Larry’s Diary, Week Two Hundred And Nineteen


Hi folks, I’m getting back into the swing of this daily diary thing again. The Rich Boy is due to make a statement in the Commons this afternoon on the bombing of the Houthis last week. I don’t think he is in any danger of any trouble as most MPs agree with the U.K. defending ourselves when our warship was attacked. I suppose that the likes of the Tramp and his little band of near Communists will think us defending ourselves is an outrage and even the Limp Dumps and Scott Nuts will not be happy but if it comes to a vote, I bet they would abstain.

The report into the Rochdale grooming gangs commissioned by the Mayor of Manchester is out this morning. It seems that the report firmly blames the Greater Manchester Police and Rochdale Council, because they chose to dismiss the girls reporting rape and sexual assault because they were white and the attackers were nearly all Muslims and an investigation might have caused local racial tensions. In effect the Labour Council gave the Muslims a free hand to attack young white girls. I understand the report says there are still hundreds of Muslims who have been identified but not prosecuted.

The construction of Sizewell ‘C’ moved a step closer this morning. When the project gained planning permission back in June 2022 there were a number of conditions attached before a Development Consent Order (DCO) could be issued. Well, I understand that all the conditions have now been met and the DCO has been triggered. Now all that remains before work starts in earnest is EDF raising the remainder of the £20 billion projected cost. The two reactors at Sizewell are planned to deliver a total of 3.2 Gw and take nine years to construct. I don’t think I will be around to see it up and running.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
What Sizewell ‘C’ is supposed to look like!.
Sizewell C,
Public domain

Late last week news broke of Delta Airlines placing an order for 20 Airbus A350-1000 wide-body jets plus 20 options. This is a significant order because Delta has a reputation for doing smart deals for its new aircraft and not caring who it buys from providing the planes bought are right for the overall fleet mix and at the right price. As such Delta has a lot of Airbus planes in its fleet but last June it ordered 100 Boeing 737 Max planes. Admittedly it gained a lot of its Airbuses when it took over Northwest Airlines, but the interesting thing was it dumped its old Boeing jets in favour of the inherited Airbus planes saying they had a better seat mile cost. But Delta also ordered what is now the Airbus A220 when it was still a Bombardier product as it saw it as the ideal replacement for its Boeing 717. As I pointed out last week this is good business for British industry.

I have been reading about a small supermarket and takeaway shop in Scottishland where they have been without a landline for three months. The shop had also included a sub Post Office and the shop’s landline had been in the Post Office’s name, so when the sub Post Office closed the landline was lost. The shop and the Post Office agreed that the shop could take over the landline number and BT agreed to the move but said that it would have to become a digital line and as such sent them a phone to plug into the shop’s Wi-Fi router. But the router was incompatible with the phone, so BT promised a replacement router. That was three months ago, and all the shop has received from BT is bills for a service it hasn’t got.

So, at long last the Government has decided to proscribe the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamist group as terrorists. I’m not sure why it has taken so long for this to happen when this group is already banned in many countries around the world including Germany and Muslim Pakistan. The aims of Hizb ut-Tahrir aren’t just anti-Jewish but are in favour of turning the whole world into an Islamic state with Sharia law and has made many announcements in favour of terrorism. So as of today, it becomes an offence to be a member or supporter of the organisation, I hope to see arrests soon.

Last week a double-decker electric bus burst into flame in south London, a not uncommon event for electric vehicles. The bus was on the number 200 route and the operator of the route has withdrawn all the electric buses on this route while an investigation takes place. Under pressures from Sad Dick to hit Net Zero for TfL by 2030, over 1,000 of London’s buses are now electric. If there is a fault with these buses that makes them spontaneously burst into flames how is London’s bus network going to work when all those 1,000 buses are withdrawn?


Gosh, it’s cold today in London, but at least there is no snow down here in London. But the big news when I woke up was the Trump landslide win in the Iowa Republican caucus. I see he got over 51% of the vote which is pretty good for a candidate who didn’t bother to campaign! The second and third, Desantis and Hailey, were miles behind and fourth place Ramaswamy did so badly on 8% that he has quit the race and told his supporters to vote for Trump. The bandwagon now rolls on to New Hampshire next week.

