Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Follow the money

Remember Baroness Uddin? Chucked out of the House of Lords until she paid back the £125,000 she fiddled on expenses and claiming to be penniless, she had the gall to ask to be reinstated in order to pay the money back out of the taxpayer-funded daily allowance.

When that failed, at the end of her 18-month suspension, she had a rummage down the back of the sofa and miraculously came up with the cash in a handy lump sum.

Only it turns out that the sofa in question wasn't her own. According to the Register of Members' Interests (via Breitbart), she received an interest free loan for £124,000 from three sources.

Given all the other investment opportunities out there, one wonders whether these benefactors would really sacrifice the use of that amount out of the goodness of their hearts or the desire to see Baroness Uddin's little face light up in gratitude.

What's more, £10,000 came from 'two businessmen from the Islam Channel' which, according to Breitbart,
...has been accused of giving a platform to terrorist sympathisers and anti-Semitism. In November 2010 Ofcom ruled the channel had breached the broadcasting code after presenters supported violence against women, martial [sic] rape and accused women who wear perfume of being “prostitutes”.
Most of the channel's output appears rather less controversial, which is a good thing, given that 'UK government research [in 2008] found that 59% of British Muslims watched the channel.' (Wikipedia), but I wonder whether Baroness Uddin agrees with the programme stating that women should not be 'permitted to hold a position of leadership in government'  - and what she thinks of the CEO's alleged links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Islamic finance does not, of course, permit the direct charging of interest on loans. Instead, the lender may effectively acquire a whole or part share of any assets and a share of any income or benefit generated. When the asset in question is a member of the House of Lords, this surely raises some disquieting questions.

In the light of this generous financial backing for the Baroness, the inspiration for our past musical efforts seems even more appropriate...

She kept a home down in Wapping,
Where subsidies helped pay the rent,
A mansion in Bangladesh,
And don’t forget the flat in Kent,
Pressed for a remedy, she says she’s in penury,
But once she’s back in Westminster then all will be fine;
Three hundred quid a day she’d get,
She’d use your cash to pay her debt
Extraordinarily nice!
She's Manzila Uddin,
Baroness of Bethnal Green,
House of Lords expenses queen;
Her arrant greed will blow your mind. 


  1. She should have been suspended permanently, but we knew that at the time.

    I'm reminded of Peter Mandelson and his loan from Geoffrey Robinson. It just goes on and on.

  2. It's certainly odd, AKH, when you think how shrill the Left are in their criticism of wealthy donors to the Conservative Party and their accusations of buying undue influence.

    I'd say it was hypocrisy but, remembering my own experience of the embryonic New Labour back in the 1980s, I have a horrible feeling they genuinely believe that the righteousness of their political cause means that financial assistance is offered to them only for the purest and most altruistic of motives.

  3. Aw, that's lovely for Baroness Udders.

    One thing which worries me, off topic a mo, is the state of your health, Macheath. Four posts in quick time - watch the heart!

  4. No usury for Muslims either. Hmmmm.

  5. JH, I've resolved not to post unless I have something to say' since suitable subject matter doesn't turn up at conveniently regular intervals, posting will remain sporadic.

    As for muslims and money, there are effectively two separate banking systems running in the UK; it is only when you consider the role interest plays in everything from student loans and mortgages to standard bank accounts and overdue payments that you see how marked the separation must be.