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


Hi folks, another dull and wet morning to welcome me back to work. My duty feeder this morning was the one who likes to put the kitchen TV on. I was watching and listening while I ate my Felix and who did I see but Lego Head Starmer. He was making a speech at the Scottishland Liebore conference, where he was demanding a ceasefire in Palestine. Of course, his adoring followers cheered and clapped. But what difference will it make to the Israeli and Palestinian governments? None I suspect, while Israelis might know who he is, I suspect the Palestinians don’t and neither care what he thinks. He was playing to the Left wing of his party and the Muslim vote.

This morning news reaches me from Russia. No, not the war in Ukraine or the alleged murder of the leader of the opposition who was locked up in Siberian prison. I have been hearing reports that PooTin has a new mistress. After years of speculation that he had numerous affairs, he eventually dumped his wife, who looked like a cross between his mother and his cleaner and took up with an Olympic gymnast. Well, it seems he has now dumped her and his new squeeze is said to be one of his workers who is a blonde Barbie.

I hear of an 83-year-old man in a care home suffering from severe dementia being taken to court by the DVLA for not insuring his car. Apparently the DVLA didn’t bother with the fact that the car had not been on the road for over two years and was in a locked garage and proceeded with a Single Justice Court case. The man’s daughter, who had power of attorney, explained all this in a letter to DVLA, including the fact that her father no longer had a driving licence and was incapable of driving or even knowing the car was uninsured. The DVLA admitted that they hadn’t read the mitigation and just proceeded with the prosecution, presenting evidence to the magistrate that the car was uninsured but nothing else. With the mitigation not being presented to the court he was found guilty but given an absolute discharge. The 83-year-old now has a criminal record, but I doubt he knows or cares.

Over the weekend Arsenal Ladies set a new attendance record for the Women’s Super League when a sell-out crowd of 60,160 paid to see the match against Manchester United Ladies at London’s Emirates Stadium. Arsenal Ladies now have the top five attendances in the WSL and have two more home games to be played there this year. They play the remainder of their home matches at Boreham Wood FC also in front of sell-out crowds but the capacity there is only 4,500. But this is what is happening at the top of the league while at the bottom of the league, only 997 turned up to watch Everton Ladies play West Ham Ladies. Although the cost of most ladies’ tickets at the Emirates is less than £10 the difference in income must be staggering.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
A WSL Record Attendance x 5.
Emirates Stadium,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Interesting news from the two by-elections last week. In Wellingborough the Reform Party got just over 15% of the vote. But their candidate Ben Habib, the deputy leader, says that they started their campaign after 10,000 postal votes had been cast and consequently they only got a few postal votes. Virtually all their votes came from people who voted on the day and if they had received 15% of the postal votes, they would have gained over 25% of the overall vote.

Last week I told you of Openreach’s plan to double the maximum speed of its full fibre offering to 1.8 Gps. Today I learn that Virgin Cable is to, for the first time, make their fibre network open to other operators like Sky or TalkTalk. Virgin Fibre already passes 16.6 million homes in the U.K. and currently offers a top speed of 1.0 Gps but could easily increase it to match or better Openreach. But will any of the people who currently rely on Openreach switch to Virgin? I guess it will all be down to carriage charges and how much of the nation Virgin and Openreach cover. In the Republic of Ireland, Sky is now using the Virgin network so it is quite possible.

It seems that the delivery of the first Airbus A321XLR (eXtra Long Range) has slipped to the 3rd quarter of this year. It was originally supposed to have been the 2nd quarter, but the certification programme has taken a little longer than expected, mainly because of questions about the construction of the new central body fuel tank. The first A321XLR is expected to go to Aer Lingus and is currently in final assembly and has been seen with the Aer Lingus giant Shamrock painted on its tail. The plane is expected to fly services to the US East Coast and Canada in Q4 and will be in a two-class layout with Economy and Business.


