Zara Sultana – telling it like it is! The system is rigged! The rich are making a fortune out of covid.

The system is rigged. Cronyism and corruption. There is exploitation and abuse. Millions are being put out of work. Food banks, homeless and desperate people while the rich minority prosper.

Something is very wrong with our society. Listen to Zara!


27 thoughts on “Zara Sultana – telling it like it is! The system is rigged! The rich are making a fortune out of covid.

  1. Check out her expenses claim in her 1st year as an MP – over £45k, eg over £1k for a phone because she claimed her phone wasn’t working & £525 for a 1 night stay in a London hotel. Had to repay £4,500 for “consultancy” fees. Of course, she’s a Corbyn supporter.

      1. That’s a serious allegation of criminality uttered with only some weak circumstantial evidence. Yes, all those contracts awarded need to be scrutinised in time but assuming, probably wrongly, that someone who knows Matt Hancock because they live in the same area and asked him how he could submit his existing company as a prospective manufacturer of products needed to fight the pandemic is plainly wrong. There is no evidence I have seen that shows Hancock influenced, in any way, using his office, the decision to award a contract. You make allegations based on prejudice and your biased agenda. I look for evidence. There’s a substantial difference. My method is fair. Yours is not. There’s proven evidence to substantiate the claim against Zara Sultana eg. she was compelled to repay monies wrongly claimed from the public purse. How are the matters you mention relevant to Ms Sultana abusing the expenses system? They are separate issues. If corruption is proven against the others you mention then they should be dealt with equally.

      2. I notice how quick you are to jump to the defence of Tories and how quick you are to condemn anybody on the left.
        Zara’s claim sounds excessive but I do not know the details. It will have been scrutinised. The way that contracts were illegally awarded without due process is a matter of record – billions of pounds.

    1. I don’t know what Zara’s claims were. If they were excessive they should be challenged. There’s a mechanism for that. I do know that the Tory cronyism has been awarding billions of pounds to their chums in contracts – to companies that have no expertise. We are not talking thousands but millions. All abuse is wrong – but let’s get this in perspective. The Tories have been the most corrupt government in recent history. The way they have doled out contracts, without tendering, to party sponsors has been scandalous. £45 K looks petty in comparison.
      I listen to what she said and she was right.

      1. It matters not to me to which party the culprit belongs. Abuse of public funds, corruption et al needs to be called out and dealt with. I think my background qualifies me more than you to be considered of working class background and on the left. My father was a union official for TGWU. I was a union member myself (NUM). Also I recall your telling me years ago that you, as a child, attended a fee -paying school. Maybe you should switch your political allegiance to the privileged Tories.

      2. Lol Bede – and join you? I was an NUT rep organising strike action against Tory cuts. Are you seriously telling me your parents were more working-class than mine??
        Abuse of funds should always be called out – along with cronyism and taking advantage of one’s position. I think the level of cronyism, corruption and lies in the new administration exceeds anything I’ve ever witnessed – we are talking billions – yet you focus on a legal expenses claim that may or may not be legitimate.

  2. It can’t have been a legal claim if she was ordered to repay it. Look at the evidence instead of making assumptions based on your prejudicial views and political agenda. Yes, I am seriously claiming my parents were more working class than yours. My father worked as a labourer for a quarrying firm in Halifax. Those kind of jobs will be unfamiliar to someone who was raised in the Surrey commuter belt around Walton-on-Thames. I know your background. I am more working class than you. Have you ever done a manual job other than as a student or seasonal job? An NUT rep is white-collar middle class. How did being a teacher qualify someone as a member of the working class? Like your hero Jezza (“call me Jerry”) you want to identify with members of what you see as the revolutionary working class in a similar way to many middle class students in the late 60s/early 70s. It’s disingenuous and hypocritical. In any event those class wars are now outdated.

