Good morning merry readers. Well, at least it is dry now after a horribly wet day yesterday. Well, it looks like Rich Richie is going to be living here as Bozzie has announced he is not standing and that Penny isn’t going to get enough votes to stand. After my morning Felix I decided to take a look out in the street as there are loads of media people out there waiting for the coronation of Rich Richie. Well, there was a bloody great police dog out there. I thought those things were supposed to be trained. All I can say is that it is a good job he was on a lead, or I would have had him. A good scratched nose and he would know who the boss was. Anyway, back to Rich Richie, I hope he doesn’t start stinking the kitchen out with curry, I have to sleep there.
Bond Street station on the Elizabeth Line finally opened this morning only 5 months late and £500 million over budget. Another one of those public works disasters. Problems with the station were first identified in 2014 and the contractor who was building the station was chucked out in 2019. The problem seems to have been related to all the underground installations already in the area, two tube lines already run through the station, plus the sewers, water mains, gas mains, communications cables and much more. The route of the actual twin bore train tunnels was OK but it was everything else, where the problems arose, the ventilation shafts, and the interconnection with the other lines that caused the hassle. Well, I hope the 140,000 passengers who are expected to use it daily enjoy using it.
I hear that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund is in talks with Airbus over a huge new order. The wealth fund is looking at setting up a new international airline and intends to order 80+ aircraft split roughly 50/50 between a large wide-body twin-aisle and narrow-body single-aisle planes. As I hear it the wide-body is going to be the A350 with a 40-plus order. The single-aisle order is still up in the air and could be either Airbus A320 family or Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Or course the big Airbus A320 and A321neos are available right now while there are still big questions over the 737Max10 ever proceeding. An order for 40 Max10s could push Boeing into finally cutting metal on the plane. But it will not be available for a few years yet.
In Japan, Warner Brothers Studios are opening a new ‘Harry Potter’ theme park near Tokyo. The two railway stations that serve it are to be converted into appropriate stations. One is to be made into a ‘Hogsmeade’ look alike while the other is to be made to look like the fictional Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross. You have to hand it to the Japanese they know how to do things properly. I understand the Harry Potter studio tour near London is pretty good but the nearby stations are nothing special.
More environmental protestors making a fuss today. In Germany they chucked mash potato at a very expensive painting then stuck their hands to the wall. While in Madam Tussauds in London two protesters hurled custard pies into the face of King Charles III’s waxwork before being arrested. I also hear of protesters who glued themselves down and then asked for bowls to relieve themselves into and complaining when they come they’d had to do it in their pants. I suggest we all arm ourselves with custard pie, mash potato and tomato soup to throw at the next lot who glue themselves in the road.
So Matt HandonCock suffered an injury when out paintballing at the weekend. I understand that a member of the opposite team shot him in the nuts. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer man. While on the subject of paintballing, I see some of the recent Russian conscripts are complaining that they have been issued with paintball masks and children’s gloves. Does PooTin think the war in Ukraine is between teams of paintballers?
I popped into the office to see who was the next human I am going to school in ‘the ways of Larry’ and to teach who is the real boss in No 10. Well it was all a bit of an anti-climax with Penny withdrawing at the last moment. So now the Tory MPs have got what they always wanted and what the Rich Boy had been planning for months before he resigned and set all this kerfuffle off. I think the people of the U.K. want a lot of things that none of the big parties are offering, an end to Net Zero and what the DC called the green crap, an end to illegal immigrants, fracking, small modular reactors and lower mortgages. Bet he is not behind that little lot, all I can see is higher taxes.
Another intriguing day in Downing Street breaks! Mary Elizabeth is out and the Rich Boy is in, visits to the king, speeches in the middle of the road, crowds of media, and possibly cabinet announcements. The Hunt in Number 11 looks to be staying, but who else the Rich Boy gives a post to is anyone’s guess. I shall definitely try to be around when the speeches are made, but ‘they’ normally lock me indoors as if I was there I would get all the attention! It’s not going to be hard for ME to move out of No.10 as she has hardly moved any personal belongings in, I reckon she could put it all in a little white van and have lots of space to spare.
