More on Pettibone’s letter, and my problem with Lauren Southern

If Brittany Pettibone’s letter is fake, she’s doubling down:

Following discussions on Twitter last night, I’m leaning towards this being real. That someone writing letters on behalf of the Home Office can’t spell shouldn’t come as a surprise: they were probably state-educated. Expecting literacy from someone working in Britain’s public sector is like me going into a French prefecture and expecting the staff to be properly trained and helpful. What set the alarm bells ringing was that it seems to be a little too convenient, containing phrases guaranteed to trigger the American alt-right. But I think Adam in the comments might be correct:

I suspect that the reason that the written English in the letter is so bad is due to the fact that the person who wrote it uses English as a second language. I would also lay a firm bet that the individual in question originally hails from a country where a certain religion of peace is widely practiced.

The Home Office is refusing to confirm the letter’s authenticity, which makes me think they are desperately running around trying to find out who wrote it and come up with a suitable narrative. My guess is the public sector is so stuffed full of SJWs and sympathetic Muslims that middle management and bureaucrats believe they can make arbitrary political decisions with impunity. After all, this is precisely how much of the US government operates so why should it not be the same in the UK? What the person who wrote this letter may not have realised is that it would gather so much publicity, they probably thought they were seeing off an obscure right wing provocateur. I suspect there are a few in the Home Office, Amber Rudd included, rather happy that everyone is kept busy by this crisis with Russia and the media are distracted.

On a similar subject, a couple of people have asked why I said Lauren Southern makes stuff up. Firstly, there was the time she took a boat into the Mediterranean to supposedly intercept NGO boats ferrying Africans to Italy. She was on the scene for a matter of minutes before the Italian coastguard picked her up, but she made out she was personally battling to stop these boats. In fairness, I kind of overlooked that because at least she was putting herself out there. But a short time later she came to Paris and posted this:

And a whole load of other short videos and tweets like this:

What she’d done was attend a Mayday protest taking place in République for an hour or two in the morning, and made out that the whole of Paris was a permanent war zone and there were not white people to be seen. Had she walked two blocks in either direction, or come back the next day, she’d have found the streets rather ordinary. What annoyed me about these tweets was that I’d spent the entire afternoon walking around a large chunk of Paris, and at some point posted this:

It was the first day of decent weather in a while and all the Parisians were out with their kids enjoying the city and the sunshine. I then got home and saw Southern’s postings and wondered where the hell she’d spent the day, because it didn’t look anything like the city I’d just walked around. I quickly worked out her schtick is to fire out a few right wing soundbites and put herself in front of a camera somewhere looking cute. I suspect if she wasn’t good looking she’d have about 30 followers on Twitter instead of 30,000. She certainly hasn’t got much to say that’s worth listening to and her reporting is, as I’ve discovered, unreliable. But she is cute. Did I mention that?

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19 thoughts on “More on Pettibone’s letter, and my problem with Lauren Southern

  1. I never know quite what to make of the likes of Southern and her ilk, there is a bit too much attention seeking for my tastes, but I can’t say I would be at all surprised to see a Home Office letter written by someone who has only basic understanding of English.

    I spent more than a few hours at the Home Office in Croydon trying to get an interview by someone I could actually speak English too, it was a quite surreal place, where the only non-immigrants seemed to be the coppers armed with MP5’s.

  2. the only non-immigrants seemed to be the coppers armed with MP5’s.

    Give it time. We need those ex-ISIS guys to do something, and their experience with weapons ought to be a big plus.

  3. @Hector
    Come on, who is going to be left to write the Home Office rejection letters when awful “far right” people try to visit the country?

  4. The telephone number on the document is correct, FWIW.

    She was most likely too honest upon arrival:
    “What is the purpose of your visit to the UK?”
    “I’m here to complain about your country and hand out leaflets likely to stir up trouble.”

    Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, and it was a radical Islamist cleric arriving for the same reasons. We’d be quite rational to refuse entry. This sounds like the typical British habit of applying the rules to the letter.

    Of course, your average Islamist cleric wouldn’t admit his intentions upon arrival. That was Pettibone’s mistake.