    1. She put it in and it’s been sorted. It was wrong of her. But there is far worse. The cronyism of the Tories handing out billions of pounds of contracts to party donors with no proper tendering was called illegal by the courts. Does that not deserve more attention? The millions made by Brexiteer MPs with vested interests is not worthy of mention. I read that Rees-Mogg made £2 million out of Brexit. But that is OK?
      The way Osborne sold his services to companies seeking to evade tax and made hundreds of thousands out of it?
      No. You would rather focus on relatively minor Labour indiscretions.
      Oh – we’re not getting into a silly argument over whose family was more working-class are we? I met your parents. They were lovely. Their house on the hill with great views over Halifax was brilliant. My Dad did rise out of working-class into middle-class and lived in suburbia. His brothers were a truck driver and a carpenter. His way out was via the army and a typewriting course. More power to him. My Mum was never middle-class for a minute. She spent all her time with working-class friends on the council estates. My two granddads were a meat porter in Smithfield market and a water meter reader.
      So what??
      Is a NUT rep more white-collar than a solicitor?
      When I left college I spent six months working as a warehouseman. I worked as a road sweeper, sewage worker, dishwasher, factory worker, assembly line loader and laboratory technician. but that doesn’t count???
      Who cares??
      BTW – my two and a half years as an animal house technician on minimum wage was not a seasonal job – neither was my six months as a waehousman.
      I am now very definitely middle-class, like you, but I have not forgotten my roots and I have not been blind to the way the Tories have victimised poor people and the public sector. As a Senior Manager in education I saw the effects of Tory policies first-hand – both on my students and on my school and staff. The Tories give to the rich and take from the poor – always have and always will. It is what they were formed to do.
      Even though I personally might well benefit from Tory policy I think they are immoral and I say so.

  3. My understanding of the court ruling with regard to the contracts is that the unlawfulness (not illegality btw) lay in details of the contracts not being published. No doubt that omission will be remedied in due course. I question your purported attachment to the “working class” because you have claimed previously (disingenuously in my view) that you grew up as a member of the working class. What is it about some left-leaning persons that they seek to re-invent their upbringing? I assume they imagine doing so will give them more credibility. What interests me is the hypocrisy. I don’t know how or whether Rees-Mogg made £2m from the UK leaving the EU but what is your point? Was his action unlawful or illegal? Persons like Rees-Mogg & Osborne come from money and their life usually continues to be dominated by the acquisition of more money. That’s their choice in a democracy. I don’t see the point of it unless it is used for general benefit of society but I believe in individual freedom of choice. Are you envious of Rees-Mogg & Osborne? What do you think they should do with their excess wealth? If you had it, what would you do with it. I’m not aware that you are a regular charitable contributor. Did you subscribe to the Big Issue on the form I sent you?

    1. Again – you defend the Tories who have abused the legal system for giving out contracts and given contracts worth billions to their supporters. Obscene.
      You really do need to read things more carefully. I have never claimed to be working class or that my parents were working class. My father had a middle-class profession and my mother was a housewife. When she was employed, before marriage, she was a typist. I claimed to come from working-class stock. My father came from a working-class home and my mother did too. They both still kept their working-class friends and attitudes despite being risen into middle-class. My school friends were a mixture but largely from working-class council estates.
      The point I am making is, regardless of whether it is legal or illegal the morality of people like Rees-Mogg, Osborne and Trump who use their position to make vast amounts of money is highly questionable. To me it is far worse. The level of cronyism, which I regard as corruption, is the worst it has ever been. We are not talking about tens of thousands we are talking millions and billions. The same as tax evasion. It may be legal but I regard it as theft.
      I am a moral person. I do not steal, exploit, look for tax loopholes or abuse my position. I do give to charity but I do not make a song and dance about it.

  4. You frequently make serious allegations unsubstantiated by anything other than flimsy evidence. You wrote a lengthy diatribe some time ago about how you originated from a working class background and had suffered poverty, presumably to justify your hatred of anyone you consider a Tory. From which “rags” do you source your information? Come up with some substantial evidence worthy of consideration, for a change. Often you make statements about your past which are disingenuous. I know because I was there during the relevant period.

