Slim Chickens – The Bare Bones…

This account has been written by my nineteen-year-old son and outlines his experience working at the Trafford Centre Slim Chickens store.

Being a tenacious and ambitious young man he consistently worked to the best of his ability – often in challenging circumstances, was eager to progress – completing training with a 100% score and even coming up with suggestions that would vastly improve both kitchen functionality and profits.

To see him then become totally disillusioned with the job to the point of no longer wanting to go in – and all down to piss poor ‘management’, unfulfilled promises and a total lack of care by supervisors is not cool.

Our young adults have had a hard time with ‘Rona, restrictions and all that the pandemic entailed and they will be the ones paying the debt off long after we’re gone. All too often they’re tarred with the ‘snowflake’ brush, depicted as lazy or loutish – the media would have you believe they’re all feral but this isn’t true.

There’s loads of decent young folk out there and all they want is a decent wage for a hard days work – unfortunately there’s too many employers that take the piss out of them and it needs to stop.

I’ve allowed my son to share his experience using my platform in a bid to forewarn other potential employees and offer those in the Slim Chicken HQ Roost a true taste of what’s going on. What follows is his own account word for word…..

“I started working at Slim Chickens Trafford on the 18th October 2021. My interview was held by Brad, the General Manager at the time and, after a friendly chat, I was extremely excited to start.

With a £9ph starting rate (my prior job at Dominos only paying £6.50ph at the time) and a new experience in a kitchen, the job seemed like a great opportunity. Shortly after my interview I was contacted and told that I had the job and was given a date for induction.

The induction was held by three members of the management team, during which we discussed progression within Slims. I was informed that the structure revolved around learning the three main stations, doing a test on said stations and then going on to receive supervisor training. I was happy to hear a clear, structured and progressive path and left my induction with some online training to complete before I could start.

Excited, I completed all my online training within a couple of days and went on to do my first actual shift at the beginning of November.

At the start of my employment, the kitchen was very functional and equipped with a solid team of supervisors – although there was no kitchen manager at this time, which I found strange. Nonetheless I was quickly trained on the ‘SSW’ section of the kitchen – assembling and preparation of Salads, Sandwiches and Wraps. I picked up the station pretty fast and was quick to learn the other two stations shortly after – starting with the Plating Station ‘QB’ and finishing off with the breading and frying section, ‘Cook Fry’.

I learnt a lot in the following weeks and was able to utilise my new skills when Christmas time arrived and we were consistently bombarded with numbers over capacity – hitting record numbers day after day. The team went over and above, working extra hard to make sure everything was completed each shift, however we were occasionally compensated with additional pay and I learnt a lot during this time, making me proficient in all areas of the kitchen.

During a shift on February 7th I overheard my name mentioned in a conversation between two colleagues and, when I asked what they were talking about, they said that I had been invited to attend a training event in Birmingham on February 9th but that no-one had told me. I immediately sought out the shift manager to ask if this was true and he confirmed that is was. He said that the event had been announced to participants a few weeks earlier but the other people within the store who had been invited had declined and they didn’t think to ask me.

Noticing how disappointed I was and how hard I had been working, one supervisor offered to help make it happen and together we managed to book train tickets and arrange cover so that I could go after all.

Birmingham was great.

It provided me with a chance to network with other members of staff from other stores around the country and abroad, which gave me a great insight on the workings, obstacles and solutions encountered by other stores.

The event was focused on creating a new team of staff dubbed ‘Team Trainers’ – as the name implies, it would entail training new staff and ensuring they felt welcomed into the Slim Chickens team. The position did not come with any sort of raise or benefit, it was more of a merit role (we were told there was no funding available to offer a wage related incentive) but I didn’t really have an issue with this as it was implied it would allow for opportunities which I hoped would further my progression.

At this point, and feeling confident in my knowledge, I decided it was time to take the station tests in an attempt to get the promised raise and/or begin my supervisor training. After around two months of attempting to get the tests (repeatedly asking management on any occasion possible and text messaging) I was given two of the three tests – for the SSW and QB Stations.

I completed these tests during the shift and they were checked by a deputy manager who then told me that I had passed both with 100% accuracy. I was delighted, not least of all as I knew I only had one more test to do until I received the promised £0.50ph raise.

After doing so well with the first two tests I was planning to do the third within the same week, however before I got the chance to do so I was pulled out of a shift by the General Manager (Brad) and Deputy Manager (Mauro) to sit down and talk at one of the restaurant tables.

I was astounded when they said I had been pulled out due to “negativity in the workplace” and began to read out a list of quotes I was supposedly have said – all alleged by the same member of staff and none of which were true. The list also stated I was taking “45 minute breaks” which is totally ridiculous claim as I often had less than 10 due to staff shortages.

During the meeting Brad also said that the station tests meant nothing to him and that he knew I was more than capable in the kitchen, promising me the £0.50ph raise from the following Monday, 14th February.

Mixed messages much…

During this exchange I found it extremely hard to voice what I wanted to say as I felt like I was put on trial, almost being interrogated in a public place. Being a person with anxiety I found this very uncomfortable and wasn’t able to properly voice my opinion on the matter.

