Good morning all. Well, this morning started off just like many others recently, rain at first then sunshine, Felix for breakfast, then the thunderbolt struck. The Rich Boy sacked Suella and set a reshuffle in place. In comes James Cleverly at Home Secretary. Well, I hear he didn’t really want the job, being perfectly happy globe trotting as Foreign Secretary. But you could have knocked me down with a feather when my old boss David Cameron turned up. Don’t get me wrong, I will always like him for rescuing me from Battersea, but I thought he was yesterday’s man. He gave me a stroke and said, “Hello old man, you are looking well.” Well, he came out of meeting the Rich Boy as Lord Cameron, Foreign Secretary. I had to step out into Downing Street for some fresh air, and to pose for the cameras.
Today is the first day of the weeklong Dubai Air Show and the word I hear is that there could be some huge orders placed for new planes, the word I hear is that 650 to 700 planes in total could be ordered. The biggest order I hear being talked about is a possible 350-plane order by Turkish Airlines. Then another 100 planes for Emirates. I will be intrigued to see what actually happens.
On Saturday ITA the Italian Airline that has replaced Alitalia as the state airline landed its day-old Airbus A220 at London City Airport. The plane taxied in and was suddenly stopped by air traffic control because its left wing was going to strike a building, which would have been extremely embarrassing for a brand-new plane. A ground handler arrived and plugged his headset into the plane. After a long discussion, the plane made a hard right turn and was guided away from the building to its designated gate. It made me chuckle.
I am interested to hear from a reporter who stayed out reporting in London after dark last night when the BBC and Guardian reporters had gone home. He reports that the police drew their batons and hit the right-wing supporters as they got off their trains but treated the pro-Palestine marchers totally differently. Once it got dark and the families went home the reporter says the left-wing marchers were firing fireworks at the police and attacking anyone wearing a poppy. It was meant to have been particularly bad at Victoria Station where they attacked Gove. But of course, this is not reported as the media have gone home.
Tesla has announced the sale of its U.K. charger network to the giant petrol station owner EG Group. EG is owned by the billionaire Issa Brothers who also own the ASDA Supermarket group. I hear that the network will be rolled into its existing EVPoint ultra-fast electric vehicle charging network and will be opened up to all EV owners, not just Tesla owners. Tesla is selling off its charger networks and has just sold its US network to BP Pulse, expect to see more sales coming in Europe.
The country’s newest railway station is due to open on 10th December. The station is Brent Cross West and is on the Thameslink line from London to Luton and Bedford. It will be served by all the stopping trains on the line so will be offering 6 trains an hour in either direction during the day and 8 TPH during the rush hours. I hear the station has been built with enough capacity to be able to be served by trains on the proposed West London Orbital Railway. The WLOR is a proposal to run passenger services on what since Beeching has been a freight-only line. Obviously, this is a cheap way to open a new line as the tracks are already there as are a number of the proposed stations. The basic WLOR would run from Hounslow to Hendon via Old Oak Common and join the Thameslink Line close to Brent Cross West. Such a line would allow numerous people in West London to join West Coast Mainline and HS2 services without travelling all the way into London.
First up with news of orders out of Dubai is Airbus with an order from Air Baltic for 30 x A220-300. Air Baltic already has 50 of this plane model on order and operates 44. Once delivered this will make Air Baltic Europe’s biggest operator of the A220. Airbus also say they have come to an ‘agreement’ with Turkish Airlines for a huge order comprising 75 wide-body A350-900 and 15 wide-body A350-1000 aircraft as well as 250 narrow-body A321neo aircraft and five A350F cargo aircraft, in addition to 10 A350-900s for which terms have already been agreed. Meanwhile, over at Boeing they are announcing an order for 95 Boeing 777X from Emirates who are already operators of 100 older 777 models.
It’s another wet morning here in Downing Street, I’m sure we will be getting drought warnings soon. I see we have a new ministerial post, a Minister for Common Sense. I quite like Esther McVey, but I can’t help thinking that this is a joke appointment. It sounds like something the Monty Python team would have come up with and have it co-located with the Ministry of Silly Walks. The trouble with Common Sense is that it is not common enough. I only hope Esther McVey has some.