    1. Were you there? I don’t think so. I’m not talking about my time as a student. As an adult we lived for three years in London when I was working as a lab tech on a salary that was well below a living wage. As a teacher in the early years my pay was so low that I could not afford clothes. I was wearing hand me downs from my dead father and Liz’s dead father. Our kids were on free school meals. Where were you? You were a solicitor living the high life.
      We were extremely poor. Not that it bothered us. We were very happy. We didn’t drink, we didn’t smoke, Liz made the kid’s clothes and we ate OK – on cheap food. You have no idea.
      It wasn’t until Houghton that we had a pay rise and a living wage.
      As to my blog. This is a blog. It may well be controversial. It is me putting forward my views.
      You say the evidence is flimsy – no it isn’t. The corruption, lies and cronyism of this government, their incompetence and mismanagement are glaringly obvious. You choose to ignore it, gloss it over and not acknowledge it.
      My blog is open for all comments. Feel free to put an opposing argument instead of personal attacks.

  5. I knew and visited you when you lived in Hull. You told me that you claimed free school meals whilst you lived there and sold some vinyl albums to raise money. You had 4 children so it’s no surprise to me that you may have been short of money occasionally. That’s in spite of your railing against humans overpopulating the planet btw!! Claiming free school meals doesn’t mean your were poor in my book. Being poor was some kids at my junior school attending school every day, Winter & Summer, in wellington boots because their parents could not afford to buy shoes and my brother & I searching through the dustbins behind the local Co-op in the hope of finding something edible. He ended up in hospital with food poisoning. I don’t feel the need to brag about it. I recall that your first home in Hull was given to you by a relative. Poverty is relative so maybe you compare yourself to greedy capitalists like Green & Maxwell. I guess you are poor compared to them. My girlfriend was a teacher for 40 years and she knows no teacher was poor. My concern is essentially about hypocrisy. I expect those of the political right are likely to be greedy and exploitative because they are governed by their upbringing and background. It doesn’t follow that I consider it right and moral and if it is proven to be illegal or unlawful then I support strong action to deal with it. The Tory MP who had a duck house constructed from expenses should have been hammered financially. Catering facilities in Parliament should not be subsidised by the public purse to enable MPs to enjoy cheap booze. MPs should not be subsidised to make money on 2nd homes. The list is long. I would stop all that. What bugs me are people on the left who rant on about the “greedy Tories, Fascists” etc then as soon as they gain some position or power set about doing exactly the same abuses of the system eg. Sultana & Rayner abusing the expenses system. I expect better examples from them.

    1. Poverty is very relative. The ‘poor’ families I visited from school were smoking and drinking, had sky TV and videos. We certainly could not afford to live like that. We moved to Hull because we were left a house. Unfortunately, before we moved there, that house was served with a demolition order by the council who paid £50 compensation to my mother-in-law (she refused to accept it). We never lived in it and had to find somewhere else. We ended up in another development area in the cheapest part of the poorest city in Britain. That house we lived in for a few years and then it was pulled down. You have no idea.
      We had an income on a par with the poorest people in the city. We just used our intelligence and enterprise to manage it better.
      Well your girlfriend has a poor memory. Prior to Houghton teacher salaries were appalling. Bringing up a family on a teacher’s salary was very hard. I could have earnt much more as a labourer. I used to have to moonlight in a youth club two nights a week and do tuition in the evenings in order to keep my family.
      You’re entitled to your views and I give you an open forum to argue your case. You can defend the government all you like. Your main thrust is always personAL attacks and slurs (inaccurately) as above.
      I expect better from Labour politicians too – but I also know that when they get in power they are not the same level of corruption and they do fund public servants properly and look after the poor better.
      The only comments I delete on my blog are extreme personal abuse and threats. Apart from that all views are left up.

  6. I know Hull well. I had many friends there. I visited you when you lived in West Hull. Yes, some of the housing stock there was demolished and the area redeveloped but it wasn’t the cheapest or poorest part of the city. East Hull was poorer. I find it odd that you, as a teacher, visited the homes of pupils. Was that normal in the schools where you taught? My girlfriend started teaching before you and taught for longer than you. She reached a senior teaching position so probably knows as much as you about the profession from the 70s onwards – the same period in which you taught. I don’t claim that teachers received exceptional remuneration but salaries were commensurate with other public employees and part of the financial rewards on offer were the final payment and gold-plated pension on offer on retirement. In addition security of employment was part of teaching whereas there was more risk in the in private sector. I earned £7 per week between 1972-74 as a trainee solicitor. I would think your teacher’s salary at that time was on a par with that.

