At breakfast this morning Bozzie was still ecstatic from hitting the 15,000,000 vaccination target with yesterday’s announced numbers. He keeps muttering about doubters and distracters. He was asked why in some places they had already started vaccinating over 65’s while some areas hadn’t quite got there yet, he explained that it was all down to the age demographic. Well, I was pleased he explained what that meant because it was beyond me. It seems that basically, it means that a lot more old people live in some areas. You all probably have heard stories of people retiring to the seaside, well it is true and place like Bournemouth have a higher percentage of old people hence they have a lot more to vaccinate in the first four cohorts.
I see that Ginge and Whinge have announced that they are to have another sprog. Funny how they ran away from Britain because they wanted “privacy” and now live in California surrounded by some of the most intrusive press in the world. But what amused me was that the publicity hating couple put out a cringe-making professionally posed photograph. When I saw the picture I realised why they had called in the professionals, they need to sell the photos as they obviously need the money. Just look at the picture Ginge can’t afford shoes. I wonder how much they are to be paid for the exclusive interview with Ophra Winfrey?
Did you see that one of those expensive society magazines tweeted about the announcement of the baby? They said that Ginge’s parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana were delighted. A pretty good trick that, considering how long she has been dead. The tweet was quickly taken down when people started taking the mickey.
Bow Street station had its first train stop there in 56 years yesterday. That’s a long wait for a train, I wonder what your boss would say if you said “sorry I’m late it’s because I’ve been waiting for a train”. Seriously, the South Wales station was closed under Beeching and although the trains still ran on the line none stopped. Most of the station was sold off and is now a builders yard but a single track still exists and a platform has been put back into service. The service was originally to start this morning but the train operator decided to stop trains there yesterday, without announcing it, to stop enthusiasts crowding the station for photos of the first train! Sheer madness.
Israel has been rolling out the Pfizer vaccine to its population and has, due to the small size of its population, now vaccinated over 40% of it. They reported this morning that they had seen a huge drop in the number of coronavirus cases among those vaccinated, as much as 94%. The main version of coronavirus circulating in Israel is the so-called “Kent” variant so that bodes well as it is the predominant version here.
A bit more on the proposed tunnel between Scottishland and Northern Ireland has been coming out over the weekend. I have read in one place that it is likely to be a rail tunnel and a combination rail and road tunnel somewhere else. Personally, if it comes about I would expect it to be a rail tunnel, rather like the channel tunnel, with trains carrying cars, freight and passengers. For the first time, I saw someone acknowledge that the rail gauge in Northern Ireland is a different, bigger, gauge to the rest of the UK. The article I read suggested a new fast railway line from Carlisle to Stranraer, a tunnel under the Irish Sea to Larne and then via the existing line to Belfast. The Larne to Belfast line would need to be rebuilt to the smaller UK gauge, but this is easier than widening it as the existing tunnels and bridges would not have to be altered, just the tracks. The tunnel under the sea could not run in a dead straight line because of 1000 ft deep Beaufort’s Dyke that lies on the direct line. Instead, an arcing route around the northern end of the Dyke is proposed.
Bozzie did a coronavirus press conference again tonight, it seems to have become a regular Monday evening event. I learnt a couple of things. Around 90% of the over 80’s have taken the jab, this is far more than was expected as the Government were working on a 75% target. At the moment we are averaging around 400,000 vaccinations a day, the next stage of the rollout will mean revisiting nearly all of the 15 million who have been vaccinated which a second dose and first doses for the next 17 million. This will mean doubling the current rate.
Just seen the weather forecast on the TV predicting that the temperature could be up to 17° in London on Saturday. Window sill here I come!
I was woken up this morning by the Mutt yapping. I don’t know what the matter was, when Bozzie opened the door to let him out he just stood there, looked out and then went back to his basket. Perhaps he heard something outside but my super hearing didn’t. Anyway, I took the opportunity to visit the flower bed before the forecast rain.
Talking of weather, I understand that the US has been hit by a spell of freezing temperatures. If you thought it was cold here last week you would be shocked by how cold it is in some places you wouldn’t expect like Texas. The best bit is that the cold weather has caused many power cuts. Texas has been going “green” and closing down fossil-fired power stations and replacing them with wind turbines and solar panels. However, the solar panels have been buried under snow and many wind turbines has been frozen up. To make matters worse the Texas oil and gas industry has been relying on electricity from the wind turbines so natural gas has also been in short supply and householders have found even their gas supplies reduced. Is this a harbinger of what we have to come?
While on the subject of “going green”, the next company to jump on the virtue signalling bus is Jaguar Land Rover. Jaguar say they are going to only sell electric vehicles from 2025 while the Land Rover side will be introducing 6 new EV variants in the next 5 years including a fully electric Range Rover Discovery. Most of the Land Rovers will be available as hybrids or EVs until 2035, with the hybrids being phased out over time.
