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


Good morning readers and hello from your favourite cat reporter. My feeder was a little late this morning, apparently there was a problem on her Tube line. Anyway, to make up for being late I got lovely Felix Chicken in my bowl.

I had a little chuckle when I saw the pictures on the internet of the Delta Airlines Boeing 767ER at London’s Gatwick Airport with an emergency slide deployed on the roof of a catering truck. Apparently, the plane was being prepared for a flight to New York when a door was opened without the escape slide being disarmed. Fortunately, there were no passengers on board, and no one was hurt, but the flight was delayed for nearly three hours while a new escape slide was fitted. I wonder how much that cost Delta and if whoever was responsible is still employed.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Where’s the escape slide?
Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-332 N143DA / 1403 (cn 25991/721),
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The Rich Boy made an announcement this morning on illegal immigrants. He sounded tough but I wonder if it is going to happen. He said that parliament is going to sit tonight until the Illegal Immigration bill is passed. I just don’t know why he didn’t do this before Easter. Then he said from the moment it becomes law any illegals landing will go to a detention centre and not be put in a hotel, about time too. If this cat had a say they wouldn’t even go to a detention centre, they would be driven directly to an airport, loaded on a plane, chained to their seat and flown to Rwanda.

I read that Ukraine has hit yet another Russian warship with one of its anti-ship missiles. But this hit is a bit different due to the age of the ship struck. The Kommuna is well over 110 years old and has been in continuous service with firstly the Imperial Navy, the Soviet Navy and now the Russian Navy. The ship is used as a salvage ship for damaged and sunk ships and is a home to small submersibles used to recover and hunt for sunk ships and submarines. It is unique in the Russian fleet. Now I don’t know how badly damaged the ship is, only that it took a hit.

I must offer my congratulations to Queens Park Ladies under 12 girls’ team who have just won Division Three of the Bournemouth Youth Football League, going through the season unbeaten. They were the only all-girls team in the league and competed against 11 boys’ teams. The league wasn’t particularly close with the Queens Park ladies winning the league by 16 points. Next year the team will play in Division Two but how many of the players will be too old to play at under-12 level?

I have been reading reports that Carnival Cruises has banned people from playing a dice game called Left, Right Centre onboard their ships. It’s a game I have never heard of, so I had to look at Google to find out how it works and apparently people can play it for fun, or for money. Anyway, the boss of Carnival has said that the reports of the game being banned are wrong, what has been banned is playing for money, people can still play the dice game on board for fun. Apparently, gambling on board has always been banned anywhere but in the ship’s casino.

Two bits of news today of people being arrested for spying for China. In London two men have been arrested and charged with spying for China. Little of the case has emerged yet, other than the news they have been charged with passing data to China and will be appearing in court on Friday. In Germany, three people have been arrested for spying for China. A bit more is known about this case. Apparently, they fooled companies and universities into doing research for China, pretending to be working for a London company that didn’t exist.


A bit grey when I woke up, but it is a little brighter now. I retired to my cat basket last night not knowing if the Rich Boy had managed to get his ‘Rwanda’ bill through or not. I just couldn’t stay awake long enough to find out, I am an old man now and need my sleep. Anyway, I woke up to hear that the ‘ping pong’ stopped after midnight when the Lords finally followed convention and backed down. There are a lot of people who said this bill wouldn’t make it into law unamended, but it has. There are an equal number who say it won’t work. Well, we are now, eventually, going to see if it does.

I read that in a survey one in eight Labour supporters think the cross of St George flag is racist. It used to be the Union Flag that the political left thought was racist when it was popular with the National Front, now the left seems to have moved on to the flag of England. Why not Scottishland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you see hordes of nationalists waving these flags and not being seen as racist. The left seems to have to hate something.