    1. This is becoming a silly conversation – who was poorest, which area was poorest.
      Firstly there were pockets of deprivation in Hull in all regions. The house we bought for £900 was the cheapest house in Hull. It was in a very deprived area. It was a two-up two-down terrace and was quite sound in construction. The area was very run-down. It should have been done up not knocked down. East Hull was not poorer. Parts of East Hull were very poor but no worse than parts of West Hull. The area I worked as a youth worker in the youth club off Anlaby road was a very rough and deprived area. It had used to be a prosperous fishing community but the bottom fell out of that. The new estates of Bransholme and Orchard park were terrible.
      Having lived in Hull for many years I think I know it pretty well.
      Teachers’ salaries preHoughton were extremely poor. I suspect your girlfriend was single at the time and not trying to raise a family on a very low income. Your kids don’t get put on free school meals without a reason.
      I started teaching in 1975. Before that we lived in London. I worked as a warehouseman for a central heating firm for six months and then as a lab tech with day release for a masters degree. I was earning £80 a month. Our rent was £6 a week.
      Yes, you can argue that the work in the public sector was secure and the pensions good and that compensated for the low salary but I’ve never met a poor solicitor yet! As a trainee you would not expect to earn much would you? When I did my PGCE I had a minimum grant.

  7. She was married and living in an area equivalent in cost to London from 1973, far more expensive than Hull. The £900 house you had in Hull was fine and in a reasonable area. At that time you could buy a similar house in Leeds for less. My understanding is that teachers in state education were paid the same other than in London where there was a loading. Arguing about which area was poorer, who was more working class etc. is silly but the issue I have is about what I regard as your pretensions to be what you are not. You try to make out you have working class credentials (similar to the portrayals by Corbyn & Thornberry) and are some radical leftie. You attack people you describe as “Tories” or “Fascists” on the basis that they are intrinsically greedy, bad people. You make wild allegations about their using their position to make billions but provide no evidence in support. You have enlisted in the system but pretend otherwise – nothing wrong with that but don’t pretend otherwise. You intimate that I am a Tory but I have far more radical ideas than you and have held them since school. The government would not sit in Westminster but in the centre of England. The House of Lords would be gone in addition to the whole regime of honours & privilege based on birth or political allegiance. That would have prevented Corbyn giving Chakrabarti a seat in the Lords for example. MPs would be required to work a normal working week with an appropriate salary without the current subsidies & expenses system. Laws would be enacted to recover money from capitalists who exploited company and revenue law “legally” to rob the public purse as they exist to recover money from convicted criminals. I haven’t voted Labour for many years despite being a Labour Party member at school. I wised up to the hypocrisy and the incompetence which for me became immense when Corbyn became party leader. It’s a conundrum when there is no party for which you can sincerely vote so it’s a choice normally which party will have the worse effect on the country I chose not to vote for. That was an easy choice when Corbyn was leader. Starmer is yet to show his mettle but he is far more acceptable to me than Corbyn. Certainly he is more competent and I doubt he is another Blair. My default party since the early 70s has been the Green Party (at that time the Ecology Party). Does that make me a Tory or Fascist?

    1. Rubbish Bede. I don’t ever claim to be working class. I’m middle class. I claim to have come from working-class stock – my grandparents and parents. My parents grew up in working-class families and aspired to become middle-class.
      Check out how much Rees-Mogg made out of Brexit. Check out the billions given without tendering to Tory donors and Tory supporters. Check out the Tories placed in the BBC.
      What is this a competition?? You have more radical views than me? Whoopee!! All I’ve seen is you supporting Tories and knocking Labour. I don’t call that radical.

