The news report now says that the council …

Comment posted It’s goodbye from Martha as Council switches off her dinnercam by S.White.

The news report now says that the council leader has ordered the blog ban to be lifted. Great.

Now can he order the culprits in Kilmory to clear their personal property from their office desks and leave the building. Otherwise we will have endless reruns.

S.White also commented

  • It is now about to be on the TV news – BBC 1.

Recent comments by S.White

  • Campbeltown rumours about Wind Towers declared unfounded
    For Hughie -

    I haven’t actually kept a log of the number of times I’ve had to pull over onto a rough and crumbling road verge, inches from a half hidden suspension busting ditch, to avoid a windmill. But it has happened far too often.

    Comparing them to Tesco, Coop, milk lorries is silly. These vehicles transport cargo of intrinsic value which we all require, food. Neither do they require police escorts, so they don’t waste valuable police time.

    As Lowry points out, employment is an important issue. But it makes no sense, economic or moral, to create jobs for a few windmill makers by adding to the fuel poverty of the entire country.

  • Campbeltown rumours about Wind Towers declared unfounded
    On the other hand, if the rumours ARE true, then it is also good news. No more convoys of enormous windmill components trundling up and down our inadequate roads, knocking the stuffing out of them, causing traffic congestion, and diverting our police from their proper duties. And all paid for by us taxpayers.
  • Nigel Price, Property Manager at Crarae Gardens in the van on the war on midges
    Thanks for setting me straight. Poor things, now I feel so churlish for slagging them.
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    Now that we have a new appointee to the press office, do we need to continue paying for the absentee, Jo Smith?
  • Axed Argylls deployed to Olympic Games security
    I don’t suppose I’m the only one to wonder what will happen in future when our army has been cut by another 20,000. Say, for example, another foot and mouth outbreak coinciding with our forces being fully committed to another of the vanity wars which seem to have become a rite of passage for our recent prime ministers. Shudder.

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82 Responses to The news report now says that the council …

  1. The lunatics are clearly still in charge of the asylum. If they weren’t fully aware of the potential impact of the internet before they certainly will now. The complaints@argyll-bute.gov.uk inbox is going to be a little bit full tomorrow morning.

    Martha’s blog has had over 30,000 hits just today and is currently receiving over 200 hits per minute. With numerous bloggers posting the Councils address and details of how to complain to the Council.

    The Council have stupendously escalated the whole thing to a level that they are clearly unable to comprehend. Is it just a coincidence that they are taking their whole website offline this weekend?

    It is a bit worrying though, I was hoping the change in Councillors would of brought some commonsense to the place, clearly not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • ‘A picture tells a thousand words’

      I once lived in a small town in Scotland. Often after the council came out with some asinine idea the local comment was “If you can’t keep a job in the real world get elected to the council”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. If the decision was taken by councillors, I wonder if this was as the result of ‘expert’ advice from senior council staff? If so, the councillors should be transparent about their decision making process, and justify their decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • AH… We had read this as a decision taken by senior council staff. You raise a different possibility. We will enquire and report back.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Shows absolutely no awareness of Public Relations, transparency, openness etc etc. Come on new administration take these bozos in hand, this is ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Awwww MA council still in the 1960s? Have they not heard of the internet. This story has reached London tonight, so I suspect by dinner time tomorrow they will be sobbing in their tea when they see their complains folders.
    As an ex-pupil I’m really angry about this, and as a blogger myself this is a dangerous thing that they have done. This is censorship, and it is not a good thing.
    EDIT: It has now exploded across the internet. It is a trending topic on HackerNews and has been retweeted by Neil Gaiman so now the entire internet knows. Poor council, not.
    EDIT: This got to London about 9pm last night via twitter and I knew that it would explode thanks to the Streisand Effect, but I underestimated by about 8 hours. But in all seriousness, I’m almost embarrassed to say that its my old school and town. I can only hope they get someone in to advise on the “Internet” I’ll do it, remotely! Much as I love to come back to visit, I’m quite fond of Kent and being 20 minute from London

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Dear me do the powers that be want to kill some kittens while they are at it just to make themselves even more endearing.
    What was the supposed headline which they are citing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. I know the new councillors were commited to giving everyone a chance. Looks like they’re failing to take it. This reignites an issue that had faded from view.

