Larry’s Diary – Week One-Hundred And Ninety


Good morning everyone, and welcome to another week of my musings. I have had a cracking weekend. It has been lovely and peaceful in Number 10 with the Rich Boy in Japan and since finishing last week’s diary I have done little but sleep and eat, although I did chase a little mouse out of the garden. I did see that the snivel serpents are having another go at getting rid of Suella Braverman. They really do not like Brexiteers and will drag up any old rubbish to try to get rid of them. It seems because she investigated the prospect of taking a speed management course in private before paying the fine and accepting the points, she is the devil incarnate.

I read an article this morning talking about the difference between Project Tempest and the Anglo, Italian, Japanese 6th generation Global Combat Aircraft Program (GCAP). It seems that Project Tempest is the effort in the U.K. to make sure we still have the capability of designing a new supersonic jet with all the modern bells and whistles. It is now so long since our aircraft industry designed (as opposed to built) a new fighter jet that many of the designers have retired or even died. So, Project Tempest is the process of gathering up and activating the necessary knowledge. GCAP is the design and manufacture of a new 6th generation fighter plane which might or might not be called Tempest. Project Tempest includes BAE, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo U.K., MBDA, several universities and a number of second-level companies, all of which will feed skills and knowledge into GCAP. GCAP hasn’t yet even been specified fully and what has been, I understand, is classified.

We all know that Ukraine’s Zelensky has been doing the rounds of European capital cities with his weapons begging bowl and has apparently been promised more weapons and F-16 fighter jets. But I have been told that much of it is camouflage for the long-promised spring offensive, with the idea that the Russians will not believe that the Ukraine is ready to launch its offensive while they are still begging for more armaments. But I am told that the pushes around the sides of the city of Bakhmut are in fact the cautious start of the offensive. What I hear is that the idea is to keep probing at the Russian lines for weaknesses and push through if they are found. Well, I have no idea if this is true or my informant’s pipe dreams. I suppose only time will tell.

I find it amusing that the Regal Princess cruise ship with 3,560 passengers and 1,346 crew on board was docked into Portland yesterday and the town’s people welcomed them to the shops and restaurants, happy to take the money. Is this the same town that is worried about having 500 boat people on an accommodation barge in the port? I suppose the difference is the nearly 5,000 on board the cruise come to spend money and not to live off the taxpayer.

Could next year’s London council elections be the chance for the Tories to get rid of Sad Dick? It all depends on who they chose for their candidate for mayor, to win it must be someone opposed to ULEZ and who promises to scrap the outer London ULEZ zone. There are approximately 6,000,000 voters in Greater London, and the vast majority live in leafy outer London boroughs like Barnet and Bromley not in Sad Dick supporting Islington and Southwark. It is these outer boroughs who twice elected Bozzie mayor and it is outer boroughs that will suffer the impact of the ULEZ expansion. Will the Tory candidate be brave enough to say they will scrap the expansion?

If you were around in the mid-1960s you might remember that Heathrow Airport was simply called London Airport. The original London Airport had been at Croydon but after WW2 it was realised that the site was too small for the bigger planes that were emerging, and it was too hemmed in to be expanded. Consequently, London Airport was moved to the old Fairy Aviation site in West London and became London Airport. That was OK until in the mid-1960s when Gatwick Airport was built and was also initially also called London Airport, but this was confusing, so the name London Airport Gatwick started to be used. At the same time the West London Airport had Heathrow added after the hamlet of Heath Row that used to stand where Terminal 3 is now located.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Croydon Airport Terminal Building.
Croydon Airport: 20-Aug 2016,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

On Saturday at 14:16 BST One Web launched 16 satellites from the Vandenberg launch pad in California. Fifteen are flying spares ready to be moved into place if any of the existing satellites fail. But the last one is a technology demonstrator for the next round of satellites. It has the ability to band hop 1,000 times a second connecting to multiple different ground stations. It is said that this will enable it to overcome congestion on the network. The test bird is also equipped to handle 5G communications. The new technology demonstrator received quite a lot of public money so let’s hope it succeeds.


