This entry was posted on
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 at
1:27 pm and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
(This post comes to you with a BIG tip of the hat to EinyWatch, which is well worth a follow if you want to keep half an eye on at least one of these characters.)
I should make it clear from the outset that I do realise that Einy Shah and Hind Essoussi are only minor players in the grand scheme of things, but then so were Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul (the Guildford Tory activists working under Anne Milton who went on to smear an opponent as a paedophile and publish personal/sensitive data about their political enemies when none of the local Tories saw fit to moderate or police their actions).
As with many posts on this site about people whose ambitions override comment sense and/or common decency, this post isn’t really about Einy Shah or Hind Essoussi, but about the more senior Conservatives who fail in their duty to educate and regulate their activists, and instead tolerate any/many ‘indiscretions’ for as long these people remain a useful/deniable asset.
(Young/ambitious people reading this should be aware that if any politician knows you harbour political ambitions but offers you tacit/off-the-record approval of conduct you know to be poor or even illegal, then they are most likely using you; they are using you to do their/party dirty work while knowing that your acts, if discovered, will exclude you from any position of responsibility in future.)
Hind Essoussi is an Area Chairmen (North West) for London Conservative Future, and an intern for both the Conservative Women’s Organisation and Women in Public Policy. She is studying law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and is/was a Law Mentor for the Islamic Society.
Einy Shah is Deputy Chairman of London Conservative Future, and in a recent puff-piece on the Conservative Future websites that states she is “studying law at a London University” her “past involvements” are listed as follows:
– Jo Johnson MP’s office [role not defined]
– Campaign co-ordinator for Jo Johnson MP
– [Boris Johnson] Mayor of London’s Peer Outreach Team
– Department for International Development’s ‘Write Here Right Now’ reporter
– Campaign manager for Loanna Morrison PPC
– Bill Wiggin MP’s office [role not defined]
This same puff-piece includes the following endorsements:
“Every campaign needs an Einy!” – Jo Johnson MP
“By the response she got on the doorstep and my re-election result it is clear that Einy made a significant impact.” – Grant Shapps MP
Now, Einy is the type of person who sees no wrong in creating a false online identity so she can pretend to be an enthusiastic member of the public while campaigning for Tories generally and Boris Johnson specifically, but that’s to be expected if she hangs out with Tories generally and that sock puppeting loser Grant Shapps specifically. She’s been like/at this for a long time and really there’s not much about her antics that surprises me any more.
But what does surprise me is that she would not only engage in what appears to be criminal damage, but go on to publish the evidence on her Facebook profile (under a title that leaves very little room for confusion; ‘Millbank Revenge’):
‘Millbank’ refers to the Conservative headquarters in London that recently played host to a student fees protest where criminal damage was done to that building. The resulting cry of outrage from Conservative-supporting blogs could be heard from space, and was somewhat justified if obviously feigned at times, but I would argue that even a mock attack in ‘revenge’ sends entirely the wrong message, and that’s assuming the best about what these images show.
For example; this might be an abandoned car that Einy Shah is defacing, or perhaps even an art installation. It may even be an art installation where members of the public are invited to spray-paint what they please on it (even party-political slogans)… but what it looks like from here is criminal damage in favour of the campaign to re-elect Boris Johnson for Mayor of London, painted by someone who has served under him, and worked for this brother:
Add the title ‘Millbank revenge’ to the photo collection and it looks like quite deliberate criminal damage with a specific agenda in support of the Conservative party and government policy… but who/what is it aimed at exactly? If this is a campus, it’s the arse-end of it; it appears to be a loading area or a car park. Surely if one is to adopt the position that this is a justified attack of revenge for the Millbank event, then Einy Shah and Hind Essoussi should be kicking their way in through the front door of a local student building and spray-painting the lobby.
Also, not only does this look like a loading area or a car park, but it could easily be mistaken for the loading area or car park for one of the many council estates in London. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but by not going through the front door and making clear where they are, the ladies risk giving the impression that they have reacted to a protest about student fees by defacing the homes of people who have done nothing more than dare to live in the poorer part of town (i.e. almost as if their thinking is that they can do as they please in what they regard to be a shithole).
Returning to the struggle to assume the best about these photos, it could be that this plywood is Hind Essoussi’s property, or property in her care. It could even be that she was specifically asked by the owner of the plywood to leave a message for the bin-men to leave the item alone (with a cryptic ‘PS’ about Dane hearting some guy called Boris for that personal touch, in lieu of a Christmas tip):
[MINI-UPDATE – Of course, it’s most likely not about ‘Dane’, but some chap named ‘Dave’. Dave heart Boris. Bless.]
But even if we’re not looking at evidence of a criminal act here, questions need to be asked about what Conservative Future is teaching these young activists. First of all, if you are going to announce the re-launch of “Web Cameron”, you should at least get the main brand/keyword right (it is ‘webcameron’) even if you can’t be bothered making it legible. There is also the small matter of campaigning for ‘change’ when your lot are already in government:
Einy Shah was asked what these photos might show, but she first deleted the relevant album then pretended not to know what I was talking about because the link I provided was ‘missing’. When shown copies of the photos that had been preserved elsewhere, she said “that may or may not be me”, then refused to comment further.
I should explain at this stage that Einy Shah is currently going through a similar process to that of fellow Tories Iain Dale and Nadine Dorries; after somehow arriving at the conclusion that attempts to publicly call her to account for her campaigning amount to harassment, she has made ‘reports’ to police (about others) that don’t even warrant an initial reference number, and then attempted to use this act to suggest that she has some kind of case.
She’s not likely to get anywhere with police, but the cry of ‘stalker’ from a young woman has a particular and persistent resonance, and is likely to be repeated by your more blinkered/vindictive Conservative supporter, regardless of the truth, risks, and other trivia.
It is for this reason that I am somewhat hesitant about contacting Hind Essoussi for comment. However, because I make no strong assertions about what takes place in these photos, I am perfectly comfortable putting the relevant question to her in public (that question being; “Can you explain to me what is going on in these photos?”).
After both ladies have had an opportunity to respond, I probably won’t be wasting my breath on a call to Tory HQ (they talk to you like you’re scum and sweep even the most serious of concerns under the carpet), but I will most likely report this to police.
If anyone recognises the location where these photos were taken, it would be of enormous help in determining what property was damaged (if any) and which station this should be reported to (if at all).
UPDATE (05 March) – Thanks for the input, folks. I’ve known about the location for some time, but Einy and Hind managed to embarrass a lot of people with their ‘revenge’ stunt, and the people involved are reluctant to go on record. Knowing the truth, I’m perfectly happy to sit on what I have published to date, but if these two claim or imply that they had permission to spray-paint the walls with Tory slogans (as they have recently), it is a lie.