    You have to wonder about council employees being paid to monitor children. Why was a wee girl’s blog even in their thinking?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Having just heard the BBC R4 Today item (at about 7.20 – 7.25) on Martha’s ‘termination’ it’s now imperative for the councillor responsible for education to ‘come clean’ and try and rescue the situation – for all those people who voted for a cleaner council, if for no-one else. Any notion of supporting senior officers would be utterly misguided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Surely any such instruction must come in writing to Martha’s parents including an explanation as to why?

    Herr Sneddon or Sally bin Loudon? or both ie the Axis?

    Absolutely gutless of both of them and getting the Head Teacher to have to break the news? Spineless.

    They should at least have the decency to own it – but then again, leopards don’t change their spots.

    Can these 2 not be sent to another reservation yet?

    A statement from Mike Breslin regarding this would be appropriate now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • What would happen if she drew a picture of the meal each day and put that online?

      The council have every right to ban the use of cameras on their premises, though I would think it would need to be a complete ban, but I can’t see that they can stop her or anyone else drawing a picture of what they got on their plate. Of course if they dispute the accuracy of the picture then it is only their fault through banning photographs.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • If you try and party politicise this, Ife, all you’ll do is stir up a swarm of party paranoids and really fog up the real issue. The suspicion that you yourself are a product of Argyll’s educational system is really quite worrying.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Now the story’s reached the BBC News Scotland website, so it’s very much up to the councillors to show what they’re made of.
    ‘Omerta’ isn’t an option.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Pingback: Local council about to discover the internet

  11. This would beggar belief if it were not happening in Argyll.
    So much for a new administration.
    Someone needs to get these officials on a leash NOW.
    And where is our Minister of Education and local MSP in all this?
    … Silence is very much NOT Golden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. This decision would not have come as a surprise before May. It could well be a milestone for the new administration. It is an opportunity to show that councillors control the council in an atmosphere open openness and accountability. The administration has an opportunity to put officials in their place!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Pingback: Nej Martha, du må ikke fotografere din skolemad og blogge om det. dSeneste

  14. Pingback: The banning of the blog – BBC News | Lenta Asia

  15. Given the high profile of this story, there is no doubt in my mind that the councillors themselves either sanctioned this move, or instigated this decision. Ultimately, they are responsible for the actions of their officers in any case.

    So before people start seeking out ‘senior council staff’ to pillory, wake up and smell the coffee. *Elected councillors* lie behind this decision.

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  16. The very open Cllr McCuish needs to come on here as he has often in opposition to give us the story so far. Or Cllr Philand who also has almost universal respect across the board.

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  17. The BBC has the story on its website
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-18454800
    and it has already had 169 comments all pretty much hostile to teh Council.

    Issue seems to be a headline in the Record calling for dinner ladies to be sacked and this has provoked an understandable reaction amongst Council staff. That said, banning Martha is a really cack-handed approach to the problem.

    Time for the new councillors to show their mettle on this issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. They have to be raving mad. As one of the Telegraph commentators said “have they not heard of the Streisand Effect?” Not only is it an attack on free speech, it’s an attack on free speech by a sweet and bright little girl, who is trying to raise money for charity. I hope they see sense and issue an apology to her.

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  19. We currently have a Chief Exec who is somewhat clueless and floundering in a 24/7 news environment she clearly does not even begin to comprehend. Perhaps if she had not suspended or fired half of a very experienced and fully capable comms team, none of this would have happened. She has turned what could have been a positive into a nightmare that will be a PR s*** storm.

