Larry’s Diary – Week One Hundred And Eighty Eight


Good morning everyone and a happy bank holiday to you all. It was a bit overcast when I went out first thing, but the sun is peeping through now. But it’s a bank holiday and it always rains on a bank holiday. They were two things I enjoyed at the Coronation. Penny Mordant holding that sword up for all that time. Apparently, she had been doing loads of ‘press ups’ to strengthen her arm, and all those soldiers, sailors and airmen giving ‘three cheers for the king’, gosh it was loud and well coordinated.

I see Prince Ginger did finally turn up for the Coronation. I understand he demeaned himself and flew commercially on American Airlines, who are renowned for having the oldest flight attendants in the business. I bet he was in first class not amongst the plebs in economy. He walked into the Abbey with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who are said to be some of the only Royals he still gets on with. I had to laugh when I saw he was sat behind Princess Anne, with the other minor royals, and had his view obscured by the plume on her hat. Then he didn’t even stay for the procession back to the palace, and for lunch with the family, which the palace made the point of saying he was invited to, instead leaping in a car to be taken straight back to the airport and flew BA back to LA. He really is an obnoxious little shit.

I hear that the MSC Seaside had just had one of the worst health and safety scores in the history of cruising. Ships using US ports are regularly checked by the US authorities who are renowned for being petty. But ships can and do score 100 out of 100 and can rightly boast about it. Just how bad was MSC Seaside, well it’s scored 67 out of 100 the lowest score ever by a major cruise line. Only three ships have ever scored lower and they were all from tiny lines you will never have heard of. I bet you MSC won’t be boasting about this ship’s results.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
I’m not going on this ship for my holidays.
MSC Seaside 01 (cropped),
Dickelbers/a> –
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Labour appears to have started sucking up to the big banks by appointing an HSBC senior policy adviser as an adviser to Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary. What is interesting is that because it is considered a gift in kind to the party and not Reynolds personally it is not declared on the Register of Interests. HSBC is often criticised for its close links with China and doing their bidding. They are also being criticised by the Labour far Left in the form of Momentum for simply talking to a big bank. I had nearly forgotten that Momentum still existed.

A contestant on the ITV quiz show The 1%, won £100,000 but over a year later still hasn’t been paid out. It seems that all contestants in ITV game shows must sign up to a set of conditions that includes one that says they will not be paid out until several weeks after the show is broadcast. That is precisely what has happened here, ITV have kept the series in the can for over a year and the show on which the man won has only just been broadcast so he could yet be waiting weeks. The worst part is that the contract also barred him from telling even his close family that he had won.

If you were out and about in Westminster on Saturday evening you might have caught the magnificent sight of our armed forces marching past the Houses of Parliament and over Westminster Bridge to catch their special trains from Waterloo. The various regiments, still in full ceremonial dress, marched behind their bands playing marching music. As with everything associated with the Coronation it was all organised perfectly with the various groups spread out to minimise congestion at Waterloo. Our armed forces had been drilled to perfection, whether it was the Guards, the Marines, the sailors, the Ghurkhas or the RAF Regiment, but there was one group of random Commonwealth soldiers who noticeably looked like they had never marched before. I saw one fat man in what looked like General de Gaulle’s hat, whose feet obviously hurt!

Where Larry leads The Sun follows. In today’s edition they have caught up with the story I brought you a few weeks ago about Belfast’s Casement Park development. The £77.5 million development of the weed-filled stadium was granted planning approval last summer, but work is still to start on the stadium. I understand the work must begin by 2024 under the rules of the bid, but they still haven’t raised the money. I wonder if someone at The Sun reads my diary on a Sunday!


Morning all, didn’t it rain last night, I see we have big puddles on the grass this morning. More rain is forecast today so I think I will be patrolling inside today. How odd that the police have apologised to ‘republic’ supporters arrested at the coronation and said no further action will be taken. I suppose the Met did what they intended and stopped them protesting at the time.

I know it sounds stupid but someone in the USA has been doing research into accidents to people out dog walking. I didn’t realise that so many people got hurt that way, apparently there are hundreds of thousands hurt a year. If I had guessed at the most common cause of dog walking injury, I would have said either tripping over the mutt or over the mutt’s lead. But I would have been wrong the most common injury is fractured fingers caused by jerking or pulling on the lead with sprained or dislocated shoulders second. The research also showed that people who used those long retractable leads suffered more injuries. Now I have the answer to all those people’s problems, dump the dog and get a cat, we don’t need to be walked on a lead, and even if you were stupid enough to try we are not big enough to break your fingers.