I returned to the kitchen only to discover that a supervisor had apparently relayed some of my concerns/suggestions and twisted my words to the General Manager. I felt betrayed by this as the same supervisor had previously offered to attempt to try and help us solve some of the core kitchen issues at the time (absences, extremely high wastage, rota not following availability, favouritism etc).

There are a number of cameras within the store that clearly capture staff coming and going which also determines break times/length. I have never had a break last 30 minutes – if I did have a break at all it would be for 20/25 minutes at most before I would head back to help and there were many shifts when I didn’t get a break at all, despite having 30 minutes per shift deducted from my wages for a break.

After the meeting with management I was never given any sort of a raise and remained on the starting pay of £9.00ph until my finals day of employment (13/06/22).

Before all this I had created a 500+ word document with suggestions for the kitchen to try and make training and prep easier, decrease ticket time and reduce wastage – I think that the supervisor was angry that I had embarrassed him by having ideas that he hadn’t thought of, despite his supposed role as supervisor. *The word document is below but here is a photo of ‘waste chicken’ following a shift at Slim Chickens…

Tender Wastage – 12/02/22

After asking around the kitchen I found out that multiple members of staff who had joined after me, completed no tests of any sort and who only have the training for a single station are on £9.50ph – stating that they thought that was the standard. Not to mention the multiple times £4.50 was deducted from my own and other employees’ pay for breaks that we were refused on any shift below six hours, amounting to £100s over the months of my employment.

The Slim Chickens Trafford branch has not had any functional male staff toilet for over five months, with the female one also being out of order for a few weeks as of 8th June ’22. The management refuse to do anything about this, or any other issues brought to their attention – stating that it’s the fault of the next person above them in HR.

Once the Arndale store opened everything at the Trafford branch began to go further downhill – the General Manager from Trafford was fired and the one from Manchester was brought in but he also did little to help the store. When members of staff worked 8+ hours extra for him, he only offered them a paid break despite knowing we had all been promised raises for months.

Shortly before the unexpected termination of Brad, he introduced us to Shaun – the new Kitchen Manager who had previously worked at Slim Chickens. The first time I properly met Shaun was at a staff party where he came dressed in a full suit and proceeded to tell me how he would call anyone who was “a singular minute late”, and then fire them. After a short night I left, wondering how the next few shifts would go.

At first everything seemed fine until one shift when Shaun began acting off towards me and my cousin, who also worked at Slims – I was denied a break until 10.00pm (closing time), despite there only being two people on the close and this would only delay our close further. Throughout the shift Shaun fluctuated between micromanaging us and throwing food around the kitchen. After this shift Shaun rarely spoke to me ever again until he left around a month later.

The conditions within the kitchen at Slim Chickens Trafford are frankly unworkable. There is no working AC or other ventilation within the kitchen, meaning temperatures easily reach 40 degrees centigrade and with no thermometer or other way to check, there’s no way of knowing if it is a safe environment.

The pass window shutter has been broken for over a month, causing it to emit a loud beeping noise every few seconds which has been causing nonstop issues.

When starting a shift at Slims it was always a case of ‘what will go wrong today?’ – I’ve seen it all, from ceilings leaking down into fryers, electricity going off mid service, multiple members of staff calling in sick etc – there have even been times when the supervisors have called in sick with no replacement, meaning that closing the kitchen was left to myself, someone with no formal supervisor training on £9.00ph.

When I had handed in my notice at Slim Chickens and was working my last shift, the new General Manager (Neil) offered me a £0.50ph raise to stay, despite knowing the entire situation with my pay and I found this deeply insulting. Why should I have the starting wage of new employees offered to me after working and learning everything in the kitchen for 8 months?

Also, during the conversation with Neil he stated that I was 17 which I found to be strange as I had never been 17 while working at Slims and it made me wonder if someone had wrongly inputted my details in the beginning.

I have now been told that I will not be receiving my final pay as there will be deductions for taking non-accrued holidays which I find ludicrous considering how many opportunities have been taken to avoid paying staff their due wage.

Honestly the entire experience at Slim Chickens has been terrible, with the only positive being the great staff team who somehow manage despite the conditions they work in.”

Copy of the proposal he presented to the Manager along with the photo of chicken wastage above…

Slim Chickens streamlining and optimization proposal

Having worked at Slims for a few months now, I have noticed a few things that I believe can be implemented to make the job either easier or reduce costs. Below are a few ideas to help optimize Slims to increase efficiency and decrease cost.

  • Wastage

Wastage has been an issue for a while, as it can easily exceed £100 per night if precautions aren’t taken. The wastage recently has been as bad as 12kg of tenders in a single night, this is the equivalent to 75 chickens being thrown in the bin per night.

(Image at bottom)

Waste (12kg) / Average tender weight (80g) / 2 (2 tenders per chicken) = 75

I would like to propose that we implement ‘Too good to go’ which is an app that allows businesses to give out food that they would normally throw out at a discounted price. This would allow wastage to be reduced while also increasing sales.

Communication between SSW and QB will allow tender waste to be lowered, by ensuring that the tenders taken for wraps and salads are taken from the correct containers, lowering waste. Standardizing where these tenders are held will also ensure that it is maintained.

  • Opens and closes

Opening and closing the store has been optimized somewhat with the usage of a prep sheet. However, I think they could be further improved to help allow the supervisors complete their necessary tasks without having to actively give out tasks.