  8. Tell me your sources of evidence to substantiate your claims against Rees-Mogg & the billions allegedly awarded to Tories not just assertions that it is obvious? No rational person would rely on your allegations unless you could support them with hard evidence. Those contracts awarded during the pandemic will be scrutinised in due course then the truth will out. On what do you base those claims. I’ve been listening to the discourse between Salmond and Sturgeon. Salmond has made allegations of conspiracy against him by persons including Sturgeon. Others have jumped on the bandwagon. I’m not a fan of Sturgeon but I am yet to see any evidence to support his claim against her.
    I knock any party/politician when I consider it’s deserved. You voted for Blair but I despised his approach to the invasion of Iraq. Brown was an intellectual out of his depth. Miliband with his “stone” was a joke. Corbyn was an incompetent disaster waiting to happen. They all deserved knocking. So far I’m reasonably impressed by Starmer but we shall see.
    You complain of personal attacks by me. I take it then you didn’t consider your unwarranted and unsubstantiated suggestion that I was a holocaust denier not to be a personal attack. I was surprised you could stoop so low.
    Btw my girlfriend was married to a student on a grant when she was teaching during the period you were. She was supporting him for years because he was studying architecture which you should know is a long course. He was kicked off the course before graduating for failing to complete his assignments. She managed to keep her head above water supporting him whilst on a state teacher’s salary thus I find it difficult to understand how you were poor. I don’t think you have much idea of what it is to be poor. Have you ever lived with poor people? I suspect you have simply observed them from afar from a hotel room or on a cruise ship like a visitor to a zoo.

    1. Firstly – I run a blog in which I read widely and put forward my views. It is a blog and not a courtroom. I do not put forward lots of evidence. I report on things I read and report what I believe to be true. I have read numerous articles concerning Rees-Moggs dubious profiteering. Likewise I see many other Tories exploiting their position or walking into jobs that make millions – Osborne and Cameron being the obvious ones.
      If you want to find out more look it up.
      Yes I think Sturgeon is being put through the mill. They see her as a threat to the union and will pull out the stops to discredit her just like they did with Corbyn.
      I voted for Blair even though he was a watered-down Tory. I don’t agree with war but he was better than putting the Tories and did a lot of good things for public services and poor people. Unfortunately his economics were Thatcherite.
      I will vote for Starmer even though he is a water-down Tory. Just about anybody is better that this extreme bunch of morons we have in power now.
      I too would vote Green except for the fact that it’s a wasted vote. Under this silly system it is a choice between two.
      Once again you show an amazing inability to understand. I do not for a moment think you are a holocaust denier but you have consistently supported the Fascist Trump (described as such in the American press by the New York Times and Washington Post) and Boris Johnson’s hapless bunch of extremists. You also have denied the lies that led to Brexit. You seem very much to represent a right-wing view that aligns you with the Brexiteers, QAnon and the right-wing propaganda machine that includes the flat-earthers, holocaust deniers and science deniers. I was merely pointing out the direction of your journey.
      You do not hesitate to call me a liar. You repeatedly deny my working-class roots and argue that I have never been poor. I think I am a far better judge of that. I do come from working-class roots. My parents were both brought up in very working-class homes and I was brought up in a middle-class home with working-class ethos. These roots are not lost in some dime history.
      My life has been very mixed. I gained qualifications which enabled me to have a middle-class life but I have worked in many working-class jobs.
      In terms of being poor we certainly struggled on very low pay for a good decade. Three years as a laboratory technician in London. seven years in Hull on very low pay.
      Living in a bedsit, Having the cheapest house in the most deprived city in England, having my children on free school meals, not being able to afford a car, wearing cast-off clothes, not being able to afford a beer or bottle of wine. I think that qualifies as being poor. I hitch-hiked around and we could not afford to take a holiday. We were not cold and nobody went hungry. We were not impoverished – we were poor.
      If you still do not believe the extent of our poverty and wish to argue further I suggest you talk to Liz – she will back me up and put you right.
      I do not know the situation of your girlfriend, what benefits or inner-city payments she received, but I do know that it was nigh-on impossible for a family of five to live off a teacher’s wage. Houghton recognised this and gave teachers a 30% pay rise which lifted us out of poverty.
      Yes I have seen impoverished people on the streets and around the world. I have put money in begging bowls with the knowledge that if I hadn’t they would not eat. That is a totally different level of poverty and not one I have ever claimed to have known. Yes I have lived with poor people. I spent three years in a big house in Manor House which was packed with poor people. I did spend three weeks in a squat in Ilford.
      Now – you need to stop calling me a liar, understand what I am saying and not keep misinterpreting me. By all means support your Tories and put forward your arguments but kindly refrain from your incorrect personal abuse. Lying is not something I indulge in.