Word reaches me that RyanAir is very likely to be going to order over 200 Boeing 737Max10 aircraft. This comes after an ongoing row between Boeing and RyanAir over the cost of the Max10, which is Boeing’s biggest version of the 737 Max series of aircraft and hasn’t even started its certification process yet. RyanAir is a 100% Boeing 737 airline which always made a nonsense of them asking Airbus for a quote for A321neo planes. Although bigger and cheaper than the Max10 the cost of pilot retraining and infrastructure such as maintenance equipment, spare parts and flight simulators, always meant the Max 10 was the favourite and Boeing knew as much. The game was to pitch the price just high enough to make the best profit for Boeing while not making it economically viable for RyanAir to switch to Airbus. It looks like that point has now been agreed.

Never was the saying ‘go woke, go broke’ more right. Budweiser chose to dump their traditional advertising policy of showing what were considered ‘American’ scenes of wide-open prairies and mustangs and replace them with a trans person and rainbow covers beer can in an attempt to sell to the LBGTXYZ market. When sales dropped and they were widely criticised, they reversed the advertising and went back to their traditional type of advertisements. But it emerged yesterday just how much sales had dropped; sales of Bud Light were down by 26%. Apparently, drinkers didn’t like to be associated with a trans person.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Described as cats pee, but that’s an insult to cats.
Budweiser beer,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

A week or so ago I speculated that the Canadians might want to join the AUKUS agreement, that is much more than a pact about submarines. Now it is emerging that the Canadian opposition has been berating their government for lack of ambition and letting the AUKUS agreement slip past them. The pact includes all sorts of defence things and reports say that Canada is feeling left out and would like to be involved just like they are in the Five Eyes security agreement. If they were to ask to join, I wonder what they, Canada, would bring to the table?

The Gay SNP MP Joanna Cherry is threatening to sue the Edinburgh fringe club that has cancelled her show because she didn’t support the SNP’s Gender Act. She has published a legal opinion that says the club, The Stand, had discriminated against her by cancelling the event. The club says their staff were not happy with them hosting her. Cherry, who has asked for an apology and to reverse their decision, says that if action is not forthcoming, she will sue. I understand that U.K. case law is that so-called ‘gender critical’ views such as men cannot become women is a protected position. This means that it is unlawful to discriminate against them and cancelling her show on these grounds is probably illegal.

I find the opinion polls on the next general election fascinating. There are seven or eight who report regularly, some weekly, some fortnightly and some monthly, but what I find interesting is how most have been regularly producing similar results with the Labour leads slipping little by little from 29% down to a current 11 or 12%. But amongst those eight there is one who is way out of step with all the others, the Omnisis poll consistently shows Labour with an 8 to 10% higher lead than the others. I wonder why, is it the number of people they poll, the methodology they use, the areas in which they poll, do they use a panel of voters, are they providing a poll to a commissioner who is a Labour supporter, are they just wrong or is everyone else wrong?


At last, a lovely early morning, sunny and warm. I heard the weather forecast and it is supposed to rain from lunchtime, perhaps even with thunderstorms and massive downpours. I think I should turn my day upside down and snooze on my favourite windowsill this morning and go on patrol this afternoon. On the other hand, I think the window cleaner is due this morning!

Have you seen that local authorities are worried about the massive weight of electric cars? At the moment, with so few EVs about, their weight is not a problem. The increase in weight is caused by the batteries they must carry. EVs tend to weigh half as much again or more than their conventional equivalents. This means that the likes of bridges and multi-storey car parks could become over-stressed when we become an all-electric car and lorry nation. Not only that but the heavier the vehicle the more the wear on a road and the more potholes we will see. This is the rule of unforeseen circumstances.

I told you yesterday that RyanAir was on the verge of placing a huge order for Boeing 737 MAX 10 planes and your cat reporter got it right again when RyanAir today placed an order for 150 of the jets with options for another 150. The order would be valued at $40 billion at list prices, but you can be absolutely certain that for an order that size RyanAir (and anyone else) would expect a substantial discount. I would be surprised if they paid 60% of that amount. The price paid is particularly important as these planes are going to have 228 seats which means that under EU rules they will need five cabin crew instead of four on their current MAX 8 and NG fleets. The 25% extra cabin crew costs must be set against the 30 additional seats the new planes will have. The planes will not start to be delivered until 2027 with deliveries continuing until 2033, this is provided that the plane is certified in 2024.