A solution I can think of would be an addition of a checklist that outlines the setup of the stations, the steps in which to close the stations and how to use the prep sheet would allow anyone including new trainees to do opens and closes without constantly asking what to do. This also allows there to be a set way of doing things, eliminating confusion that could be caused by different ways of opening/closing being taught. It’s also a good idea to laminate these sheets and use a dry erase marker in order to make it easier.

  • Training / New trainees

Recently there has been a lot of new people coming in and out of the store due to the Arndale store opening, however when it comes to trainees for the Trafford store their training could be made easier and more simple.

If there was communication between the management and the staff who will be training the trainee whenever new trainees are hired, it will allow for time to be prepared in order to train. With this, I have a training guide (attached) which can be used to help train new staff and keep track of their training.

Adding a new page to the recipe book or to the training guide with a detailed guide of how to do a boilout would also be useful for training any cookfry staff.

Cheating PG Chimps Stealing Our Tea

Back in 2015 the Guardian reported that PG Tips had reduced the amount of tea in its pyramid bags but hadn’t done the same in regards to price – the cost per box remained the same with Unilever justifying the decision by stating that a ‘new blend’ would ensure taste would be unaffected.

Primate or P**s Take – You Decide…

It was revealed that the nations favourite brand of tea had sneakily reduced the tea in each pyramid by 0.2g – from 3.1g to 2.9g – hardly storm in a teacup tackle at the time, however six years have passed and I’m sorry to say that it would appear that once again we are being rinsed by a pair of chimpanzees…

According to the UK Tea and Infusions Association (yes, there is such a thing), tea is by far the most popular drink consumed in Britain today, with over 100,000,000 cups being drunk in the UK every single day of the year – my personal contribution being 10,000.

It’s Always Time For Tea

So maybe 10,000 is a slight exaggeration, but I do drink a lot of tea – probably far too much considering that, rather than ditching the drink when my daily caffeine intake became so high that my eye began to twitch (don’t ask), I switched to decaf – with PG Tips being my refreshment of choice.

Good times, bad times, early morning, last thing at night and even when it’s 27 degrees in the shade, tea is pretty much the one beverage I consistently drink – in fact I was practically weaned on the stuff and have probably brewed around a million cuppas since first being able to reach the kettle.

Down a rabbit hole

After recently making two brews in succession that both looked and tasted like milky dishwater (despite using my tried n tested technique) I decided to have a look at the teabags left in the box we were using and was shocked at what I found…

Pulling out a handful it was immediately obvious that some bags had far less tea leaves than others and a couple of them were actually empty with no tear or rip and no loose tea in the bottom – indicating there was never any tea in the bags to start with.

This is when I came across the Guardian article mentioned at the top of the page and decided to conduct my own, small scale investigation – Using jewellers scales and ensuring all bags were in the correct pyramid shape, I weighed 30 teabags chosen at random from the box – the results are below but there’s a couple of important points first…

  1. Out of the sample 30 teabags, six were under 2.9g and four were completely empty. There is no debris in the bottom of the box, nor are the empty bags broken in any way.
  2. In the interest of fairness I should state that the majority of sample teabags weighed more than 2.9g – however that doesn’t help with the perfect cuppa when the one you’re using doesn’t have enough tea to fill a thimble.
  3. 10 bags constitutes one third of the whole sample – thats a one-in-three chance of getting a rubbish brew.

All 40 Sample Weights Below – I have photographs for each and have only shared a couple of the more interesting ones. if you would like to see all the pics please feel free to comment / drop me a message.

I am in the process of trying to reach the appropriate monkey at PG Tips for a comment and will update if / when they respond.

Teabag Sample Results

  1. 3.46g
  2. 3.42g
  3. 3.06g
  4. 3.44g
  5. 3.05g
  6. 3.45g
  7. 3.27g
  8. 1.69g
  9. 2.75g
  10. 0.15g (Empty)
  11. 2.78g
  12. 2.98g
  13. 2.63g
  14. 2.90g
  15. 0.16g (Empty)
  16. 2.48g
  17. 3.00g
  18. 2.92g
  19. 0.17g (Empty)
  20. 0.18g (Empty)
  21. 2.90g
  22. 2.87g
  23. 2.98g
  24. 2.97g
  25. 3.13g
  26. 2.97g
  27. 3.29g
  28. 3.26g
  29. 3.45g
  30. 3.42g
Dude, Where The Tea At?
Tea Pile
One Milky Dish Water Brew Coming Right Up

“A Cuppa, a brew or a lovely rosey lee – there really is nothing quite like a cup of tea”

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land, folks stayed in their house – rule breakers threatened with months on remand.

The ever changing rules had driven granny up the wall, no visit from her family now they’re all in tier four. All she wanted was to pull a cracker, eat a turkey butty – “I’ve lived though a bloody war, these Covid laws are nutty”.

“Boris didn’t ask me if I wanted ‘protection’ via isolation, he simply took it on himself to inflict it on the nation.”

“I may be old but I’m not daft, I can make these decisions for myself – he’s taking the piss thinking I’m not missed n leaving me to rot like a furloughed elf on a shelf”.

So with a huff and a puff, granny declared “that’s enough” and called all the family around. “If we don’t make a sound, and the kids aren’t too loud I’m sure we can gather for lunch”.