This morning it is dull again, but at least it’s dry. The BBC are, this morning, telling us that they have been looking at old Post Office documents and that as early as 2014 the Post Office knew there were problems with their Horizon software. So, in 2016 they hired one of the big accounting firms, Deloitte, to go back through all the old transactions looking to see if they had been altered externally. They had always told postmasters this was impossible, but they had known for years it was quite possible. This information was never passed on to those they were prosecuting, and the investigation was dumped after six months. Surely this is conspiracy to defraud, as the Post Office continued to demand repayment from postmasters who they knew might not have stolen money.

Last Saturday there was supposed to be a Northwest Counties Football League match between the Isle of Man and Bury kicking off at 11 am. Unfortunately, the airport at the Isle of Man was fogged in, as was the football pitch, causing the match to be postponed while the team and many supporters were in the air flying to the game. That was probably a good thing as after making several attempts to land the plane had to return to Manchester. This left many of the 850 Bury supporters with a dilemma as it was announced the game had been postponed to Sunday. If the supporters still wanted to see the game now, being there was a limited chance of getting a flight, many rushed off to Heysham to get a ferry to the IoM. I understand that many of the supporters ended up laying out over £500 getting to the game. I suppose the Bury supporters will say it was worth it as they won 2-0.

At a court in the US yesterday a man was found guilty of glassing another man on a Carnival cruise. It seems the man objected to being asked to be quiet during a show. The onboard security immediately confined him to his cabin, and he was handed over to the police at the next port of call Norfolk, Virginia. I understand he will be sentenced later but could get up to 10 years and he has already been banned from cruising with Carnival for life.

I note that 22-year-old Cressida Gethin, the student who blocked traffic on the M25 in 2022 has been found guilty by a court, despite getting green fanatic Chris Packham to give evidence on her behalf. She was convicted of causing an obstruction by climbing on a gantry over the road near Heathrow Airport and causing thousands of people heading to the airport to be delayed. Gethin is a Just Stop Oil protester so is probably delighted with the delays she caused. If I had been on the jury I would have convicted her as well, she looks like a dog person.

The news that we joined several other European nations in recession last year doesn’t seem to be bothering economists hugely. In fact, they seem to think that when the next set of numbers come out they will show a small return to growth. The January figures for wage growth, unemployment, and retail sales have all been strong and I must admit it doesn’t feel like we are in a recession, like it did back in the last one. I suppose that’s why they are calling it a ‘Technical Recession’. What I find strange is that a recession is called when we have two quarters of negative growth together so we won’t know if we aren’t in recession right now until April or May when the numbers for the first quarter of the year come out. It all seems very odd to me.

Exciting news, the Dorset Knob throwing championship is being revived this summer. I understand that it hasn’t been held for a few years because it got too big! This year it will actually be a festival and will include knob painting, a knob & spoon race, guess the weight of the big knob, knob darts and a knob pyramid. It all sounds great fun, but I won’t be going to Dorchester to take part. I understand that knob throwing involves throwing three knobs underarm as far as possible. Oh, in case you thought I was talking about something else; a Dorset knob is a small hard biscuit.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Decorated knobs.
Dorset Knobs,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s not just in the UK that sales of battery-powered electric vehicles have stalled. It is happening across Europe and in the US. In the States they don’t seem to be buying the dream of an electric future that Sniffer Joe has been selling. The motor manufacturers who have invested heavily in EVs, like Ford, are laying people off. Ford have also halted work on a huge lithium battery plant they were building. The cost of raw lithium has fallen spectacularly, by around 90% and this has impacted the miners who have halted production and are laying people off. I wonder if we are beginning to see the beginning of the EV dream as the public just won’t pay the extra demanded for a car that is not as convenient as a good old petrol car.


Morning folks, it’s still grey and grotty here in London and it looks like it’s been raining. I wonder just how good our Trident nuclear system is when I see our second successive test launch was a complete failure. Last time the missile started off ok from the submarine off the east coast of America and suddenly veered off course towards the US mainland and so they had to order it to self-destruct. This time the launch was also off the east coast of Florida and apparently the second stage of the missile failed, and it fell back into the sea close to the HMS Vanguard that had just launched it. I hear each missile costs £17 million.