  9. “I look at the wealthy becoming wealthier while people like me slave away on zero hour contracts for poverty wages”. Those are your words. You refer to the working classes who fought for better working conditions in the 19th century and later the vote as your kin. You are a million light years away from them. Almost every citizen in the country can claim to be descended from working class people at some point in the past.

    1. The problem you have is that you take things far too literally. Of course I am not on zero-hours now. I live quite comfortably because I was promoted to a high level and had a successful career.
      But I see society divided into two groups – a wealthy elite who are becoming wealthier and the rest of us who are being exploited and left behind.
      I identify with the group who are being exploited. I want a fairer society. I do not believe that zero-hours works for most people.
      My family came from working-class. My parents were brought up in working-class homes. I was brought up in a middle-class home but with a working-class ethos.
      You need to lighten up.

  10. I have not ever called you a liar to my recollection. Correct me with an example if you disagree. I believe you are often disingenuous and exaggerate. Some claims you make do not accord with my recollection. I try to be fair to all politicians and look at events in the round. It’s very rare that events are clear cut. Because I pointed out that there was no clear evidence that Trump advocated violence or incursion during the Capitol Hill protests you immediately judge me to be a Trump supporter. The same applies to the Tory party. According to you I am a Tory because I voted Tory in 2019 purely to prevent Corbyn running & ruining the country. Sometimes, as on that occasion, there needs to be a compromise and, having read much about Corbyn’s competence in a previous office and previous life, I compromised. You have a set agenda and the views you express are determined by that agenda. If someone disagrees with you then they must be a Tory, Fascist, holocaust denier or Brexiteer, whatever. You insulted those who voted for Brexit by referring to them as racists, stupid & xenophobes. You were not willing to accept the result of a democratic vote. That conflicts with your assertion that you are a social democrat. Your inability to produce any evidence to support your wild assertions leads me to believe you don’t have any. It’s not for me to find such evidence. You make the assertions and accusations. I recall you did about the police investigation based on allegations made by Carl Beech. Those allegations were shown to be a product of his fantasy and attention-seeking yet you had already accepted they were true and made supporting pronouncements online. There is an absence of fairness in that approach. Maybe you need to live outside your head more often and give the blog a break sometimes. You are too narrow-minded. I won’t be reading it anymore. From the paucity of comments posted, it appears few do. Clearly you have a problem with criticism. You accepted that you did when I asked you why Liz didn’t proof-read the book you sent me.

    1. Rubbish again Bede. You have repeated called me a liar. You have recently claimed that I do not come from working-class stock, that I’ve never been poor, that my accusations against Rees-Mogg are wrong, that I did not live in a poor area of Hull, that teachers were not poor – it goes on and on. That’s calling me a liar.
      I do not call you a Tory because you voted Tory – I call you it because of the speed with which you are quick to undermine anything related to Labour and to defend any accusations against Tories.
      My accusations against Trump were not based on the one speech. They were based on the weeks before – his deliberate undermining of democracy, his denial of the democratic process, his calling for a mass meeting to intimidate officials and then his incitement. I read a lot and looked at the evidence. It was very clear.
      It was even clear to Mitch McConnell the Republican leader of the House. He said that Trump was guilty of calling for insurrection and inciting the storming of the Capitol.
      I did not say that all Brexiteers were stupid, xenophobic racists. There you go again – twisting my words. I said racism and xenophobia played a big part in Brexit. I also said that there were a large number of stupid people who did not have a clue about the ramifications, were ignorant and uniformed. They were emotionally wound up by the likes of Johnson and Farage with a pack of lies – £350 Million a week – 5 million Turks etc etc.
      Any attempt to explain the consequences was labelled Project Fear.
      Well Project Fear is becoming all too real isn’t it? And the gullible who are now losing their jobs and drowning in red tape are seeing the reality of the misinformation.
      I never denied the democratic vote either. I said it was based on misinformation and lies and was not a mandate for a hard Brexit.
      It should have resulted in a soft Brexit in which we left but stayed in the single market and customs union.
      What has happened is a travesty and a terrible abuse of power by an extreme group of right-wingers who you voted for! Their incompetence is there for all to see!!
      I don’t have a problem with criticism and I am far from narrow-minded thanks. What I do not like is being called a liar and having my words twisted.

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