Category - News

Mogal-E-Azam Boarded Up

Outside night shot of Mogal-E-Azam restaurant
Photo credit: Momina Iqbal

This is bad news (but note the updates at the end of the story).

Whenever I go to a gig at Rock City, it is automatically followed by a curry at the Mogal. It’s been that way for the last 30 or more years. But it appears that the Mogal has gone into liquidation and is now boarded up. A sign on the boards says ‘Under New Management’ – though precisely what that means is unclear right now.

It was always a little unclear figuring out who actually owned it. The article refers to Sheikh Assab, and he was certainly managing it prior to the Covid pandemic – I didn’t realise he was an owner. He was a really friendly guy, and the food was top notch most of the time. Things changed a little about five years ago. Sheikh Assab told us they had ‘a new chef’ – it seems the original chef was Sheikh Sujat, and I think he was one of the owners. With the new chef, the Pilau Rice had sweetcorn and peas in it, and tasted more like some sort of chicken-flavoured packet meal (we complained, and it was proper Pilau the next time). And the Chicken Tikka starter used to consist of chunks of Tandoor-cooked chicken on a sizzle plate on a bed of fried onions, and scattered with fresh Coriander. With the new chef, it became bite-sized pieces covered in odds drizzles of sauces – one of which was a green Coriander puree – which tasted nothing like Chicken Tikka (we complained about that, too, but it remained). But the main curries were always pretty good.

After Covid, when we started going again, all the staff were strangers, and not as friendly as before. We asked if ownership had changed, but they said ‘no’. We knew something had happened, because it was so different, but everything was so secretive you just never found out the truth. I am guessing that the tough financial times had brought retirement forward for some members of the family, and the younger ones just weren’t interested anymore. My guess is that Sheikh Sujat had already retired when the ‘new chef’ came in. It’s a shame.

I hope Sheikh Assab is all right (and Sheikh Sujat) – as I say, he was a really nice guy, and sometimes we’d talk to him the whole meal (when the idiotic Brexit result came about being one such example).

Being situated next to Rock City and the Royal Concert Hall, it used to be where many of the performers went if they liked curry. As a result, one of the walls was filled with signed photographs of celebrities who had eaten there, many of them A-listers. We’ve seen several bands in there after we’ve been to a show.

The thing about the Mogal – at least until around 2015 – was that it was old-school. It was what an Indian restaurant should be like. Heavy wooden seats, traditional décor, and proper curries. None of this brightly neon-lit ‘contemporary’ crap so many other restaurants move into, or attempts to produce works of art on the plates. Although the décor didn’t change, the food most certainly did at the Mogal – that Chicken Tikka I mentioned was a prime example, and although the chef no doubt thought it looked good, it didn’t taste as good as the original (and proper) version.

Anyway, the big question is: what happens to the place now? The boards say ‘under new management’, but that doesn’t mean anything in Nottingham. The ‘new management’ could easily be a student letting company, and it would come as no surprise to see the place turned into student flats – Nottingham City Council has done that everywhere else in that area, so a restaurant is a bit of an anomaly there.

Surprisingly, Nottingham City Centre doesn’t have many normal Indian restaurants – they’re all ‘contemporary’, or have some ‘angle’, where the chances of getting a decent Vindaloo or Madras are zero, you can’t get Chicken Tikka (but you can get Ostrich Tikka or Salmon Tikka), and the prices are double what you pay anywhere else. And they are a 20 minute walk away, instead of the sub-1 minute trip to the Mogal.

Even if it remains a restaurant, there’s no guarantee it will be an Indian one, and even less guarantee it won’t try and go contemporary.

Fingers crossed.

Update September 2023: The Mogal-e-Azam website has been stating that it is closed for refurbishment for some months. And news from this week reports that they are currently hiring staff (use an ad-blocker for that link).

Update October 2023: Latest news is that it is now reopened.

A Digital Pound?

I’ve bumped this to the top, because I’ve just seen that the plans have been dropped. The original article – from February (less than a month ago) – follows.

Cryptocurrency does nothing for me. Fair enough, many years ago when I first heard about mining and how much people had apparently ‘made’, I toyed with the idea.