Today is an opposition debate day in the Commons and it’s the SNP’s turn. They have tabled two debates. One on an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and one on the need for the £28 billion per year ‘Green Prosperity Plan.’ I see this as the SNP playing party politics and both debates are designed to embarrass Liebore. They are clearly fighting Liebore in Scottishland and the opinion polls show them losing perhaps 20 seats to Liebore in the upcoming general election. The SNP know the Tories are not a force in Scottishland so have turned their guns on Liebore and are looking to exploit their internal party splits in two debates and votes they know are totally pointless.

Is anti-Semitism in the U.K. growing? I see that the statue of Amy Winehouse has been defaced with a Free Palestine sticker being stuck over the Star of David she is shown wearing. Then there is the story of the application for a passport for a small baby born in Barnet General Hospital to a Jewish family. The application was returned with the baby’s birth certificate torn and the place of birth of the father (Israel) scribbled over. Then we have pro-Palestine marches in London every week. As a cat I don’t have a religion or can even begin to understand them, but I can see some things are clearly wrong.

I was interested to see that with the new ship, Queen Anne, joining the Cunard fleet, one of their fleet has been freed up to join what is probably the most profitable and popular sailings in the world, round trips to the Caribbean out of Florida. The Queen Elizabeth is, from September 2025, scheduled to do 33 round trips out of Miami going to many places in the Caribbean including San Juan, Puerto Rico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras. These are all quite near the USA because Yanks tend to take much shorter cruises than Brits, because they get much less paid holiday from work than Europeans. A five-day cruise is quite normal for them whereas in Britain a seven-day cruise is considered short and 10 or 14 days much more normal. In fact, there will be some longer trips that go to the likes of Tortola, Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia. I wonder if these will be packed with old, retired Yanks who do have the time to spare for a longer cruise?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Going cruising out of Miami.
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 – – 994083,
Stephen Sweeney
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Last week was half term in some areas and in others it is this week and as is normal many cinemas show childs’ films. This holiday one of the popular films for kids has been ‘Migration’, a cartoon about ducks migrating to Jamaica for winter. However, I hear of one cinema where, as cinemas usually do, they showed a trailer for a new film. But in this case the trailer was for a horror film, Black Friday. I hear there were many children upset by the trailer and parents had to explain that it wasn’t the film about cuddly ducks they had come to see.

So, the body of the chemical attacker, who threw alkaline over his ex-girlfriend and her children is believed to have been recovered from the River Thames. The crew of a working boat spotted a body in the river near Tower Pier, and it was recovered by a police launch. It amused me when I heard he had been tentatively identified from his clothing. I would have thought it would have been easy to identify him, didn’t he have only half a face?

To the south of Birmingham there is an existing railway line called the Camp Hill line. It was once the eastern route from Kings Norton into central Birmingham with trains originally terminating at Curzon Street station. However, stopping passenger services were moved from the western approach route and the eastern route shut in the late 1940s. However, it remained open to freight and some non-stop passenger trains. For many years people have campaigned to have local passenger services reinstated and in late 2020 West Midlands Trains announced they would restart services. I hear that it has been very slow going, but the service was supposed to begin this year. However, it has been postponed to sometime next year when three new stations at Moseley Village, Kings Heath and Pineapple Road are completed. The ironic thing is that the station at Camp Hill will not be reopened, and trains will run into Birmingham New Street.


Good morning all and it’s still wet out there. What delicious chaos in the Commons yesterday. There was an SNP opposition day debate on a ceasefire in Gaza. Something that is never going to be affected by a vote in the Commons. The Speaker went against long-standing procedures and the advice of his clarks and called a Liebore motion effectively killing the SNP motion and saving Lego Head having many of his MPs vote against the whip for the SNP motion. There are reports, that I can’t confirm, that Liebore said they wouldn’t support Hoyle for Speaker in the next government if he didn’t call their motion. In the end a tearful Hoyle apologised for his actions saying he made a huge mistake. The move by Hoyle in support of the Liebore party, for which he was originally elected as an MP, has made him look biased in many people’s eyes and has brought his future into question.