The production of the upgrade to the Challenger 2 Tank to Challenger 3 has started earlier than expected. The original plan was to not start production until 2027 but the new version of the Challenger has been prototyped and pressed into production early because of the situation in Ukraine. The current plan is to convert 148 Challenger 2s to Challenger 3 standard. The U.K. built around 450 Challenger 2s for the British Army and the Omani Army. Around about a dozen have been gifted to Ukraine. Which leaves at least another 150 that could be upgraded if needed.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
To be upgraded.
Challenger 2 Tank,
Defence Images
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

So, Huw Edwards has finally quit as the BBC’s head newsreader. When last July it emerged that he had been a naughty boy buying nude pictures of a young man he rapidly went off sick and his wife said he had had a breakdown. But the BBC has continued paying him nearly £450,000 a year since then. Today it was announced that he is resigning on the grounds of ill health. I suppose BBC licence payers should be happy.

I see there is a bit of a foul-up with this year’s promotion playoffs from the National League to Division Two of the English Football League. What usually happens is that the team that finishes top is automatically promoted. The teams that finish in places 2 to 7 normally enter into a knockout competition to find the second promotion place. Places 2 and 3 go directly to the semi-finals of the competition and the teams that finished in places 4 to 7 play eliminators to get into the semi-finals. But this year, one of the teams in an elimination place has been told by the EFL that they do not meet the requirements for a team in their League. So one, Gateshead, have been thrown out of the playoffs and one lucky team has a bye into the semi-finals.

For some time, I have been telling you about the falling sales of electric vehicles. Now I learn that Tesla has reduced the price of a number of its cars in some countries to try to improve sales. The big problem is in China where the like of BDY is taking sales from them, but the problems are really world-wide and the prices are to go down everywhere but not as much in China.

The sixth of seven Astute class submarines was named yesterday. The boat, named HMS Agamemnon, is still in the building shed is due to be launched in the next few weeks. It will then undergo commissioning before being handed over to the Royal Navy. The seventh, and final submarine of the series is well advanced in its construction. The Astute series of nuclear-propelled boats are believed to be the most advanced and quietist submarines in the world. The hunter-killer boat is equipped with heavy torpedoes and land attack missiles.


Grey and grotty again this morning. This morning a newspaper reports that in a survey, the majority of women would rather be in a forest with a bear than a man. What stupidity, a man could kill you but only a small percentage of men would, while a bear will kill you for fun.

A man in Belgium recently appeared in court charged with drunk driving after failing a test. However, the court found him not guilty because he suffers from a rare disorder that means that his body produces its own alcohol, and he doesn’t suffer the same way as others who drink too much as the body tolerates the alcohol. The disorder is called Auto Brewery Syndrome (ABS) and is apparently something that a very few people acquire when something goes wrong with their digestive system. If it had been 1st April, I wouldn’t have believed this story but three specialists appeared in court to testify that ABS is a real thing and this man had it.

I have been reading about a dispute between football teams from Algeria and Morocco in the African Club Competition, the Confederation Cup, semi-final. The Algerian side objected to the shirt the Moroccan team proposed wearing because it had a map of Morocco on it that included the Western Sahara which is a disputed territory. The shirts were seized by the Algerian customs when the team entered the country, despite the design being approved by the organisers of the competition, the Confederation of African Football, and having been worn in all previous rounds. I hear that the Algerian team took to the pitch for the first leg of the match, but not the Moroccan side who stayed in the dressing room. The ball is now in the CAF caught to decide what happens next.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Is Western Sahara independent?.
Western Sahara Map,
Western Sahara Project
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The United States is a bit fussy about who it exports armaments and associated things to, even its closest allies, without often needing political permission. So, it is interesting that they have chosen to exempt its AUKUS partner, Australia, from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This should make the exchange of information and hardware between the AUKUS partners much easier, meaning that licenses will now be easy to obtain.

