This entry was posted on
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at
1:56 pm and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
A few days ago, a Conservative campaign site titled ‘Cash Gordon’ emerged. It was a continuation of their tellingly empty, negative and dishonest response to their difficulties with Lord Ashcroft (recent example of this titanic struggle with the truth here), and it was found to be even less impressive when it turned out to be a not-inexpensive but hastily carved ‘cookie cutter’ job done by designers in the US who mostly stick to issues/views the Conservatives are somewhat divided on and would rather not mention this side of an election.
Sam Coates (more), acting in his role as co-ordinater of Tory online campaigning, was busy countering this with some spin, while at the same time hailing any negative publicity as a win for his campaign; it mattered not that his campaign was being criticised and ridiculed, so long as his magical, mind-altering hashtag ‘#cashgordon’ was reaching eyeballs.
Coates continued to maintain this position beyond the point most of us would consider credible… or wise:
I can’t possibly improve on the remaining documentation by Meg Pickard, and I shan’t try.
It wasn’t long before someone cried ‘hacker’… and one of the people who did that was Lua Cooper.
Lua Cooper looked up the details of one of the people who had published one of these redirects (this one, to their own site) and called their employer, claiming to be acting on behalf of CCHQ, while falsely accusing this person of being associated with some of the redirects to more colourful locations (i.e. ‘shock sites’ which she described as “porn sites”) and threatening legal action.
You should read the following Twitter-based exchange knowing that Lua Cooper is Sam Coates’ girlfriend… it’s far more illuminating that way:
JimmySparkle: conservative party phoned my workplace claiming they may sue me for supposedly hacking their website… tweeting != hacking. lol #cashgordon
SamuelCoates: @jimmysparkle er, no we didn’t… #cashgordon
SamuelCoates: One of the guys behind the #CashGordon hacks (@jimmysparkle) is now falsely claiming that we’ve rang him about it. More evidence of malice?
Niall Paterson (SKY News): @jimmysparkle Any chance you could clear this up? Who called, when, what did they say? Cheers.
Chris Mou: @niallpaterson Girl called claiming to be from Tory party. Threatened to sue for “hacking” and redirecting to “horrific” pictures. (lie)
Chris Mou: Boss told her to call back tomorrow if she wanted to speak to him. Assume if it *was* real they won’t be calling back now.
Chris Mou: Incidently, she said her name was “Laura Cooper”.
JimmySparkle: Apparently the woman who phoned was a Laura Cooper, no idea if she was genuine. Claimed I hacked their site. Fail fail fail #cashgordon
Niall Paterson (SKY News): Cheers @chrismou. So @samuelcoates, anyone called Laura Cooper at CCHQ?
SamuelCoates: @niallpaterson @chrismou nope! Anything like that would have come through our team as it’s our thing – and I can guarantee that it hasn’t.
Niall Paterson (SKY News): @samuelcoates Just checking – there’s absolutely nothing in @jimmysparkle’s comments?
SamuelCoates: @niallpaterson no – why would we do that?!
JimmySparkle: so do you know Laura Cooper?
SamuelCoates: @jimmysparkle no, do you?
Note – it is at this stage that JimmySparkle is tipped off by an anonymous ‘single purpose’ account, and the jig is up.
yeppyfd: @jimmysparkle It may be conicidence but Sam Coates has a gf called LUA Cooper….. or it may not
JimmySparkle: wow @SamuelCoates did you get your girl friend to call up threatening legal action? #cashgordon
JimmySparkle: #cashgordon @SamuelCoates where did Lua Cooper’s twitter account go? http://bit.ly/bZG2j2
We’ll get to Lua Cooper’s hurriedly-removed Twitter account in a moment. First, this follow-up tweetage from Niall Paterson and the CCHQ Press release that followed:
Niall Paterson (SKY News): But even in the cab home, i’m working – Tories confirm tonight that Lua Cooper DID contact @jimmysparkle but is not a member of staff
Niall Paterson (SKY News): Ms Cooper is a “friend” of party worker, her actions were neither authorised nor condoned by CCHQ. She “felt strongly” abt hijacking of site
A [Conservative] Party spokesman said:
“This person is not a member of staff and her actions were not authorised by the Party. She is a friend of a party worker and felt strongly about the way this website had been hijacked and took it upon herself to make comments on the issue. She did this without our knowledge and we do not condone her actions.”
She did a little more than make comments on the issue; she attempted to bully someone through their employer with false accusations and baseless legal threats.
CCHQ also fails to claim anything about the call coming from outside their offices, but I guess we’ll find out more about that if/when the relevant call logs become available
In the meantime, feel free to browse for remnants of the Twitter/Facebook/etc. accounts for Lua Cooper that were cleaned out so suddenly late yesterday afternoon; this cache dating back to 5 March reveals that Lua Cooper is indeed very close to Samuel Coates, and worthy of (and excited about) front-row seats to David Cameron speeches.
As has been pointed out by Unity, she also appears in a CCHQ instruction/recruitment video. (That it’s for telephone canvassing is not only funny, but one good reason to suspect that when Lua Cooper made that call, she did so from a HQ-provided phone.)
There are also old tweets from Lua Cooper where she messages The Conservatives’ ‘Communities Editor’ Craig Elder about his concerns he may have packed too lightly for an away day; “if you need anything I can bring some of sam’s thing for you and drop it to cchq?”
In short, Lua Cooper appears to be very close not only to Samuel Coates, but to the campaign and the cause and many key people at CCHQ.
For CCHQ to pretend otherwise is to be expected. For Sam Coates to pretend that he doesn’t even know her or recognise her name is an insult to our intelligence, and he can’t pretend to have done it out of gallantry given the way he’s cowering under his desk today while his better half is left with her arse hanging out.
Many people are owed an apology here. Will none of these Conservatives step forward and take responsibility for their actions?
Perhaps Lua can start the ball rolling with a simple explanation/apology for her targeting a man through his employer in this extremely dishonest and unfair manner… assuming she’s her own person and not under any pressure from Sam/CCHQ to keep her mouth shut.