The annual Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square was interesting today. It was a shadow of the usual parade, hugely cut back with thousands less soldiers on view and only one tank, a Second World War era T-34. Similarly there were very few of the APCs usually seen and none of the mobile air defence systems of previous years. Even the much talked about T-14 Amarta wonder tank, wasn’t on display, maybe that was because of the embarrassment when a prototype broke down in last year’s parade. So where were all the weapons and soldiers? Are they deployed in the Ukraine awaiting the long talked about Ukraine spring offensive that is rapidly becoming a summer offensive? Or have they been destroyed in action?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
T34 on parade.
Museum of the Revolution T34 Tank 2,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

What can I say about the overbooking of Royal Caribbean ships that I haven’t already said? The seventh overbooking of recent months has been announced and this time it’s Allure of the Seas on a seven-night Caribbean sailing out of Galveston. Royal Caribbean has offered passengers the chance to swap to a later sailing on the same ship, moving to another ship sailing out of Galveston or taking a full refund. Whichever option overbooked passengers opt for they will also get a 100% future cruise credit. This must be getting rather expensive for Royal Caribbean. I also understand that Royal Caribbean has also taken the decision that its ships on Alaska cruises will no longer be calling at Skagway. This is because landslides have put much of the cruise ship pier out of action and there is only room for one ship. Instead of Skagway, some ships will be going to Icy Strait Point, which I have never heard of, and others are going to Ketchikan.

I read that Tucker Carlson is talking about taking his nightly show to Twitter. Quite how that will work I don’t know and as yet Carlson hasn’t explained. But it is a little but more confusing than that because it seems Carlson hasn’t actually been sacked, it’s just his nightly show that has been cancelled. I hear he remains under contract to Fox until 2025 and American TV companies normally have a ‘no competition’ clause in their contracts. However, I hear that his lawyers have written a letter to Fox claiming breach of contract and consequently the ‘no competition’ clause is no longer valid. As I said the other day everyone in the US seems to run to a lawyer at the drop of a hat.

A man in Somerset has been arrested after he jumped in front of a women’s car and started writhing on the ground dressed only in a rubber gimp suit. The woman who was driving on a back road between Weston-on-Mare and Brean said the man was wearing a black rubber mask with white crosses over the eyes and at first, she thought it was a badger in the road. When she realised it was a man she drove away and called the police. Unusually they arrived within minutes and arrested a man in his thirties on suspicion of causing a public nuisance. He is also under investigation after being arrested last October accused of several similar offences. There are some odd people about.


Another sunny and warm early morning trip down the garden today. I think I did the right thing swapping my day around yesterday as it was a lovely and sunny up to about one o’clock and then it rained. Mind, I hear it is only going to be sunny until mid-morning today so I think it’s back to patrolling as normal in the morning and resting my old bones in a comfy chair this afternoon.

Nuclear missile submarine HMS Vanguard, one of our four Trident submarines has at long last completed its refit at the Devonport dockyard. The oldest out of four nuclear deterrent submarines has been in a Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOP(R)) for the past 89 months, longer than the 83 months it took to build. It has been a sorry story for the sub which has had its reactor refuelled despite it supposedly being of a type designed to never be refuelled. Back in 2012 radiation was detected in the cooling water of the Royal Navy’s land-based Core H test reactor. It was not considered a major problem and no similar leaks were detected on the Vanguard or any of its three sister boats or the Astute class boats to which it is also fitted. However, it was considered that in the interests of safety that the boat should be refuelled during its scheduled four-year LOP (R) starting in December 2015. The only problem was that the Core H reactor was not intended to be refuelled and was supposed to be sealed for life. Consequently the four-year £200 million refit has taken seven years and cost £500 million. Still, the boat is on its way to Faslane ready to work up to going back on patrol. HMS Vanguard was originally fitted with a Core H reactor in a 2005 refit.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Out of refit at last.
HMS Vanguard,
Defence Images
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Lost amid yesterday’s news of RyanAir’s big order for 737 MAX 10s was an announcement by Airbus. On an ordinary day, Philippine Airline’s order for nine A350-1000 long-range widebody aircraft would have been widely reported, but not yesterday. The A350-900, -1000 and freighters are slowly racking up a considerable number of orders in competition with the Boeing 777 which has been around for many more years.

I read that Royal Caribbean International is in the headlines again today, when, I’m sure they would much rather have the story swept under the carpet. It seems a passenger on board one of their ships spotted a spy camera in one of its public toilets and reported it to the crew. I don’t know how, but RCI found a man who they say placed the camera and he has been arrested by Miami Police. A search has discovered that he had images of several hundred adults and nearly fifty children in his possession. Interestingly he is said to be an IT consultant.

