Ms. Laurie Penny goes undercover

Over the past few months I have become, and remain, deeply embedded in the student movement in the UK and Europe. Many of the young people who feature in the piece – on whose activities I\’ve been keeping meticulous notes, and who are of a similar age and political attitude to myself – have since become as close to personal friends as observational subjects ever can be. It\’s not so much a question of going native as finding that all the other natives have suddenly come out of the forest to take on the invaders. This has stretched my objectivity to its limits.

When the police report back on having done this sort of thing it\’s an outrage. When a journalist does it\’s umm, well, different.

And no, don\’t even go there. We just don\’t want to think about it, OK?

6 thoughts on “Ms. Laurie Penny goes undercover”

  1. Don’t forget, she is covered by virtue of the virtuous nature of what she is doing. This ‘buenismo’ is typical of people of her ilk.

    Hope she doesn’t sleep with anybody. Cheap manipulative thrills with somebody you are using? Oh sorry, you are on the same side, that makes it OK.

    The employment (her as exploiter, even though she offered to make the tea) mess she got into hasn’t taught her anything.

    Remember, as my father used to say. ‘Don’t do as I do, do as I say’

  2. “As close to personal friends as observational subjects ever can be”. How creepy is that? At least she recognises you can’t treat people as both, but I would have thought “friend” was an all or nothing category.

    How very … immature.

  3. Her objectivity stretched!!!!

    Wow, that’s a surprise. Didn’t know she had any.

    Most of her ‘journalism’, for want of a better word is shot through with prejudice and subjectivity.

  4. I don’t think she’s made a particular secret of being a reporter. The whole “posting widely circulated pieces on the internet” was a bit of a giveaway otherwise. And it’d make the whole “appearing on national television” business seem a bit unwise.

  5. A bit like Polly Toynbee’s expedition to the working class back in the sixties, which she got a book out of, can’t remember the title. Ending with a note of regret that she couldn’t continue a friendship she’d made with another girl because she didn’t know she was a journalist and their social circles were so different.

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