I am only a cat, and I don’t have the huge brain that some Liebore intellectuals are supposed have, but I know that there is something fishy about the Liebore spending plans for the money it claims it will collect from charging VAT on private schools. Liebore says this policy will bring in £1.7 billion. But the Institute for Fiscal Studies says it is likely to be nearer £1.5 billion while the EDSK think tank suggested the plan will raise less than £1 billion and warned that could fall to just £19 million if there is an exodus of private pupils to state schools. Yesterday Liebore announced a seventh spending pledge based on this VAT charge taking the announced spending from this source to £1.5 billion with two of the policies un-costed. Somehow, I think Liebore is trying to hide the real numbers and this policy is heading down the same drain as the £28 billion a year green fund.

I learnt something today. Apparently, when cats were first taken into homes in ancient Egypt to keep the population of mice down, they all had fully camouflaged coats. But occasionally one would pop up with genetic variations that showed white patches here and there. The Egyptians rather liked the white bits so interbred them to produce more and more white. Now it is recognised that many of the friendliest, cutest cats have white bellies, throats, paws and parts of their faces. It is only breeds like Bengals that keep the camouflage, excellent for hunting in the wild, but no use for hunting mice in a house! So cats like me with lots of white are the friendliest, cutest cats designed to live with people, and all black cats are beloved by witches!

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
My cousin from Bengal.
Bengal cat,
roberto shabs
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I hear that there are new rules for passengers arriving at some of Britain’s airports and using the e-gates to enter the country. Up to now children aged 10 to 12 travelling were banned from using the e-gates and had to go through a real live person. But at Heathrow and Gatwick children over 10 can now use the e-gate but up to the age of 17 they must be accompanied by an adult.

A story reaches me about the Storm Shadow/Scalp cruise missile. Apparently, when it was first proposed by Britain and France that they should supply the missile to Ukraine it was thought that it would take many months to integrate it with the Ukrainian Su24M bombers. However, the British/French/Italian manufacturers MBDA clicked into war mode and integrated the missile into the Russian built plane’s electronic systems in three weeks. I don’t know what this says about the procurement systems of Western nations, are we over-fussy about details?, but it seems to prove that in wartime these things just get done. It was a similar thing that happened when the fleet was readied to sail for the Falklands in just three days.

Following on from the last story I hear that Ukraine wants to acquire the German Taurus cruise missile, but if the Germans were to agree to supply them, they think it would take six months to adapt the Ukraine’s Su24M’s to be adapted to launch them. Now Ukraine says it can’t be without its Su24s for that length of time so would like the French to supply some of its Mirage 2000D attack aircraft instead. These are being phased out of the French Air Force and are already capable of launching standard NATO weapons like the German Taurus. Oh, and while they are talking about extra Western planes, they would also like some of the A-10 Warthog ground attack planes that the US is phasing out of its air force. I wonder how long it will be before Ukraine starts asking for F-35s?


It is yet another cold start to the day and the snow in the north of the nation is nasty. I see that the forecast said it is just possible there could be a sprinkling of snow in the south coast. I see inflation was up a spot this morning and the blame is being put on increases in the price of alcohol and petrol, thank goodness I don’t drink or have a car.

Another bit of bad news for Boeing. In China the 737 Max had been banned since the two crashes due to the secret software. A number of Chinese airlines have 737 Max planes on order and can’t accept them because of the state edict. Just before the Alaskan Airlines door plug falling out, China was making noises about clearing these planes for delivery. One of the big Chinese airlines China Southern Airlines was reported to be preparing to receive planes starting this month, but this has now gone by the way. Boeing has built many of the ordered planes and they are hanging about parked in fields deteriorating. I wonder how long Boeing can afford to hang on to these planes.

I understand that UK company Newcleo and French company NAAREA are set to form a strategic partnership to develop and supply small modular reactors. On the surface this sounds good but it is a strange partnership as the two startups are developing totally different technologies and sized reactors. NAAREA is working on a molten salt-fast neutron nuclear micro-generator capable of producing 40 MW of electricity and 80 MW of heat. Newcleo is developing two concepts for lead-cooled mini-fast reactors (30 MW and 200 MW). It makes you wonder what technology and size of unit will come out of this alliance.