I was delighted to hear that a medical professor at Oxford University yesterday said that the Covid of 2 years ago is dead. The point he was making is that all the people who projected an autumn ‘wave’ with loads more cases and deaths were wrong and there is no need to return to mask wearing and lockdowns. The number of cases went up a bit in September, but that increase has already slowed right down and Covid hospital admissions are actually falling. I predict that the people who want to moan about everything will move on to muttering about flu and its pressure on the NHS.
The BBC have decided to suspend Martine Croxell for her on-air comments and clear joy when Bozzie decided not to stand. The BBC is supposed to put an unbiased political view out to the public and that is made clear in all their employment contracts. This was a clear breach of those rules and I wonder if she will suffer a long suspension like Beff Rugby or be sacked. I am sure if she is sacked there will be a position made available to her on Channel 4 or Channel 5. But why is it that the BBC presenters feel they can keep coming out with woke, leftie views?
Earth-shattering news this morning, there is a worldwide problem with WhatsApp and it went down around eight this morning. Well I only learned about it when I heard it on the news on the office TV. I wonder if the world can survive?
I hear that there is a call this morning to throw Iran out of this December’s World Cup. The group doing so believe that Iran’s recent treatment of women has got much worse and the religious rulers are doing awful things to women who do not wish to be forced to cover their hair and faces by a 40% minority national religion. Iran has also been supporting Russia in its war in Ukraine by supping them with arms and equipment. The group suggests that Iran should be replaced by Ukraine, which has gone done well in some quarters. I doubt FIFA will do anything, they normally stick their fingers in their ears, close their eyes and sing ‘La la la’ when confronted with anything awkward.
I doubt you will hear it from many other sources, most don’t like good news, but the price of natural gas on the European market fell by 20% yesterday. For the first time since Russia cut off supplies, the price dipped under €100/Mw Hr., dropping as low as €93.35/Mw Hr. European gas storage facilities are now full and so far this Autumn has been warm if wet, which has helped the price fall by 70% since August. I wonder if this will be reflected in the predictions of another huge hike in gas bills in January? I doubt if the gas suppliers in the U.K. will easily give up the chance of making huge profits.
So the Rich Boy has arrived in Downing Street and loads of people queued up in the Lobby to welcome him. Not me, I played it cool and pretended to sleep in a chair in the corner. I will be my usual generous self and give him an opportunity to prove himself and that means talking to me, stroking me, keeping plenty of Felix in stock, feeding me on time and not cooking curry in the kitchen.
I wonder what is going to happen today? Yesterday was absolutely mad, first-off Mary Elizabeth had her final cabinet meeting. Then she whizzed off to see King Jug Ears. I will say I liked her daughters, they played with me and petted me. Then the Rich Boy arrived and made a speech in the street from a special small lectern which made him look bigger! Finally, we had loads of people coming and going as the new cabinet was appointed. I was sorry to see Moggy go, but I bet he will be back. Today we are having a cabinet meeting this morning before PMQs, I think I going to watch from the office, I might even get some Dreamies from my friend.
I heard on the radio that Ford has this morning announced that it is no longer going to accept orders for Fiesta and Focus models. But this is not quite the case. It seems you can still buy one but it will be as in the catalogue and without any factory add-ons. The problem seems to be that the Ford plant at Saarlouis in Germany is months behind with orders and an order placed yesterday will be delivered in the spring of next year. Production at the factory is down by about 80,000 this year which is blamed on Covid, a shortage of microchips and subcontractor problems.