“Unless the neighbours tell tales, the popo won’t know and Boris – he’s in his own bullshit bubble. Be here for lunch at 2 and we’ll party til late – just remember on the way out to not slam the gate.”

“What’s the point of being ‘protected’ when I’m sat here all alone? I need to see my family in the flesh, not 5 minutes on the phone.”

“None of us know how much time we’ve got and every day is a brand new blessing. This Covid malarkey has taken so much and from it we need to learn lessons.”

“Give is the facts, drop all the ‘fluff’ and let us make our own decisions – those that desire can stay home by the fire while the rest of us crack on getting provisions”.

The family agreed and with renewed festive cheer they began gathering ingredients for dinner. Some sprouts for aunt Mary, Yorkshire puds for uncle Stan – a party pack of Imodium for those that get stuck on the shitter.

So if you see your neighbours having family round for lunch n maybe staying for tea – just smile and wave or look away, that’s all there is to say.

This years been tough enough as it is, they’ve divided us enough already – so go visit your family, enjoy your day, just go easy on the sherry.


Thousands of Brits are thought to be infected with a new form of fast spreading virus that scientists are calling ‘BojoBullshiticus’.

Leading virologist, Dr Knowfuckall said: “We are more than alarmed at the rate the BojoBullshiticus is travelling across the nation.

“At this moment in time it appears that the vast majority of people are indeed infected with BojoBullshiticus, however we’re hopeful numbers will fall in coming weeks as it becomes more apparent that they’ve been blagged by a braggart.”

Symptoms vary wildly and there’s reports of widespread mass hysteria with some even contemplating leaving elderly relatives in prolonged isolation over what has now become known as the festered period.

Karen from London said: “We didn’t give a rats ass when the BojoBullshiticus meant them up north had to face more misery in tier 3 – we were too busy getting pissed in the pub and welcoming the thousands of foreigners we have arriving every week.

“But now it’s here, in the capitol and that was not supposed to happen – fair enough the uncouth northerners need locking up/down but we’re better than that. How am I supposed to take Tabitha to school or get my daily crappachino now everywhere is closed. It’s totes ridiculous”.

Prime Minister Johno the KnobJockey refused to answer our request for an interview, simply stating: “Put your hands over your face and hop in one place until we decide on a better course of action. Obviously these rules don’t apply to Westminster but if any of the other districts break them we’ll simply up the tiers and starve them out”.

“The human vaccine trials are well underway but this won’t make an iota of difference anyway and we’ll expect you all to continue with the masks and lack of social interaction for as long as we can possibly get away with it.

“Have yourself a Merry little Festermas and by that I mean by yourself, with the windows open and intense hand washing every hour on the hour. You can go out, but not out out and don’t pull a cracker with your nan if you’d like her to live long enough to qualify for a vaccine we have absolutely no idea about in regards to long term effects.

“Fuck you very much, over n out”.

Merry Covidmas One n All…

December is here and Christmas is in sight,
Up goes the tinsel, baubles n some twinkly lights.
But wait, all was not quite as it seems – the economy is broken, the nation on its knees.

No hearth to hang a stocking on now they’ve been evicted, this isn’t what the tories promised – this isn’t what they depicted.

From lockdown one into lockdown two then straight to tyrannical tier three, no hugs permitted no gathering of groups, just pure misery as far as the eye can see.

They’ve stolen our fun, our kids hopes and dreams have all gone and there’s no end even in sight.

All for a virus with less death than survivors, and despite our lad Burnham putting up a good fight – Boris couldn’t care less about us pesky northerners deciding to ‘top tier’ us in spite.

This year it’s all about the ‘R figures’ n charts for ‘viral load’ – no board games allowed and even the turkey has been furloughed.

And if we dare to feel a bit festive now December has arrived you can be sure that up will pop BoJo, reminding us we’re just lucky to be alive.

“They’ll be no fun for anyone, I can’t make it any clearer – don’t you know our invisible enemy is close and only getting nearer

This doesn’t apply to yours truly, Carrie or my crew – we don’t follow our own legislation, we just tell you lot what to do.

We’re quite in shock at just how much you’re happy to obey and that is why, to make it fun, we change the rules every day”

So as you gather your tree, cards n gifts (once the shops can reopen) be sure to remember whose fault it is that our Christmas traditions are broken.

No visits with nan, stay 6 foot away if you can and forget hugging your mate ‘cos it’s banned – but school is okay you can send your kids every day and work is pretty safe to carry on with too.

If this makes no sense and you’re starting to think that perhaps you should decide what to do for yourself, step away from the shelf n put down that elf, perhaps pour a big festive drink.

Let’s say a cheers to the shittiest of years as it slowly draws to an end, look out for each other, smile at strangers, go hug your mother because on family n friends you can depend.

Happy f#%^g Christmas One n All

Dear Youth of Today

First of all, I’d like to apologise.

It appears we have fucked up on a massive scale and it’s down to you to deal with the aftermath.

Visual Representation of 2020

As it stands today, our feckless government has spent £284bn – or £283,915,000,000 to be exact on ‘the war against Covid19’ and the bill is set to rise even further with at least £55bn more for public services alone earmarked for 2021-22.

All for a virus with a 0.6% fatality rate and an average age at death of 82.