But what turned me off was that back then, bitcoin was held almost wholly by people from the less salubrious parts of society, and it’s not that different now. It all boils down to a massive scheme where you’ve either got a million in bitcoin one day, half a million the next, or buying stuff you shouldn’t be from dark sites. There is absolutely no reason for a normal person who wants to buy some fish and potatoes from Asda to use bitcoin.

And the fact that Elon Musk got involved in it turned me off even more, because he’s not of this Earth when it comes to most things. I mean, back in 2021, he caused the value of bitcoin to fall from $70,000 to $25,000 with a single Tweet.

Now, with that risk in mind, it seems that the Treasury and Bank of England (BoE) are planning on setting up a UK Digital Pound before the end of the decade. And to further emphasise those risks, there would be a limit to how much ‘GBCoin’ (I’ll call it that) an individual could hold.

Right now, there is absolutely no point to GBCoin. It would do – and is only intended to do – everything you can already do now using bank transfers, debit cards, phone zappers, and so on. It would only have any real purpose if actual money (something you could hold in your hand) were done away with, and that isn’t likely for.. well, for the rest of my lifetime, and probably at least two more beyond that.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d have no concerns if paper money became obsolete. I avoid taking it for lesson payments as much as I can, and much prefer card payment or bank transfer. But GBCoin is not the same at all once you go under the hood.

When you used it, every single aspect of what you used it for would potentially be available for people somewhere to see. In the case of Bitcoin and the other nefarious ones, they were all designed specifically to be anonymous, and all the data are deliberately obfuscated (although the blockchain can be tracked and many users are unaware of this). A state-owned one’s data would be neatly boxed for someone to open if deemed it necessary (they even admit the data would be purposely not looked at, implying it is there if they wanted to). It would take less than a month before someone used it in such a way that the authorities gave access to the police to check that person’s transactions. GBCoin makes no pretence at anonymity – it just pretty much says they won’t look while you undress, but that they can check the CCTV later if necessary.

It goes deeper than this, though. Anyone using GBCoin would need somewhere to deposit their geld – a wallet – and those are provided by third parties. Some would want access to data (likely resulting in floods of ads from toothbrush manufacturers if you bought a toothbrush using GBCoin), whereas others would promote some degree of pseudo-anonymity. And as we all know, ‘opting out’ of anything is always only partial at best – if you opt out of ads, for example, you just get general ones. But if you opt in, you get targeted ones.

Right now, there is absolutely no need for GBCoin. There won’t be for many decades. By the time it is a necessity, I’ll be long gone – and probably anyone reading this (and their kids) will be gone, too.

Dilbert – Reborn

Quite recently, I wrote about Dilbert being cancelled by ‘woke‘. At the time, the cartoon strip was being cancelled in some American newspapers because it was lampooning ‘wokeness’ – by having a black character who ‘identified’ as white, and who was subsequently asked by management to also identify as ‘gay’ to balance out the numbers in his company.

It only involved a handful of strips over several months, but as everyone knows, in this day and age, even coming close to the ‘wokeness’ line is enough to get you ‘cancelled’.

But then, something else happened.

I’m in the UK, and I can’t get the fine detail of the hijacked timeline on all this, but it started with a Rasmussen poll in the US which asked:

  • Do you agree or disagree with this statement:  “It’s OK to be white.”
  • Do you agree or disagree with this statement:  “Black people can be racist, too.”
Rasmussen poll questions

For f*cks sake, we all live on the same planet, and we’re all far from perfect, so the correct answers are ‘yes’ and ‘yes’. There is no valid argument against that. It is perfectly OK to be black or white, and people on either side can be racist. It’s an absolute. There was no need to ask the f*cking questions, except to stir up sh*t by using poor wording devoid of any context.

So, since we do have racists (and others of limited thought processes) among us, the results of the poll came out saying that half of black people are not OK with people being white.

