Britain has sent 14 of our Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine to assist in their fight against the Russian invasion of their country but the Ukrainians are keen to get their hands on the German Leopard tank which is commonly used in other European countries which they are more familiar with.

The German’s reluctance to send the tanks seems a little odd when you consider their previous actions, after all they were only too keen to drive their tanks into Eastern European countries in 1939.

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Analysis box by Theo Leggett, business correspondent

The founders of Britishvolt were trying to create a £4bn facility, from scratch, without the backing of a major manufacturer.

What they did have was a vision which they hoped could surf a wave of political support – and attract the necessary funding.

They looked first for a location in Wales, before settling on Cambois, in the Blyth Valley.

The site, formerly a power station, was good. It had a deep water port, good transport links and access to plentiful power. It also happened to be in a “red wall” constituency captured by the Conservatives in 2019.

But political support wasn’t enough. Delays to construction meant £100m of public funding never materialised. With costs rising and no firm orders, the money ran out.

The question is, what happens next? Speak to pretty much anyone in the motor industry, and they’ll tell you that without gigafactories, the long-term future for UK manufacturing looks bleak.

So the plant itself could still become a reality. But for that to happen significant investment will be needed.

And any potential buyer will know that their chances of success will be much greater if they can get an established manufacturer on board.


Another complete cock up by British industry, why oh why are we so useless when we try to manufacture anything in this country it just doesn’t make sense when we have such a proud tradition of manufacturing, after all it was us who invented the Industrial Revolution.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his compatriots must be turning in their graves.

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I have mentioned before that I am one of a very small group of men who dislike football and have absolutely no understanding why the majority of men seem to be so obsessed with it, however I shall do my best to make sense of this story which I heard yesterday.

Apparently, the Everton board members have been told, I assume by the Police not to attend the match yesterday as they have been receiving threats of violence from their supporters who seem to be unhappy with the way the club is being run.

From the brief account I watched on the news, some of the fans interviewed seemed to be complaining that the board were running the club as a business and didn’t understand football, which leaves me to wonder how on earth would the board pay the enormous salaries the modern footballers earn if they were not running the club as a business?

There are always two sides to any story and in this case I am forced to wonder why the Police told the board members not to attend the match when it seems to me the people who should actually be banned from going are the fans who are threatening violence towards the board.

There we are, another example of the topsy-turvey world in which we are living nowadays, I’m sure they would never have had this sort of behaviour when the players were on £15.00 a week and grateful of it, together with the perks of a slice of orange and a fag at half time!

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It seems allegedly there are more mistakes, untruths and downright lies in Harry’s book ‘Spare’ coming out with every passing day, there are so many holes in the book as to make a colander appear watertight.

It is said that the author is a J R Moehringer who is an American gentleman which may explain a lot, however in his defence he quoted, Mary Karr, the author of ‘The Art of Memoir’ who said, “The line between memory and fact is blurry, between interpretation and fact.

Now, would I be right in thinking the interpretation of a blurry line which is so blurred as to be untrue and then presented as fact would in actuality be a lie!

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I’m wondering what’s wrong with Barclays online banking service as it seems some bright spark has updated the site and now all I’m getting is ‘bad request’ when I attempt to log in.

This happened the last time they updated the site, which I have to say was working perfectly well, so I would just like to pass on this piece of advice to Barclays Bank, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’

I tried earlier to contact them and hung on the phone for ages and in the end I finally gave up having lost the will to live but later having refreshed myself with some hot sweet tea I felt sufficiently revived to have another attempt.

To my amazement I actually got through but was greeted by a gentleman with a very strong African accent, now I don’t want to stereotype people but there are an awful lot of scams which are alleged to come from Africa usually involving a request to deposit extremely large sums of money into your bank account.

With this in mind I was rather on my guard and was even more suspicious when the first thing he asked was my Bank account number and sort code without going through any form of security check at all and knowing that scammers have the ability to pretend to be someone else I reluctantly hung up.

I have a nasty suspicion that this may be Barclays way of forcing us to do online banking on our telephone but as I only do it on my desk top computer where I can see the full page without the need to keep poking my finger at the screen and jiggling it about, using my telephone is not for me.

So, all that’s left for me to say is the comment I wished to leave with Barclays when I tried to contact them earlier.


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Parents have claimed that Skegness Academy in Lincolnshire is too woke as the school has banned teachers from using sarcasm in the classroom.

I have to say I always found it rather amusing when I was at school, the remark from a teacher to a child arriving late to class, ‘glad you could find the time to join us boy’ always a favourite, never directed at my good self although I was frequently accused of looking out of the window and requested to ‘stop daydreaming boy.’

What if this trend were to spread and sarcasm were banned everywhere, I would have to give up writing this blog altogether and teachers would be unable to write on a child’s report, ‘he sets himself a very low standard and then fails to attain it.’

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I saw this on Facebook and I have to admit I was a little confused as who or what had actually been involved in the conception and birth of this infant as there seemed to be far more people than are usually employed in the act of procreation.

I commented thus;

So, a man who thinks he’s a woman has had a baby with. No wait a minute. A woman who is now a man with presumably enough womanly paraphernalia to give birth has had a baby. The father of which has no idea if he’s Arthur or Martha has used sperm from a female donor and I thought when I first read this it was complicated. Whoever has had a baby I wish them luck, especially the little child.

but am fairly certain I am missing some salient points which might explain who exactly did what to whom, as I said modern life, it’s a tad confusing!

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It seems with all the recent fuss about the Elgin Marbles I thought this would be a good time to repost this from a while ago, now I have to admit I’m not if favour of giving anything back especially where we have a bill of sale for the items and who wants to go round an empty museum?


Posted on 23/10/2022 by The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I have to say I know very little of the history of the diamond or any of the artefacts we currently own nor on what grounds the previous owners are asking for them back.

However, some of their requests are not really cricket, an example being the Elgin Marbles which I believe the Greeks have been suggesting a return for some time now.

I would be strongly against the return of the Marbles, after all I would wager they don’t even know how to play the game.


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My wife and I went to the Southbank Centre in London for the New Year celebrations and had a rather splendid time dancing the night away and thanks to Mark and Hoc for the wonderful novelty dance lessons, we are now almost competent on quite a few which is useful with upcoming forties events.

We had thought to become members of the Southbank Centre which gives access to the Members Lounge at the top of the Festival Hall but is also slightly nearer to the New Year fireworks which I have to say made quite a bang when you’re that close.

The only down side to the evening was the absolute chaos with the traffic when trying to leave which I believe was due to the Mayor closing numerous roads for the fireworks, although one would have thought it wouldn’t be that hard to open them after they were over to alleviate the congestion.

The traffic was gridlocked which meant we had to walk a mile to where we could get picked up to be driven home as did many others but then I suppose the Mayor must quite like the pollution from all the stationary cars which was a shame as it reminded me why I absolutely hate going to London as it is so unfriendly to cars.

Barring the intervention from the Mayor we had a splendid time and will not let him put a dampener on our optimism for the coming year although I have bought two Lottery tickets since the event with no luck as yet!

I would have posted earlier but we had a photo taken at the event but due to the modern way of retrieving the photo with a QR code which seemed not to work and when it did we had to trawl through hundreds of photos to find ours, hence this belated image but I think you have to admit it’s worth waiting for.

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It seems that some 20,000 people have complained about the Jeremy Clarkson tweet concerning his dislike of Meghan Markle, apparently this is the highest number of complaints ever received.

Conversely, just to put this in perspective over 67 million of us didn’t complain!

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