Well, it did snow here yesterday, but not much and most of it melted. I did pop out but not for long, unlike the Mutt snow is not for me, he can go and run around in it but I’m going to sprawl by a radiator. After my Felix, I thought I had to do a bit of work, so I went on a patrol around the building. As I padded through the office I noticed they had cricket on the TV. There was a sudden roar followed by much laughter. One of the batsmen hit a ball over the boundary and it landed on a pot of white paint!
I was delighted to see the Work and Pension Secretary didn’t put up with any of Sneers Morons’ rubbish on GMB this morning. He kept her hanging around and then when he got around to doing the interview he was his normal sarcastic self. In the end, she had enough and turned off the camera and told him she was off as she had given him 20 minutes of her time and had other media interviews to do. Sneers didn’t like it but she held her ground and was off. Good for her, he is too big for his boots and needs taking down a peg or two.
Wee Krankie seems to be getting deeper and deeper in the mire. Not only is she accused of lying to the Salmond inquiry and mishandling the Salmond court case by continuing it when legal advice said they had no chance of winning, but her husband is being investigated for perjury at the inquiry. But she keeps denying everything. Either she is lying or Salmond is lying, this is getting interesting.
I have been reading about a 20-year-old who has put being furloughed to good use. Last March he was selling hair transplants and hated it. When he was furloughed he looked for something else to do and with dental hygienists being closed he decided to start importing and selling, on the internet, a Chinese device for removing dental plaque. On his best day, he made £10,000. He sold that and moved on to selling home gym equipment via Amazon and since October has turned over £730,000. He now has rented an office and employed a mate to help him.
I see that the Government is pushing ahead with the idea of unmanned “buddy” fighting drones flying as wingmen to our manned fighters the Typhoon, the F35 and the planned Tempest. They have placed an order to produce flying prototypes with Spirit Aerosystems in Belfast. The idea is that each manned plane will have several “Loyal Wingmen” under their control, able to carry bombs or missiles, swarming defences.
The coronavirus numbers are slowly showing an improvement, but as it was Sunday yesterday when the numbers are usually lower. But all the trends are down, fewer cases, fewer hospital admissions and fewer deaths. In addition, the number of vaccinations was up to 6.57 million, not quite as big an increase as on Saturday but the weather was awful.
Facebook have been at it again, removing posts and banning people. Like the mistake they made a couple of weeks ago removing a military re-enactment group because they used the word militia in their name. Now they have been having a go at the Brighton Life group because they dared mention the Devils Dyke. The Facebook computers appear to be programmed to look for certain words that the Americans don’t like and block the users. Sometimes I think the Americans are stupid.
Good morning and another cold one but that bloke on the TV with the German name, Shuffledknackers I think, says it’s going to get warmer this week. The radio was on this morning and the big story was about the EU being peeved because they are not going to get as much coronavirus vaccine as they expected. Pfizer have slowed down production because they are upgrading their Belgium plant from making 1.2 billion doses a year to 2.0 billion doses a year. They will still get their doses but a bit late. Now AstraZeneca are also slowing deliveries to the EU from 100 million doses at the end of March to 30 million doses. The EU are threatening to sue AstraZeneca, but they haven’t even licensed their vaccine yet. AZ’s problem seems to be caused by a partner in Belgium who have so far been unable to match the output from AZ’s two UK plants or its Indian partner. Now, the EU placed orders months after the UK and are blaming everyone but themselves for the delays in receiving vaccine in bulk.
The other story on the radio was about Bozzie and the Cabinet having a meeting to decide on whether or not to put people coming into the UK into quarantine hotels for 10 days. I hear the basic decision has been made and it’s going to happen. The problem is just how far the quarantine should go, everyone, or just people coming from places with new variant coronavirus? We shall know later as it’s going to be another Bozzie TV show this evening.
Another thing on the radio this morning was Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, Wes Streeting, doing the rounds of the stations demanding that the Government’s first priority must be getting the children back to school. This was very strange as Bozzie committed to this three weeks ago. In fact, I heard one an interview with the Government’s vaccine Czar where he said reopening schools was the Government’s first priority. He was immediately followed by Wes Streeting who demanded that the Government should make opening schools their priority. Don’t they listen to what other people say?
Thirty-one Metropolitan policemen at London’s Bethnal Green police station have been fined £200 each for breaking coronavirus rules. They invited a hairdresser into the police station and each of them had their hair cut. They donated the cost to charity so this will have been the most expensive haircut they have ever had. I understand that the two ringleaders are also to face misconduct charges.
