Larry’s Diary – Week Two Hundred And Twenty-Three


Hi folks, what a lovely sunny Monday morning here in London. I must say I was a little surprised to see a clear blue sky through the window before I went out. It’s half term in much of London this week and a dry start to the holiday is most unusual. I wonder how long it will last.

For my first story today, I bring you the tale of the Liebore candidate for the upcoming by-election in Rochdale. Last week, it is reported, Azhar Ali had a rant claiming that the Israelis knew all about the October Hamas attack in advance and allowed it to happen so they could justify attacking innocent Palestinians. This blatantly antisemitic outburst has been widely condemned, and he has apologised saying it was wrong and he is sorry. What I can’t understand is how Liebore has let him remain a candidate, if he was a Conservative candidate Liebore would have shouted from the treetops for him to be sacked. Why haven’t Liebore sacked him? Could it be because at this late stage the laws don’t allow them to replace him as their candidate?

I hear that in Russia, the Western sanctions are beginning to bite on the airlines. Before the war in Ukraine, many Russian airlines bought or leased Western planes. The sanctions put a halt to new sales and Russia paid up leases so as not to have to return leased aircraft. But the problem doesn’t stop there. The sanctions also bar the export of spares and it is this that is now causing problems. The story I told you a while ago about a Urals Airways Airbus A320 making an emergency landing in a wheatfield was caused by a faulty hydraulic system and was just one of the 37 incidents last year believed to have been caused by a lack of spares. This was double the number the previous year.

Today Siemens Mobility announced that it is going to manufacture even more of its order for Piccadilly Line tube trains than originally agreed at its new factory in Goole, Yorkshire. The £200 million factory is expected to commence production in March and to share the order 50-50 with the Siemens plant in Vienna, Austria. Now the Goole plant will build 80% of the order for 96 new trains. Siemens say the new factory will employ 700 people directly and this order alone will provide them with three years work. The first of the new trains are currently on trial in Austria and after delivery to TfL they will undergo testing and driver training. The first trains are expected in service next year and when the fleet is completed TfL say they will be able to run 27 trains an hour instead of the current 24 and each train will carry 10% more passengers.

Has the media got an agenda against the two Royal Navy aircraft carriers? There was a huge kerfuffle when it was revealed that one of the propeller shafts on HMS Prince of Wales was slightly misaligned and had suffered wear damage. It hardly got mentioned that the complete propulsion shafts were made and installed by a ‘European company’. It was rebuilt and realigned in Rosyth. Now a similar thing seems to have occurred to HMS Queen Elizabeth and it was announced it would be replaced on an exercise by PoW. When it didn’t sail yesterday the media came down hard again on PoW. However, I hear it was on standby to sail within 30 days of notification and today is actually the 7th day. The Navy had actually been aiming at a 48-hour sailing window covering yesterday and today and it actually sailed today, 23 days earlier than it was on standby for.

Fifty years ago today the BBC broadcast the first episode of Bagpuss the world’s only pink and white cat. Of course, I am not that old so I wasn’t around to see the original broadcast but it has been repeated so many times I am familiar with it. I remember some of his companions in the show like Professor Yaffel the wooden Woodpecker, Gabriel the toad, and the musical mice who live in the mouse organ. What surprised me was that there were only ever 13 episodes made.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Who remembers Bagpus?
Bagpus – The Beaney,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I read of an illegal immigrant killing himself while trying to smuggle himself across the channel on the roof of a Eurostar train. CCTV showed the man climbing down from a platform opposite the train crossing the track and attempting to climb on the roof of the train. Unfortunately, the man came into contact with the 25,000-volt overhead cable and the CCTV video shows him bursting into flames. Unsurprisingly he was declared dead at the scene. I suspect this may act as a deterrent to others trying to get themselves to the U.K. in this way.


This morning started off dry, but the rain started very soon after I had my breakfast. This morning, I see that the unemployment numbers have fallen again to 3.8%. Now you might think that this is good news with more people in work and the government having to pay out less unemployment money. But according to someone on the radio this morning it is a bad thing as it shows the economy is overheating. You just can’t win can you!

