Another Monday and back to work for this cat. Nice and peaceful as loads of people have gone to Manchester which I understand is ‘Oop North’ and has petrol. Perhaps Bozzie could make himself useful and fill up a few jerry cans and bring them back to London? It was nice and sunny early, so I wandered down the garden to chase off the bushy-tailed tree rat who has started coming into the garden. I blame the Little Otter as she has started putting out food for the ‘little dicky birds’ for the Brat to see ‘how pretty’ they are! Anyway, I just got to the bottom of the garden and the heavens opened. Thank goodness the gardener’s shed was open.
The Insult Britain mob were out again this morning blocking roads. I was delighted to see the public taking matters into their own hands and dragging them out of the road. It was none too gentle either, just grab their tabards, heave them to the hard shoulder and dump them in a heap. I must say I approve, but I suspect this was all before the police arrived to ask the protesters if they were OK and would they like a cup of tea before being moved. Still, they got the road open quicker than the police have ever done.
Are Rolls Royce about to land orders for their Small Modular Reactors? I hear the green investment fund IP3 thinks that RR have raised the £210 million in private funding they were looking for and will announce so in the next couple of days. The Government have promised to match the funding with another £210 million when they get there. The £420 million will let RR start off the program. Now I hear that the Government would then place orders for 3 or possibly 5 SMRs to help supply our baseload electricity. That will put RR in pole position to land a number of export orders from countries that see SMR’s as the way to go but don’t have their own nuclear industries. I understand that Poland, The Czech Republic, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia and Bulgaria have all been in talks about deals for SMR’s that could be worth billions.
I hear that the American airline United has a little bit of a fleet problem. They currently have 21 Boeing 757-300’s and around 100 x 50 seat jets in their fleet and they would dearly love to replace these old planes. The problem is no one manufactures a suitable replacement. Take the 757-300 for example, it can currently fly 234 passengers 3,000 miles. United would like an aircraft that could carry 270 passengers between 4,000 and 5,000 miles and that doesn’t exist. The nearest any plane comes is the Airbus A321XLR which is intended to fly 4,700 miles but only carries 220 passengers in a 2 class layout. Boeing’s latest offering, the 737Max10, can carry only 200 passengers 3,700 miles so is not at the races. A one-class A321XLR is would add a few more seats but that is about as close as a planned aircraft gets.
I have reported on the quirky little Citroen Ami city before, so today I will stick to telling you that it appears to have lived up to the hype by clocking up 1150 pre-orders just a month after going on offer in the UK. The £6,000 car can be reserved for a £250 deposit, that is refundable, for delivery in the spring. The thing to remember is that the EV only has a 46-mile range so it truly is a city car.
It’s alright for some, I bet that if you broke a tooth you wouldn’t be able to find a dentist to repair it on Sunday. Well, I understand that the Arsenal centre half, Gabriel broke two teeth on Saturday, in a collision with the Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez. The Arsenal man somehow found a dentist who was prepared to work on a Sunday and was proud to display his two repaired front teeth on Instagram. I wonder how much it cost him, not that it would worry a Premier League footballer.
Remoaner idiot Steve Bray has moved on from shouting slogans and playing Ode to Joy, very loudly to annoy people, at last week’s Labour Party conference in Brighton. Today he turned up at a fringe event of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. This time, for some reason, the idiot was dressed as a Soviet General. Unsurprisingly he was slung out to cry’s of ‘Get a Job’. I think the man is a fool and too thick to realise it.
Wow, it was wet overnight, the rain on the window was quite scary and I was on my own. This morning the sun is out but I shall be sticking to the hard surfaces as the grass is super soggy.
I heard Jobby on the radio shouting about how the Government scheme to bring HGV drivers from the EU was a failure because only 27 names had been put forward. Then I hear the BBC saying it was 127 names since Friday. Perhaps the lefties should get their act together. I understand the scheme works by employers nominating people for work visas and that is where the hold up is.
I told you yesterday that Rolls Royce were looking to Eastern Europe for possible sales of their SMRs. Today I hear a follow-up story, that Rolls are in talks with the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft in the US. They and others have big server farms, have to buy-in copious amounts of electricity and are at the whim of the local power company as to whether they get continuous power. They have been exploring having their own private power sources and that is where RR could step in. The market for SMR’s could be enormous.