Morning all, a little dull and warm to start with but I hear it’s going to be brighter. The Rich Boy is back and will be making a statement on the G7 in the House later. But first was a statement from the home secretary. I have decided that the squeaker, Sir Linseed Oil, doesn’t like her. Whenever she speaks, he always has a go at her for some reason or other.

I hear that John Terry has just sold his Surrey mansion that was home for him and his wife while employed by Chelsea. Now he is a coach at Leicester I had assumed he wanted to move near to his current job but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He originally bought the property for £4.1 million but has done quite a lot of work on it including refurbishing every room, building an outdoor swimming pool, bar area and gym. He even added staff quarters. I understand the house sold for £23 million and the couple have bought a new property a few miles away for £8 million and are investing in at least four other properties on the Crown Estate in Oxshott which is one of Britain’s most exclusive areas.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
What no Chelski shirt..
John Terry original,
Paul Bence
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

With the end of the football season fast approaching the most talked about deal is for West Ham’s Declan Rice who will have a year left on his contract and has made it clear he wants a move and will not sign a new contract. This is the time when clubs sell a player as they still have a value, in a year’s time the player can move on a free transfer and the vendor club gets nothing. The media says that Rice is on sale for £100 million and that there are few clubs that want a talented midfielder and can afford the price. The two mentioned most are Chelsea and Arsenal with Arsenal being the favourites as they have qualified for next year’s Champions League and Rice wants to play in the competition. Today I hear that the manager of West Ham has offered Arsenal a deal. He wants some cash and four Arsenal players. That could suit Arsenal as rumours abound that they are going to have a huge clear out of fringe players, it just depends on agreeing on the players.

I had a laugh today when a read about a new ‘affordable’ electric car. The Fisker Ocean SUV is not exactly what I would call affordable at a starting price of £34,990 and comes with a chequered history. Henrick Fisker was a designer at Aston Martin who left to set up his own company building a hybrid EV. But it had an unlucky history. 337 models were lost being shipped from America to Europe, they were sued by Tesla, they had battery problems and filed for bankruptcy. Now a new Fisker company has been set us to build “cheap” battery EVs and the company intends to produce 36,000 by the end of the year. Good luck to them, I doubt they will sell many this side of the Atlantic.

The Russian media are reporting that they are using cheap wooden drones as decoys for proper drones and missiles. The drones are made of wood and polystyrene and are held together with masking tape! They have a cheap motor and Chinese electronics and the report says they have a range of 600 miles. As with all things coming out of Russia and Ukraine, I have no idea if this is a true story, it might just be propaganda, but I’m not sure quite what good it would do the Russian media to make up this story.

In 2011 the Dutch Government decided that the main battle tank was obsolete and sold off all of its own models. They decided to keep a few just in case and rented 18 from Germany. But the war in the Ukraine has changed the thinking, the coalition government has decided that tanks are not obsolete after all and that they should acquire some. The Dutch are now asking the worldwide makers for preliminary prices so that they can budget to buy a fleet.

A 52-year-old Swedish woman is currently languishing semi-conscious in a high dependency ward of a London hospital after suffering an accident over a year ago where she fell off her bike and hit her head on the kerb. Her family want her back in Sweden but can’t get her home because under Swedish rules she is no longer Swedish. Having come to London to work 25 years ago she has dropped off the register of Swedish citizens. Her husband would like to get her back to Stockholm to be close to her mother and sisters, but the Swedish authorities are being intransigent. It seems Swedish rules say she can only be reinstated as a Swedish citizen if she or her husband apply with her in Sweden. However, she can’t enter Sweden because she is no longer Swedish, in any case she is not capable of walking or talking so she is stuck in the hospital’s high-dependency unit.


Another lovely morning, it’s so much nicer when it is sunny and warm, I don’t want hot, just nice and warm and dry. Yesterday Sir Beer Korma told everyone how his five-point plan would save RNHS from the evil Tories. It seems that his five were all spend more money. All Labour plans for government are the same raise tax and spend it. When asked who is going to pay this extra tax it is always the same answer, oil companies, the rich and non-doms. I hate to think how many times they have spent this money. Will oil prices have fallen if and when Labour wins an election? Will non-doms hang around? Will the rich find tax loopholes? I would bet my Felix dinner on them finding out that 1p on Income Tax or 0.5% on National Insurance raises more.