I understand that there are new battery-electric buses on the 132 route in south London. The route is not very long but the buses can’t operate on it all day on their overnight charge in the garage. So the interim answer to for them to pop in to Greenwich bus garage and get a 10-minute top-up charge. The current method is to use a WiFi charger on an arm above the bus connecting to a pick-up on the bus’s roof. However, I hear the aim is to put one of these chargers at either end of the 12-mile route and top up the buses multiple times a day. Why not go the whole hog and install trolleybuses!
Back in June of last year a glass panel fell out of the roof of Canning Town bus station narrowly missing a bystander. It has taken 15 months but finally TfL has decided that it has to replace the roof as there is no knowing if another panel is going to fall down. Scaffolding has been put up to protect people in case another panel were to fall and a contractor has been appointed to devise a new scheme, but TfL say it will probably need new planning permission. I bet they blame the time they have taken on Covid and not their own incompetence.
I got down to the office just before noon to watch the Rich Boy v Sir Beer Korma part 1. I think Sir Beer tried to lull him into a false sense of security by being nice to him at first, then started on the snide questions. I was delighted to see the Rich Boy was having none of it and hit back some nice putdowns. I reckon it was first round to the Rich Boy and I got some Cat Treats so that was pretty good. Round two is next Wednesday.
Now that the Elizabeth Line is up and running TfL have changed their focus to new trains for existing lines. The first to get new train sets will be the DLR which should get 54 new trains next year. These will be walkthrough units which seem to be very popular as they make a lot more standing space and are currently being built in Spain. The next line will be the Piccadilly Line and once again they will be walkthrough. The first half of the order is already being built by Siemens in Austria and the second half of the order will be built in Siemens’s new factory in Goole, Yorkshire. These trains should enter service in 2025.
I was delighted to see that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal has thrown out the appeals against the deportation of two Pakistani members of the Rochdale grooming gang. They were found guilty and sentenced to be deported once released from custody. However, they denounced their Pakistani nationality in an attempt to stay in the country. We must be better off without these animals in the country.
When I went for my constitutional it was surprisingly mild outside, but it had been raining and everything was soaking. However, the sun seems to be coming out. I hear that the Labour Party are on one of their favourite hobby horses this morning, moaning about the number of cabinet members who were privately educated. One person who they couldn’t say that about is the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, who went to a state high school before university. So they moan she has a Rolex watch. Maybe she bought it for £3 in Bangkok!
So far this year 38,000 people have come across the channel from France. Putting them in hotels, feeding them, clothing them and giving them ‘pocket money’ costs £7,000,000 a day! Yesterday a senior policeman giving evidence before a parliamentary committee said that 12,000 of them were young Albanian adult males. That is between one and two percent of the Albanian adult male population! I can’t believe, as some of these do-gooders say, that they are nearly all fleeing persecution, torture and war.
Why can’t radio presenters report a news story without twisting it to suit their own ends? This morning Shell announced their 3rd quarter profit numbers and the man on the radio said that they had made a record profit of over £8 billion. Then someone said actually they made £10 billion in the second quarter. So what happened next? It was changed to ‘they made more money than in the same quarter last year. Last have a windfall tax’. What they don’t say is that this time last year there was no war in Ukraine and oil and gas prices hadn’t rocketed!
I see an interesting article in the Eurasian Times that claims Russia has lost about 25% of its fleet of Ka-52 helicopters in the conflict in Ukraine. I have no way of knowing if this is right or wrong, however, the Russians wouldn’t admit it if it is true. Probably some spy somewhere knows the real numbers but we’ll never hear from them. The Ka-52 has always intrigued me because, unlike most helicopters, it doesn’t have a tail rotor to stop it spinning round and round. Instead it has two contra-rotating main sets of blades which offset the torque and make the tail rotor unnecessary. Of course this means a highly complex gearbox and maybe this makes them vulnerable. The majority of the 23 confirmed Ka-52 losses, from the Russian fleet of 90, are said to be to man-portable missiles.