Today I bring you news of Small Modular Reactors. As you probably know the idea is to factory-build small reactors and ship them to sites where they are effectively plumbed in. Of course, building several small reactors on a production line, in a factory, is much quicker than assembling large reactors on site. In a factory it is much easier to control quality and the environment than on a muddy site. But even in a factory some of the welding of the containment vessel sections together is not simple and takes many hundreds of man hours. However, I read that Sheffield Forgemasters, working with Rolls-Royce, have come up with a new method of welding the 10ft diameter 8-inch-thick vessels four sections together in 24 hours using Local Electron-Beam Welding (LEBW). Apparently because the system fuses the sections together without the need for infill metal it produces a high-quality weld with a much reduced need for inspection.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
They don’t just make nuclear components!
Scorpion sculpture at Sheffield Forgemasters – – 3559514,
Martin Speck
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I see the government took in £16.7 billion more in January than it spent, a new record. January is usually a good month for tax take as many people pay their personal income tax bills then. This is more than double the take in January 2023 and much of this came from the VAT on the big increase in January retail sales. How is this happening when we are supposed to be in recession?

If you have ever been to London, you will probably have seen the iconic BT tower that was opened in 1965. It was designed to link what was then British Telecomm’s phone network by microwave to other smaller towers in other cities. Some of you may even have been up the tower as until 1971 there was a revolving restaurant there that was open to the public, but it was closed because of an IRA bomb incident. Of course, with the internet, fibre cables and satellites, the tower is rapidly becoming redundant and I hear it has been sold to MCR Hotels for £275 million. The money is to be paid in stage payments as BT remove their equipment and hand sections over to the purchaser. MCR already have nearly 150 hotels and intend to turn the tower into another. Of course, they will need to get planning permission first and that application may be worth watching.

SpaceX is working on ‘deorbiting’ over 100 of its version 1 Starlink broadband satellites after identifying a fault that could result in SpaceX losing control and the satellites failing to Earth. The idea is to make the satellites re-enter the atmosphere and burn up over the coming weeks and months in a pre-emptive strike before they fail. Starlink say customers should see no interruption to its services as it has the capacity to build 55 satellites a week and launch over 200 a month. They say they have put 5,289 satellites into orbit so far and have ‘deorbited’ 406 and have lost control of 17 which they are ‘watching carefully’.

I know things in the world of nuclear power move very slowly, but I have been learning about an incident at Dungeness nuclear power station in June 2022 that is only now making its way to the magistrate’s court. I must stress that this was not a nuclear incident, Dungeness is not generating power and hasn’t been for several years and is actually being de-fuelled. Apparently, a man working for Trillium Flow Services, a sub-contractor to EdF, who own the power station, injured his foot near one of the cooling water outfalls. After nearly two years, the Office of Nuclear Regulation has told both EdF and Trillium they are to be prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act at Folkestone Magistrates Court next month. Why has it taken nearly two years to bring this prosecution?

Can you believe Sad Dick’s latest ideas for what is to go on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square? In the past this plinth has been used to display various modern ‘works of art’ which have often been ‘woke’ like statues of obscure African poets. It is about to become free after the current six-month run expires and the public has been clamouring for a permanent statue of Queen Elizabeth II. But this is not going to happen. Sad Dick wants it to be either a jet-propelled Bollywood-themed ice cream van that plays Bollywood music, a large black cat, a giant golden head of a girl with cornrows, or a giant sweet potato! What a load of crap.


Well, it is a better morning with plenty of sunshine, but it is much colder out. I find it astonishing that the Met allowed the mob to project the “From the River to The Sea” slogan on the Elizabeth Tower during Wednesday’s Gaza war debate. Why was it allowed, are the Met biased? It certainly looks like it. I thought it was made illegal to project anything onto a public building without permission.

