While we’re just as interested in politics as anyone, we must confess that we hadn’t been paying much attention to the Boris Johnson/Jennifer Arcuri story until quite recently.
The exceedingly talkative Arcuri, who has described herself as a “legitimate businesswoman”, has refused to either confirm or deny that she had an affair with Johnson while he was mayor of London. However, she told the Daily Mail recently that she was “Boris’s Anne Boleyn” because like Henry VIII, Johnson was driven “crazy” when she would not “give him her virtue”. (We assume this was as far as she intended that metaphor to go; not sure they still do public beheadings at the Tower.)
Whatever the nature of her relationship with Johnson, the technology companies which Arcuri set up in the UK received £126,000 in public money. Johnson has also been accused of granting her access to three overseas trade trips, although she did not qualify for them. In fact, it seems that Arcuri wasn’t really qualified to be an info security maven at all: her prior work experience was as a waitress.
For his part, Johnson claims to have acted with “full propriety” in the matter. He has remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped on the matter, but allegations of conflict of interest have been made, and the press has been having a field day, as one might expect.
Fascinating as it is, this sort of thing isn’t usually in our bailiwick. However, our ears pricked up when we heard the name of one of Arcuri’s ventures, Hacker House, which received £100,000 in funding earlier this year.
We were sure we’d heard that name before…and then it came to us: wasn’t that the business venture once promoted by Wesley Hall, who continues to style himself a hacker despite his many failed attempts to hack into this blog?
Sure enough, a brief Google search helped refresh our memory:
“Digital Marketing Manager @ Hacker House” indeed! There’s a bit of a step up in the world for Wesley, who is better known to our readers for some of his less-respectable activities.
Wesley Hall: A brief refresher
Wesley first came to our attention as the enthusiastic Hampstead hoax pusher behind the “OpDeathEaters” hashtag, group, and page on Facebook and Twitter. He has a long history of violence, with a string of convictions for crimes such as assault, racial abuse, racially aggravated criminal damage, battery, threats, and knife crimes.
At one of Wesley’s trials in 2010, the court heard that
…a man and his fiancee were at a petrol station when the man approached the defendant to talk to him.
Hall was abusive and got out of the vehicle, brandishing a knife.
He was jabbing the blade at the victim and told him: “I will cut you and I will smash your face with a hammer.”
Last April Miss Heath, who was Hall’s partner at the time and would say he was possessive and jealous, was in bed when he turned up at her home.
Hall asked which men had been there and threatened to smash her nose.
He then dragged her off the bed to the floor by her hair as she screamed.
As she put on her dressing gown, the defendant grabbed the victim’s jaw, twisted her head back and spat in her face.https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/8242175.nelson-knife-threats-man-jailed-for-two-years/
But Wesley did not limit his activities to violent and/or racial crime; he is also notorious in the Manchester area for his “activism” with the poor and disenfranchised.
In 2015, the Manchester Evening News reported that Wesley had been evicted from the homeless shelter set up in Gary Neville’s Stock Exchange building, as fellow campaigners complained that he was attempting to run the collective as his own personal fiefdom.
Genuine poverty activists have accused Wesley of misappropriating funds and goods-in-kind which he’d ostensibly gathered to “help the homeless”, but never reached their supposed destination.
On the Hampstead SRA hoax front, Wesley spent four years spreading horrific false allegations against the parents, children, teachers, clergy, social workers, and businesspeople of Hampstead, under a variety of account names.
He was arrested in May 2018 while attempting to board a plane for Spain, as his name had shown up on airline security computers as “wanted for questioning” regarding suspicions he had perverted the course of justice. He was questioned and released, but has not been charged to date.
Jennifer Arcuri, Lauri Love, and Wesley Hall
On Twitter, Arcuri identifies herself as an entrepreneur, cyber-security expert, and producer.
In July 2015, she founded Hacker House, a company which claims to plunge its students “head-first into real world cyber-attack simulations”, teaching them to “think, act and move like a hacker – and then outmanoeuvre them”.
In 2016, she admitted that Hacker House had employed UK-based hacker Lauri Love, who is wanted in the United States for having hacked into and stolen private data from government websites, including the US Army, the Missile Defense Agency, and NASA. In February 2018, a High Court ruling blocked Love’s extradition to the USA, but also ruled that it would “not be oppressive [to] prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences”.
In this October 2016 video, Arcuri prances across the stage clad in a flowing-yet-revealing robe, merrily making the case that hacking is not only fun and exciting, but not even a little bit wrong. Given the timing, it’s difficult not to think she could be referring to Love:
Another of Love’s friends, Wesley Hall, who had travelled from the north of England to attend the meeting, said: “We don’t want Lauri to go through what Aaron Swartz – who committed suicide in the US after facing a long jail sentence for hacking – did.
“If he was to be extradited, it would open the door to so many vulnerable children being taken from the UK.”
In this video, dated 23 May 2016, Wesley announces the opening of Arcuri’s Hacker House North West:
Describing the project, he claims that the idea came from Arcuri and Love:
“Here’s Jennifer Arcuri and Lauri Love with their amazing idea to educate children with accreditation modules for their technological skills and attained achievements online…. One of the most important intentions is educating and inspiring our youth to create change… But IMAGINE if you could do that using GOVERNMENT funding available… Lulz”.
Yes, just imagine.
Of course, the irony of Wesley working for a government-funded enterprise does not elude us—especially given recent allegations that the funding was the result of Arcuri’s close relationship with Johnson. He recently posted the following on his “The Voice of Treason” Facebook page:
Funnily enough, Wesley seemed quite sanguine about the NHS spending big money back in 2016, when he posted this video featuring Arcuri and Hacker House:
Aside from shilling for Arcuri, Wesley has never been shy about his opinions of the government in general, and the Conservative Party in particular.
Perhaps he and Arcuri just never got around to having a heart-to-heart about politics? Or perhaps when she was hiring Wesley as her company’s Digital Marketing Manager, she simply forgot to check out his résumé.
We wonder how Wesley feels, now that Arcuri’s relationship with the PM is under intense scrutiny? Will he gallantly leap to his friend’s defence, or skulk away and hope nobody notices?
Place your bets.