For those of you who miss the lovely Kayleigh McEnany there is good news. It is reported that she is to join Fox News in some capacity. The channel will only say “she is not a current employee” which as good as confirms the story, that speculates that she will be joining them next month. If the story was wrong they would have called it out rather than using such careful wording. Please let them send her to London as their correspondent, she can come to No 10 and stroke me anytime.
One of the big wind turbine makers, Vattenfall, is offering a new optional extra on its biggest models, an onboard toilet module. The company PWS is to retrofit the module into the 11 turbines that make up the Aberdeen offshore wind farm. At the moment, if a workman is up a turbine carrying out maintenance they need to climb down multiple long ladders to use a toilet in a tender before climbing all the way back up. A cost analysis has proved the module saves money.
At last, it’s getting a bit warmer but it was a bit damp when I went out this morning so I hurried back for my Felix. As usual, Bozzie was reading a pile of newspapers, listening to the radio and eating breakfast all at the same time. Who says men can’t multi-task!
I see that we have today given permission for the Boeing 737 Max to resume operations in Britain. It’s all well and good giving permission to fly but will people want to fly on one, I wouldn’t, then I’m unlikely to be flying anywhere. RyanAir has a big order for them, while EasyJet has avoided them and is buying Airbus A320 series planes. I wonder if the customers will vote with their feet when we are allowed to go on holiday again.
So we are going to have Covid hotels for people coming to Britain from certain ‘hotspot’ countries where Covid variants are common. Not many details yet, Pretty Petal says it is still being worked out with the hoteliers, but I bet the owners of airport hotels are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of paying customers. They might have to supply 3 meals on a tray per day, but I bet they won’t be much room cleaning or linen changing going on.
Bozzie has also announced that schools will not be going back after half term. He says that the earliest date possible will be 8th March, which gives the vaccination program a chance to work. But this date is by no means certain, it all depends on the effectiveness of the vaccine. What Bozzie did say was that they will be looking at how things are going on 22nd February and will make up their mind then and if the numbers are good then it might be possible to ease the lockdown a little at the same time.
Protesters have spent months digging a tunnel under Euston Square Gardens in an attempt to interrupt work on HS2. They have dug a tunnel which they claim is 30 Metres long and have shut themselves in. The bailiffs when in this morning to start evictions and several people have already been done for trespassing on HS2 land.
The more I hear about the row between the EU and AstraZeneca the nastier, pettier and more vindictive the EU come over. AZ say that their contract says they will make their “best endeavour” to supply the number of vaccine doses the EU want, but due to the low yield coming out of their continental Europe factories it is not going to happen. The EU says it doesn’t care it wants the vaccine suggesting that it should come out of the UK supply. If they try that, I hope Bozzie slaps an export band on the British produced vaccine. As I have pointed out before the EU haven’t even licensed the vaccine yet and have even demanded that the AZ packaging should be printed in all of the EU27 languages. Thank God we left that club.
The Labour Party has decided to campaign for school teachers to be vaccinated in the half-term holidays and are pushing the Government. Bozzie says that the Government don’t decide the order of vaccinations and that it is an independent organisation. The order was set by the most likely to die first, which the statistics say is the oldest people
Apple are reported to be moving more of its production away from China as they are worried about increasing tensions between China and the US. It looks like iPad production is moving to Vietnam and that the iPhone 12 will be moving to India where many iPhone 11 models are already made. iPod Pro production is also moving to Vietnam as are some Home Pod Minis and MacBooks. Some Mac Mini’s have already moved to Malaysia.
Bozzie was up early this morning, I understand that he wants to get a bit of work done before going up to Scottishland to visit one of the big Lighthouse labs in Glasgow and then he’s off to the new Valneva Covid vaccine manufacturing plant in Livingston, West Lothian. The Little Otter was laying down the law telling him not to eat things that are fattening. She knows he likes a bacon roll when she’s not watching. She also warned him off trying that other Scottishland delicacy the deep-fried Mars Bar.
Valneva Scotland is a new enterprise for the Austrian company, the plant has been set up using Government money and we have ordered 60 million doses of their vaccine. The company is betting that their vaccine will get a license by starting manufacturing the vaccine today while it is still undergoing stage 2 testing, although it is expected to go to stage 3 in April. The aim is to get it licensed later this year and to be able to deliver the 60 million doses later this year. Fully commissioned, the plant should be able to manufacture 250 million doses a year and will also be able to produce other vaccines for the likes of flu and polio.
The Mogg came up with a new name for Wee Krankie at the House Business Statement this morning. He was asked about Bozzie’s visit to Scottishland and christened her “moanalot”, say that all she ever did was moan. Nothing was ever good enough for her, whether it was moaning about Bozzie’s Visit, Brexit, independence or money he said she was never satisfied. I will have to remember that new name and use it occasionally when she has been moaning. Mind when hasn’t she been moaning.