I hear that NASA astronauts on the International Space Station have had a bit of an accident. While out on a seven-hour spacewalk, doing some running repairs, one of them lost a tool bag and it floated away. The tool bag is now in its own orbit, but is specified as space junk. It is in a decaying orbit and will ultimately re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. But don’t worry you don’t have to look out for a spanner from space hitting you on the head, it should burn up on re-entry.
While talking about NASA, I see that yesterday they put out a warning that we were to have a close encounter with a 165 metre across meteor. As I am still here, I guess they got it right and it was only a near miss. It’s amazing how often we have a close encounter with a bit of rock from outer space, as I seem to be reading an awful lot of warnings. It’s not that long ago that NASA deliberately bumped a satellite into a meteor, to try to deflect it, to prove they could protect us if it looked like we were going to take a hit.
Do you remember ‘Ding Dong Avon Calling’? Well, if you do, they might not be for much longer as Avon are opening some shops, not just in Britain but also in Brazil and South Africa. They already have shops in Turkey. In addition they have signed an agreement with Superdrug and will also be selling their cosmetics through their outlets. During Covid many businesses went online, Avon seem to be doing the opposite and moving from online to bricks and mortar.
I read of a US Tesla 3 driver whose car’s battery failed after doing 120,000 miles. The driver said the first hint of trouble was when his car’s range suddenly dropped from 120 miles on a charge to 25 miles. Apparently, the car was out of warranty, and he had to pay $9,000 for a new one, which was a special deal from Tesla. But why did the battery fail? Well, the ‘experts’ seem to agree that it was overuse of Tesla fast chargers. It seems the car was being fast charged twice a day, every day. The experts say that, in general terms, EVs like being charged slowly but will tolerate an occasional fast charge, but doing so regularly damages a battery irretrievably. The best thing to do for battery life is to slow charge your car overnight at home. But if you need to drive your Tesla 3 for 300 miles a day, what are you to do! I suppose the answer is don’t buy an EV.
Speaking of replacement EV batteries I hear of another Tesla driver, this one in Plano, Texas, whose Tesla burst into flames while parked in his garage. This happened the day after having a new battery installed by a Tesla dealership. Apparently, he heard a hissing coming from the battery and smoke started coming out of it so he called the local fire department, who dragged the car out of the garage and put the fire out. The fire department say that to put out a fire in a conventional car normally takes the 700 gallons of water carried by a single fire engine. However, an EV takes around 6,000 gallons and is even then quite likely to spontaneously reignite itself.
After yesterday’s rush of orders at the Dubai Air Show so far today has been a bit slower with only one order announced as I write this. EgyptAir has announced an order for 10 Airbus A350-900 planes. These are the slightly smaller version of the A350 but will be coming in a fit-out of 345 seats and capable of flying 9,700 nautical miles. The airline has been using 13-year-old Boeing 777s for its long-haul services and the new A350s have virtually the same seat capacity and will offer a 25% fuel saving.
This fine and sunny morning a very unhappy Rich Boy has been stamping around No 10. He is not very happy after being called out in Suella’s post-sacking letter. Not even the big fall in inflation to 4.6% cheered him up, and to add to the pain it’s PMQs day and Sir Beer is certain to bring up the letter. Suella says he has betrayed her and more importantly betrayed the nation and that when she backed him to become PM it was subject to an agreement which he has broken. I wonder if she will continue to stick the knife in as a Tory backbencher or move to the opposition benches as an independent or maybe even a Reform MP.
So, the news has leaked that ‘Call me Lord Dave’ was actually offered and accepted the Foreign Secretary job a week before the reshuffle. This clearly means the writing was on the wall for Suella long before she wrote that article in the Sunday Times and the major places in the reshuffle were being manoeuvred well before they happened. In effect, what she wrote had no influence on her losing her job as Home Secretary, the Rich Boy already had all the moves in place. I wonder if she had heard the rumours and thought “Who cares what I do now” and did it to spite the Rich Boy.
Rather a nasty problem has arisen with Rivian Electric Vehicles. On Monday they sent out an Over-the-Air (OTA) software update for their electric trucks. The OTA update worked OK for the truck’s operating system but bricked its sophisticated infotainment system. The problem was quickly spotted, and the software rollout halted but in many cases it was too late and the truck’s LED screen was useless. Rivian has sent out a message to its EV owners admitting they have messed up and promising they will put it right. Unfortunately, with the infotainment system dead they think an OTA fix is impossible and a physical fix will be necessary, although as yet they don’t know what it is!