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  20. Can I propose a quick and easy solution to this whole problem which the Council communications department is free to use.
    Martha blogs that she disagrees with the ‘Fire the Dinner Ladies’ headline in the Record. Makes the point, as her father has done, that the
    “… school have been brilliant and supportive from the beginning and I’d like to thank them all.”
    Council explains that there was a mis-communication and that they never wanted to ban her blog, just to ensure that she was aware of how it was being used.
    Both are happy and Council is saved from being a continuing laughing stock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. This is clearly a PR disaster of the highest order and it is mind boggling that anyone took this decision thinking it was the right thing to do, or the most advantageous for the Council.

    However I think it is wise to wait till the facts are clearer before we start jumping to conclusions about who is to blame. It may well be Senior Officers, it could be the new Administration or it could be a decision they came to together.

    What is quite clear is that it is an appalling decision and managed atrociously. The new Administration needs to act and do sqo quickly to limit the damage to the reputation of the Council and their administration.

    If they sanctioned it then they need to come out and state this and provide the reasons why they did so (and be prepared for an almightly backlash)

    If they didn’t sanction it they need to demand answers from Cleland Sneddon as the responsible director and appropriate action needs to be taken.

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  22. Not just Scotland laughing, it is the rest of the world. Telegraph editor tweeted that ABC is the stupidest council in Britain. In terms of handling the media it is difficult to find fault with that analysis. Comments on the BBC site now number almost 350 and it is now the number three story on their front page. The story is a major trend worldwide on Twitter.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    BFOandC makes an excellent suggestion and I hope someone from the Council takes that up and urgently.

    After that we can have a go at the Record. Has anyone a link to the offending article in the Record.

    Ha – just on the BBC Radio 2 news as I type!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Stupidest council in Britain indeed and there is some mighty incompetent councils competing for that honour. Lay waste to the people who know what they are doing and this is what happens. My sympathies for what remains of the comms team, i bet this isn’t what they signed up for.

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  24. How long would it take for you journos on this paper to find out and run a story on what sort of meals/allowances the Councillors and Senior Council Staff enjoy at taxpayers expenses compared to the schoolchildren. Some photos of what can be bought with the allowance would be good.

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  25. I think Mr Clelland Sneddon needs to consider his position. The Dinner Ladies, who I am sure do a super job and are under the control of the council need to also be given consideration not just pillared. I think our Council leader needs to get involved, speak to all parties and bring some common sense to the matter. The media are using this for all its worth and making mountains out of molehills. This brings no good light to Argyll and needs to be resolved.
    Did Mr Sneddon instruct this ban on his own without referring to the elected councillors as has happened in the past? If so he should be dealt with in similar fashion this is poor judgement at best and down right heavy handed control at worst. Lets get it sorted!

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  26. Apparently, Mr Sneddon will grace Radio 4 at 1pm with his comments on this latest disaster dilemma.

    And the world can now hear Argyll’s most arrogant man.

    Wonder how red his face is today?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. So much for the brave new world of the transparent SNP Council!

    Many of us could see right through them from the start.

    Mind you in respect of the lack of council response to this so far transparency has been replaced with invisibility.

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  28. for Jim B – This is the same official that was employed under the previous regime and he needs reeling in or given the same treatment that has been given to the Dinner Ladies

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  29. Well, I for one would like to both congratulate and thank Mr Sneddon. Thanks to his actions, Martha’s blog has just raised over £14,000 – twice her target. So thanks to Mr Sneddon and ABC, Mary’s Meals will be able to buy not one but two kitchens to help support their excellent charitable work.

    Media students will be writing essays on this affair for years to come.

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  30. The totalitarian state says you are the states slaves and you will only do what the state approves. If you disapprove of children revealing the lousy lunch food being provided to children then you simply shut them up with the armed force of government

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  31. The news report now says that the council leader has ordered the blog ban to be lifted. Great.