I read that Kent County Council are pushing for a new direct rail service between Maidstone East and Cambridge. The route was talked about when the Thameslink service was first being planned but has landed up on the back burner and has not been talked about recently. With the expansion of the Thameslink service last year, fast through trains from Brighton to Cambridge and slower trains from Three Bridges to Cambridge started but on a weekday hourly service only. This service was supposed to become more frequent and run on both Saturday and Sunday but with Covid this has not yet happened. I suspect that a through service to Maidstone could happen but I expect it will have to wait until Covid is no longer a thing.
What a despicable lot the EU are. I hear that they got the Belgium authorities to raid the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine plant yesterday. They obviously don’t believe that AstraZeneca have been telling them the truth when they have told them that the reason they will not be able to deliver the full number of doses is because of production difficulties. They have suggested that AstraZeneca have been selling the vaccine produced at the Belgium plant to other countries who would pay more than the EU. Personally, I can’t see why AstraZeneca would want to sell at a higher price as they are selling at cost.
The BBC’s Brussels correspondent, Katya Adler, has come in for loads of criticism today for her biased reporting and not for the first time. In a report on the EU AstraZeneca row, she claimed that “Boris Johnston’s Government has berated the EU”. But this was just not true, Bozzie and the Government have been very careful not to get drawn into the row. A number of people have raised official complaints to the BBC. It seems she is a serial offender as it’s only four months since Adler was found guilty of biased reporting when she caused The Gove “delusional”.
I have decided to make more of a fuss of Richie Nic-Nak. It appears that he hates the Mutt, so he can’t be all bad. Mind, his kids love the Mutt and they have been pressuring their dad to get a puppy for them. I don’t want yet another dog to have to teach who is the boss of this house. I think that if I am extra nice to Nic-Nak he could get them a lovely cuddly little kitten. Now that would be ideal, I could teach it who is boss much more easily and then outsource some of my chief mouser duties now I am no longer a young cat.
I read that Momentum have started a fundraising exercise to try to counter Andrew Neal’s new TV station GBNews. The recent fundraising exercise by GBNews pulled in some £60 million and they are on target to launch on Sky, BT TV, Freeview, Virgin and FreeSat in the coming months. Momentum have raised £5,000 and have made a Facebook video.
The good news about the Novavax Covid 19 vaccine didn’t come until after I retired to my lovely cat basket so I only learnt about it this morning over my bowl of Felix. I must admit the preliminary results of its phase 3 trials sound good. What I found interesting was that the British trials are way ahead of the US and other trials which haven’t reached phase 3 yet. The company has been running a “rolling application” with the regulator and will now be spending the next couple of weeks drawing up their final application. They hope to get a license later this year and to fulfil the Vaccine Taskforce’s order for 60m doses before the end of the year. The vaccine is already being made at their new plant on Teeside so no interference from the EU here.
Do you remember me telling you about the Jannsen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine last week? Well, they have also reported success and will be applying for a license. We have 30 million doses of this vaccine on order. This is a single jab vaccine and Johnson and Johnson hope to sell 1 billion doses this year. Our Vaccine Taskforce has done a great job of picking winners and getting in orders for vaccine.
The EU published a redacted version of their contract with AstraZeneca this lunchtime. Well, I am not a lawyer but there seems to be loads of mentions of “AstraZeneca has committed to use its best reasonable efforts to…..” which seems to agree with what the boss of AstraZeneca said. Von der Liar said that the contract said no such thing. She appears to have been wrong as it clearly does say that. Mind, I do hear that the contract has a payment clause in it that the EU has not yet met. Strangely today the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine got permission to supply the vaccine across the EU27. Just to prove how useless the EU is the redacted PDF document could easily be un-redacted by using the Adobe Reader bookmark tool. Thus revealing all the confidential figures in the document which the document says are confidential and must not be revealed by either party. Now that is grounds to sue the EU.
The EU have shown just how nasty and vindictive they are again this evening, first they decided to let member countries ban exports of coronavirus vaccine made in that country. Then they produced a map showing where they could export to, obviously the EU27 and a list of other bordering countries that are exempt, including the likes of Switzerland, Norway and most of North Africa. Guess who is the only area shown in red as banned, you’ve got it, the UK. Just to make it worse the EU have invoked Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol effectively putting a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic for the Pfizer vaccine.