Wee Krankie has been busy playing politics with the Scottishland people again. She just has to look good and try to go one better than Bozzie. Yesterday it was “our hotel quarantine system is better than yours”, today it is “we are getting our children back to school before you”. She likes to play games and anything Bozzie announces she has to go one better and the Scottish MSM always gives her an easy ride. I must say that listening to the radio I get the idea that the Scottishland people are beginning to she through her little games and her popularity is on the wane.
I read that British Airways have been helping out the Germans by flying in a load of face marks from China. Germany changed the rules on the type of masks they recommended people upgrade to an FP2 or N95 mask and consequently they have been in short supply. With the lack of airline passengers, BA have been using 2 of their 787ER aircraft as freighters, a partially converted passenger plane, to making regular flights from London to Shanghai and Beijing. They brought back 1.7million masks in 17,000 boxes to London as part of a cargo load and then continued the flight to Munich to drop them off.
A very odd story from the European Space Agency. They are currently recruiting for a new wave of astronauts who could be involved in the planned return to the Moon or the planned manned landing on Mars. What is odd about this call for recruitment? They are looking for disabled astronauts. I’m not sure how disabled they will be. Will they take wheelchair-bound, blind, deaf or dwarfs. A crew of dwarfs could make for a lighter load and a smaller spacecraft.
The best story of the day is undoubtedly Amazon messing up its private employee coronavirus testing. Amazon has been testing many of its workers and sharing the results with NHS Test and Trace. On Friday Amazon told nearly 4000 workers they had tested negative but when they passed the results to Test and Trace they had been mysteriously converted to positive results. Test and Trace started texting all these people and telling them to isolate for ten days. Of course, the workers were confused and flooded Test and Trace with phone calls wanting to know what was going on. Test and Trace realised something was wrong and on Saturday evening they started to tell the Amazon workers there had been a “system error”. It is not know how much this cock-up will cost Amazon in lost production and having to for workers and their families losing a day or more pay.
It being Wednesday I expected that Bozzie would have one of his good suits on at breakfast, but he fooled me by appearing in an old one. Then I remembered that Parliament was on its holidays and there was no PMQs. The Little Otter was not impressed and wanted to know why he had put on a scruffy old suit. Bozzie said it was comfortable. The Little Otter said it needed to go to the dry cleaners and Bozzie reminded her they were all shut.
This morning I saw that Britain is to be the first nation in the world to run a Covid challenger trial. I had to read on to find out what that was as I had never heard of a challenger trial. It is a trial where people volunteer to be deliberately infected with something. You might remember years ago people were paid to go to the Common Cold Research Laboratory and were deliberately infected with a cold to find out about it. Well, this is similar. Initially, 90 people are being paid to be infected with coronavirus. The first phase of the test is to give them various amounts of the virus in nose drops, to try to discover just how high a virus load they need to develop Covid 19. All the volunteers are healthy and aged between 18 and 30 so are in the very low-risk group and will be paid £4500. They will stay, isolated, in a hospital room for 16 days. A second phase is expected to follow on, where the test subjects will have been vaccinated first and then given the virus try to prove if the vaccine is effective. You couldn’t pay me enough Felix to volunteer for that.
I see that Phil the Greek has been admitted to a private hospital because he hasn’t been feeling well for a few days. When you hear of someone aged 99 being admitted to Hospital these days you fear for the worst. But I heard them chatting in the office and it is said not to be Covid related. Well, I have heard of loads of people catching it in Hospital. If he gets it there will be hell to pay.
The fourth person came out of the HS2 protest tunnel under Euston Garden this morning. This was 16-year-old son of Swampy and he was carried out on a stretcher and taken to Hospital. He is to be handed over to the police as soon as he is fit enough. The current tactics seem to be to let the tunnellers stew in their own juice and wait for them to give up. It seems to be working as a steady trickle are doing just that as the food and water run out. It must be getting pretty smelly down there.
The British Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, has got a new job. Bozzie has made him Minister for Relations with the EU, with a seat in the cabinet. He is going to be busy as he is also going to take over from The Gove as representative on the Joint Committee with Brussels on implementation of the Brexit divorce agreement. This is as well as becoming the UK chair of the joint Partnership Council to discuss differences over the operation of the Christmas Eve Trade and Cooperation Agreement. I don’t think he is going to have much time left to talk to me when he visits No 10.