The charity Endometriosis South Coast has just announced a new Chief Executive Officer who is a Trans Woman. Endometriosis is a very nasty illness that exclusively affects women, so the question is being asked of the charity that is for women and all the senior posts are held by women how can a trans man understand the pain that it causes? Without saying anything, the charity’s website has withdrawn all mention of ‘Steff’ the new CEO and links to the ‘X’ (Twitter) page have been broken. Looks like they are embarrassed.
It’s said that it’s an ill wind that blows no good. Well, there is an ill wind blowing the Tories at the moment and the latest opinion poll shows it has done the Reform Party good. The voting intentions for Reform have leapt to 11%, ahead of the Greens, Limp Dumps and the SNP. I hear that over the last couple of days people have been quitting the Tory Party and joining Reform in their hundreds. That isn’t yet a huge number at the moment but is growing fast, I shall be interested in seeing if this poll is a one-off or the start of a swing to Reform.
With the launch of the Tesla Cybertruck at the end of this month several interesting points have emerged. I understand that over 2,000,000 people have placed orders for this vehicle. It’s not exactly cheap with the twin-motor version priced at around $60,000 and the three-motor version a $70,000. Then I hear that Tesla don’t want to encourage people to buy a truck and then sell it on and are threatening to include in the purchase agreements a fine if you sell your truck within a year of purchase. Recently the chief designer of the truck has been driving his about and people have been publishing pictures online. The pictures make the Matt Black truck look good from a distance but as soon as you get in close the misaligned body panels are awful. I only hope that his truck is an early prototype and not an example of production as if it is there are going to be a lot of Cybertrucks rejected on quality grounds.
Is Chelsea FC going to be in more trouble over Financial Fair Play (FFP)? They are already under investigation over previous results, but now documents have been leaked that seem to indicate their ex-owner Roman Abramovich making massive overseas payments that appear to have benefited the club. The so-called ‘Cyprus Confidential’ investigation leaked 3.6 million documents to German media and amongst them are papers showing how Russian Oligarch Abramovich made payments totalling tens of millions of pounds to a player’s manager, to a club manager’s close associate and to club officials. Other payments appear to be associated with the purchase of players. None of these payments have been reported in the annual accounts, seemingly avoiding the FFP limits. Recently clubs breaking the FFP rules have been docked points.
Good morning my friends, after a pleasant day weather-wise yesterday it’s back to rain this morning. It was a funny day in Number 10 yesterday, it started with the good news for the Rich Boy on inflation and then he had the bad news from the Supreme Court on Rwanda and had to endure super slimy Lego head Sir Beef Korma at PMQs. But he was a bit happier after he made his address saying he would introduce laws to make Rwanda work. But when 56 Liebore MPs defied the whip and Lego head, he really cheered up. The fact that it included 10 shadow frontbenchers and of whom eight were shadow ministers made him actually smile.
I see we have signed another new trade deal. This time it is with the State of Florida, which might not sound very much but if we had signed a deal with Spain, I bet the MSM would have been shouting about it. But what is being ignored here is that the economy of Florida is bigger than that of Spain. Perhaps more important is the fact that Florida has a huge aerospace industry, and we have a massive aerospace industry, it could be a match made in heaven. Biden has no intention of signing a trade agreement with us, he hates the U.K., but we continue to pick off individual states and already have agreements with Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington. We are also talking with Texas, California, Colorado, and Illinois.
Yesterday the impartial BBC announced that the Israeli Defence Force had entered the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City and quoting a Reuters report that they said claimed the IDF was targeting Arab speakers and medics. It was quickly revealed that what Reuters had actually reported was that IDF medics and Arab speakers had entered the hospital with incubators and baby food. The BBC put out an on-air correction, strangely it was in the middle of the Supreme Court announcement on Rwanda so only a few people saw it. Why is it that the BBC always misreports in favour of Hamas? They are still saying ‘Hamas are classified as a terrorist organisation by the U.K. Government’ implying that the BBC does not classify them as terrorists.