Yesterday British Airways returned to flying between Heathrow and Abu Dhabi for the first time since Covid. The other carrier flying this route is Emirates and Abu Dhabi is its home base. My question is why it has taken BA so long to reintroduce the service. There is obviously a high demand for travel between the two airports as Emirates has been flying three Airbus A380s a day on the route. BA seems to be very cautiously dipping a toe back into the water with Boeing 787-9 flight five days a week. Before Covid, BA were employing a much bigger Boeing 777 on its daily flights. I suspect BA are going to struggle to re-establish themselves on the route when the competition is offering a much more frequent service.

I read that Cunard have put back the arrival of its new ship, Queen Anne, from Saturday to Tuesday at 3 pm. Cunard say the pushback is due to work on the ship still needing to be completed. The late arrival has meant the cancellation of a special one-day familiarisation cruise for travel agents leaving many disappointed. The ship is then scheduled to leave on a seven-day maiden voyage on 3rd May. The 3,000-passenger ship is the first new Cunarder for 14 years. I wonder if those travel agents who have lost their free jolly will be recommending Cunard to customers.

The Royal Caribbean ship Star of the Seas, which is due to have its maiden voyage in August 2025, is to be the second ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet to have its own dog living permanently on board. The dog is a golden retriever called Sailor and the cruise line says this is after the first sea dog ‘Rover’ proved very popular with passengers. This is a little disingenuous by Royal Caribbean as I understand that the real purpose of having a dog onboard is that it is a drug sniffer dog. Apparently, drugs are a big problem on American cruise ships cruising out of US ports. I have not heard of drugs being a major problem on British ships but if we read that P&O have hired a dog seaman or seawoman we could be taking after the yanks.


It was grey and had been raining when I woke but it is a lovely sunny morning now. Another promise from Liebore this morning, they are going to nationalise the railways within five years of being elected to government. They plan to do this on the cheap by not renewing operators’ contracts as they expire and handing the operation over to ‘Great British Railways’. Sounds good in theory, but they don’t say how much money they will have to give to GBR in subsidies. This time it’s not only an unfunded promise but it is also uncosted.

The big news of the morning is the collapse of the power-sharing government in Scottishland. The 63 SNP MSPs aren’t quite enough for a majority (65) and have been bolstered by the Green Party. But the membership of the Green Party voted to opt out of power-sharing when Hamster Useless put Scottishland’s Net Zero targets back five years. It looks like Useless has pulled the plug on power sharing before the Greens could make the formal announcement. The next Scottishland election is not due until 2026, can the SNP hang on until then?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Hamster Useless.
Yousaf’s family at the Court of Session in Edinburgh,
Scottish Government
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

There is a bit of a row over the Rich Boy promising to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030. The media is saying where is the money is coming from, it isn’t in this year’s budget. Well under the announcement it doesn’t have to be, they only have to increase defence spending by about 0.1% of GDP a year to get there. I think this is more about laying another trap for Lego Head, who has been going on about defence spending for ages. He is now going to have to find the money or look like more of a hypocrite.

In Eynsham, Oxfordshire, there is a new giant park and ride car park which has cost a mere £51 million to build. There is just one problem, there is no access to the 850 places that are ready. The council say they have a plan for the link road to the A40 that includes an additional roundabout, but at the moment they don’t have the funding and it’s going to be two or three years before the park and ride can open. The council say the car park isn’t yet finished, but this is very misleading as the build is complete and the only work still going on is a bit of landscaping that will be completed next month. What a stupid council, spend £51 million on a park and ride scheme where you can’t park and can’t ride.

I see that the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery has started its transition from the 120mm AS90 tracked guns to the wheeled more modern 120mm Archer guns. The 19th Regiment, known as the ‘Highland Gunners’ have started training their men to drive these giant lorries. The Archer Howitzers will replace the AS90s we have sent to Ukraine and are already in operation with many foreign governments.

Back when the Dustman was leader of the Liebore Party a commitment was made to make St George’s Day, St David’s Day, St Andrews Day and St Patrick’s Day bank holidays. Yesterday Lego Head did another ‘U’-turn and announced that this policy was being dropped. Strangely the dropping of this promise comes at the same time as Lego Head has declared himself a nationalist and he wants to ‘reclaim the cross of St George for the people’. I didn’t know we had lost it.