To pay for this, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that borrowing will rise to £394bn this year, the highest level since the Second World War and it is you and your cohort that will be paying it off for the rest of your lives.

It will then become the responsibility of your children, should you decide to bring any into this shitstorm of a world – economic reasoning and past evidence suggest that the whole ‘Rona crisis will lead people to have fewer children.

The decline in births could be on the order of 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year.

A decent amount of the spending went on scaring the public enough for them to be complicit – pumping out fear inducing figures and daily death tolls whilst quietly taking away our freedom, all under the guise of keeping us safe.

We were told that, in order to keep our elderly safe from the virus, we could no longer visit them – the sweeping decline in their mental wellbeing was almost as swift as the devastating infection rate that followed.

It wasn’t us that were to blame for this catastrophe – while the government ensured that relatives couldn’t visit their loved ones by enshrining it in dodgy covid legislation, they did fuck all about the agency workers moving between care homes without sufficient PPE and therefore spreading any possible virus far and wide as well as the dozens of elderly residents sent back to full care homes regardless of testing positive.

While we were distracted with the endless ‘Rona rhetoric and mandatory clapping the economy collapsed around us.

Unemployment, poverty, homelessness and suicide rates went up as human interaction decreased. We were thrust into a lockdown straight from the pages of a dystopian novel and once there we struggled to get out.

A three-week lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’ became a three-and-a-half month purgatory that served only to flatten the economy, our mental wellbeing and our freedom.

We have just come out of another 27 days of ‘additional lockdown’ – straight into some ‘Tier 3’ bullshit that affords us no more freedom than we had in lockdown except being allowed to spend money in ‘non-essential’ shops on presents we may or may not be allowed to visit at Christmas.

Boris told us that if we are very, very good and follow all the rules of his ‘pre-Christmas circuit breaker’ (that will no doubt last until Easter) then we may be allowed to see a few relatives – as long as we don’t hug or play board games, do leave windows open or eat in the garden and don’t even think about sharing a cracker with nan.

And here we are today, November 29th 2020, the whole year has been one political car crash after another and I have no idea where we are heading, only that it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I do know that, as a society, we are more divided than ever and if I had just one wish for the future it would be that your generation unites. You need to pull together in order to make a difference – together you are so much stronger and it’s the only way change can happen.

All of you will have been impacted in some way by the Covid19 but few of you will have been ill.

It doesn’t matter if you have never had it, or if you don’t know a single person that has – the knock on effect and the way the government have (mis)handled the situation means that you are likely to face some very difficult years ahead and I really am truly sorry that there wasn’t enough of my generation to take a stand before it was too late.

But, there is hope…

You and your peers have the necessary skills that will guide you through the tough times and hopefully out the other side to a better, fairer and all together brighter future.

You’re the critical thinkers, questioners and inquisitive souls – the ones who can reimagine society and, if you pull together, create a place where everyone is respected, treated fairly and equality is a given.

When you’re old enough to have a vote remember what this government have done and cast it accordingly.

Seek knowledge and not just from the ‘news’. Challenge your own views and share what you learn with others.

Be sensible but don’t be a pushover – this includes nonsensical rules that feel wrong in your soul.

Dance. Laugh. Socialise. Live. Love. Touch. Feel. Kiss. Smile.

Stay Human.

Be Kind.

Take care of yourselves and others

Yours Sincerely,

A Concerned Mum


Black Lives Do Matter But Is Your Donation Really Helping?

If you have donated to the Black Lives Matter cause in the past few weeks, chances are that you did so believing it would help end the racist, oppressive rhetoric that has been peddled for far too long, or perhaps go towards bailing someone out following an unfair arrest, but do you know where you your money is really going?

According to Wikipedia, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international human rights movement, originating from within the African-American community, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police brutality and police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.


In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012. The movement became nationally recognized for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown—resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, a city near St. Louis—and Eric Garner in New York City.

Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions and/or while in police custody.

In March 2016, Black Lives Matter helped organize the 2016 Donald Trump Chicago rally protest that forced Trump to cancel the event. Four individuals were arrested and charged in the incident. Two were “charged with felony aggravated battery to a police officer and resisting arrest”, one was “charged with two misdemeanor counts of resisting and obstructing a peace officer”, and the fourth “was charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting and obstructing a peace officer.”


Last time BLM hit the headlines was right before the 2016 US Election

As you’ll be aware, the movement has returned to national headlines (it is a US election year after all) and gained further international attention during the recent, global George Floyd protests following Floyd’s death by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

So, back to the funding….

Before we look at where your donation may have gone, it’s a good time to point out that Black Lives Matter have received over $100 million in funding from the Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy among others.

If you visit the Black Lives Matter website and click on ‘Donate’ you are taken to an ‘ActBlue‘ Donation page.

Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 23.57.33

See Contribution Rules – Actblue Charities

ActBlue is a nonprofit technology organization established in June 2004 that enables Democrats, progressive groups, and nonprofits to raise money on the Internet by providing them with online fundraising software. Its stated mission is to “empower small-dollar donors”.

In fact ActBlue are behind countless BLM fundraisers (more on that in a minute) and, if you look into their expenditures (thanks to, you’ll see that some of their biggest expenses are huge contributions to the Democratic Party.