Late yesterday the Liebore Party finally realised it was in a hole and stopped digging. Having sent out the troops on the Sunday TV and radio round to defend Azhar Ali their Rochdale antisemitic candidate, they realised they were on to a hiding to nothing and decided to abandon him. It was announced that he had been suspended from the party and would not be having their support at the by-election. Liebore are in a bit of trouble now as it is too late to replace him as their candidate. Wouldn’t it be fun if he was elected and had to sit as an independent?

Lidl has launched a trial at 21 of its Glasgow shops of a bottle return scheme. They have installed machines capable of taking certain bottles and issuing a 5p voucher in exchange. The machines will accept bottles made of PET plastic and glass, or aluminium cans provided they have not been crushed. The vouchers can be used in stores to reduce the cost of purchases. I don’t quite understand how Lidl can make any profit from the scheme as there is no check on where the bottles were bought.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Taking the empty bottles back?
In front of the Lidl,
Italian voice
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Following on from yesterday’s story of the anti-Semitic Liebore parliamentary candidate I hear that despite Lego Head’s protestations about cleansing the party, one third of the complaints received by the party are about anti-Semitism. The report I read said that since Lego Head took over as party leader over 700 complaints of anti-Semitism have been received. This is an amazingly high percentage and of course many of the complaints seem to get kicked into long grass in the hope that the complainant will give up and go away.

I have seen a photo on the internet that is supposedly an F-16 fighter in the colours of the Ukrainian Air Force. Interestingly even the Ukrainians say it is a fake which someone has photoshopped. From what I hear the hope had been to have the planes in service by this spring, but it now looks like they won’t be received in any number before the Autumn. This is for a number of reasons including the upgrading of planes to a more modern standard, pilot training, the training of ground crew, and the building of infrastructure including hardened bunkers for the planes between sorties.

In recent years it has become more difficult to recruit to the military. To this end the crews of modern British warships have been reduced considerably from their predecessors. For example, the current aircraft carriers only have a crew of 750 as opposed to over 2,000 for their predecessors. The Type 23 frigate currently in service, carry 178 crew but the Type 31 currently under construction will only have 105 crew. Now I hear Babcock are predicting that additional automation will mean that if they are selected to build the Type 32 it will only need around 50 crew members. I assume that these sailors will be highly trained specialists and the Navy will have little use for the old-fashioned AB.

I had to chuckle when I read that the US Vice President Camel Harris says she is “ready to serve” if called upon to replace Sniffer Joe and that if he drops out of the presidential race she will run in the primaries. Well, I read that Sniffer’s poll ratings are just awful with the numbers running negative. They are some of the worst ever seen for an incumbent president, but the Camel’s polling numbers are even worse! I rather think that The Donald would love for her to replace Sniffer on the ballot, but I really can’t see the Democratic grandees being that stupid as to run her for president.


Morning folks, dull and wet again this morning. This morning the media seems, once again, to be disappointed that the inflation rate hasn’t gone up as they predicted but has remained flat. Why is it that the media seems to want the country to plunge into inflation, was it simply because they got their predictions wrong again? Oh, and I see another Labour parliamentary candidate has been suspended for his part in the Azhar Ali meeting and a paper says five more candidates are being investigated. I shall be watching events. I bet Lego Head is delighted there is no PMQs today.

At the weekend a comedian called Paul Currie had a show at London’s Soho Theatre. Currie is an Irishman living over here and a rabid supporter of Palestine, he has video of himself on his website in a pro-Palestine march and can be heard shouting, ‘We are all Palestinians.’ Towards the end of his show, he brought a Palestinian flag on stage and many of the audience stood and applauded. One who didn’t was an Israeli man living over here and out celebrating his birthday with a friend. At the end of the show, nearly all the audience gave Currie a standing ovation, the exception was the Israeli man and his friend. This apparently enraged Currie who shouted at the Israeli and told him to ‘F**k off out of his show’ and to ‘F**k off out of his theatre.’ What a nice man. I hear that he is now being investigated by the Met police and banned from appearing at the theatre again.