The result was immediately hijacked by far right groups – and since America is substantially to right in the first place, that means a very long way to the right. You know – get some guns, kill all blacks… that kind of stuff. So the whole affair became extremely political overnight, and the poll result ended up having multiple meanings depending on where you were on the Swingometer, but with the added confusion that even if you were on the good side, some of the bad rubbed off on you if you got involved.

You see, the problem with ‘woke’ is that it is binary – it only accepts wholehearted support for its view, and everything else is wrong.

Scott Adams then put his head above a parapet and declared that those who claimed it wasn’t OK to be white were more like terrorists, and you should stay the hell away from them. And naturally, the Woke Brigade saw that as wholehearted opposition and ‘racism’.

Now, Scott Adams has a flaw. He is a brilliant cartoonist in the sense he had a popular strip which told a lot of truths. Each strip is succinct, and to the point. But when he talks, or writes prose, then cracks often appear.

The very first Dilbert book I bought was The Dilbert Principle (TDP) back in the late 1990s. That had a lot of words in it, which his later books do not (maybe that was deliberate), and I have to say that it does not read very well. Adams’ anecdotes and analogies tend to ramble, and lack structure. Not always, but quite a lot. And this is especially true when he involves politics.

TDP was funny (and highly accurate, which was the reason I liked it so much), but it could have been a lot funnier with less (and better chosen) words. Adams often keeps going when others would stop, having made their point. Subsequently, his point sometimes becomes less clear as he makes it in several different ways. And I feel that this is what caught him out in this poll situation.

He was referring directly to the poll, and the half of black people who said being white wasn’t OK. He said that that half was effectively a ‘hate’ group, and white people should stay away from them. He should have left it at that, as it is a reasonable observation and comment. But he didn’t. And it was what he then went on to say which damaged his original and very valid statement. He was trying to make a point, but he did it in a clumsy manner which was never going to achieve what he intended.

The whole affair was also further skewed by the fact that ‘it’s not OK to be white’ was now a right wing weapon of choice, and he had unwittingly aligned himself with that whether he liked it or not. He was walking through a woke minefield even before the interview began, and the mines were so close together that it was inevitable he’d step on one. Or several.

The original Dilbert website is now gone, and the only way to see any new strips is to pay an annual membership at its new home. In all honesty, if the cartoons had been free, and subscription or donation were an option, I would seriously have considered partaking once I’d validated the overall content. I say that, because the stuff that isn’t behind the paywall is distinctly political (and US political, at that), and the stuff that is teases at supporting Trump (even though Adams is officially not aligned with any party).

But the bottom line is this: It is OK to be white. It is also OK to be black. It definitely isn’t OK to for either to argue that the other isn’t OK.

Linekergate Scandal Grows

Gary Lineker and Ian Wright

Most people (in the UK) will be aware of the furore this week over a tweet made by Gary Lineker in relation to the government’s proposed bill concerning asylum seekers. This is what he said:

There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?

Gary Lineker tweet

You will note that he did not use the words ‘Nazi’ or ‘Holocaust’. He simply referred to pre-war Germany and the language and behaviour prevalent at the time. It was Suella Braverman – one of the architects and supporters of this right-wing nonsense – who brought the Holocaust up.

Lineker himself has previously taken in two refugees, both of which remained with him for a short time before moving on to the next stage of their time in the UK (one of them went to university, and the other was completing a Law course).

However, the right-wing bigots who oppose immigration don’t have a clue what the process involves, and believe that every immigrant gets put up in a 4-star hotel for years. The are against anyone with darker skin (even those who are 3rd or 4th generation British).

Now, Lineker presents Match of the Day (MOTD) on the BBC, and the BBC has to remain impartial on political matters. Our level of Wokery in the UK is currently about 6 on the Richter Scale, and people are out looking for trouble all the time. The government wants to defund the BBC, and all the right-wing bigots want that, too. So it is understandable that the BBC should feel nervous when any of its presenters airs their own views, and hardly surprising when the likes of Braverman attempt to use it for their own right-wing political ends, whilst decrying the politics originally expressed.