Another notable fact is that ActBlue has several disclaimers that allow them to keep funds for their own purposes if the recipient does not cash or otherwise rejects the donation.

In other words, if BLM don’t claim all of their donations they could inadvertently go to ActBlue.

Question then is where would these funds be distributed and could they be used as ActBlue campaign contributions?

ActBlue say “In the event that a campaign or committee (a) fails for 60 days to cash a check from ActBlue which includes your contribution (after ActBlue makes repeated attempts to work with the campaign to ensure all checks are cashed), or (b) affirmatively refuses a contribution earmarked through ActBlue, your contribution will be re-designated as a contribution to ActBlue. Contributions to social welfare organizations which are similarly not cashed or are affirmatively refused will be kept by ActBlue and used generally to support its social welfare activities.”

So they are claiming that they’ll use their unclaimed donations for’ social welfare organizations to support social welfare activities’ but knowing that the current 2020 cycle has seen over $1 billion in contributions from ActBlue to federal candidates alone I’m kind of sceptical that this is strictly true.

Here’s a breakdown of ActBlue expenditure for 2020:

Administrative Rent, utilities & office expenses $2,315,932
Administrative travel & lodging $740,063
Administrative consulting $495,589
Administrative data & technology $364,777
Miscellaneous administrative $158,856
Administrative event expenses & food $111,586
Accountants, compliance & legal services $74,166
Campaign Expenses Campaign events & activities $87,604
Campaign mailings & materials $1,181
Contributions Contributions to federal candidates $1,057,598,402
Contributions to committees $173,518,241
Contributions to national parties $118,292,171
Contributions to joint fundraising committees $30,054,811
Contributions to state & local parties $21,077,128
Miscellaneous contributions $365,971
Contributions to state & local candidates $83,239
Fundraising Fundraising fees $1,351,269
Miscellaneous fundraising $13,123
Fundraising consulting $9,875
Fundraising data & technology $-53
Media Miscellaneous media $11,775
Broadcast ads $8,447
Web ads $3,380
Unspecified media buys $1,830
Salaries Salaries, wages & benefits $15,849,366
Strategy & Research Campaign strategy & communications consulting $355,863
Campaign data & technology $23,500
Unclassifiable Unclassifiable $1,003,419
Unclassifiable event expenses $756,979
Unclassifiable data & technology $547,507
Unclassifiable printing & shipping $91,885
Unclassifiable consulting $82,984
Unclassifiable supplies & equipment $657

And this: Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 00.07.47

Yes, that’s right – if you’ve donated via any of the pages using Actblue the chances are you’ve chipped in towards to Biden campaign, or perhaps Bernie 2020  – whatever the case I doubt this is what you had in mind when handing over your cash.

This article, from July 2019 with the headline “Democrats’ Favorite Fundraising Tool Hauls in Record Donations“, reports that ActBlue, the “online fundraising platform for Democrats”, had recorded its highest number of donations as contributors poured $12 million into campaigns and progressive organizations on the last day of the second quarter.

The 390,000 donations topped the platform’s previous one-day record of 306,000, while the $12 million contributed on June 30 was the second-highest dollar total since ActBlue’s founding in 2004, the group said.

The surge of donations came as the party’s 24 presidential candidates hustled for funds ahead of the second-quarter deadline, emailing last-minute appeals to supporters – however, ActBlue didn’t say how much of the last-minute donations went to presidential candidates.

On June 1st 2020, following the mass BLM protests, the New York Times reported that they had ‘spurred a surge in donations’, Giving ActBlue its ‘Biggest Day of the Year’ and that with money flowing to candidates, bail funds and charities, the “Democrats’ online donor platform” processed over $60 million between Friday and Monday, a sign of strength for the party.

The mass protests that have swept the nation in recent days to express outrage at the death of George Floyd have been paired with a flood of financial donations, as hundreds of thousands of Americans have opened their wallets to give to charitable groups, community bail funds and Democratic candidates.

And on ActBlue, the central online hub that processes money for Democratic candidates and causes, Sunday was the single largest day of giving in all of 2020, with donations of $19 million, according to a New York Times analysis of the site’s donation tracker.

Then donors set another record for the year on Monday, topping $20 million shortly after 9 p.m.

The sums given on ActBlue on both Sunday and Monday topped all the presidential primary debate nights and election nights in 2020, and were more than double the amount given on the final day of April (monthly deadlines tend to drive online political giving). The previous high for the year was the day in late February when former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the South Carolina Democratic primary and revived his campaign for president; donors contributed $18.3 million that day.

In all, ActBlue processed more than $60 million between Friday and Monday, a sign that the energy spilling into the streets nationwide might also be matched by a wave of money for Democratic causes.

ActBlue does not disclose in real time how donations to the platform are divided between candidates and causes, but a spokesperson for the site said half of the donations on Sunday went to charitable causes.

ActBlue charge 4 percent on every transaction – soon adds up when you’re talking millions.

One ActBlue page where supporters could split a donation across 37 different bail funds reported more than 20,000 donations worth about $1.5 million as of late Monday morning. Such funds help cover the costs of posting cash bail for those jailed before trials, and are seen as a way to support protesters who have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 20.45.32

We’ve all seen the devastation caused by ‘professional protesters’ with their own agenda, and the way it has impacted on so many. It’s obvious that civil unrest comes with a high human cost, from destroyed neighbourhoods and livelihoods to life changing injuries or even death.