Still with Rolls Royce but on a different path RR have today announced that they are to be the exclusive engine supplier to Gulfstream for their new G700 and G800 business jets. The new aircraft will be using the new RR Pearl 700 engine which offers 18,250 lbs of thrust, the most powerful business jet engine in the Rolls Royce stable. Rolls Royce engines seem to be on a roll at the moment. What with this new engine, the sale of engines for the B52 and fixing the problems with Trent 1000 that have cursed it. Then there is the SMR news, I suspect there are a lot of smug faces in Derby.
I see that Grunt Shatts is determined to move the head office of Great British Railways, the body that succeeds Network Rail, out of London. He is holding a competition amongst towns and cities that want to host the new company. The names being mentioned at the moment are York, Derby and Warrington. Now I can understand why York and Derby are under consideration, they are famous railway towns but Warrington? Personally, I would add in those other railway towns, Crewe, Swindon and even Southampton. Mind you, although I have never been out of London, I think York looks lovely.
The electricity shortages have been getting serious in China recently. It is mostly self-imposed by the Communist Party leaders who despite relying on coal-fired power stations for the vast majority of their electricity decided to cut off their nose to spite their face and unofficially ban coal imports from Australia. Before the unofficial ban they were importing 50 million tons of Australian thermal coal a year. The party leadership had a political row with Australia and decided to teach them a lesson by telling power stations not to import Australian coal but to use domestic production. The only problem has been that Chinese mines have been incapable of making up the missing tonnage. The result has been nation wide power cuts and shortages. In some places factories have only had power 2 days a week and this has started to hit national productivity and economic growth causing a partial rethink. In the past week or so I hear that nearly 500,000 tons of Australian thermal coal has been unloaded. China has been importing coal from Indonesia to try to fill the gap but this has leapt in price by 75% in the last month. The lure of cheap opencast Australian coal seems to have become irresistible.
A Middlesbrough Primary School has written, what it calls a polite note, to parents asking them not to wear pyjamas and dressing gowns when dropping off children at the gates. The head of Ayresome Primary wrote to parents last week to ask them to consider dressing ‘appropriately’ after a mother delivered a child last week while wearing pyjamas and a teddy bear dressing gown. However on Monday, a number of parents seem to ignore the request and still turned up in their pyjamas and dressing gowns and slippers. Who in there right mind wears sleepwear to take kids to school!?
I understand that this is my last day of peace and quiet, the conference ends today and the humans will be back. The only good thing is that I get to read the papers that Bozzie discards on the floor, so it makes reporting a bit easier.
I see that holiday airline Jet2 ordered 15 more Airbus A321neo aircraft yesterday. This came very quickly after they placed an order for 36 of the same model back in August. Jet2 were a long term Boeing customer who would probably just have ordered more 737s if it had not been for the fiasco of the 737Max design. But my thoughts are what happened between August and now to make Jet2 suddenly increase their order, have market prospects improved that much?
Some shady dealing in the Welsh Parliament last night where the Welsh Senate vote to bring in vaccine passports by one vote 30 to 29. The problem was one Conservative was at the party conference in Manchester and had publicly declared he was going to vote against. However he couldn’t get his zoom connection to work properly so his vote didn’t count. The suspicion is that the problem was deliberately conjured up at the Welsh Parliament end to ensure they won the vote. A 30-30 tie would have meant that the Presiding Officer would have to vote with the opposition and the vote would be lost. I hear tell of legal action.
The Frogs are getting more and more outrageous with their threats over fishing in our waters. Yesterday there threatened to cut off the power interconnection to Jersey because they have not issued enough fishing boat permits. Fortunately, the Channel Islands have enough domestic generating capacity to supply the needs of the islanders. Then today it is the old threat of French fishermen blockading Calais. Well let them get on with it, can divert trade via Belgium, Holland and Spain. We are an independent country, no longer part of the Common Fishing Area, and they don’t seem to be able to get that into their heads.