The 21-year-old woman who poured a bucket of human faeces over the statue of Sir Captain Tom Moore has basically got away with it. She was found guilty a while ago but has now been sentenced to 21 weeks in prison, but it has been suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to pay £200 in compensation, £85 in costs and a £154 victim surcharge, which I am sure XR, or whoever she is a member of, will pay for her. Most of these extremists are repeat offenders, so I fully expect her to do something else before the 18 months is up and land up getting the sentence imposed.
It looks like Apple are going to bow to the EU and install USB-C charger ports on its products sold in the EU starting with next year’s models, a full year before the EU law comes into force. Whether or not Apple will supply the USB-C ported phone in the whole of Europe or just to the EU countries is not yet known. I somehow suspect that Apple will continue with the lightning port for the rest of the world as it has huge advantages to them in keeping it and its unique range of peripherals from which it makes a lot of money. This will give them an excuse to put up European prices based on a smaller production run.
A vet has gone on TikTok advising people not to buy four breeds of cat. Firstly he names the Bengal cat and says it is still half-wild and not suitable for most homes. Second comes the Sphinx cat which is hairless and pug ugly. The third cat he said not to buy is the Scottish Fold cat, not because it is untameable or ugly but because it has a genetic fault which makes it have joint problems. Finally, he names the Persian cat, who has been bred to have a flat face and consequently suffers from breathing problems. You know what to do, get a good old Moggy like me!
Much like yesterday, it has been wet overnight but the sun is out now. The Rich Boy keeps popping in but doesn’t seem to want to sleep here yet. Anyway, as I have said before, I am quite happy on my own just so long as someone comes and fills my bowls with Felix and water.
The first coins with the head of King Jug Ears are currently being minted. The first coin to be released will be a 50p piece and Jug Ears will be facing left as traditionally successive monarchs face in opposite directions. In another tradition, Jug Ears will not be wearing a crown, apparently female monarchs do and male monarchs don’t. The mint will stop making any coins with the Queen’s head on at the end of this year, but they will remain official tender. In fact it would be a bit difficult if they weren’t, as it is reckoned there are 27 billion coins with the Queen’s head on in circulation and the Mint can only make 20,000 coins an hour.
So the on, off, then back-on-again purchase of Twitter has finally ended with Elon Musk buying the platform. Musk has already sacked several of the Twitter top executives and is moving his own people in. He also says that he wants to turn the platform into being less woke and to stop banning people for life. This could mean President Trump being asked back. However, Trump has set up his own platform so he might not be interested in returning.
I hear that TfL has just admitted that there is a problem with their electronic payment system. It works OK with an Oyster Card or with a paper ticket like a combined Network Rail and travel card but it has a problem when people use a debit or credit card, a phone or an Apple Watch. If you click in and out, on the Underground, DLR or the Elizabeth Line with different electronic items, say an iPhone to get in the Underground and an Apple Watch to get out you will probably be charged for two journeys. This is because, despite the two items using the same bank account, are seen by the system as different people. TfL say they are working on it but currently advise everyone to check in and out using the same device.
Tata the huge Indian company has come to an agreement with Airbus to manufacture aircraft for the Indian Airforce in the state of Gujarat. Until now the only military aircraft builder in India has been state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics and India has recently acquired the majority of its aircraft from Russia. However, it has found that many of the MIGs and Sukhoi planes are not a match for western aircraft and has purchased French Rafales. It has also ordered 56 C295 military transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and while the first 16 will be built and supplied from outside India the final 40 will be made in India by the joint venture.
Centrica has reopened its ‘Rough’ natural gas storage facility. However, at the moment it is only 20% of its full capacity. But even at that small amount it has already added 50% to Britain’s storage capacity. From what I read Centrica are not considering making more capacity available for natural gas, but would like to turn it into hydrogen storage.
