aim is to have a network of 650 satellites covering the globe. They currently have 15 more launches booked at about one a month. The satellites launched this morning are intended to cover Northern Europe and to supply satellite broadband to customers. A service to Britain is hoped to start by October. One Web has permission to expand the network with more satellites should it prove necessary.
I was up before Bozzie this morning and had finished my morning bowl of Felix before he put in an appearance. I think he was a bit late going to bed because he was holding a virtual cabinet meeting to discuss the mutated coronavirus. I hear he is going on the TV this afternoon, that never good news.
Interesting news from America, Boeing could be back in trouble over the 737 Max. I told you a week or two ago that the FAA had cleared it to fly again subject to certain requirements being me. This came after Boeing had satisfied the FAA that it was safe by having pilots fly it on simulators. Now a whistleblower has come forward saying that Boeing coached the pilots in how to react to “events” thrown up to test the aircraft and that the FAA were party to this. Now the question is being asked would the plane have been certified if the pilots had not been “coached”.
I see the MSM is making a fuss over Kate allowing Prince Louis wearing long trousers. In the past Royal boys have normally had to be around 8 years old before they have been allowed to ditch short trousers. But Kate is a modern Mum and seems to have refused to stick with “tradition” for tradition’s sake. Prince Louis, who is two, has now been seen out in public wearing long trousers at least twice. I always thought it silly to make little boys wear short trousers when the weather is cold.
While talking about Kate’s little ones I hear that their Uncle Harry has sent them Christmas presents all the way from California. It seems that the dispute between William and Ginge is not quite as icy as it was and it is nice to see it is not being taken out on the kids. I wonder if Wills and Kate reciprocated and sent something to Archie.
So we now have a new Tier 4 which is very nearly the same as a full lockdown. Didn’t I tell you months ago that the reason why the Government didn’t introduce the traffic light scheme that everyone was predicting at the time was so that they could introduce new higher tiers if required? Well now that we are being told that there is a new variant of the coronavirus in the Southeast and London that is much more infectious it has been introduced for those areas. On top of that, the mixing of 3 households for several days at Christmas in all other areas has been reduced to just Christmas Day. On top of that people in Tier 4 are being told not to travel abroad. That’s tough for anyone who had booked to fly to the Caribbean for Christmas.
At the moment if you want to buy a Vauxhall electric van you will find that they are all built on parent company PSA production line in France. Only the diesel version of the Vivaro is built in Luton. Now I hear several of the big UK purchasers of the Vivaro have got together to pressure PSA to open an assembly line for electric Vivaro vans in Luton. Openreach runs 27,000 vans and wants to upgrade them all to electric. They have joined forces with the Post Office, 40,000 vans, and Centrica, 13,000 vans, to try to get a UK line set up. However, the prospect of selling 80,000 UK built vans might not be sufficient to encourage PSA so they are trying to get big fleet operators involved. Openreach have already purchased of some the French-built electric vans but at £36,000 plus £4,000 to make them suitable for UK use they are much more expensive than the Luton built diesel at £24,000.
My last story of the week is about a man in Plymouth who is a bit upset because someone has dumped something in his recycling bin. The problem is that the item dumped in his bin was a purple Rampant Rabbits sex toy. He seems to be most upset by the facts that it shouldn’t have been in the recycling bin as it isn’t recyclable and it was used. Mind you how he knew it was used I don’t know.
Chat to you all next week.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file