News coming out of Scottishland tonight is bad news for Wee Krankie. The Crown Prosecutor’s office has finally handed over potentially serious evidence to the MSPs investigating failed prosecution of Alex Salmon. Wee Krankie has been doing her best to stop the evidence being handed over so you can bet it does her no favours.
Over in the US General Motors has announced that it will only be selling electric cars by 2035. Of course, the GM, who are the US’s biggest automobile maker, will still be making ICE powered Trucks and Buses. GM used to own Vauxhall and Opal but these were sold to PSA and new Vauxhall’s are already being moved on to Peugeot’s common EV chassis. Sniffer Biden announced earlier this week that the US Government is to replace its fleet of 650,000 cars with EVs. I don’t know just what makes a Government car, I guess Government agencies like NASA and the FBI qualify but does it include police forces and the armed forces. Will Sniffer be giving up the Beast, does this mean he has his eye on a Tesla?
My last story tonight is about “Bandit” a pet ferret from Yorkshire. It seems the ferret climbed it the washing machine and went through a complete 100-minute wash cycle. Fortunately for him, it was a cold wash, I doubt he would have survived a very hot wash cycle. When his owners opened the door they found a very bedraggled cold pet struggling to breathe. He was rushed to the vet where he was found to have a collapsed lung and bad bruising. He had air drawn off his chest allowing the lung to re-inflate, was put on a heat mat and in an oxygen tent to recover. After a few days, he had recovered and went home back to his brother, Mickey, who was said to have been moping without him.
Once again a big story breaks after I have retired to my cat basket for the night. I shall have to think about going to bed later. Well, last night it was the EU climbing down over the decision to invoke Article 16. It was good to see the EU manage to unite the Tories, Labour, the DUP, Sinn Fein, the UUP and even the Teashop in their opposition to the EU. The answer seems to be that the EU knows they have messed up, they have wasted so much time trying to drive down the price of vaccine and ordering on a political basis rather than a practical basis that they have been seen to have mucked up. The EU are lashing out at anyone and everyone to try to hide their own incompetence and just making themselves look stupid and untrustworthy.
The London Resort Company is slowly getting nearer building a huge theme park in Kent. It has received planning permission from the local authorities and it has now passed to Planning Inspectorate for final approval. The whole project has been called a £3.5 Billion “British Disneyland”. The whole site would be split into six lands. They will consist of The Studios (inspired by Hollywood), The Woods (a fairytale realm), The Kingdom (full of swords and dragons), The Isles (mythical sea creatures), The Jungle (ancient ruins) and The Starport (a futuristic sci-fi zone). There are planned to be at least 6 rollercoasters and a range of artificial mountain. The owners are aiming to have the 827 site open by 2024.
The greens are still moaning about the Government not calling in the local government decision to grant planning permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria. The mine currently has a license to operate until 2049 and will produce coking coal. The coke is to be used in the domestic production of steel and for export. Without a domestic supply of coke, it would all be imported and this would be even worse for emissions. The Greens really do not think these things through.
If yours truly, Larry the Cat, was to write on Facebook or Twitter that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine didn’t work I would probably be banned or all my posts would have those big blue stickers put on them. But President Macaroon can get away telling everyone that this is the case. Well, I had to laugh today when the third vaccine approved by the EU, Moderna, today announced that they are also cutting supplies because they are needed in the US. Let’s see the EU try bullying the USA.
I was delighted to read that Whinge is going to stay in California with baby Archie when Ginge makes a home visit in the Summer. This will be his first return to visit his family since Megxit. Because of the current travel situation over Covid no actual date has been fixed yet. According to a spokesman, this is not a snub by Whinge but to avoid any “diplomatic embarrassments”. The person I feel sorry for is the Queen who is not being able to see her great-grandson.
I was just thinking about my evening meal when I overhead Bozzie having a phone conversation with Liz Truss. They were talking about the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, and applying to join it on Monday. It is a free trade block, what the European Union started out as before it got all political. The 11 members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam and we already have agreements with most of them. However, joining the CPTPP would mean improving many of the agreements as many are simple continuation agreements rolled over from the EU deals. When the block was set up in 2018 the US was considering joining but in the end, the GKP decided not to. Sniffer, however, has talked about joining up with the block where 95% of trade is free of tariffs and duties, countries are still allowed to protect some homegrown products such as Japanese rice and Canadian dairy produce. The CPTPP is what the EU should have been, a free trade agreement covering 500 million people and 13% of world trade and will grow even more important when we and the US join.
Now I really can go and see if my Felix is in my bowl yet and if it isn’t, kick it around the kitchen a bit to make some noise and remind my slaves what time it is. Back with you all on Monday.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file