Back in July IAG the company that owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and British Airways placed a provisional order for an additional 37 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The order was only provisional because it needed full approval from the IAG board. Yesterday the approval was granted and IAG have now ordered 56 x A320neo aircraft this year. They have also got options on a further 50 x A320neo. IAG had previously placed an order for 200 Airbus A320s but many of these have been upgraded to neo specification. Some of the planes could be upgraded to A321neo specification later. IAG will now have one of the world’s biggest A320 fleets.
Not as bright this morning, no sun just clouds but no rain. The lefty media seems to have decided that the line of attack is going to be Suella and the likes of The Guardian and the Independent demand her replacement while the right wing press love her. Why do the lefties hate her so much? I think it is because she represents a threat to ideology, particularly her views on cross-channel migrants. I think that now he’s appointed her, the Rich Boy can’t afford to sack her as it would be the thin edge of the wedge to him going the same way as his predecessor.
This morning I read that the U.K. MoD have said that they think the Russians are preparing to retreat from the city of Kherson. They report that Russia is stripping the city hospitals of hospital equipment and ambulances. Also says that the Russian appointed governor to the region has said that the remains of the 18th-century Russian statesman Prince Grigory Potemkin had been removed from Kherson cathedral and moved to a location east of the Dnipro river. Potemkin is associated with the historic Russian conquest of the land that is now Ukraine. I guess the SIS have got inside information!
The RAF has put its entire fleet of 16 C130J Hercules transport aircraft up for sale next year. Originally they were supposed to continue in service until 2030, but the MoD had a change of heart in a command paper published back in March. In the sales brochure the MoD have published they say that the RAF fleet of A400M, C17 Globemasters and Voyager transport aircraft now offers more capacity than the C130s and consequently they can be let go. It seems a bit strange to me as other nations are still buying them new.
Another week where the predictions of a massive autumn Covid surge has proved to be total rubbish. For the second week running Covid numbers across the U.K. have been unchanged, but hospital admissions have fallen. Of course, the authorities say it’s all down to people getting an autumn booster, but I can’t see that, as only 10 million of the 28 million people eligible have had one. I suspect it’s more likely so many people have now had it they have natural immunity.
Navy patrol ship HMS Medway has intercepted a boat smuggling drugs off the coast of the Dominican Republic. The boarding party seized 400 kgs of cocaine worth £24 million and arrested 3 people. They then set the smuggler’s boat alight saying it will stop it ever being used again. I like that, but why don’t we do the same thing with the people smuggler’s boats in the channel?
The works at Bank station continue to open in phases. A few months ago it was the new southbound Northern Line platform. Then a few weeks ago it was new escalators linking the Northern Line and the DLR. Yesterday it was a new travelator linking the Northern Line/DLR with the Central Line. The travelator wasn’t initially part of the Bank station development plan but the contractor building the new tunnel for the southbound Northern Line suggested it. The southbound platform is now much further away from the northbound platform and this gives room for the installation of a new straight tunnel and a small escalator replacing a spiral staircase, a long narrow tunnel and another staircase. The new wide tunnel has a travelator on each side with a wide static walkway between them.
I see the Rich Boy’s wife, who is a very Rich Girl, has just become even richer. She is said to already be worth £618 million and has just had the half-year dividend from daddy’s company, Infosys, to add to it. She only holds 0.9% of the company’s shares, but that amounts to some 39 million shares. With Thursday’s dividend of 16.5 Rupees a share she is now £6.8 million pounds richer. Mind you, I reckon she is worth a lot more than that, the £618 million is only the value of her holding in Infosys. It takes no account of the £12 million she got in dividends last year, or previous years’ dividends, surely she can’t spend £12 million in a year.
Right, I’m done for another week. I just had a look outside and it’s still grey but warm in Downing Street, so it looks like I can risk heading to my favourite window sill for my afternoon snooze. I wonder who is going to be on cat feeder duty this evening, I never know who it is going to be these days. I’ll chat with you again next week.
© WorthingGooner 2022