  5. “Of course, your average Islamist cleric wouldn’t admit his intentions upon arrival. That was Pettibone’s mistake.”

    Or her intention. Now she’s got some publicity. Never heard of her previously. (Not a criticism, this issue needed airing.)

  6. Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, and it was a radical Islamist cleric arriving for the same reasons. We’d be quite rational to refuse entry.

    We wouldn’t though, even if he declared them. We’d have a phalanx of taxpayer funded human rights lawyers, cheered on by Sadiq Khan, ensuring he got VIP treatment.

  7. Of course, your average Islamist cleric wouldn’t admit his intentions upon arrival.

    He doesn’t need to. The security services (if they’re on the ball) already know who he is and what he’s in town for. A Muslim cleric is a public figure by definition, and if he’s travelling to preach, there’s probably an easily accessible record of his activities and views online. It wouldn’t take much googling to find him saying “Death to America!”

    But the problem is that he’d be let in despite all that, whereas if you say you just want to chat to Tommy Robinson, then yer barred – which shows who the ruling class is really scared of. I don’t know why. Is it all the Marx they absorbed at uni? Are they worried about the dictatorship of the proletariat?

  8. Re the Paris videos: Surely she’s just playing the media at their own game. There was some news footage done in I think it was Whitehall. Purported to be well attended demonstration in support of Muslims against reactions to one the little atrocities they perpetrate in London. Except the filming was filmed & the “well attended demonstration” was a dozen people packed to fill the camera shot.
    And if you’ve ever seen this sort of stuff being filmed by the media, it’s the default setting. They’ll make the density & the composition of a crowd appear to support whatever narrative they want to push. Look at the typical “far right” march. It’ll be half a dozen cuts of a few “aggressively dressed” blokes. Same blokes in every cut. Why combats, boots & a skiing jacket are “aggressive uniform” on the right wing when they’re not on any left wing/environmentalist/tax-the-rich/etc swampy must be because they’re actually bright enough to have figured out the uses of a washing machine & a shoe brush.

  9. Surely she’s just playing the media at their own game.

    Indeed, and I assume they’re bullshitting and I don’t take them seriously, either.

  10. I quickly worked out her schtick is to fire out a few right wing soundbites and put herself in front of a camera somewhere looking cute. I suspect if she wasn’t good looking she’d have about 30 followers on Twitter instead of 30,000.

    Captain Capitalism refers to these types of women as “conservathots” – women saying not very much of any originality but who earn a fair living off of their Internet fame because men like looking at hot chicks who agree with them.

  11. Anyone who has ever had a policeman ask them to sign a statement they took will be rather impressed by the standard of English.

    Rather concerning that merely being associated with a member of a “right wing”, indeed not even “far-right” organisation (nowadays code for anyone to the right of Ho Chi Minh) is grounds for denial of entry.

  12. Letters like this are written on the spot in a hurry in a shared office with a million things happening. Expecting perfect English from a person possibly at the end of a long shift and with other things to do is too much.

    My grammar and spelling are excellent, yet when writing these sorts of things in a rush (and I have worked at the border) I tended to make silly errors. I imagine most of the complainers have made similar errors in blog postings for the same reason — fatigue and other things on your mind.

    Since when did the English cross their 7s?

  13. Since when did the English cross their 7s?

    Since always. It was a major plot point in an episode of a TV show I saw somewhere in the mid-1980’s.

  14. “My guess is the public sector is so stuffed full of SJWs and sympathetic Muslims that middle management and bureaucrats believe they can make arbitrary political decisions with impunity.”

    I have friends in the public sector. They tell me tales that would make your hair curl.

  15. Chester Draws: Nonsense. Whoever wrote that letter is a fuckwit. Hurried is not any cause for a mess like that.

    It seems more than the SCS need to be Purged.

    Daniel Ream– In the 1965 film “A Study in Terror” Sherlock Holmes (John Neville) deduces that a pawnbrokers number 7 on a case of surgical instruments sent to him anonymously was written by a foreigner as the “7” is “crossed in the Continental manner”. No crossed sevens in my schooldays.

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