Suddenly there is a rush of companies wanting to run services through the Channel Tunnel. A couple of weeks ago I reported on the Spanish company that wanted to run a service between London and Paris and claimed to have ordered 12 train sets, a claim that has since been disputed by the train makers. Next up was Virgin Trains, who are talking about running services from London to the Continent. Now I hear of Dutch start-up company Heuro who aim to start running trains between Amsterdam and Paris to London. Heuro say they intend to run 15 trains between London and Amsterdam daily starting in 2028. That seems a huge number of daily trains to me. I wonder if any of these services will actually come into being?
Since being launched last June, I hear that the Glasgow Low Emissions Zone has raked in nearly half a million pounds in fines for the council. Unlike London where non-compliant vehicles pay £12.50p each day for a breach of the regulations, if you breach the Glasgow zone in a non-compliant car or light van it will cost you £60. A sum which doubles for each subsequent breach up to a capped £480. The charges for buses, trucks and heavier vehicles also start at £60 but double up one more time to a cap of £960. If you keep on breaching the zone, then you keep being fined the maximum. I hear that over 20,000 maximum fines have been issued. Glasgow City Council seem to have found a licence to print money.
I am afraid I really don’t understand a recent announcement of a new railway station for Bradford, which has been awarded £400,000 by the Department for Transport. The site of the station has not yet been decided, nor its design, nor has the line it will be on. The claim is that when built the station will be on a line to Manchester via Huddersfield reducing the current journey time to 30 minutes. However, the route has not yet been decided but the word is the station will spark a new industrial estate and housing. It all sounds very pie in the sky to me.
I have never heard of the Comixology app, but apparently it allows people to read comics online. It was originally launched by an independent company, but it was taken over a year or so ago by Amazon. The first thing they did was launch a replacement Comixology app which ‘experts’ examined and declared to be the Kindle app with a new skin. Now I hear that Amazon say that on 3rd December the Comixology app will cease to function, however users of the app will still be able to access their comics through the Kindle App on iOS, Android and Amazon tablets like Fire. Another bit of software that has been gobbled up by one of the big software houses.
Good morning all, it looks like it’s going to be a nice day in London today. That makes a nice change from all the rain of late. Mind you I hear it is a one-day-only event, it’s back to more rain tomorrow.
The Sun has found somewhere serving Christmas dinner in a bap. For £7.99 you get turkey, gammon, stuffing, mac and cheese, sausage, roast potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding. You also get your own jug of gravy. The resulting roll is enormous, you would need a mighty big mouth to be able to bite into it. I hear that it is absolutely delicious.
For his first trip abroad, I see ‘Call me Dave’ has popped off to Kyiv to hold talks with Zelensky. I somehow suspect that this was a trip that had been previously set up for the previous Foreign Secretary and ‘Call me Dave’ just stepped in. But Dave is always happy to get a bit of publicity, a subject he knows all about having worked for Carlton Communications. Dave expressed the U.K.’s, continued support for Ukraine both politically and with military aid.
I see that British researchers have developed a treatment for sickle cell disease. The treatment has been licensed but is currently so expensive that it will not be generally affordable, unless it becomes available on the NHS. The treatment involves taking bone marrow from the patient and using gene editing to cut away the damaged part of the DNA that creates the damaged blood cells the disease is named after. In tests the treatment has proved successful in over 90% of cases. I can only hope that the costs come down quickly.
On Wednesday, Emirates Airlines said they were not going to place any more orders for the Airbus A350-900 because the Rolls-Royce engines were ‘defective’. The trade dismissed this as a ‘negotiating position’ to try to reduce the plane’s price. Whether this worked or not we will never know but yesterday Emirates ordered 15 more A350-900 aircraft to add to the 50 already ordered. Every order for the A350 is good news for the U.K. because Rolls Royce is the sole supplier of their engines. So far over 1,000 A350s have been ordered which means well over 2,000 engines from Rolls Royce as airlines need spares.
The Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Network Rail and the Great British Railways Transition Team to implement a ‘a fully integrated public transport system in Merseyside’. The first part of this is a new station on the outskirts of Kirby called Headbolt Lane. I’m a little confused how this station helps local travellers. The station is on the line between Manchester, Wigan and Liverpool. Trains from Manchester & Wigan now stop at the new Headbolt Lane station and passengers wanting to travel on to Liverpool must get off the train and walk to the other end of the station where the MerseyRail service to Liverpool departs. The MerseyRail train is battery-powered and I hear they want more in the integrated system. Headbolt Lane is a very strange station, in effect it is two stations end to end and the only way to get from one to the other is to walk!