Lineker is not a BBC employee. He is a freelancer. And he did not make his comments using any BBC platform. So all the BBC has to do is say: ‘Gary Lineker’s views are his own, and do not represent those of the BBC in any way.’ Or words to that effect, anyway. But instead, he is currently not going to be presenting MOTD. And in a follow up story, Ian Wright – one of Lineker’s co-presenters – has announced he will not appear on MOTD tomorrow as a show of solidarity with Lineker.

The simple fact is that Lineker was right. This government is frantically trying to recover the 20+ percentage gap between itself and Labour in the voting intention polls. And it is doing it by trying to appease all the bigots this country sadly is home to.

Update: Alan Shearer is also out in solidarity:

Alan Shearer tweet

And now Micah Richards (though he wasn’t scheduled):

Micah Richards tweet

Private Car Park Scams

A lot of people are finding this article based on the search term “UKCPS scam”. It was first published in 2013 and it sees regular spikes in visitor traffic. I saw a surge at Christmas 2018, then there was one in 2019, and – after the break for Covid – another one now in 2022. UKCPS are vultures.

The article timeline is a bit messy as I have added to it several times since the original publication in 2013. However, you can still pick up any information that might help you.

After seeing this story in the newsfeeds I thought I’d mention something that happened to me in late 2013. In fact, I mentioned it in this article back in January of 2014, but there’s a bit of a follow up.Leeds Arena

In December 2013, I went to see Status Quo at the new Leeds Arena. I picked up my mate (let’s call him Bob) from his house just outside Leeds and we drove into the City Centre. Bob directed me to the Edward Street car park not far away from the Arena and we parked there. This car park has ANPR cameras that detect your registration number as you drive in, and you have to enter your registration into the ticket machine – if it doesn’t match what the ANPR system picked up you apparently don’t get a ticket. I paid using my debit card (which turned out to be a wise move). There was only one price available at the time from the machine – the £8.50 overnight charge – in spite of a list of hourly tariffs being shown on signs. We arrived at shortly before 6pm and drove out at just after 11pm, where ANPR cameras apparently once again log your exit.

As we walked to the Arena, Bob told me that a few weeks earlier his wife (let’s call her Sarah) had been Christmas shopping and parked in that same car park. A few days later she was stung with a fine for “insufficient fee paid”. Now, Sarah isn’t the kind of person to take things lying down, and in any case she’d kept the receipts proving that she had paid the correct amount. She kicked up a stink and they dropped the charge. It was normal chit-chat, and I didn’t think much of it after that.

I lease my school car and the arrangement is that any traffic fines are automatically paid by the lease agent (most lease companies operate this way, I believe) if an infringement is submitted to them. This avoids the fine escalation if you don’t pay within 14 days. Anyway, in January I got a letter from my lease company informing me that they had paid a fine submitted by UKCPS (United Kingdom Car Parking Solutions). I was spitting feathers (this is another one of the things that can create stress in this job) because I hadn’t done anything wrong.

I immediately wrote an appeal to UKCPS. I also wrote to Leeds City Council, because I didn’t realise at the time that the car park in question was a private one, but all this did was teach me what a bunch of dickheads work there. The Council told me it wasn’t their problem (it seems Leeds has a similar bunch of morons in charge that Nottingham does). I pointed out in my letter to UKCPS that they KNEW I had entered the car park, they KNEW I had left it, and they KNEW how much I had paid. Furthermore, since I’d paid by debit card, my bank statement was proof of how much I’d paid. There was no reply after 20 days. I wrote a further harshly-worded letter demanding a response from them within 14 days, which was not forthcoming. I then phoned them on the number that says not to use it for claims, and they said immediately that they’d refund it. I never had to provide proof of the amount I’d paid, and I eventually got my money back in February.

I stress again that UKCPS KNEW I had paid the right amount. Their ANPR system and ticket machine would tell them that clearly. And they asked for no proof when I phoned them, which suggests they were well aware of enough information – either from my letters that they’d ignored, or via said systems – to immediately admit they were wrong. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out what they were up to, particularly when you consider they’d tried the exact same thing with Bob’s wife. I’m updating this at Christmas 2022 due to a surge in hits, which is further evidence: they try this same scam every year.