I had to laugh when I read the Met Office’s latest long term weather forecast. They predict it is steadily getting colder as the month goes on. Well, what a surprise, it’s autumn and winter is coming. They have spent countless millions on supercomputers and then superduper computers and they come up with a prediction I could have made using my tiny cat brain it gets cold in winter. Why do we bother with these idiots?
I read that Openreach, the BT company that delivers the broadband infrastructure has dropped a bollock in Scotland. They have been rolling out fibre to premises in Clackmannanshire and while a family were out visiting a dying family member they nipped into their private garden and erected a distribution pole with asking for permission. Best of all it was erected bang in front of their front room window obscuring their view. The householder Mr Brown wrote to Openreach to complain. It only took 8 weeks for them to answer and then it was just waffle. It took the MSM to get a reasonable reply when Openreach said they appeared to have made a mistake and the pole would be moved. I wonder if they will offer compensation?
Just watched Bozzie on the office TV doing his thing at the party conference. He didn’t say a lot that was new but he did seem to go down pretty well with the delegates. Compared to Stoma’s conference speech this one was brilliant, but that’s not difficult as Stoma is as dull as ditchwater. I can only remember Stoma having one decent joke in his effort, but Bozzie chucked in dozens and he didn’t care at whose expense. The Labour Party and his own front bench, it didn’t matter they were all fair game.
I read that back when the French were proclaiming that the AstraZeneca vaccine was useless, President Macaroon connived with Brussels to divert 5,000,000 doses heading to Britain for their own use. They stopped the export to us and grabbed them for themselves. Not the sort of thing a friend would do, but when has France ever been our friend.
I keep saying it but we are going through a really strange period weather-wise. Yesterday was lovely, a clear blue sky and pleasantly warm. I got in my windowsill snooze in the sun and it was just the temperature I like. It was just like baby bears porridge, not too hot and not too cold. Which reminds me I hope Wilfred gets some new bedtime story books soon!
Poor old Wee Krankie, she got a real touch of reality from the Supreme Court yesterday. The Government took the Scottishland Government to court over two acts they had passed which the British Government claimed exceeded the Scottishland Government’s core competencies. The Supreme Court agreed that the laws were outside the powers of the Scots and were therefore illegal. Well, this gives Wee Krankie big problems, she now has two laws that are inoperable and need to be re-enacted or dropped. But that is the least of her worries, as it has now been confirmed that if she passes legislation in the Scottishland Parliament for another Independence Referendum, without Westminster’s agreement, it will be illegal. That makes life very difficult for her.
Further news from Scottishland. Greenpiss have lost a court case in the Scottishland High Court where they claimed that the issuing of a permit to drill for oil on the Vorlich site off Aberdeen was illegal was today tossed out. Greenpiss claimed the permit had not been legal because of failures of the public consultation process to consider the effects of burning fossil fuels. If Greenpiss had succeeded then production on the site would have had to stop causing massive problems for BP who have invested some £230 million in the project.
I have been reading an article about the new Elizabeth Line prior to its opening. It seems that in several cases the designers have been a little bit artful and located the new station so that it can serve more than one point. A bit like the new Blackfriars Thameslink Station being located on Blackfriars Bridge so that the north end of the platforms connect to the north bank of the Thames and Blackfriars tube station and the south end connects to the Southbank of the river and the Tate Modern. I read that the new Elizabeth line Farringdon station has been constructed such that one end of the platforms connects to Farringdon Thameslink and Tube complex and the other end links to Barbican. The fact that Farringdon and Barbican tube stations are pretty close together and that the 12 car Elizabeth Line platforms are longer than the 8 car tube platforms makes this possible.
This morning Sky launched their new product Sky Glass. It is basically what has been leaked over the past couple of weeks, a range of 3 sizes of TV set 43”, 55” and 65”. The the sets are all available in a range of 5 colours (ocean blue, ceramic white, racing green, dusky pink, anthracite black). The sets can be bought outright for £649, £845 or £1049 for the 3 sizes but there is an option to pay for them monthly just like your mobile phone. The sets have a built-in Sky TV tuner that gets its signal over broadband so it’s goodbye to needing a dish and a set-top box. The box offers all the features of Sky Q such as Sky TV Channels, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Disney+, ITV Hub, All4, Spotify, Peloton, Amazon, PlayWorks (with Peacock and Paramount+ to follow), some at extra cost. In addition, there is built-in DolbyAtmos Sound, HDR and 4K. You can also turn it on by saying ‘Hello Sky’. Early next year a 4K smart camara will become available which will allow things like video calling to other users and interactive games. Sky say this is the first territory Sky Glass is to launch in but others are to follow. It will only be sold and installed by Sky who say an engineer will set it up for a customer in around 10 minutes. I think this will signal the end of satellite TV.