Do you remember me telling you about the Green Party-run council in Brighton stopping using weed killer on the streets and allowing the weeds to grow? In the last local elections, the Greens lost control to Liebore and did nothing over last summer and autumn to control the weeds. I now read that the council says the weeds have got out of control and are a danger to the blind and wheelchair users. Consequently, the Liebore council are now considering going back to using weed killer.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
The weeds in Brighton are much worse!.
Elsie esq
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I see that millionaire Emma Radacanu actually managed a win at the Australian Open yesterday. Since winning the US open, she has hardly won a match. In fact she has been knocked out in the first round in many competitions and had numerous injuries and coaches. I understand she says that she had been suffering pain every time she played a stroke and had major operations on both wrists and an ankle. I have no expectation of her winning the competition, but I do hope she progresses through a few rounds, it would make a nice change.

Emirates Airlines is starting a huge recruitment campaign. This summer they are due to start receiving its new Airbus A350 widebody jets and next year it is the Boeing 777X. Although the Airbus is likely to be delivered, the delivery of the Boeing could well be put back once again. But Emirates have calculated that they need 5,000 additional cabin crew and are sending out recruitment teams to 460 cities on six continents. In August last year Emirates had 21,000 cabin crew and is currently running at about 22,500. But they have hundreds of planes on order and need to train the staff before they can fly.

Just outside Oxford there is a huge reservoir called Farmoor and over this last few weeks of heavy rain and flooding its water level has been falling, when logically it should have been filling. The operators, Thames Water, says that it stopped filling the reservoir because the water in the rivers that normally fill it have been highly polluted. With floods all over Oxfordshire of course the rivers have been full of mud. But it is not mud that has bothered Thames Water, it is the sewage the rivers contain. Why do the rivers contain sewage, it seems to be that same Thames Water whose sewage farms have been dumping sewage in the rivers! Thames say that the rivers are now clearing, meaning they have stopped dumping sewage, and that they expect to start filling Farmoor again this weekend.


Good morning everyone and it’s still no warmer. The sky is blue and the sun are out, but it was definitely chilly when I popped out. The Rich Boy was a bit happier this morning having got his Rwanda bill through the Commons. It was noticeable how many of his MPs who voted against the government on amendments, changed their mind when it came down to the whole bill. I guess a bill you would like to be stronger is better than voting down a government and letting Liebore in.

Scientists in Iceland have just discovered a new fossil estimated to be half a billion years old. It is a carnivorous worm that was about 30cm long and had a large head with powerful jaws and two long antennae. It also swam as it has fins down either side. While small by present-day aquatic worm standards, all those years ago it was believed to have been one of the biggest aquatic creatures and an apex predator.

Last week it was reported the Ukraine had downed a Russian A-50 Airborne Early Warning aircraft. I didn’t mention this before as I wasn’t sure if this really happened or was a bit of Ukrainian propaganda. But the Russian commentators on Telegram have now confirmed that it did happen and an Il22M flying command post was also involved. The Russians usually keep the A-50 well away from the front line flying over the Sea of Azov out of range of Ukrainian missiles but close enough for their long-range radar to pick up missile and bomber attacks on Crimea. The A-50 has a flaw in that it lacks the radio power to effectively downlink data, so it is often accompanied by an Il22 that acts as a relay station. It seems that late last week the Ukrainians used their HIMARS rockets to take out a number of Russian ground radar stations and this caused the Russians to move the A-50 closer to the front line. The Ukrainians briefly illuminated it for short periods with various radar systems before lighting it up for 20 secs with a Patriot battery, just long enough for it to acquire target data. The resulting shot took down the A-50 and damaged the Il22 but it’s not been reported if it crashed or was able to land.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Did it crash or land?
IL-22M RF-75337 taking off from Ostafyevo, Moscow,
Dmitry Terekhov
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Liebore has issued a ‘campaign Bible’ to all its general election candidates. The 24-page document is supposed to be a guide to candidates about policies and what to say about them. Intriguingly it seems that the pledge to borrow £28 billion a year to spend on green programmes has totally disappeared! Old Lego Head Starmer has been rowing back on this promise for some time. Initially it was going to be £28 billion every year from year one, then it was only going to be in later years of the government, now it seems to have disappeared completely. Has Lego Head finally realised that it is not a viable policy?

When you were little did you have a pretend steering wheel that had a rubber sucker on the end, so that you could pretend to drive the family car. I hear that 10 of the trains on the Dockland Light Railway are getting vinyl fake control panels so that children can pretend to drive them. If it is successful, the plan is to install pretend steering wheels on the front seats of the new DLR trains so that kids can pretend to drive them.