NATO forces have just finished a competition, in Latvia, between members to find the top main battle tank. The competition included finding and destroying (simulated) opposition. The winner was the British Challenger 2, second was the Leopard 2 operated by Spain and third was the American Abrams. I guess that it wasn’t just a test of the tank but also of how well the crew are trained. All three of these MBTs have recently joined the Ukrainians and it will be interesting to discover how they perform in real life rather than simulated situations.

After years of trying, the East Kent Steam Railway have finally been granted permission to extend its line to Robertsbridge where it will meet the mainline from London’s Charing Cross. The EKSR runs from its easterly terminus at Tentertern to just past Bodium at its western end. This week they finally got permission to extend the railway along its old route west to terminate at Robertsbridge. National Highways had objected to the planned extension because it means building a level crossing over the A21. Seemingly the Department of Transport have overruled the objection believing the crossing will cause minimal interruption to traffic on the A21. Work to extend the track is not expected to begin until 2024.

After years of complaints about the level and quality of services provided by TransPennine Express rail service, I hear the government has decided not to renew the franchise with the current owner First Direct. Instead at the end of this month, when the current short franchise extension expires, the Department of Transport will take the franchise back into public ownership just as they did a few years ago with SouthEastern and before that with LNER. The SouthEastern franchise remains in public ownership and is operated by SE Trains Limited who are a wholly owned subsidiary of DfT OLR Holdings Limited who also operate LNER and Northern Trains. I guess TransPennine Express will become another subsidiary of DOHL.


A very grey morning, but mild early. Once again, I hear that it is going to rain by mid-morning, so it looks like it’s the comfy chair again. Please can someone explain to this old cat why immediately after showing a Rich Boy campaign video for the leadership showing a person shredding pieces of paper on the screen and the voice-over saying, “I will get rid of 1,000 EU Laws,” the presenters keep saying he promised to scrap 4,000 rules? Do we really need an EU rule that says all champagne-like sparkling wines have to have the neck and cap be wrapped in metal foil?

So, we are going to send Storm Shadow cruise missiles to the Ukraine, but the question is how they are going to use them. The air-launched weapon was specifically developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon, this is the only plane capable of launching it and Ukraine doesn’t have any Typhoons. To integrate a missile into a plane is not a quick thing to do and has been known to take years. The hardware hook-up tends to be the easy bit, but it is integrating the missile’s software with the plane’s software that is the hard bit, especially when the Ukraine Air Force is made up almost entirely of old Soviet-designed planes. But would it be possible to launch the cruise missiles from a lorry or ground launcher? Maybe it would be possible to strap on a booster rocket to get Storm Shadow to a height and speed where its motor could take over but once again it would be a development job. My guess is it is really a means of prodding the Yanks into supplying what the Ukraine really wants, the long-range missiles that can be fired by the HIMARS launchers.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Going to the Ukraine.
Storm Shadow p1220865,
David Monniaux
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

A ship’s pilot fell to his death boarding a cruise ship off Japan yesterday. The pilot was climbing a ladder to board a Princess ship to guide it into Yokohama when he fell into the sea. Apparently, the cruise ship launched a cutter to try and recover the man, but he is thought to have been killed in the fall. I am amazed that this doesn’t happen more often. When you see a pilot boat nudge alongside a huge ship and the pilot transfer on or off the moving vessels it looks quite a dangerous manoeuvre.

I see that as of 31st of this month the Department of Transport is to allow longer lorries on the roads. At the moment standard articulated trucks are limited in length to 16.5 metres but in future they can be up to 18.55 metres long, an increase of 2.05 metres. The maximum weight of 44 tonnes for the standard trailer remains but this increased length means that light, but bulky goods are cheaper to move. In the past a full trailer load of, say toilet rolls, could be limited by its volume, rather than its weight. The new size will allow for the more economical transport of light items.

The chairman of Taiwan-based airline Starlux is an oddity in that he is also a trained pilot and is type rated on all the models of aircraft that Starlux operates. Recently the airline had problems with two of its services at Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT), whereby both of the carrier’s Airbus A350s got stranded at the airport overnight. This was due to a combination of several factors, including bad weather, maintenance problems, crews reaching their maximum duty time, and more. So, the chairman jumped on an overnight flight to Japan, personally apologised to the passengers and then flew one of the A350s to Taiwan. Unfortunately, he is now being investigated for flying fatigued. The problem is that if he didn’t sleep on the overnight flight, he might not have had sufficient rest hours before flying. The chairman previously was chairman of another Taiwanese airline EVA Air who were upset when he left to set up his own airline Starlux. The story is they registered a complaint with the Taiwanese authorities for vengeance.