    Now can he order the culprits in Kilmory to clear their personal property from their office desks and leave the building. Otherwise we will have endless reruns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Time for Sally Loudon and Clelland Sneddon to be handed their P45′s with immediate effect for bringing Argyll & Bute Council into disrepute.
    This is a golden opportunity to get both of them to “carry the can” for their incompetence.

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  33. All Council members should be forced to eat the school lunch day in and day out. What’s fair is fair. They have mandated that only State-sponsored opinion is valid and only positive words must be spoken (with the ominous and nonsensical statement that people are fearing for their jobs). Truly a lesson in Iron Curtain restrictions on speech. Their childish reaction is more distasteful than the food at issue.

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  34. Sent to the council:

    Could you possibly see your way to getting this message to the right person.

    The person who decided that it is better to tell a 9 year old girl that she has to stop an admirable endeavour that tries to improve nutrition for schoolchildren around the world whilst publicizing the pitiful school meals that your council provides.

    If your school meals are good, publicity would be welcome. If they are bad, change them. If you can´t change them resign from your position and let someone more competent earn your wage. You are less respected than a 9 year old girl.

    Jeremy Williams
    Barcelona
    Spain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • LONDON (AP) — No one likes a critic.

      About six weeks ago, 9-year-old Martha Payne began taking pictures of the lunches being served up at her school cafeteria in the Scottish coastal town of Lochgilphead, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) west of Edinburgh.

      Her photos of uninspiring school meals — one consisted of two croquettes, a plain cheeseburger, three slices of cucumber and a lollipop — drew international attention.

      But local officials aren’t amused and have ordered the schoolgirl to stop taking pictures.

      In a statement released Friday, Argyll and Bute Council said that Payne’s photos were misleading and had caused distress to cafeteria staff.

      The ban quickly became an online talking point, with free speech group the Index on Censorship even weighing in on Payne’s behalf.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Pingback: 9-Year-Old School Lunch Blogger Silenced By Politicians [Food] | IOS 6 Release Date

  36. The Council’s senior management team get worse and worse. Only a totaltarian state would ban these photographs instead of tackling the problem at source – improve the quality of the meals provided and give the dinner ladies some decent ingredients. I hope the new council will have conviction and start again with a new senior management team – the present one have presided over more disasters during 2012 than all other councils put together.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Pingback: Bureaucrats Squelch 9-Year-Old Blogger | The West Agency

  38. Pingback: World’s Strangest | School Lunch Blogger Stopped by Authorities

  39. I heard Roddie McCuish, the leader of the SNP council, talking on the radio yesterday. He said that he had changed his mind and had lifted the ban. Maybe he chose his words badly but it sounded as if he was responsible for the ban.

    I can understand the problem he faced when threats were being made in newspapers about peoples jobs. It is refreshing when politicians admt their errors and correct them. Lets hope the SNP Government eventually manage to rectify their error in not living up to their promise of vehicle ferries on the Dunoon Gourock route.

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  40. Roddy McCuish has acted in the best way possible, giving some credibility to Argyll and Bute. Mr Sneddon as I stated previously should consider his position. It is obvious from the papers this morning and some of the comments in the blogs that people are only reading a little of the subject and are failing to take on board the content of Martha’s blog and the comments made by other parties in this debacle. I hope Cllr. McCuish will find out who and what was behind these moves and rectify the situation on Monday Morning. As far as the papers are concerned they still have a vitriol aimed either at the Council in general or the Councillors. The people of Argyll who know fact from fiction should excercise great care in which titles they select when they purchase their newspapers this morning tomorrow and Monday. The BBC should also excercise a greater degree of investigation prior to adding to the unbalanced debate that has been evident in recent days

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Pingback: 9-Year-Old Who Changed School Lunches Silenced By Politicians | Green Kampong - Inspiring a greener today

  42. Pingback: Imagine if We all Took a Stand Like This | Review of Diet Plans to Identify the Best Diets

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