Do you remember back in the summer when it was lovely and warm and sunny and loads and loads of people were pictured on the beach? The “experts” were all screaming about Covid being spread by the crowds being in close proximity on the sands, or in Brighton’s case the pebbles. Well, I learn today that not a single case of Covid has been connected to those beach days. In fact, there is not a single case of transmission on a beach anywhere in the world. I wonder what kills the virus? Could it be sunshine or saltwater? Is anyone doing any tests?
Last week I told you about my ten year anniversary in No10, an achievement I am very proud of. It has triggered a bucket load of articles in the papers and on the internet with a whole load of them purporting to have written by yours truly. Well, I want you all to know that they are not written by me. There is only one real Larry’s Diary and you are currently reading it. I have read many of these “fake news” pieces, some of these are amusing and some are outrageous, particularly the story that I savaged a pair of that old woman who used to live here’s leopard-skin shoes. As if I would go anywhere near a pair of her smelly old shoes.
The radio news over breakfast was all about the rapid fall in coronavirus cases. The ONS survey has come to the conclusion that cases are reducing nationally by around a half every fortnight. But of course, the rate isn’t even across the whole country with some areas doing a bit better and some a bit worse. With all the speculation about Bozzie setting out a route map to easing coronavirus lockdown next week, it makes me wonder whether we will be going back to a tiered system with some places being eased more than others.
I have been reading about the RAF’s efforts to get enough coronavirus vaccine to Ascension Island to get everyone on the island vaccinated. There is an RAF station on the island as well as BBC World Service relay station, a European Space Agency tracking station and around 900 natives. On Monday the RAF organised an A400M flight with enough Oxford-AstraZeneca on board to vaccinate everyone on the island, despite there being no cases on the island. However, when the plane went to take off one engine refused to start and the passengers had to be unloaded. The problem was that now the vaccine had been taken out of refrigeration it has to be used in three days and the rush was on. The engine was repaired overnight and the plane took off from RAF Brize Norton the following morning. The plane then set down on Cape Verde to refuel. Cape Verde is on the red list so if anyone got off the plane they would have to quarantine for 10 days! So everyone stayed on board but that pesky engine didn’t want to restart. Fortunately, local engineers managed to get it going and the vaccine was handed over to the Ascension Island Government with around 36 hours to go. Then it was a mad rush to get vaccines in arms before the time ran out.
The next carmaker to go green is Ford. They have announced that all their offerings will be electric by 2030. I don’t think this will be good news for the UK as Ford is to spend $1 billion on its Cologne plant and has not mentioned what is to happen to it one British assembly plant at Halewood, or its other parts manufacturing plants in Wales and Dagenham. Although it’s better news for Sunderland as the new hybrid Nissan Qashqai is going to be built there. I like the idea of the hybrid Qashqai, it’s petrol engine will not drive the wheels directly, instead it will generate electricity to charge the batteries that drive the electric motor. Bye-bye range anxiety and long charging times, hello the acceleration of an EV.
The people in the office seem to have got hooked on the BBC early afternoon police drama “The Mallorca Files”. If I go in there after lunch they seem to have it on every day. I know that it looks sunny and warm but I don’t think that’s the reason that the program is getting big audiences for the time of day. I suspect that the guys all fancy the blonde female detective while all the girls fancy the German male detective.
I have been looking at today’s coronavirus numbers and they are all still moving in the right direction. Both the number of deaths and new cases are down by a third compared to a week ago. The number of people who have had a first vaccination went up to nearly 16.5 million. The “experts” say that the falls in cases and deaths are all down to the lockdown the effect of the vaccinations is yet to be seen. I’m not so sure of that as the rate of deaths among the over 80s, who have been vaccinated, is falling much faster than the fifty to sixties who haven’t been vaccinated.
All the people at NASA are reported to have their fingers crossed today as their Perseverance rover is supposed to land. It is due to parachute to the ground at walking pace after a seven-month journey. The rover is the ninth Mars landing, of which only half have worked, and the most sophisticated so far as it is around the size of a small car, carries it’s own helicopter and will be able to drill down into the surface for samples. It is intended that future European and American mission will recover the samples and fly them back to Earth. That is if the Martians don’t get there first.
I nearly choked on my Felix this morning when I heard that Wee Krankie is to replace the Union Flag with that rubbishy bit of cloth the EU flag over Scottishland official houses. The Union Flag will be flown only on Remembrance Day. She is replacing the flag of the United Kingdom, recognised and revered throughout the world, with the flag of an organisation. It is not even a national flag. I wonder if it was not made illegal to fly the EU flag in the UK when we left the EU.
A huge loss for Uber in the Supreme Court this morning. Some of their drivers won a high court case a big back that they were employees and should be entitled to holiday pay and sick pay. Uber saw just how much this might cost them to implement, it could even make their model unprofitable, so they appealed to the Supreme Court. The unanimous judgement this morning was that the Drivers were employees. Uber has run out of courts to appeal to as since leaving the EU they can no longer go to the ECJ. What will Uber do now? I will have to keep an ear open for the news.