Academics at Oxford University asked an Artificial Intelligence engine to design a railway network where the trains didn’t crash. After a bit of processing the programme churned out a result that would fulfil the specification. However, to the surprise of the professors the answer was to just not run any trains. I guess this is a bit of a wake-up for all the people who think that AI is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It shows that you have to be very careful how you ask a question, or you might get a stupid answer. In computing there is a well-known saying, garbage in, garbage out.

I hear that Samsung has been overtaken by Apple as the world’s leading manufacturer of handheld devices (mobile phones). While Apple sales have only risen slowly Samsung sales have fallen, particularly in China, where several domestic manufacturers have been making big strides. Apple has always sold its products worldwide and although it sells a lot of phones in China it is not as crucial a market as it is for Samsung. In addition, Apple has started to move production away from China to Vietnam and India to keep its prices down and its sales up.


I am getting fed up with all these freezing cold mornings, there was a heavy frost this this morning when I trotted behind the gardener’s shed. I didn’t hang about outside very long and was quickly back to my waiting breakfast Felix. I see a lefty doctor, who blogs as Dr Mike, says that if the Princess of Wales had been treated in an NHS hospital, she would have been kicked out of hospital the next day. Really? He has no idea what she was operated on for, only that it wasn’t for cancer, so he can’t say how long she should be in. Firstly, he should be thankful she wasn’t in an NHS hospital as by going private it freed up a bed for someone who needed it, and the necessary security would have disrupted the hospital. He also ignores all the bed blocking that goes on in the NHS where medically fit people can’t be discharged because there is no support for them outside hospital. Dr Mike sounds like a typical lefty doctor.

A nice story about a man getting stuck in the lavatory on a SpiceJet Boeing 737 flight in India, on the short trip from Mumbai to Bengaluru. Apparently, the man went to the loo shortly after the plane took off and the door lock jammed trapping him in the toilet for an hour, until the plane landed and engineers managed to free him. The airline apologised for the ‘inconvenience’ but did refund his fare in compensation.

The trade press is speculating that Carnival is on the verge of placing an order worth €5 billion with an Italian yard, Fincantieri for four cruise ships. The story is that these will be similar class ships, weigh in at over 200,000 tonnes dead weight and will go to various companies in the group. The first one is expected to go to Carnival itself and the second to subsidiary Costa, but where the final two go is not being suggested. Carnival has several brands that it could go to, such as Cunard, Princess, P&O, AIDA, Holland America and P&O Australia. I doubt that some of the subsidiaries might have a problem absorbing such a large ship into their operations. At the moment only rival Royal Caribbean International operates ships this large and they operate mainly in the Caribbean which is Carnival’s back garden. With a new ship joining Cunard this spring I doubt one will go there and although P&O operate Caribbean fly-cruises for the the U.K. market it has had problems this year finding the number of widebody jets to fly thousands of people from the U.K. to the Caribbean every week to service the 5,200 and 3,700 that it stations in Barbados. Personally, I would back number three going to Princess and number four going to Carnival itself.

Fishermen in Southend and Leigh on Sea have got reason for being happy. A big colony of Manila and razor clams has been found in the Thames Estuary. Under the EU fishing regulations, they would not have been able to catch them, but now we have Brexited they are going to be able to harvest them under our own rules. Apparently, the catch is expected to bring in some £30 million a year.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Manila clams.
Manila clams,
Manila Clams
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Following seven weeks of rain in central Panama, the Canal Authority reports that the water level in the Gatan Lakes has risen and it has increased the number of daily canal transits slightly to 24. This is still nothing like the 38 daily transits when the lake was full, but it seems there are only a total of 45 unbooked ships waiting to make the transit, with most of them wanting to head from the Caribbean to the Pacific. However, in the last year 790 fewer ships used the short cut than in the previous year costing Panama a fortune in transit fees.

Another big order for the Boeing 737 Max has been announced despite the current problems with the Max 9. Indian airline Akasa has placed an order for 150, made up of a mix of Max 10 and Max 8-200 planes. The Max 8-200 is a special version of the Max 8 with a reduced seat pitch to squeeze in 200 seats in a normal 180-seat plane and is ideal for low-cost operations like Akasa and Ryanair. The Max 10 is still to be certified. I wonder what level of discount Akasa got to place the order while the Max 9 is still grounded?