This morning, I hear that 67 MPs have so far signed a no-confidence motion in Lynsey Hoyle which would remove him from his position as Commons’ Speaker over the fuss in the Commons yesterday. Unsurprisingly most of the signatories are Scottishland Nationalists, but some are Tories. Of course, the Liebore Party grandees are delighted with the situation as having a vote on the Liebore motion saved their bacon as it looked like 100 Liebore MPs would have voted against the whip. Amendments are voted on before the motion itself, so Hoyle’s decision meant that once the amendment was passed the SNP opposition day became a Liebore opposition day. I love the idea that the group against the Speaker are calling themselves ‘Just Stop Hoyle’.

Russia has decided that it is going to hit back at the U.K. over sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine. However, I understand that the Russian response is really for internal consumption and will have absolutely no effect on the U.K. It was announced in the Russian Parliament that they are going to tear up a 68-year-old treaty that allows British trawlers to catch cod in the Barents Sea. The problem here is that we no longer fish for cod in the Barents Sea. The Russians joked about hitting at Britain’s favourite meal of fish and chips (I thought it was now curry!), claiming it would reduce cod supplies in the U.K. by 40%. This is the percentage of cod we used to import, but in reality, under the sanctions on Russia, we banned the import of Russian cod nearly two years ago and the supply in our chippies now comes from other sources like Iceland.

More good news for Rolls-Royce this morning. Their annual results were out yesterday and their annual profit more than doubled in the year to £1.944 billion in an excellent set of figures. Today I hear Airbus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, at the Singapore Airshow, with VietJet for 20 x A330-900neo aircraft. These planes are to be powered by the latest version of the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, so that’s another 40 engines for Rolls. A previous order for 20 A330s translated into a $950 million order for Rolls last year. Excellent news for Britain.

Yet another company has gone woke and upset it’s customers. Tate & Lyle have rebranded their Golden Syrup brand to get rid of the lion surrounded by a swarm of bees from this product and has replaced it with a stylised lion’s face and a single bee. The original 1883 logo was based on a biblical quote “out of strength comes forth honey” as one of their founders, Abram Lyle was extremely religious. What people probably don’t realise is that the lion is dead, and the bees have formed a hive in it! The best part of the story is that the extremely woke Church of England is upset at the demise of the religious symbolism. Still, it is disappointing to see another brand kneeling at the woke alter.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
The dead Lion is dead.
Tate and Lyle – golden syrup,
Believe Creative
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

I just love the story of the couple who recently won the EuroMillions lottery. They are regular players and had an account, consequently the lottery emailed them when they have a win no matter how big or how small. They were on holiday in Spain when they got an email informing them they had won £2.60p for matching two numbers. Having a poor internet signal they hadn’t checked their entries so it was a pleasant surprise and they decided it might buy them an extra drink. But later they got a message asking them to call as they had won the lottery. Thinking it was a scam they cautiously rang the claim line only to discover they had won nearly £62 million! I see that like many big winners they have lashed out and bought a new car and a hair dryer! They have also done what the lottery advisors suggest and booked a luxury holiday to reflect on the win before spending big. Where are they going on holiday? A cruise, Bali, the Seychelles, no they are off to Portugal!

I have been reading that an electric vehicle home charger has been withdrawn from the market after selling more than 40,000 units in the U.K. The ‘Wallbox’ unit from Copper SN has been banned from sale by the regulator because it does not comply with regulations. It seems the problem is that the units can be controlled by remote control, and it has been realised that if a malicious operator hacked them and turned them all on or off at the same instant it could crash the grid. That has got me thinking about other things; what if the Chinese hacked our smart meter network and got them all to turn off at the same time, would that crash the network or even if they were all ordered to phone in a reading at the same time, would it crash the mobile phone network? I bet someone in China is working on that right now.


Well, a nice sunny morning but chilly. I see that Tory MP Lee Anderson has upset the Left by saying that Islamists have taken over Sad Dick and consequently London, demanding he is suspended by the Tories. Strangely he said it on GB News and the TV regulator doesn’t seem bothered, just the usual noisy Left wing of the Liebore Party.