What isn’t quite as obvious is the fact that civil unrest mixed in with a media backed movement is also a very quick way to generate very big funds for others – namely the Democrats.

Drake donated to the cause – chucking $100,000 to to ActBlue under the ‘National Bail Out for protestors’ umbrella, proudly displaying the receipt on Instagram as did ‘K-pop superstars’ BTS who donated $1m to BLM – an amount that was then matched by their fans using a ‘BTS Army’ donation page hosted by – ActBlue. Could not make this up…Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 23.43.08

In a nutshell, people who are donating money to BLM, in the hopes of achieving racial justice, are possibly having their money rerouted to Democratic politicians, through ActBlue, for purposes of financing re-election campaigns – something I doubt many are aware of or would be happy about.

Here’s just a few of the fundraising pages backed by ActBlue – I’m sure there are more but I’ll list a few to get the ball rolling and please feel free to add your own in the comments.

Justice for George Floyd

Black Lives Matter

The Movement For Black Lives

Move Black Lives Forward 

Donate to Bail Funds for Protestors

Our Black Church

The more people that are aware of what they are funding the better – if they still want to hit that donate button then it’s all good, just check where your money will be going before parting with your card details, you might just change your mind.

I’ll end with a link to this Medium article that I came across as I was researching this post, asking the million dollar question “Is the Black Lives Matter Organization a Money Laundering Scheme?”

Journalist Diego Marquez reports that the Managing director for the Black Lives Matter organisation – Kailee Scales – had conducted a disastrous Reddit AMA, during which she was hard pressed to disclose where and how exactly the money received from donations to BLM was being used.

Interestingly, she refused to answer said questions, and the ensuing controversy was enough for moderators to lock the thread.

The suspicions didn’t die there, however. And the internet got to work to find out what exactly was going on behind the scenes at BLM.

It didn’t take long to figure it out.









Go Back Home

The man you told to go back home

Has been here longer than me

He came here in the seventies

From his own war-torn country


The fact you can’t see your own doctor

Or get on the housing list

Has nothing to do with immigration

And everything to do with a government that take the piss


From Cameron to Bojo, with a dancing queen in-between

None of them give a shit, it’s very clear to see


Our young are sad, feeling lost

Mental health services cut due to cost

National Health is on its knees

They’re selling it off, Boris and his cronies


Working long hours with nothing to show

Families on Tax Credits, wages so low

Regular folk are struggling to survive

Yet the 1% continue to thrive


So don’t tell me that Boris is the man for the job

We can all see, he is clearly a knob

Take a minute and think about what you see

They’re not out to steal your job or your TV


The truth won’t be found in the paper or news

Fact is that as a country we have so much to lose

The diversity that makes the UK what it is today

Is the very reason I voted to stay

Brexit text with United Kingdom and European Union flags





eBay scam update #3 – The ‘One Mile Rule’

I ended my last post about to write to Luxembourg but, after taking a deep breath (and receiving an email from eBay requesting my outstanding £8.18 of fees despite them owing me nearly £300), I decided to have one last try at calling them – the case is very straight forward and I’ve submitted so much evidence that surely someone could just see what has gone on and reverse the decision to refund the scammer, couldn’t they?

At 8am I spoke to a bloke called Anthony who told me he was in the ‘Final Resolution Centre’ and he would look into the case for me.

After being on hold for a minute or so he said that, according to the system, the case had been closed on 20th September and asked me to confirm I had received an empty package (by now hubby is also communicating with eBay about his phone that was also stolen). I explained that the package had been delivered to my neighbour as the buyer had edited the eBay postage label and that it was indeed empty. He then went on to say that he could see the notes both Niamh and the previous customer service guy had put on the system and he couldn’t understand what was going on and why this wasn’t dealt with already.

Anthony promised me that he would speak with the advisors involved and get back to me within 24 hours, going on to say that he was in work all week, my case hadn’t been on his desk before and he would take ownership of the problem until it was resolved. I explained that I had heard this before and he told me to relax for the next 24 hours, put it out of my mind and he would call me back – even if it meant calling a dozen times.

Wednesday – 10am: No call from eBay. Not sure why but I really did feel that we were going to get a resolution and I can not believe Anthony has ‘done a Niamh’ on me. Feeling exasperated I call eBay yet again.

Spoke to someone in the Philippines who can’t see all the notes but does tell me the case is closed and the reason is the item was scanned as delivered.

I started to explain the situation but the language barrier makes it impossible and I’m left with no option but to request a call back from Anthony. I’m told he will call me within 24 hours. Frustrated doesn’t even cover it…

Thursday morning – Guess what, no call for anyone in eBay at all. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I call them and have one of the most ridiculous conversations I’ve ever had in my life with an advisor who found it appropriate to keep talking over me and telling me “you don’t understand, Miss Talulah”.

I tried to explain but she repeatedly cut me off to explain that the item had been delivered and the case was closed. I told her to look at the faked labels that are uploaded on my account and she said, and I quote “If the labels had been edited Royal Mail would not have accepted them.” – I asked her to clarify and she again said that they couldn’t have been posted as they would not have been accepted. Say what?!

