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I have given a lot of thought to …

Comment posted NeverSeconds: time to let Martha Payne recover anonymity by Dr Douglas McKenzie.

I have given a lot of thought to Newsroom’s original assertion: that it is time for Martha to give up her blog. My conclusion is that Martha should do as she wishes. If she is still enjoying blogging then let her be.

If Martha was a precocious athlete or musician attracting global attention because of her talent would we be suggesting she puts her light back under the bushel?

I’m pretty relaxed about any threat to Martha herself over this. Her parents seem very switched on and responsible and I don’t see them allowing her to be exposed to anything obviously harmful.

My second reason for a lack of concern is because the story isn’t Martha herself but the reaction to her blog. First it was the pictures themselves (and ABC’s dismal response to it); then it became ABC’s utterly stupid attempt to shut her down and now it has become the phenomenal fund raising for Mary’s Meals (£78K plus £14K gift aid). Martha writes well for a nine year old but it is not “Ulysses”. Fact is that she is a cute nine year old but there is no real story there around Martha herself. I think the probability of her becoming the target for the sort of intrusive prurient journalism that so disfigures the red tops in the UK is very low.

Providing she just keeps telling it as it is then no-one should feel threatened by her activities – quite the contrary. The headline in the Daily Record was reprehensible but that had nothing to do with Martha and the Council would have been much better recognising that and focussing their wrath on the paper (as an aside, I will be interested to see if Mr Sneddon wrote a letter of complaint to the Record or not and if not why not?).

Martha’s blog is a good thing. Let’s not be in any hurry to stifle it or her creativity.

Recent comments by Dr Douglas McKenzie

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    More utter rubbish from Lynda Henderson. Have you actually spoken to Bob Allen? Whoever told you the story sold you a pup and in your arrogance you cannot admit to be wrong so you make up this story that he was persuaded not to resign.

    Your position is completely untenable.

  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    I’m afraid you condemn yourself by your own words. I don’t think that anyone reading what you have written here and the language you have used would conclude anything other than that you have a deep dislike for Mr Russell and that dislike is leading you to basically lose all sense of either proportion or impartiality. It doesn’t matter how well (or otherwise) you know Mr Russell you are clearly exercised by your interpretation of his actions and it is leading you well beyond the pale in what I would consider fair comment.

    This vendetta against Mr Russell and the SNP is destroying FA’s credibility and I have to confess that I’m seriously considering whether or not to continue reading FA (which will cheer Malcolm up if nothing else). I for one am becoming increasingly disenchanted by the constant negativity and sheer nastiness that has crept into this blog. I say that with a lot more sorrow than anger because I think that FA could have been great and indeed still could but there has to be a degree of balance, civility and indeed humour. All we are getting here is bile and it is causing me heartburn.

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    To be honest, this post clearly shows that you are speaking from your personal dislike of Mr Russell rather than an unbiased analysis of the man. Phrases such as “publicity hungry coward” are well beyond what is reasonable comment.
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    You don’t seem to understand the separation of a MSP’s duty to his or her constituency and their responsibilities as a Government Minister.

    Yet again, this is another instance where a member of the Government can do no right: speak up and be condemned as “desperate” or stay silent and be accused of not serving your constituents’ interests.

    It is just as well that Mr Russell has broad shoulders!

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