The government of Western Australia has a reputation for being green and woke. It has just excelled itself by banning the sale of cheese and ham toasties and plain ham sandwiches in its schools. It has decided that ham is carcinogenic and that it needs to protect children from eating it. Other items banned include chips, fizzy drinks and sweets. The stupid thing is that the children probably go home from school and grab a cheese and ham toastie for their tea, wash it down with a Coke and follow it up with a Mars bar.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Banned in Western Australian Schools.
Ham & Cheese Toasted Sandwich,
Chris Bloom
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

On Tuesday anti-ULEZ campaigners blocked off every one of the 107 cameras in the London Borough of Sutton. Unlike the Blade Runners they didn’t hack through the cables or blow up the cameras, they simply put bags over them or cardboard in front of them. I understand that they even covered over several cameras that were not working. It took a while for TfL to respond, but some cameras were back two hours later. The problem of ULEZ is ongoing and Sad Dick is still standing firm and refusing to back down.

In the world of parcel delivery companies, some are rated better than others. In a recent survey it can’t have come as a surprise to anyone that Evri came out bottom, but they were equal bottom with Yodel the company owned by the Barclay brothers. But despite delivering 190 million parcels last year, Yodel have been close to collapse and has been seeking a buyer. Now I hear they have been taken over by YDLGP, a newly formed company backed by investment bank Solano Partners and the team behind logistics firm Shift. To further complicate the deal, it looks like YDLGP is also going to buy Shift and merge them with Yodel allowing them to use Shift’s novel AI-based software. I suppose only time will tell if Yodel can improve to be better than Evri.

I see that the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has announced that it is to extend its London run at the Palace Theatre for another year, taking it to at least March next year. The play, that is a follow-on to the bestselling novels, has been seen by 1.6 million people since it opened in London. It has also got productions running in New York, Hamburg and Tokyo where it has been seen by millions more. I wonder how much money the play has raised for the already very rich J K Rowling.

Openreach have announced that from early April they are going to double the maximum speed offered over their fibre network work. The new top speed will be 1.8 Gbps which will be made available to all the companies that use the Openreach network. These include BT, Sky, EE, and Plusnet, which means they should all be able to offer the new speed. What, of course, is missing is how much the new speed is going to cost and what effect it is going to have on existing customers.


Good morning all, it’s a bit brighter this morning and the weather girl says it’s going to be sunny and up to 16° here in Central London this afternoon. I think I will have to get my duties done early so I can get out and enjoy the sunshine.

According to the Internet, Ukrainian sea drones have sunk the Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov in the Black Sea off Yalta. This is the 22nd ship reportedly taken out by Ukraine. Once again, I am only reporting what the internet is saying and of course it could be propaganda. However, the Russians are reporting that six sea drones blew up in the Black Sea. The large landing ship has (had?) landing ramps at the bow and stern and could land tanks, trucks and over 300 troops and 80 crew. Reports on Telegram say the ship was hit by the drones and a big hole blown in the side. The reports also say that the crew survived. Once again, we will have to wait for further reports, but will Russia admit to yet another naval vessel being overwhelmed by drones?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Is it still afloat?
Sevastopol Ship Caesar Kunikov,
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

An intriguing bit of news reaches me from the EU. It appears that the commissars are not happy that their diktat for the people to buy electric cars has resulted in a rush to import cheap Chinese EVs and not to buy the much more expensive EVs from European manufacturers. Chinese manufacturers have a massive home market and huge government subsidies. So, what is the EU’s answer? It is to tell manufacturers that they must produce cheap EVs. This has no logic, the reason Chinese cars are cheap is manyfold, the subsidy, the numbers they sell and the lower standards accepted in cars in China. Can just demanding cheaper cars work, I somehow doubt it.

Talk about stupidity. In the US the FAA regulations state that ‘no smoking’ signs must be controlled manually by the cabin crew. This is 25 years after smoking was banned on all internal and international US flights. On both Boeing and Airbus planes the ‘no smoking’ signs are automatically illuminated when the APU is running, or the plane is attached to ground power so are in breach of the rule. Consequently, US airlines automatically apply for an exemption to the rule, listing all the aircraft types they operate. United has just started receiving A320neo aircraft and someone forgot to add them to their exempt list, meaning the aircraft could not be flown ‘as they were faulty’ until a temporary exemption was granted while the plane is being investigated. You couldn’t make it up.