I (angrily) asked her if she was seriously inferring that I had made the whole thing up, including editing the label and despite me having an email from Royal Mail confirming that item was delivered to number 1 as that is where it was addressed to, and she couldn’t really give me an answer.

However, what she said next left me so gobsmacked that I asked her to repeat it so I could write it down – I strongly feel that this is something ALL eBay users should be aware of and would put money on it that they don’t….

The eBay advisor said: “eBay policy states that, as long as any returns are delivered within a mile of the address they are meant to be, eBay will deem it delivered and will find in favour of the buyer. Our records show your item was delivered within that radius so your case is closed.”

To clarify, I asked her if I was right in thinking she was saying that as long as a buyer sends a return to any street at all within a mile radius of the true address it would be seen as correctly delivered and she replied with: “Yes Mam.”

At this point I was losing the will to live and asked if she could please get a supervisor or someone, anyone to call me back and she said that she could see a refund request had been raised on my case and that she would look into why it hadn’t been actioned and a supervisor would call me back within 48 hours.

Now I really am at my wits end but am refusing to let this go – in the meanwhile my hubby has had a message from another eBay seller saying he has just been scammed in the same manner by the same buyer – despite them being aware of whats going on for almost 3 weeks, eBay are still allowing him to trade.

As they won’t tell you who he is – I will…

Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 23.13.03.png

The name they are using is Louie Lawson and their paypal address is

The other account which scammed hubby and we now know its the same person is Freddie Barker – known on eBay as crazy9867how and using paypal address

I’m off to finally send that letter to Luxembourg but first I’m going to send a copy of all 3 posts to each of this lovely lot over on Linkedin.

I’ll keep you posted…


**UPDATE** – Friday Evening: Still no call from anyone at Ebay but I did receive an email at around 17:15 from a ‘supervisor’ saying they had tried to call me and if I still needed assistance to give them a call back. They did not call me. I have no missed calls whatsoever on either my mobile or landline.

Off to call them again…

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 14.22.58.png

eBay – Protecting Scammers, Screwing Sellers

UPDATE TO MY PREVIOUS POST, ‘eBay finds in scammers favour despite overwhelming evidence’

After writing up the chain of events that have led to us being out of pocket and feeling totally disregarded by eBay, I decided the next course of action would be to get on the phone and start making noise while gathering advice.


I would like to say that the problem has been resolved – that eBay have reimbursed our losses and taken the situation seriously, after all goodness knows how many other sellers have been ripped off by scammers that are enabled/protected on the platform, but that would be untrue.

This is what has happened so far:

Spoke to Citizens Advice – Advised that the usual procedure would be to send a breach of contract letter to the buyer demanding payment/return of the phone and giving a deadline in which to respond before escalating to civil court. However, as the only name and address we have are fake there would be no point in doing this as the summons would never arrive. They also explained that they couldn’t really advise me as regards to eBay as it is not a UK based company – I needed to speak to the European Consumer Centre.

Spoke to European Consumer Centre – Spoke to a lovely lady called Lorna who advised me to report the scam to Action Fraud, ask eBay to reconsider their decision to issue the refund and also inform Paypal. Apparently Paypal are covered by the financial ombudsman while eBay isn’t so she said they may be able to help me. Lorna also explained that it would be worth looking through the terms and conditions for eBay to check for any points to raise with them – when you make an account the small print apparently states that the contract is between the seller and the buyer, meaning that eBay don’t actually have to pay anything in this situation. It would appear that while eBay are more than happy to make a shed load of money from their ‘marketplace’, they are less enthusiastic when it comes to solving disputes fairly or dipping in the kitty when they’re clearly at fault…. Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 15.41.07.png

Spoke to Action Fraud – Reported the whole chain of events, recording the two stolen phones as separate cases. The gent I spoke to gave me a reference number and explained that the information will be collated at a national level and we should get an update in about three months time, too late to help us but hopefully in time to help prevent the scammers from ripping off some other poor sod. Also advised to speak to Paypal as they might be able to help me if they can see the transaction has been carried out by a fraudulent account.

Spoke to Paypal – Once I had explained the whole (lengthy) story to the adviser who took my call her response was a resounding: “Wow”.

Once she’d commiserated with me, the advisor said that she would have to speak to a manager as she didn’t know where to start, popping me on hold while they looked into it. I knew it wasn’t going to be good news by the tone of her voice when she came back on the line – she apologised before explaining that her manager was looking at the account as we spoke and could see what had happened, and that they could also see a name and address for said scammer. Obviously (data protection) she couldn’t give me any information – however she was able to take from me the other Paypal account details involved in the scam.

Basically, Paypal are saying that when you sign up to eBay you are giving them permission to both put in and take out cash from your Paypal account and apparently Paypal have to honour eBay’s decision regardless. The only way for us to get our money back would be if eBay reversed the decision to find in the scammers favour and issue a refund – instead if they had found in our favour (as they clearly should have) we wouldn’t have this problem.

eBay have caused the problem and they are the only ones with the capacity to fix it but they are refusing to do so.

The next course of action for me is to write it all up in a formal letter of complaint to eBay HQ in Luxembourg – recorded delivery of course, explaining exactly what has gone on and requesting that they step in to reverse the decision, refund my money and do more to stop this happening again…..



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