The Guardian appears to have decided that we need yet another name for the made-up phenomenon of what used to be called climate change. When the rabid loons realised that climate changes repeatedly and has done so forever, they decided it should be renamed as ‘global warming’ as that was more dramatic. Well, now they started using the expression ‘global heating.’ I suppose this is because the rabid loons think that ‘warming’ is what little old ladies do to their bedtime glass of milk and ‘heating’ is scarier for their readers. Do you remember when the climate change fraternity were telling us of the ‘danger’ of the world average temperature increasing by 2.5°? When it began to be apparent that the ice caps weren’t melting and that coral islands weren’t sinking below the waves the change, the disaster point to 1.5° which was more likely to be met. I still think it’s all a made-up limit that has no basis in science.

So, Rachel Reeves has got herself in a bit of a mess over her travel arrangements on her trip to New York. The Labour Party has been trying to make out the Rich Boy as a spendthrift who wastes money on private jets and helicopters when they say he could have gone by car or train. What has Reeves done, well she has Tweeted a picture of her BA boarding card which showed her seat number which revealed she was in First Class. Not in itself a problem, as her ticket would have been paid for by Labour, but someone clearly wasn’t happy with the hypocrisy and the picture was replaced by one with the seat number blanked out. When this became a big thing in the Twittersphere the picture was deleted entirely leading to a lot more frantic Tweeting.

A Chinese EV battery maker has revealed a new design of battery. The lithium-manganese-iron-phosphate (LMFP) battery is claimed to offer a range of 1,000 km on a single charge. If this battery is available at a reasonable price, it could be the breakthrough the world has been hoping for, an end to range anxiety. Not only that it is claimed the battery has a life cycle of 4,000 charge-discharge cycles, making a battery good for 4 million kilometres. This is further than most cars travel in their lifetime and would remove another worry about EVs, having to spend a fortune replacing a battery after five years.

Barry Hearn, the snooker promoter, has come up with a plan to hit back at the Just Stop Oil idiot who you might have seen disrupting one of his snooker tournaments by climbing on the table and throwing orange power paint all over it. Hearn has written to all 410 people who had paid for tickets at the interrupted match suggesting his lawyer would work with them to make a claim in the small claim court to sue the interrupter for losses, including but not limited to the cost of tickets, travel, and accommodation. So far 65 people have taken up the offer. If each was to win, say £200, the interrupter could find himself bankrupt.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Snooker Boss Barry Hearn.
Barry Hearn 2012,
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the things that has emerged from the war in Ukraine is the massive increase in the use of drones by both sides. Whether it is big drones armed with rockets and bombs, tiny ones that drop hand grenades on trenches, or fly in mass swarms to try to confuse air defences, countries are looking at ways to defeat them. Today I read of an American test of a new weapon called the Tactical High-power Operational Responder, (THOR). It is described as a microwave cannon, whatever that may be, and capable of taking on swarms-on-swarms drones at close range. I would like to know how it works; does it cook them? If so, what happens to any living thing that gets in the way of the beam? It all sounds very Star Wars.

I see that at the age of 90, Michael Caine has made a new film. It is the true story of Bernard Jordan, who in 2014 escaped from his care home, to attend the 70th anniversary D-Day memorial service in France and honour his fallen comrades. The film has proved a good excuse to wheel out veteran British actors and Caine is joined by 87-year-old Glenda Jackson who plays his wife. The pair last acted together 50 years ago. The fact that the film was made entirely in England was, said the makers, not to do it on the cheap, but to save the oldies from having to travel.


It was still warm when I woke up but not sunny here in Number 10, but I heard the man on the radio saying the sun should be out later. I also heard that the officer that was Gold Commander of the Carl Beech case, Deputy Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, is to be charged with gross misconduct. It’s a decade after the investigation against Lord Britton and many other VIPs for running a paedophile ring collapsed when Beech was revealed as a fantasist. But it seems to all be a bit late to me as this man is no longer a senior Metropolitan policeman, as after bodging the Beech investigation he got promoted to the National Crime Agency where, I understand, he is currently in charge of the operation to stop the small boats crossing the channel. Well, that is another fine mess by what appears to be an incompetent officer.