People in Texas who were lucky enough to retain their electric supply during the cold weather are being shocked to find that they are likely to receive huge power bills. The Texas Power utility is doing what our power companies want to do and charge higher prices when electricity is in short supply and less when there is a surplus. This is the whole reason they want you to have a “smart” meter. It can record just when you used power and charge you according to the cost at the time. Some people, who have consumed little more electricity than usual, are getting bills for thousands of dollars.
I am quite happy to see Bozzie’s plan to give away any surplus Covid vaccine once all you humans have all had your two doses. The only thing I would say is we should not be giving it to wealthy countries like France. Give it to British Overseas Territories, to the poorer Commonwealth countries, even to our friends like Portugal. I don’t even mind it going to Ireland as we have a common travel area and it makes sense that the bogtrotters are fully vaccinated to protect you lot.
An interesting bit of research out today. The AstraZeneca vaccine is much more effective when the gap between the first and second jab is increased to 12 weeks. This is rather convenient as the Government has decided to do just that in order to spread out the available vaccine to give a lot more people the protection offered by the first job. Another 450,000 people were vaccinated yesterday down a bit on average for a Thursday and I hear the reason is the patchy delivery of the two brands of vaccine. Still, today’s infection figures are still going down quickly. Whether this is down to the vaccine or a natural wane in the virus isn’t known but is good news whichever is true.
A man wanted by the police has handed himself in to them in Burgess Hill because he couldn’t stand the people he was living with a day longer. It seems he was wanted for recall to prison and knew that if he gave himself up he would be returned prison and be able to get away from the people he was being forced to spend a lot of time with because of lockdown and we’re driving him to distraction. The coronavirus has a lot to answer for when it comes to relationships as divorce inquiries have shot up 300% in a year.
For once the weather girl on the TV seems to have got it right, it’s milder this morning. According to her, it’s supposed to be wet later, we shall see. Bozzie switched on the Radio and I expected to hear Ballboy but he was missing someone called Andrew something was sitting in. Still a twat but not as big a one. Lots of chat about Ginge and Whinge on the radio this morning. Seems he has decided not to resume his royal duties and is to be stripped of his remaining ceremonial army ranks. From what I hear he is not a happy bunny. That what you set when to marry a bossy woman.
Johnson & Johnson (Jansen in Europe) have applied to the World Health Organisation for emergency of their coronavirus vaccine. They have already applied for this emergency use in the US, the UK and, on Monday just gone, the EU. The US are due to make a decision next Friday, but in the UK they are behind Novavax in the race for approval. So assuming Novavax are successful they would be the fifth vaccine approved in the UK. However, we have only ordered 17 million doses of this vaccine making it small beer compared to the 60 million doses of Novavax we have paid for. But WHO approval would be huge business for J&J who have an agreement with Covax to supply 500 million doses this year for their vaccination programme in 192 countries.
Once more the coronavirus numbers published this afternoon are heading in the right direction. The number of people receiving the vaccination this week has dropped off a bit, but this seems to be related to a shortage of vaccine.
So the police have seized cocaine said to be worth £184 million in a shipment of bananas from Colombia. The cocaine, weighing 2.3 tonnes arrived on a cargo ship at Portsmouth last weekend and the police switched the drug for an inert powder. And followed the “drugs” in banana boxes stacked on 41 pallets to an industrial estate in Tottenham. When they carried out the raid they nicked 11 men. Such a vast haul is bound to cause a shortage of the drug on the streets and an increase in its price. So far I am yet to hear the comments of Tottenham MP David Lammy.
I had to laugh when I heard that the Islamic Mayor of London had his coronavirus vaccination yesterday in a Baptist church in the south London suburb of Mitcham. Better still he was vaccinated by the Rev Dr Sue Clark. She is a retired consultant who has volunteered to help out and has regained her license to practice. Sad Dick qualified for the jab on health grounds, he is a severe asthmatic and takes daily steroid tablets to control it.
I have been reading about the Euromillions draw. No one won it last night and now it predicted to be around £180 million on Tuesday evening. If that was won by a Brit that would be the biggest UK winner every. I was pondering on what I could do with that sum of money, a diamond-encrusted collar, a fur-lined cat basket with a couple of those “My Pillows” they keep advertising, retirement to the country in a little thatched cottage and 3 meals of Felix chicken every day. Now that would be purr-fect.
That’s another week done and I’m off for my supper. It’s supposed to be warmer still in London tomorrow, I wonder if there will be enough sun for me to have a snooze in the garden. Chat to you all again on Monday.
© WorthingGooner 2021
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file