British Airways have come to an agreement with aircrew based at Gatwick for their new low-cost airline. BA claim that their Gatwick operation has been losing money and took the opportunity of Covid to close down most of its flights out of Gatwick transferring operations to Heathrow. They then proposed creating a low-cost airline at Gatwick using the existing staff and aircraft. There was a vote by staff and the proposal was rejected and BA said they would close down their Gatwick operations. However negotiations continued and I understand BA improved the offer, but only slightly, but enough to pass another vote. Not much is known about the proposed airline but BA say it will be full service and undistinguishable by passengers. So the saving will have to come from aircrew and maintenance workers.
It seems that President Macaroon has not just upset the UK over his fishing rights demands and threats to cut off power supplies and block exports. He has also upset Brussels. I hear that EU officials have told him to back down as negotiations with the UK are EU responsibility. I wonder if he will take any notice?
It is still a bit grey and grotty in Westminster this morning despite the TV weather girl saying it was going to be warm and sunny. There is even a bit of drizzle in the air and it looks like I will be having to combine my chair testing duties with my afternoon snooze.
A bit more good news from Rolls Royce today. Their engine has been chosen by Bell for its V-280 Valour, its aircraft in the two-horse race to produce the replacement for the Blackhawk helicopter. The Valour is a tilt rotor, a bit like the V-22 Osprey, but in this case only the propeller moves. The fact that the engine stays static makes it cheaper and more easily maintained. Bell originally flew the prototype of the V-280 employing the General Electric T64 but has said they are swapping to the more powerful RR AE1107F engine. The GE engine is rated at 5,000 shaft Horsepower while the RR engine is rated at 7,000 shaft horsepower.
I hear that a halifax police officer is in trouble for taking two 50p packs of Jaffa cakes from the police station’s ‘Tuck Shop’. It is said that he only put 10p into the honesty box. If found guilty of misconduct, PC Chris Dwyer could be given either verbal or written warnings, suspended, demoted, transferred or dismissed. Sound a bit harsh for a few Jaffa Cakes.
Rejoice folks, Andy Murray’s marriage has been saved. Yesterday he posted on Instagram saying that his training shoes had been stolen and his wedding ring was tied to their laces. If the ring wasn’t found he worried that his wife would divorce him. It seems that when he trains he ties his wedding ring to his shoes so as not to lose it. But his shoes were all sweaty, so not having a balcony to his hotel room, he left them under his car overnight to dry forgetting he had tied his wedding ring to them. In the morning he found that they had been stolen, hence the Instagram message. Today’s news is that both his shoes and ring have been returned. He thinks that someone had a change of heart, I think they couldn’t find a market for a pair of offensive stinky old trainers.
There are rumours going around that the petrol shortages were caused by the switch from E5 petrol to E10. The suggestion is that garages ran down on E5 so that they could refill the tanks with E10 and got caught out when a rush of customers purchased the remainder of the E5 before it could be replaced with E10. Now I don’t know if it is true but it is a good story.
Being a weekday Insult Britain were out again blocking roads. I hear the one at the Old Street roundabout was dealt with pretty quickly by the boys in blue. They turned up mob-handed and everything was back to the normal London traffic chaos in under an hour. Is the Met getting better at dealing with this group of eco-terrorists or was it because the incident was in central London that 60 officers turned up so quickly? Well, I don’t expect to see them out for the next two days, they never seem to do anything at weekends. Perhaps they are all down the pub?
I was sorry to read that the MP James Brokenshire died from lung cancer last night. He was one of those nice gentle people who always had time to stop and speak to me and give me a tickle under the chin. I reckon I am a pretty good judge of people and I liked him he was one of the good guys. RIP.