Two interesting developments in the Tucker Carlson sacking saga. The word on the street is that the sacking of Carlson was part of the settlement of the action by Dominion Voting Machines. It certainly wasn’t part of the published agreement, but I understand the word is that the two parties shook hands on a promise to sack Carlson and Dominion wouldn’t settle until they got that verbal agreement. Second, I hear that the home studio that Carlson used to broadcast his nightly show from has been repossessed by CNN. Apparently, they sent in workmen who dismantled everything including scenery, chairs, tables, computers, cameras and lights, loaded it all onto trucks and took it to who knows where.

The German Government website lists the equipment the Germans have agreed to transfer to Ukraine in its latest round of armaments being given to them. I can’t be bothered to list everything as the list goes on and on. But needless to say, it includes 110 Leopard 1A5 Main Battle Tanks and ammunition, 20 Marder IFVs and ammunition, 7 TRML-4D radars, 18 Gepard anti-aircraft self-propelled launchers, 26,350 rounds of 155mm Howitzer ammunition and loads of other stuff. It makes me ask just how much all this stuff is costing the German taxpayer because I am certain it is not being purchased by Ukraine.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Going to Ukraine.
Gepard 1a2 overview,
Hans-Hermann Bühling
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

It’s about four weeks to the bi-annual Paris Air Show (it alternates with Farnborough) and I’m already hearing stories of orders being stored up to announce at the show. The big manufacturers like to play a game at every big air show by pretending that airlines place orders at the shows. Well, in some ways they do, as they actually put pen to paper during the show, but all the details have been sorted out in the weeks before the show. Point is both Boeing and Airbus want to be able to announce big order numbers on each show day and grab the headlines. I bet some of the press announcements have already been written. Don’t expect to hear of any substantial plane orders between now and show starting on 19th June.

In the cruising world, I hear that passengers on the Princess Cruises ship Sea Princess are not very happy with their lot at the moment. The ship is on a 14-night cruise out of Southampton to Iceland and the Norwegian Fiords calling at eight ports. The ship missed the first two ports due to bad weather. The ship then had a medical emergency and missed the third scheduled port to make an unscheduled stop to drop off the passenger. Now I hear that it has missed two more ports because of more bad weather. So, it has missed five of eight port calls. I hear that a high proportion of passengers on board have booked back-to-back cruises and the weather forecast for the Sea Princess’s next trip is if anything worse! I hope the ship’s shop has a good stock of sea sickness pills.

Another rumour reaching me is that Airbus will use the Paris Air Show to launch a new stretched version of the A220. The long-expected model is unofficially thought to be the called the A220-500 and would compete with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 for passenger number size. But the 737 is an old design reworked and has several problems some of which go right back to its original design. It is an old metal design which makes it heavier than the much more modern A220 which has a lot of light composite parts. The 737 was designed to be very low to the ground to enable passengers to use built-in airstairs, but this has made fitting new big high bypass ratio jet engines very difficult. Consequently, the A220 burns less fuel per passenger mile than the Max 8. It may sound a no-brainer to build the A220-500 but it would likely cannibalise sales of the smaller versions A320 neo. Quite a quandary for the Airbus board.

When the Ministry of Defence ordered five E7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control planes for the RAF, it bought the airframes and the radar independently and placed the order to build it into the plane with a third company. To save money, a while ago they decided they needed to save money and cut the order from five to three. Unfortunately, the construction of the radars was virtually complete so there was no saving there. The RAF now has two spare radars worth some £120 million. The RAF have tried to put a good spin on it by saying they now have plenty of spare parts. But I have a better idea, just reinstate the order for the other two aircraft and put the fleet back to five, which is obviously what we needed in the first place.


