One of the most unedifying, and repeating, sights across the political spectrum in Oldham, a famous and once prosperous East Lancashire mill town, is the world view of an unemployed conspiracy theorist from neighbouring Tameside – and his propensity to shamelessly leech money from his diminishing, cultish support group.
A despairing collection of human tragedy, comprising mostly of the elderly, vulnerable, mentally-ill, deluded or gullible, shored up by an unedifying group of well known local criminals and thugs.
A persistent, mendacious, dangerous liar, Raja Miah, whose infamy over failed charity ventures, and even more spectacularly failed free school enterprises, from whence millions of pounds are still unaccounted, continues to spread a divisive, hate-filled, Tommy Robinson-style narrative with its particular appeal to the far right, racists and anti-Labour Party (or anti Oldham Council) axe-grinders. An especially unattractive group whom maraud menacingly in public spaces (read more here), and on social media, whilst appositely self-styling as The Rabble (or Raja’s Rabble).
To top up the missing millions, which appear over the years to have been converted into a property and business portfolio; including his present sumptuous abode in the upmarket commuter village of Mossley; driving super cars such as Porsche and Lamborghini; top of the range motorbikes; designer clothes; and an impressive array of upmarket computer and broadcasting equipment, ‘The Malicious Beggar’ (or simply ‘The Beggar’), as he is now widely known on social media, saps money from his supporters in a variety of forms: ‘Buy Me A Coffee’, monthly subscriptions to his various and frequently banned Recusant Nine channels; one off subscriptions to his ludicrous, lop-sided commentaries on council events; or unfettered donations via PayPal.
For their money, The Rabble get to be ‘entertained’, several times a week, by a veritable dog’s dinner of untruths and fanciful spin, and, of course, a routine display of narcissism and self-indulgence, in the heavily curated Raja Miah echo chamber. Where, even a semblance of dissent against the cult leader, however courteously presented and relevant it is, almost always results in a messy pile-on by his supporters and then a swift removal from the Recusant Nine platforms.
In order to justify the relentless exhortation for further funds from The Rabble, The Beggar repeatedly claims to work very long hours preparing his Facebook and YouTube output. For example, he says he works from 5.30am until past midnight to prepare his infamous Sunday evening podcasts. Repeatedly challenged as defamatory and/or harassing – and the content of which is notably, and almost always, embarrassing due to its lack of grounding in facts and evidence – and its principal focus, invariably, on ‘bigging up’ Miah himself.
An objective observer, with only a passing knowledge of the media, would find his claims of anything other than minimal effort, in terms of preparation, extravagant or fanciful at best, a pack of lies in reality.
Several times previously, The Beggar has threatened to pack away the Recusant Nine equipment and cease his appalling output. A move, it seems in reality, designed only to exhort yet more funds from The Rabble – and one that has borne fruit spectacularly for him, with ad-hoc crowd-funders netting him windfalls of many thousands of pounds.
He is currently on a self-imposed countdown until the Sunday before Christmas (18th December, 2022) at which point, he claims, his last ever broadcast will take place. Accompanied by his most lurid and repugnant pleas yet for more money from a supporter group whom, very largely, are on State benefits and amidst the worst cost of living crisis since the early 1970s.
This breathtakingly audacious message was posted yesterday evening on the Recusant Nine Facebook page. It simply beggars belief:
“Unfortunately we are not going to reach the 300 number [Miah’s target number for paying subscribers] and the Recusant Nine transmissions are scheduled to end this Xmas.
“Following requests from a number of people, and in a last ditch attempt to keep the work ongoing, I have launched a Fifty x Fifty Sponsorship Scheme. The aspiration is simple, we secure 50 individuals (or a partnership of individuals) or businesses brave enough to sponsor my work at £50 each month.
“The target is to raise £2,500 per month. From this, £500 per month will go towards the the expenses incurred over the course of a year to keep the channel running (including subscriptions, equipment and overhead costs) whilst the remaining £2,000 will earn me an annual equivalent wage of £24,000.
“This will allow me to do much more than I currently am including a programme of in person workshops and training programmes.
“The Fifty x Fifty scheme will close at midnight on Xmas Eve. For those who have offered me much more, which I have refused to take, please consider supporting me this way. For existing subscribers, the vast majority who cannot commit to £50 per month, please consider identifying other paid members of the website and banding together and sending me your names as a group. I’ll then cancel your existing subscriptions to the website and just transfer you to a complimentary subscription”.
To set his begging (and his persistent, mendacious lying) into context, Raja Miah has previously spurned a public meeting hosted at a neutral venue by the author of this article, Neil Wilby, and at which he would share a podcasted platform with and answer questions from local community champion, Tahir Mushtaq. Two generous donors had, between them, put up pledges to local charities, including Oldham Food Bank, of £2,000, in order to persuade The Malicious Beggar to attend. He declined on the most spurious of grounds (read more here).
He has also steadfastly refused, since the beginning of September, 2022, to answer a series of written questions assiduously prepared and openly published here on the Neil Wilby Media website that destroy what little remaining credibility, if any, still attaching to him (read those questions in full here and here).
But there can be very little doubt that the refusal to meet his nemesis, Tahir Mushtaq, publicly, and to answer those telling, but reasonably and courteously presented questions from the one journalist in Greater Manchester who has challenged him at every turn over the past two years, marked the beginning of the end for Raja Miah and Recusant Nine.
The proof will, one might say, be in the Christmas pudding.
In the meantime, safeguarding concerns over the potential plight of elderly, vulnerable and mentally ill financiers of the Recusant Nine platforms have been raised with Oldham Council. Whom, to date, have been content to allow Raj Miah to routinely ride roughshod over its senior paid officers, the Labour administration and, most crucially, the Borough’s taxpayers whom they are charged with protecting.
For their part, Greater Manchester Police have posted on social media this week that they are arresting ‘professional beggars’ in Oldham. But steadfastly refuse to respond to questions as to whether that action extends to Raja Miah. Arguably, the most prolific and highest profile urchin on their patch.
Superintendent Ian Jones, at a recent press conference, requested that the public donate to homelessness charities instead of giving beggars money.
Asked on BBC Radio Manchester whether he agrees with this policing stance , the Region’s Mayor, Andy Burnham said: “It’s right”.
He added: “People will sometimes make a judgement depending on the person in front of them.
“We’re just saying it’s better to give money to the [recognised charity] organisations because then we know help gets to people who really need it.”
Page last updated Tuesday 29th November, 2022 at 2000hrs
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