At least it’s sunny this morning, but I still woke up with cold paws. Over my breakfast Felix I was delighted to hear the Little Otter moaning about the flat being cold and telling Bozzie to get on to the works department to get the building’s heating on. I’m all for that, the Little Otter has just rearranged the kitchen and my cat basket is now located over where the radiator pipes run under the floor. I will have a centrally heated cat basket this winter!
The row between Poland and the EU is coming along nicely. The EU are obviously annoyed that the Poles don’t want to play by their petty rules and last night the French and German foreign ministers rebuked them saying that EU membership depended on “complete and unconditional adherence to common values and rules” and this was “not simply a moral commitment. It is also a legal commitment”. However, the Polish courts say that EU rules can’t override the Polish constitution. I love it, the EU just don’t understand how arrogant they are. Are the Poles going to join us in leaving the EU?
I hear that Sniffer Jo told a meeting of construction workers a story about how he phoned a hospital to ask why a friends wife couldn’t get into the emergency room despite having a high temperature and breathing problems. Apparently, it was “backed up” due to Covid and Sniffer’s spokeswoman, Jen Paski, claimed the story was all about him trying to show how how the unvaccinated were causing problems taking up beds in hospitals. However much of the media didn’t believe Paski and asked her how often Sniffer used his position to help his friends queue jump? Apparently Paski didn’t like this and was even more annoyed when asked how much the US Government policy of sacking unvaccinated health workers had affected the situation.
I have told you in the past of Chinese electric power shortages, leading to power cuts and production problems. Today I have heard a new theory behind its cause. It seems that the cost of electricity in China is tightly regulated and the generators are restricted in the price they can sell it to the distributors. Now some 80% of Chinese electricity comes from coal-fired Power stations and the cost of coal is not regulated. In recent months the cost of coal has risen to a point at which the cost of generation exceeds the price it can be sold for. Consequently, many coal stations have failed to order fresh coal supplies and claim they have just run out while other stations have mysteriously gone down with “technical problems” saving them from losing money. Of course, China’s row with Australia and cutting contracted coal imports from them hasn’t helped because the replacement Indonesian coal has had to be purchased at world prices. The answer of course is to increase cheap domestic coal production and put up the price of electricity. The first is in hand with pleas to miners to increase productivity, we shall have to see if they dare put up electricity prices.
I see Sky Sports News were in the right place at the right time yesterday. They were reporting live on air from the national stadium in Andorra giving the latest team news when the reporter spotted a fire at the other side of the pitch. I must admit he didn’t have to be very alert to notice the fire. There were big flames, clouds of black smoke and loud bangs as things exploded. People were standing around watching but making no attempt to put it out. The fire seems to have started in electrical equipment below the state broadcaster’s TV gantry. The stadium is tiny, I have seen bigger in the English National League and surrounded by blocks of flats. As the fire raged a woman appeared on one of the flat’s balconies to rescue her washing from the smoke!
Today is the official opening of the Tesla Gigafactory in Germany. The company are holding a giga fest to which thousands of people have been invited to see, and hopefully order, Tesla models. There is only one problem, production is yet to start at the factory, six months behind schedule, which is mostly due to the protests of greens tieing the project up in German red tape. This has led to the ludicrous situation where all the cars on display are imports coming from the US or China. I have said it before but if Elon Musk had built the factory in the UK he would have been in production six months ago.
I read that more injunctions have been granted against Insult Britain following their action at Old Street and the M25 yesterday. They are now banned from taking actions at Hanger Lane, Vauxhall Bridge, the Hammersmith gyratory system and Blackwall Tunnel, where they tried to cause problems last week. Other places they are banned include Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Park Lane including Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner, Elephant and Castle including all entry and exit roads, the Victoria one-way system, the A501 ring road from Edgware Road to Old Street, Staples Corner, Chiswick roundabout, Redbridge roundabout and the Kidbrooke interchange. Of course, the M25 and its junctions have been banned for some time but they don’t seem to care and ignore the ban regularly. I wonder when the courts will start locking them up.
That’s another week finished, I’m not sure whether it going to be a comfy chair or my basket for this afternoon’s snooze. Chat to you all on Monday.
© WorthingGooner 2021