More stupidity but this time it’s home grown. You probably didn’t know this, but the law limits the physical size of heat pumps. Well, this has of course caused problems where one is not powerful enough for big properties meaning that two or more have to be installed side by side. The makers also say that putting them in small casings also limits the amount of insulation they can use and makes them noisy. The government has now decided that the law needs to be altered to allow bigger heat pumps to be installed and where they can be positioned.

Another U.K. law that I hear the government is considering changing is that controlling building in conservation zones and areas of outstanding natural beauty. But don’t worry about spoiling the area, the changes will only apply to bin stores in front gardens! Now that councils are demanding that householders have numerous bins for household waste, types of recycling, garden waste and food waste, front gardens in some areas suffer from ‘bin blight’ and allowing people to have bin stores is designed to improve the outlook.

In 1984, Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill won gold for ice dance at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics, making Ravel’s Bolero forever famous. Now, some 40 years later, they have announced they are to do one last tour, before hanging up their skates for good in February next year, on the anniversary of their performance. I understand that they are both now in their mid-sixties and I doubt they could continue ice dancing for a lot longer. Mind you they appear to have made a decent living out of the win for the last 40 years.


Well, it is dull again this morning and rain is forecast for later. The Prime Miniature is walking around like a bear with a sore head after losing the two by-elections yesterday. I suspect he knew it was going to happen, but it was the extent of the loss that got to him. I am going to keep out of his way today.

The latest opinion polls on how people will vote in the general election are all over the place. In the last week there have been nine polls from different companies, in all of which Liebore have had a lead but the percentage lead has been as high as 25% and as low as 11%. What I have found intriguing is that the high numbers are always from the same couple of companies, while the lower numbers come from many of the other companies. One of the interesting things is that Reform seems to be constantly polling a couple of percentages ahead of the Limp Dumps. The Limp Dumps are pretty good at concentrating their support in certain constituencies and hence winning seats, whereas Reform support is more evenly spread meaning they will probably get more votes but no seats.

The Women’s Super League has just put out a tender for coverage of next season’s WSL matches. This year 57 of the 132 matches are being broadcast on BBC and Sky under a £7.75 million contract. Next season all the 132 matches will be available for broadcast with 56 being on an exclusive basis. It is believed that the BBC and Sky are likely to be interested again but others interested are said to be TNT and DAZN. The WSL are said to be looking for between £15 million and £20 million a year.

I hear that on Monday of this week a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles had to return to Amsterdam after eight of the nine onboard toilets failed. The plane was about an hour into its trip when the problem was reported to the captain by the cabin crew. The plane then flew a racetrack pattern north of Scotland before the crew decided to continue. But two hours later they did a ‘U’ turn over the Atlantic and headed back to Amsterdam. The passengers in effect suffered a six-and-a-half-hour trip to nowhere. Some hours later the airline swapped in another Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the 200 passengers continued their fight to LA arriving about nine hours late. I understand that this type of failure has happened on the 787 previously. On one notable occasion it happened to a Norwegian flight with a party of 65 plumbers on board.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Are the toilets working?
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner PH-BKC approaching JFK Airport,
Adam Moreira
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Transport for London has announced the names that have been chosen for six of its Overground lines by a committee packed with woke activists. Unsurprisingly the names reflect their views and we will now have to remember these six lines are called The Lioness Line, The Mildmay Line, The Windrush Line, The Weaver Line, The Suffragette Line and The Liberty Line. Sad Dick said the new names were, “Honouring and celebrating different parts of London’s unique local history and culture,” but I wonder what the general public thinks about such a load of wokery having rammed down its throat and at a cost of over £6 million. It’s only a wonder there isn’t a Sad Dick Line or a Phone Line.

Both Cunard and P&O have decided to amend the later legs of the current world cruises. Instead of going via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean they are to take the long way back to Southampton via South Africa. If they were cargo ships the route would add ten or eleven days to the journey, but I understand the dates the cruises are due back are on schedule. This will be achieved by cutting out planned ports of call in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Some ports will be added in Southern Africa, but the arrival in Southampton will generally be achieved by more days at sea for the passengers.