I recently wrote of three new stations being built in Birmingham and it got me thinking about stations and railway lines. Back in the 1960s the British railway network of the U.K. was absolutely decimated by Dr Beeching who cut out hundreds of branch lines and thousands of stations on the belief that road transport was the thing of the future. Now we are being told new roads are too expensive, and the internal combustion engine is too polluting. So, we land up with situations like in Wales where the Welsh government refuse to build new roads, and HS2 is too expensive to build. Last year 13 new stations were opened, this year with East West rail it will probably be more. In some cities, the local railway lines and stations were destroyed and commuters forced onto already crowded roads. In Hull, a branch line looped around the city, serving suburban stations before branching three ways, to Hornsea, Withernsea and Hull’s Victoria Docks. In one fell swoop all the traffic was forced onto the road. How the area would love to have those lines back to serve expanding communities and make commuting easier, but much of the trackbed has been repurposed. What a pity Beeching’s vision of the future was so wrong.

On 12th March the Dacia Spring will become available in the U.K. where it will be Britain’s cheapest electric vehicle selling for about £18,000 making it around the same price as a similarly sized petrol car. At this price it will be about £10,000 cheaper than its nearest competitor EV the MG4. This will not be the basic model of the Spring that is available on the European mainland. If imported to the U.K. that model should cost as little as £15,500. It has been available for some time in Europe where it has sold around 140,000 units last year making it the third most popular battery EV. However, it does come will a couple of limitations, it only has a range of around 137 miles and takes 11 hours to charge from 20% to 100% on a home charger. I suppose that may be OK if you are using it for commuting 20 or 30 miles a day and recharging overnight.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Coming soon, but not going very far.
Dacia Spring IAA 2021 1X7A0215,
Alexander Migl
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

This year Ukraine is set to receive 78 CAESAR mobile 155mm Howitzers manufactured in France. To keep up with orders France is substantially increasing production this year. Ukraine has purchased six of these Howitzers directly, a further 12 will be a gift from France. The remaining 60 are being purchased by a group of Ukraine allies and will also be given to Ukraine. That leaves them with one problem, sourcing the ammunition. I understand that Ukraine currently has a massive shortage of 155mm ammo.

The Shawcross review of the Prevent Programme says that the risk of terrorism from the extreme Left and Islam is far greater than from the Right. It also says that the government has been concentrating its Prevent efforts in the wrong direction as the extreme Right offers a very small risk. Why did we need a government review to reveal this, I would have thought it was obvious to anyone with half a brain.

Two huge container cranes have been delivered to DPWorld’s London Gateway port on the Thames. Once installed these will be the biggest dockside cranes in Europe and are designed to work with the largest container ships, currently 24,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) at the new deep-water berth under construction. The 2,000-ton cranes have taken three months to ship from China, where they were made, and each is capable of moving 4 x twenty-foot containers or 2 x forty-foot containers at the same time. What I don’t understand is why we have to buy cranes made in China. Isn’t there a manufacturer in the U.K. or at least in Europe? I can’t understand how cost can be a question when shipping for 2 x 2000-ton cranes takes three months.

In America a freedom of information request has revealed that Commander, Sniffer Joe’s Alsatian, bit 24 people in his last year before being banished to Sniffer’s farm. The dog mainly bit Sniffer’s Secret Service guards and the FoI request revealed that six needed hospital treatment including one who had stitches in his bum. Stubborn old Joe refused to believe that his dog was dangerous and said it was because he was living in such a stressful environment. After six months of continual complaints, he finally gave in and moved the dog. He should be like us British and have a Chief Mouser, I don’t bite people’s bums.

I’m done for the week. Despite sunny spells this morning it is wet again out there this afternoon, just like last week. Once again, it’s back in the armchair this afternoon. I hope to be back with you all again next week when it’s March and officially spring.

© WorthingGooner 2024