A new spending promise from Liebore has just emerged. They say that they will recruit another 13,000 police and according to them it will cost £325 million. That means each new copper will cost £25,000. I’m a bit doubtful that the maths is right. If you divide £325 million by 13,000 you get £25,000. The starting salary in the Met is £36,775 with allowances but according to the government website, effective from 1 September 2023, average U.K. starting salaries are £28,551. 79p, so something is a bit wrong. But then you need to add in other things like training cost, uniform equipment, employer’s national insurance so I’m sure they have underestimated the cost once again.


No sun this morning, in fact it has been raining once again. In Scottishland, has Hamster Useless shot himself in the foot. The Scottishland Tories have submitted a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the first minister and it seems they are being backed by Liebore, the Limp Dumps and the Greens. That means his fate lies in the hands of one MSP who used to be an SNP MSP, who stood against Useless for the party leadership and left to join the Alba Party. If he loses, he doesn’t have to quit, but it will be very hard for him not to.

Yesterday I told you about the Army’s new Archer Howitzers. Today I hear we are going to build a new mobile Howitzer made in partnership with the Germans. The RCH155 (Remote Control Howitzer) is built on the Boxer chassis and is remarkably manoeuvrable, it is said to be able to do 60 mph, and unusually for wheeled artillery can fire on the move. It has a crew of just two who can dismount the vehicle and fire it from distance by remote control. The 155mm Howitzer can fire its standard shell 40 kilometres, an enhanced shell 56km and special shells even further. The RCH 155 will be used by both Germany and the U.K. It has also been ordered by Ukraine and is in the final two for the Swiss Army.

WothingGooner, Going Postal
RCH155 (not on a Boxer chassis).
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

I have been reading about Voyager 1 an American spacecraft that was launched long before I was born, in 1977. It was supposed to send back pictures and information about the outer planets of our solar system, a task it completed years ago. But when it passed the last planet, it just kept on going passing out of the Milky Way into interstellar space. It is now some 15 billion miles away, the farthest a man-made object has ever travelled. But it developed a problem, the information it was sending back suddenly became gobbledygook. The scientists realised that one of its 1960-designed computer chips had gone wrong, so they worked out a change to its operating system that cut out the damaged chip. They sent the code change to the spacecraft, and it only took 22.5 hours for the radio message to get there and fix it. It is now sending back good data. However, next year it will be so far from our sun that its solar power will cease to work, meaning no more messages, but it will keep on going, unless it hits a Romulan ship.

I always thought that Weymouth was a nice old-fashioned family-oriented seaside town with a sandy beach and shops selling buckets & spades and sticks of rock. However, I hear that the council have granted a new takeaway a licence to sell food into the early hours. Most weekdays they will be allowed to stay open until 1 am, but on Friday and Saturday nights they can stay open until 4 am. The council has put a few conditions in place, they will have to have two bouncers on the door after 11 pm, when no one under 18 will be allowed to enter. They will have to supply a toilet as apparently there are no public toilets open late at night in Weymouth. I wonder how busy it will be on a wet January a 3 am?

A pod of dolphins has been spotted swimming in the River Thames this week, and they have made it as far upriver as Twickenham Bridge. It’s not so long ago that the Thames was said to be a dead river with no fish life in it at all, but the last survey I saw said there were 32 different species of fish. I presume that the dolphins are finding plenty of fish amongst the turds released by Thames Water, otherwise I doubt they would bother to swim so far upstream.

I just read one of the most obvious things ever, it said that Ukraine is not going to renew its gas transit contract with Russia that allows Russia to transport its natural gas in the pipeline across the country to Europe. Since the war broke out when Russia invaded parts of Ukraine and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia, the gas has been turned off at source. Which has led to the Russian company Gazprom defaulting in its carriage contract. Under the existing contract that expires at the end of this year, Gazprom has a ‘use it or pay for it’ contract which guarantees payment for shipping a minimum of 40 billion cubic metres of gas a year through the trans-Ukraine pipeline but of course they haven’t been paying.