I read that passengers who use the Oban to Glasgow train service have been complaining that the trains on the route are freezing cold and they are having to wear extra layers of clothing to keep warm. Passengers say that when it is very cold, the trains’ heating system just doesn’t work adequately and sometimes blows cold air. The train operator, Scot Rail, says the heating runs off excess engine heat and when it is cold there is less heat available from the diesel engines that drive the Class 156 Sprinter multiple units, and they are looking for a solution. I wonder what idiot designed a heating system that works best when it is warm and doesn’t work when it is cold.


When I first got up it was drizzling, which came as a bit of a surprise as the weatherman on the radio this morning (Tomas Shuffledknackers) said it wasn’t going to rain in London until this evening when it was going to pour down. Someone got it wrong.

The Western sanctions on Russia have led to some odd results. For example, Russia now leans heavily on China for all sorts of things from armaments to automobiles. In fact, China must be rubbing its hands together as it is supplying 56% of Russia’s new cars. Western companies that have shut down their Russian businesses have lost a fortune and all control of their factories. For example, I hear the car maker Stellantis is particularly unhappy as a Russian company has taken over their Kaluga plant and is going to use it to produce Citroen cars. Initially the plant will assemble 42 Citroen C5 Aircross cars from kits imported from China. The kits are made by Chinese state-owned Dongfeng Motor Corporation with whom Stellantis have a joint venture and no control of Dongfeng’s exports. The Russian company that now owns the factory says it will be resuming manufacturing later this year. Will it be making knock-off Citroens? Only they know.

The latest news out of Ginge and Whinge world is a rebrand of the Archwell website as turning into a truly horrendous woke site. Apparently the suits in LA have demanded a rebrand to dump the Archwell site as it was becoming toxic due to its association with several of their failed enterprises. The excuse given is that the site is now inclusive to both their children who they name as Archie Sussex and Lillibet Sussex. Just how long has their surname been Sussex? Ginge was born and registered with the surname Mountbatten-Windsor following the joining of the surnames of the Queen and Prince Phillip. That is the surname of this father and siblings and the name on his birth certificate. It was also the name on Archie and Lillibet’s birth certificates. Have their surnames been officially changed to Sussex for advertising purposes!

It seems that an escaped Palawan binturong called Malu has been found and is back, unharmed, in his home at Dartmouth Zoo. The binturong, also known as a Bearcat, was found in a shed on an allotment. However, it is neither related to a bear or a cat but is of the same family as civets and is said to be an expert climber. Malu is currently in secure accommodation while an investigation is underway to establish how the animal, who is said to be very shy, escaped. One unusual thing I hear is that binturongs smell of popcorn.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
A snoozing bearcat.
BearCat Binturong – LetMeSleep,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Less than a month after the arrival of a baby lowland gorilla at London Zoo a second one has been born to a different mother but to the same silverback father. The zoo has been letting the baby bond with its mother, Effie, so I can’t tell you if it is a boy or girl as yet. But I do hear that it was born with its unbiblical cord wrapped around its body and the keepers were preparing an intervention before it fell off naturally. The two babies will now be able to grow up together and are sure to be a big attraction.

A sinkhole has suddenly opened in the bank of the Wilts and Berks Canal where it passes, on an aqueduct, over the River Ray. The council has rushed in to quickly build a coffer dam around the section of canal bank, where the hole has opened, to stop the bank collapsing and emptying the contents of the canal into the River Ray below it. The Ray runs through the middle of Swindon and major flooding is a worry. The aqueduct over the river is stone-built and over two hundred years old. The fear is that the structure is failing, but at the moment the river water level is too high for it to be inspected.

I have been reading a report on the collapse of the used car business that says it is due to a big fall in used EV car prices. Apparently, the reluctance of the man on the street to buy EVs not only applies to new ones but also used ones and many dealers are overstocked with second-hand electric vehicles that no one wants. This has led to several dealers shutting down what are known as motor supermarkets as they are not making a profit. The article talked about eight branches of Bravoauto being closed and main dealership Johnson’s closing a branch. It then mentioned that Underwood Motoring is to give up selling new cars at three of their dealerships. The article contains the following, “They will now only sell used whips and provide garage services.” I didn’t know there was such a big trade in ‘used whips’.

I’m done for the week. There are no nice sunny spells out there, in fact it has been raining all morning. So it’s my fall-back position, the reception armchair this afternoon. I hope to be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2024