In fact, if you Google “UKCPS insufficient fee” – which I did when I appealed – you find that the same scam has been pulled on hundreds, if not thousands, of other innocent members of the public. Take a look at this single link – particularly the reviews on the right-hand side, where most reviewers have had the same scam pulled on them and most appear to have coughed up! The hits that Google throws up are mainly the ones where people have actually tried to do something about it. It’s anyone’s guess how many others have blindly paid up thinking they made a mistake. UKCPS is cashing in on the fact that it knows a significant number of people won’t appeal. So, they’re either scam artists or are so incompetent that they make a lot of “mistakes”.

UKCPS are the sort of vermin who, until the Law changed making it illegal, would have happily clamped everyone who parked in their car park. The Law now needs to change to put these thieving parasites out of business for good. You will note that their (crap and amateurish) website graphics imply that they manage car parking for Tesco, Harveys, and Boots, since these are featured.

And Leeds City Council is just as bad for allowing cowboy operators in their City.

More recently (mid-2016) I had a run of hits on this story. I did a bit more reading and it would appear that UKCPS is becoming less likely to accept an appeal on the first contact. Perhaps their owner – who is still not behind bars where he belongs, based on the false charges his scumbag company has brought against innocent people – is worried that his profits are not increasing as much as he’d like, so he’s ordered the parasites who work for him to put up a defence.

Don’t be put off. UKCPS’ false charge scheme IS a scam, sanctioned by the city councils who allow UKCPS to operate within their boundaries.

If you know you were not guilty, don’t pay – and argue like mad. Often, and hard. Just don’t ignore the charge notice.

Is UKCPS a scam parking operator?

Well, me and my mate’s wife have direct experience of the kind of things they get up to. But take a look at these links:

These are a tiny sample. Try Googling for “UKCPS parking scam” or “UKCPS Ltd parking ticket” and see what you get. There are hundreds and hundreds of people like you who these cretins are trying to intimidate (including disabled people parking in disabled bays that these gutter trash operate). That Responsive link sums it up nicely by pointing out that UKCPS usually backs down at the first appeal – and that’s because they know that they can make money from those who don’t appeal. You don’t need to be a genius to work out if it’s a scam or not.

Are UKCPS fines legitimate?

There is no straight answer to this. In my opinion, they are not – and that explains why anyone appealing to UKCPS, and making sure the appeal is heard (i.e. don’t let them just ignore you) appears to get the fine refunded or overturned rather easily.

UKCPS are scammers, that’s for sure. They seem to operate on the principle that if they issue 100 bogus fines, only a small minority of people are likely to complain and see the complaint through. Even if only one person out of that hundred didn’t appeal, they’re making money. But I suspect that more like 80% of people simply pay up and leave it at that.

If someone ever had the desire and the money to take them to court, I think we’d find out rather quickly just how legitimate these cowboys are.

Should I just ignore the fine?

No, don’t do that. By all means, withhold payment while you contest it, but don’t just ignore it. These scammers walk a very fine line between being legal and illegal, and they know full well what they’re doing. If you ignore it, they’ll likely pass it over to debt collectors, and the amount you owe will go up by hundreds of pounds (you must have seen the Bailiffs programmes on TV).

Just fight the putrid parasites on their own terms.

Is UKCPS a legitimate company?

Unfortunately, yes. There is a big question mark over the legality of their business practices, however. There is a also a big question mark over the role of councils such as Leeds City Council, who are effectively authorising this illegal behaviour – presumably because UKCPS pays them money in order to keep operating. The list of scumbags directors who operate UKCPS are given as:

  • Ms Helen Claire Hilton
  • Ms Lorraine Doyle
  • Mr Gary Deegan (twice)
  • Mr Michael Bullock

I had a look at this list again in 2019 and it seems that apart from Deegan, all the others resigned some time ago. So UKCPS is apparently a one-man scumbag outfit now.

Learner Fails Test in Illegal School Car

A post from pre-Covid, but here’s a demonstration of how you have to be careful when you choose an instructor. The BBC reports that a learner in Birmingham was on-course to pass her driving test (no faults had been recorded) when the police pulled the car over because it had no insurance and no MOT. It happened in Tile Cross on Saturday (6 May 2017).