On Wednesday of this week EU officials raided the Rotterdam offices of Chinese-owned company Nuctech and seized mobile phones and computers. I understand the raid was for two reasons, security worries and equipment dumping. Nuctech supply those baggage scanners you see at many ports and airports and the EU believe they have been selling them at below cost. In addition, they believe that information they record has been passed back to China. All Chinese companies are obliged by law to pass data to the Chinese security services when requested. Nuctech, deny they have been doing this, but they have been placed on the banned list for being a security risk by the USA. It looks like the EU are just catching up and have also started an investigation into China dumping below-cost EVs, medical scanners and X-ray machines.


A warm dry morning, but heavy rain is forecast for later. I hear a Tory MP is going to cross the floor to Liebore on Monday. The man is a doctor and from what I hear he is quitting at the next general election and is aiming to get a job in big pharma. But he is worried that being a Tory, no one will hire him, but as a Liebore MP they will.

I am delighted to report that for the third year running the Royal Marines beat the US Marine Corps in the annual Virginia Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a multi-sporting contest, and this year’s competition took place at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. This year’s competition included triathlon, basketball, shotgun, rugby 7s, boxing, football, rugby and golf. Isn’t it nice to beat the yanks in their own home?

Forecasts say that the rainy season has started in Panama and that the level of water in Gatan Lake has started to rise slightly. Over the next month the water level is expected to increase by at least a foot. This could not come at a better time for the Panama Canal as it is about to hit the busiest time of the year. In the last few weeks, the daily number of ships transiting the canal have increased from 21 to 25 a day as opposed to the normal number of 32 a day.

Lincoln the cat was banned from the Hornsea, Yorkshire, branch of Tesco on health and safety grounds six months ago. But Lincoln, a ginger and white cat, has continually ignored the ban and is regularly to be found in the store or stalking the car park. Unlike me, most cats have no idea what people are saying and telling him he is banned is totally pointless. I understand that Lincoln has become a bit of an internet celebrity.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Where is the Supermarket?
Hornsea East Riding of Yorkshire,
Oneterry AKA Terry Kearney
Public domain

The Indian airline IndiGo has placed its first-ever order for widebody aircraft. They have placed an order with Airbus for 30 x A350-900 planes. IndiGo has been an internal Indian carrier with some 80% of the domestic market and is looking to the long-range overseas market to expand. Airbus gave up publishing a price list years ago as just about every purchaser gets a big discount. But under the price list last published, the order would be valued at around $9 billion. Of course, every order for an A350 is good news to Rolls-Royce as two of their Trent XWB engines power every plane. Perhaps as interesting is that IndiGo have taken options on a further 70 x A350 family jets, this means they could order either -900 or the longer range larger -1000 version, or both.

I have read about the Moulin Rouge in Paris and of course I have never been there, only ever seeing pictures of the 135-year-old building with a red-painted windmill on its roof. Now I hear that in the early hours of Friday morning the blades fell off the windmill and landed on the pavement below. Fortunately, it happened at about 2 am after the show had finished, and the audience and performers had all gone home and no one on the street was hurt. I will be interested to hear what actually caused the failure, was it lack of maintenance or failure of 135-year-old material?

Sad Dick has a plan for bringing sporting events to London if he wins the vote to be London mayor again. But what events has he talked about? Well, he has suggested Wrestlemania, The Superbowl, The NBA and the 2040 Olympics. I really can’t see the Americans giving up holding their big sporting finals at home. It might be possible to get another Olympics in the U.K. but there have already been two in London so another British city would surely have a better chance.

I’m done for another week and I’m off for my Saturday afternoon snooze but not on the windowsill today, for once the weather forecast was right and it’s pouring with rain. I’m disappointed as I like my Saturday afternoon on the windowsill! Chat to you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2024