Yet another sunny and warm morning and the girl on the TV says it is going to continue well into the next week. I was happily snoozing on the windowsill in the sun, waiting for my dinnertime yesterday, when I was roused from my slumbers by someone driving their car into the Downing Street gates. I wandered down to the end of the street to have a look see and I was amazed it was a little three-door Kia Rio. Now no one is going to get through those bloody great gates in such a tiny car. You might put a dent in them with a Humvee, but I suspect you would need to be driving a Challenger MBT to get through. When I went back indoors, No. 10 was in lockdown and the Rich Boy had been smuggled out by the back door.

BAE’s Swedish subsidiary has signed an order for 246 CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles with the Czech Republic. The order is worth a reported $2.2 billion and comes hard on the heels of an order from Slovakia. The order is for seven versions of the IFV and the Czechs become the ninth country to buy the CV90 that is rapidly becoming the NATO standard IFV with five NATO users. BAE seems to be on a roll at the moment and its latest results (before this order) showed a £58 billion order book with another £65 billion under negotiation. Profits were up 8.7% and are expected to go higher, with an order book like that I’m not surprised!

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
A CV90.
Schweiz Suisse Swiss Army – Spz 2000 – CV90 – CV9030 ,
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

I see that Mercedes have got a major upgrade to their car for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. They have dropped the radical ‘zero pod’ side pods introduced at the start of last season and gone back to the standard design used by every other team. Whether this will help find Mercedes the performance that was missing last season and so far this season, is yet to be seen. The new design was supposed to have been introduced at last week’s Grand Prix at Imola, but a flooded racetrack meant that race meeting was cancelled.

I see another council is in trouble with its property portfolio. Woking has invested nearly £2.4 billion in what is said to be a risky property portfolio, much of it purchased with borrowed money. Amongst its investments Woking purchased hotels, residential skyscrapers, two pubs (one of which has been destroyed in a fire) and loaned a local private school £6.4 million. It borrowed £700 million to purchase property in the middle of Woking that is valued at £350 million, The problem is the council income crashed under Covid with the collapse of car parking fees and commercial rents. The council has an income of £24 million which is 100 times less than its investments. The only good news for Working is that the investments are generating about £22 million which must help towards the loan repayments of £64 million a year.

A disease thought to have been all but eliminated in the West seems to be making a comeback. Measles can currently be found in 17 European nations including the U.K. The MMR vaccine had almost got cases down to zero in many nations, including here, but a combination of travel and complacency has pushed numbers back up. Here in Britain, there were around 40 cases, mainly in London, reported last year. Most of these cases were connected to foreign travel and infected people who had not been vaccinated. Unlike smallpox, that today only exists in labs, man has not managed to vaccinate measles out of existence and large pools remained in several parts of the world waiting to be spread by travellers to populations like London. Why London you ask, well it seems that parents there were convinced the disease had been eliminated and there was no benefit to getting children vaccinated. Unfortunately, the high immigrant population there was just the sort to travel to the un-eliminated areas and bring measles back with them.

Yesterday the Just Stop Oil lunatics were back causing trouble, this time at the Chelsea Flower Show. They decided to throw orange powder paint over a garden, but rather shot themselves in the foot by picking to attack a sustainable garden. I wonder if it was a mistake, if they simply don’t care, or if they are so stupid, they think that attacking a sustainable garden advances their cause. But one thing I did enjoy was the woman who arrived with a hose and started spraying the protesters. How British was that!

Some of the Britons living in France are not very happy with the latest upgrades to the Freeview satellite TV. These moaners are, of course, not asked to pay for a TV licence. The problem is the dropping of the standard definition signal in favour of a high-definition signal has in many parts of France led to weaker reception and a poorer picture. Officially Freeview is a United Kingdom only service so although people in France might be able to see the overspill of the satellite’s beam, as it is officially only aimed at the U.K, they are at its periphery. The problem for many Brits in France is curable with a bigger dish, but for some it will also mean replacing their receivers as many of the older satellite boxes were incapable of receiving an HD signal. And that means spending some money to get a decent signal and that is what they don’t want to do.


Lovely and sunny but not quite as warm this morning. I was amazed that ITV have just caught up with the fact that Phillip Scofield was having a gay affair with a young man he got a job on the ‘This Morning’ show. It has been all over the media for ages. Are the bosses at ITV really that stupid that they had no idea what was being reported or did they just hope it would all blow over and they could carry on as usual? I suspect it was his row with Holly Willabooby that finally did for him. Who is going to hire him now?