The instructor, a 46-year old woman, and the pupil were taken back to the test centre where the police questioned the instructor. They seized her Green Badge and reported her to DVSA.

Looking at the photos, there is evidence that the car had been rear-ended at some point in its recent past.

I’m not going to speculate (I’m sure some people will do that on the forums), but I bet the pupil isn’t happy. Having a clean sheet up to the point the test was terminated is no guarantee of having the same next time around.

And as for the instructor, it’s a perfect display of how to throw a career away. In monetary terms alone it would have been cheaper to have MOTd and insured the car rather than pay the inevitable fine this is going to result in. Factor in lost Green Badge, lost income, and increased insurance premiums – and probably extra travel costs as a result of a likely ban – and the full cost is almost incalculable.

DVSA Alert: Fake Highway Code Books Being Sold

This email came in from DVSA, warning of fake Highway Code books being sold.

Apparently, there are unspecified errors in these which could lead the public to break the Law or even have accidents.

How to spot a fake

The easiest way to decide whether you have an official copy of The Highway Code or a fake version, is to look for these key differences:

  1. Compare the bar code numbers; the official copy has an ISBN number above its barcode.
  2. On the fake version, the logos on the front cover of the book are slightly pixelated.
  3. The official version of The Highway Code has a matte cover, the fake version has a glossy cover.

If your pupils think they have been sold a counterfeit copy, they should contact their local trading standards office or contact DVSA at

Let your pupils know.

DVSA (November 2022)

It’s amazing what people will stoop to.

Russia Is A Complete Joke

Russia is ruled by a brutal madman with a massive inferiority complex (because he IS inferior, but he won’t admit it), who is flanked by insane and inferior flunkies, such as Sergey Lavrov – who is quite prepared to claim black is white, and seriously believe it after he’s said it.

The recent ‘referendums’ that have been held in currently occupied areas of Ukraine, and the subsequent sham annexation of Ukrainian territory shows what a complete loser Putin is. Russia – at Putin’s command – has murdered vast swathes of the population and levelled entire cities. It has tortured civilians, and openly murdered them on the streets. In many areas, its cowardly and mentally deranged ‘army’ has stolen such items as iPads and computers (and even a central heating boiler), which have subsequently been traced back to Russia (along with other untraceable items that Russian soldiers would be pissing themselves over owning, because their own loser country cannot supply them with anything more than out of date rations).

In Ukraine, even in peacetime, the areas involved in these sham ‘referendums’ would not vote anywhere near 100% to become ‘Russian’, purely on statistical grounds. Because in a democracy, you have to put up with the fact that even something which is obviously wrong (Brexit in the UK, for one example, not to mention the Scottish Independence issue), close to half the population will believe the wrong part. In the case of Ukraine, after you’ve had your family murdered by incompetent, poorly disciplined, and mentally unhinged Russian soldiers, with their massive inferiority complexes, the chances of even 50:50 are pretty much out of the window.

Russian soldiers went door-to-door and threatening people if they didn’t vote. Right now, they’re going door-to-door threatening people who didn’t vote. These poor people have now got potentially a lifetime of absolutely abysmal treatment by these animals from Russia.

The ‘result’ that 98.23% of the population ‘wants to join Russia’ is like claiming you just saw Jesus buying a Big Mac. Yes, you said it – but absolutely no one of sound mind believes you, and even those who do are obviously wrong. Russia simply lies at every opportunity. It always has, and always will as long as scum like Putin exist. I mean, George Orwell was pretty much writing Putin’s script when he wrote ‘1984’.

There are a lot of decent Russian people. But none of them are in the Russian government. It’s hard to know how many good ones there are, thanks to Russian State propaganda and its willingness to murder or imprison its own people to further State lies if any become too vocal. But they do exist, and the protests Russia is seeing right now show that clearly.

Putin is an absolute twat, and nothing – absolutely nothing – can ever change that.

If the insane and impotent fool resorts to nuclear weapons, it will be the end of him anyway. He cannot possibly win.