Tories, Jihadi Brides, Harrods, Exclusion Bullying and Battle Buses. A quick breakdown of the political thriller The Missing Activist.
What is CCHQ?
The headquarters of the British Conservative Party. It houses central staff and committee members and maintains overall responsibility for targeting voters and seats. In addition, it shortlists and finalises the selection of Tory candidates across the UK for both local and national elections. CCHQ operates a phone bank for volunteers like Robin Miller, and features in The Missing Activist.
Key Fact 2. A luxury department store in Knightsbridge, London. It’s where Karen Andersen’s nemesis Zinah al-Rashid meets her first Jihadi bride recruit in The Missing Activist. Charles Harrod began the world famous shop as a one-room outlet in 1849 but today Harrods houses 330. The State of Qatar owns it.
British Born Isis Brides
Fast Fact 3 In The Missing Activist, PI Karen Andersen goes undercover to learn why so many British girls journeyed to Syria to marry Jihadi fighters. Studies by RUSI suggest the draws include a rejection of Western feminism, peer influence, female romantic optimism and the chance to be part of something new, exciting and illicit.
The Battle Bus
The name given to a coach or vehicle used as both a method of transport and also a centre of operations. A major incident occurs aboard the BB in The Missing Activist. In 2017 a scandal involving a busload of Tory activists threatened to overturn the government and stop Brexit when the party did not declare costs in their overall campaigning budget.
Who are the Kurdaitcha?
Kurdaitcha (or kurdaitcha man) is a ritual ‘executioner’ in Aboriginal culture who ‘points the bone at a victim to expel them from their community. If this happens, no one can contact them or mix with them. Victims usually die a self-imposed death in days. In Australia, the practice is still common enough that they train hospital staff to manage illness caused by “bone pointing”. Its modern equivalent is exclusion bullying which is a theme running through The Missing Activist and Fast Fact Five.