Earlier this month Tesla sent an email to customers who had outstanding orders for right-hand drive versions of its Model S and Model X cars saying that in future they will only be producing left-hand drive models. Customers can switch to a LHD model, and they will get three years free subscription to Supercharging. Tesla used to produce one month’s RHD production for every six months of LHD production, so customers in the U.K. and other countries who drive on the left, like Japan and many Commonwealth nations, were used to long waits for delivery. I hear of British customers who after waiting three years have got the email out of the blue. Few intend to take take the LHD option as it is not easy driving on the UK’s roads.

I hear that it’s a very busy weekend for cruise ships in Southampton this bank holiday. Yesterday it was MSC Virtuosa, P&O Britannia and Fred Olsen Balmoral. Today it’s P&O Iona, Princess Cruises Sky Princess and P&O Ventura. On Sunday it is a bit quieter with only two ships P&O Arvia and Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, but they are both very big ships. Then on Monday it’s Celebrity Silhouette, Aidaprima, and the return of MSC Virtuosa. That’s 11 cruise ships in four days, some like the P&O ships will ending one cruise and starting another and the likes of Aidaprima will be on a mid-cruise call and passengers will be on excursions and visiting the shops. It is going to be a busy weekend for everyone involved in replenishing those ships and handling those thousands of suitcases.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
P&O Iona.
P&O Iona, Cadiz Spain,
A Guy Named Nyal
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I hear that the committee that decides on RAF aircraft procurement has agreed that we will go past the 48 F-35B fighter jets we have on order and acquire 74. But this is only half the 148 we originally aimed to own. Will we ever see the RAF operating that original 148? Well, all I can say is maybe. Clearly with only two aircraft carriers 48 planes would be enough to equip both at sea and 74 give us space for training, spare aircraft and squadron rotation. But what about our own domestic air defence, could we see the F-35 playing a role there? Well, yes, but then a big decision would have to be made, would we buy more of the F-35B vertical take-off model so we could use them on aircraft carriers or buy the standard take-off version, which is longer ranged, can carry a heavier war load and is cheaper to acquire.

Since the production of the Cadbury Flake has moved to Egypt U.K. soft ice cream vendors have been moaning. It seems that the quality has dropped, and the flakes are now very crumbly, making the sale of the classic 99 difficult. The flakes used in the traditional 99 are a bit smaller than those you buy in a supermarket or sweet shop and are supplied in bulk in big boxes. Since moving production to Egypt, the ice cream salesmen have been finding up to half a £16 box of 144 Flakes are arriving broken. Some vendors are offering cones with the broken pieces sprinkled over them while others have switched to a German-made ‘Chocolate Stick’ which they say is made of a firmer chocolate. Mondelēz International, the makers, insist that the Flake recipe hasn’t changed but are investigating the way they are transported.

Earlier this week services on the Abbey Line, the railway between St Albans and Watford Junction was replaced by buses for five hours over the morning rush hour. The excuse given by London Northwestern Railway who operate the service said it was due to ‘rapidly growing plants at Garston Station.’ I have never heard this excuse before. Leaves on the line, buckled tracks in the sun, snow, I have heard them all, but this is new. Apparently, the warm weather and rain has caused trackside plants to grow quickly obscuring trackside equipment. This line seems to be suffering a lot of problems with buses having replaced trains on six days this month alone.

I have been reading that despite the complaints from farmers when we signed up to the Trans-Pacific trade deal, the latest predictions are for big jumps in our export of meat to CPTPP members. The predictions I hear is that in the first full year of the treaty are exports of beef up 60%, lamb 26% and pork 23%. I really hope these projections are correct and one in the eye for the Remainer naysayers who never wanted to leave the EU.

Well, it’s another nice early finish this week and it’s still lovely and warm outside today so it is definitely the windowsill for this old cat. I suppose one day I won’t be able to jump up that high, but I intend to make the most of it while I still can. I should be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2023