Another strange story reaches me from Scottishland. This one is about Altnabreac station on what is known as the Far North Line. Altnabreac and seven other stations on the line are request stops and passengers getting on or off at them are supposed to inform the driver. At the other seven stations a push button mechanism has been installed in a shelter on the platform for passengers to request the driver to halt. Pushing the button sends a radio message to the driver. But at Altnabreac the only access to the station is via a private road and the owner of the road has not given the workmen permission to use the road. Consequently, Scott Rail has decided to stop serving the station. I wonder if they have considered delivering the workers to the station by train!
Gosh, it’s Saturday again and it’s back to rain here in London. It’s not too cold but gosh is it wet. It is quiet today, no Rich Boy, so it was yummy KFC last night. I was given almost all the meat off a chicken leg. I think I prefer the leg meat, sometimes the breast is dry but the leg is always moist and tasty. The skin was even chopped up into little bits for me, so I didn’t have to get my whiskers greasy ripping it up!
Sky TV have been quietly turning off the interactive services on the old Sky boxes. The idea seems to make operating the satellite services cheaper by no longer needing the bandwidth to broadcast these services and migrating them to the internet. Hence if you have a Sky Q box, or one of their internet-linked TV’s, you will still get the services. Of one thing you can be certain, you won’t be paying any less for a reduced service.
Staffordshire Police, a force that is in special measures because it is useless, has found time and manpower to produce a 36-page document for its officers. In the document it warns their officers that using the term policeman could be illegal. This is the result of all the wokeness creeping into policing and goes perfectly with the police not bothering to nick people who march in support of Hamas.
Yesterday Everton Football Club were docked 10 points under the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. This leaves them joint bottom of the Premier League table on 4 points and bang in a fight against relegation. The FFP rules basically say a club can lose £105 million over a 3-year period. Earlier this week I told you about Chelsea and the revelation that their old owner appears to have made secret payments so as to avoid reporting losses breaching this limit. It is a bit worse in Chelsea’s case as they have been playing in Europe and have probably breached UEFA rules as well. But what about Manchester City they are also being investigated for breaches of FFP rules and in their case, it seems to be 115 breaches of the rules! They could be in awful trouble here.
I hear that Turkey are talking to the U.K. and Spain about purchasing 40 Eurofighter Typhoons. The plane is built by a consortium of British, Spanish and German companies and it looks like both Britain and Spain are willing to sell them the planes, but Turkey make the point that they haven’t yet been talking with Germany. I only hope that this is not another case like the sale of Eurofighters to Saudi Arabia, where we have agreed a sale, but Germany are dragging their feet. Without these orders, Germany say they will be out of Eurofighter work in 2026 and thousands will be made redundant. Are the Germans cutting off their nose to spite their face?
You probably heard that King Big Ears III, had his 75th birthday this week and that Ginge and Whinge phoned him from California to wish him a happy birthday. But what amazed me about the story was that Ginge had to book the call with Big Ears. Why? Well, it seems that our King doesn’t own a mobile phone and for the call he had to arrange to be close to a landline. This really surprised me; I can’t understand how someone like him can survive in the modern world without a mobile phone.
I understand that Celebrity Cruises are a little bothered about their 2024 European cruise bookings out of the U.K. Ships departing the U.K. are OK but they tend to offer a lot of trips departing from Barcelona and Italy. In the U.K. they sell these as fly cruises and book you onto a scheduled flight, unlike P&O who sail ships out of Malta and Tenerife and who charter their own flights. But scheduled flights cost more per person, and it means passengers are turning up at odd times all through departure day. P&O know when their charters are arriving and can lay on coaches from the airport to the ship knowing that a whole plane full is going to arrive together. What is Celebrity going to do? w
Well, it looks like they are going to follow P&O and offer charter flights.
Well, I’m delighted to say I’ve made it through another week. It’s a horrible day out there and I will not be on the windowsill today, instead I will resort to the comfy chair so I can keep my eye on this afternoon’s comings and goings. See you all next week.
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