I read of a house builder having to knock down newly built houses on a huge estate in Cambridgeshire. The Darwin Green estate is being built by Barratt David Wilson Homes and will eventually have up to 1,593 homes as well as a park, primary school, supermarket, library and sports facilities. Apparently, people became concerned when cracks started appearing in a batch of the Phase II homes some of which had been sold but not yet occupied. Now it has been realised that 18 newly built houses have faulty foundations and are to be knocked down and rebuilt. People living in the Phase I homes have all had inspections and have been told that their houses are perfectly OK but have been offered an extra 15 years on their standard 10-year warranty. It is said the problem arrears to be related to the Phase II foundations and the builder intends to reuse bricks, doors, windows and door and window frames and fittings wherever possible.


Well, at least it’s a little warmer this morning, I didn’t have to rush back because my little paws were frozen. I am a happy Larry this morning, it was another KFC night last night and I got quite a bit as I think they over-ordered.

Your cat reporter has got it right again. Earlier this week I told you Liebore were dumping the £28 billion a year green fund after continually watering it down. Now it is being reported in the media that the policy has been chucked with a spokesman saying it a becoming a ‘millstone round their neck’. They have recently been questioned on how it was to be funded, would it be from additional borrowing or additional taxation, which they refused to answer. I am looking forward to hearing what Ed Millipede their green lunatic has to say, in recent months he has been notable by his absence from the front-line shadow ministers sent out to face the media. Could it be that he had got wind of what was coming and couldn’t be trusted to keep his mouth shut?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Red Ed.
Ed Miliband meeting campaigners from the Save Our Forests campaign,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Yesterday was a very expensive day for Prince Harry when he withdrew his libel case against the Daily Mail. The Mail had said that he had tried to keep his row with the Home Office over the withdrawal of security secret. He had already asked the judge to rule in his favour without a hearing and had it refused by the judge who deemed that the Mail’s defence had a good chance of succeeding. Now, just hours before the Ginger one’s lawyers were due to hand over a long list of documents, the court was told by his lawyers that the case was being withdrawn in its entirety. This leaves Ginger liable to pay the Mail’s legal costs estimated to be around £250,000 and his own costs estimated at £500,000. Could it just be there was something in those documents that would have lost Ginger the case?

It’s nice to read that one of Britain’s train operators is being successful. The open-access rail operator Hull Trains, that runs a direct service between Hull’s Paragon Station and London Kings Cross, has increased passenger numbers by 38% in the last year. It has also introduced new five-car trains on the route. However, they have realised that the number of seats they can offer on some services, for some unknown reason particularly Sundays, is insufficient. Consequently, they are going to start offering some 10 car services by hitching together two five-car trains. The only problem is that passengers cannot move between the five car units and this also applies to staff. Hence Hull Trains have had to hire additional train managers and trolly staff!

The decision of Arsenal to have their women’s team play six of their home league matches and all its Women’s Champions League home games at the Emirates Stadium seems to have been a huge success and drawn massive crowds to the stadium. They have already set and then beaten the Women’s Super League attendance record which now stands at over 59,000. They have at least two more matches scheduled to be played at the Emirates, the first is in February against Manchester United and they have already sold over 50,000 seats. The second match is against their old rival Totteringham in March and that has sold 35,000 seats already! The women have been selling out their official home at Boreham Wood every time they play there, and it can only be a matter of time until they play all their home games at the Emirates.

While we in the U.K. have reduced our coal-fired power generation and our production of thermal coal to virtually nothing in honour of the great god ‘Net Zero’ the rest of the world has done exactly the opposite. Worldwide the production of electricity from coal-fired power stations rose to a new world record, mainly due to the production of new coal-fired power stations in India, Indonesia and China. China alone has been adding two coal-fired units a week. Naturally, thermal coal production has also hit a new world record and I was surprised when I read that by far and away the biggest producer of thermal coal was Indonesia.

News reaches me of testing of the UK’s DragonFire laser weapon. The laser is apparently being refined into an air defence weapon capable of both land and sea use. In the latest test the weapon is said to have successfully destroyed a drone at long range. A spokesman said the weapon could hit a 50p piece at a kilometre with a cost of about £10 a shot. With the Navy having to fire £100,000 missiles at cheap Houthi drones, DragonFire needs to be in service very soon.

That’s my diary finished for the week. The girl doing the TV weather says it going to get warmer after a lot of wind and rain tomorrow night. But today it is still not good enough for venturing out this afternoon. Once again, it’s going to my comfy chair in reception and that lovely open fire. I hope to be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2024