I read of a man on a road trip in the States who stopped for a coffee break and had a quick go on a one of those crane machines that are always in the entrance to service areas. This machine was full of stuffed toys and against the odds, the man managed to pick up a grey stuffed elephant and drop it into the winning chute. But when he went to pick the prize out of the machine he found a bonus, a large ginger Tom cat who had been sleeping in the prize chute. It seems that the cat lives at the service station and is well loved and cared for but he likes to snooze in the machine because so few people win a prize, and he is rarely disturbed. The man left the cat behind and only took the stuffed elephant on the rest of his journey.

The Pratt & Whitney engine problem is getting worse every day. I keep hearing of more and more airlines grounding A220s and consequently having to cancel flights. In the last few days Swissair, Egypt Air and Air Tanzania have joined those with grounded planes because of the engine problems. In addition, the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority has banned all A220s in the country from flying. Pratt and Whitney are in real trouble with this. They cannot repair engines nor make new engines quickly enough to keep up with deliveries and breakdowns. This must be costing them a fortune in compensation. I am waiting to hear heads have rolled.


Another sunny early morning and none of that dreadful rain forecast for today. Well, it’s Eurovision day so I guess I will be retiring to my cat basket early as I can’t stand watching it on the office TV and I know they will have it on.

Following Mad Mark Drakeford’s decision to introduce 20 mph speed limits in all Welsh urban areas from September, a Labour MP, Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, tried to get the Transport Minister to commit to a 10 mph speed limit in all urban areas. Of course, this is all part of Labour’s war on the motorist. Speed limits in Wales, ULEZ zones in London and other Labour-controlled cities, it is clear they want you all on electric busses as soon as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the return of a man with a red flag walking in front of all cars as their next demand.

Is the Bank of England the world’s worst forecaster? They never seem to get any of their financial forecasts right and are constantly changing them. The inflation prediction of 3.9% by year-end has just gone up to 5.3%. At the same time, GDP, which they reckoned was going into recession, is according to the BoE, now not going into a negative area but, they say, will stay flat for a short while and then grow slowly for the rest of the year. I wonder what the next thing will be they reverse?

French and Spanish police have just arrested 27 smugglers in coordinated raids and have recovered contraband worth €2 million that was being smuggled to China. What was the contraband recovered? 1.5 tonnes of live baby eels. The eels have been taken to a Spanish government fish farm and are to be released into the wild. In addition, several tonnes of frozen elvers were also recovered. The police have been aware of tonnes of Eels, both adult and juveniles, have been going missing from the supply chain for years and have been arriving in China and have been investigating what was happening for a while and this raid was the result.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
I wonder what one and a half tonnes looks like.
Eel orgy,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Columbia has just stopped the biggest drug smuggling submarine it has ever found. This particular boat was 30 metres long and three metres wide and was carrying three tons of cocaine to the States worth around $100 million. The crew of three are now looking at 14 years in prison. But what I found astonishing was that this is the 228th submarine apprehended by the Colombians. If they have found that many, I guess we will never know how many they have never intercepted. I wonder where these boats are made, is there a secret submarine boatyard somewhere churning out these things? Do the drug lords sign contracts with the submarine builders to serially produce a class of boat, or are they all knocked together in someone’s backyard?

The BBC’s idea of what news is sunk even lower today with the headline “Liam Gallagher buys a battered sausage in a chippy.” This is why people are refusing to pay the TV license fee, this isn’t news. If he had squared up to someone in the chippy, I might have considered it news. Tomorrow will they be reporting he had a chicken korma and boiled rice? Who cares what he has for his tea?

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Rome this morning for meetings with the prime minister and president of Italy. The rumours are that he will also meet the Pope who is said to be working on secret peace talks. The security in Rome has been very heavy and the airspace over the city was closed while his plane approached and landed. I wonder what promises of Italian armaments he will go back to the Ukraine with.

That’s my week’s diary effort done and it’s still dry, sunny and lovely and warm outside today. I think I will have a quick patrol out front of Number Ten and then see if any of my friends in the office have any cat treats. Then I fully intend to have my afternoon snooze on my favourite windowsill. I should be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2023