That’s interesting Ronnie, I too would like know …

Comment posted NeverSeconds: time to let Martha Payne recover anonymity by Jnr Tick.

That’s interesting Ronnie, I too would like know why this is the case. When you say ‘quite diffferent’ can you elaborate? Are those meals on the island more nutritious, do they look more appetising? is there more choice? larger portions? Of course, these opinions on meals are all subjective as quality, how appetising etc. are not particularly easy to quantify.

Jnr Tick also commented

  • There appear to be two parties at fault in this debacle, A&B Council and a few national rags who are deviod of the ability to be reasoned and impartial. I think it was pretty obvious why these newspapers were so selective in portraying this situation in such a sensationalist and negative light, it suits their political agendas at the expense of a very well meaning child not to mention staff who prepare and cook meals with the budgets they have year in year out. This ban on photographing meals in the dinner hall could surely have been reversed without all the hype and mass media attention had the individual who made this decision appreciated that censorship, especially of an extremely productive and as mentioned well meaning child is something alien to Scotland. Maybe the staff at the school could have been given more reassurance that they were not at risk of losing their jobs, that it was merely reckless and thoughtless media attention. How refreshing to see Councillor McCuish on TV this morning holding his hands up admitting A&B Council had got it wrong, a rare thing in politics these days be it local or National. If only more politicians would do the same considering the gravity and serious repercussions of some mistakes made. Instead we get the usual predictable spin applied to their faux pas, shifting the blame.

Recent comments by Jnr Tick

  • Totty rocks as new FM elected at Holyrood
    “JnrTick is incapable of understanding that there are two sides to everything. I have friends who were there and can assure you, it was mutual.”

    It’s just the 60 or so thousand Scotland supporters decided to whisper their anti English bile then?

  • Totty rocks as new FM elected at Holyrood
    Listening to Radio 4 tonight the account of a lady who thanks to Maggie, purchased her council house in London for 19 grand then went on to sell for 700 grand. Shocking.
  • Totty rocks as new FM elected at Holyrood
    Maybe I don’t spend as much of my time on here as you, however, when visiting I have yet to see any of the contributors who share my political view to refer to anyone else as a Scottish bastard or and English bastard. Had I encountered the sort of language displayed by many of the travelling support at the Scotland England game it would have taken a huge amount of restraint not to condemn on here.

    You’ve clearly come across these racist terms used on here, care to cite any such instances?

  • Totty rocks as new FM elected at Holyrood
    Yes, fair point. I did raise it as this game would have been viewed by a huge audience yet to the best of my knowledge not a single report of this chant has appeared in the papers. Yesterday I read the mother in law’s Daily Record and saw about four readers views in the Record’s comments page quite rightly condemning the booing of the national anthems but absolutely zilch regarding the much more serious racist chants from the stands. If the words Paki Bastard were used instead of Scottish bastard can you just imagine the outcry?
    This article, although unrelated to my point, was petty, it smacked of desperation when there are actually some more important issues nationally that are worth commenting on. It is true also to remind contributors and visitors on here that this site chose to wrongly misrepresent the YES campaign as being intolerant, nasty, violent, anti-English Scottish Nationalists. How far off the mark was that?
    In the interests of balance I’ll continue to attempt to highlight issues this site may be uncomfortable reporting.
  • Totty rocks as new FM elected at Holyrood
    ‘Objectionable’

    Couldn’t possibly let you into that top secret

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44 Responses to That’s interesting Ronnie, I too would like know …

  1. Pingback: The story of Martha Payne: a food fight these bossy bureaucrats were never … – Telegraph.co.uk | Preston News, Weather, Jobs, and Hotels

  2. Thank you for the support for the lovely dinnerladies at Lochgilphead…they have done done nothing to deserve the onslaught that they (on their minimum) wage have faced! This whole nonesense has been extremely damaging for the community of Lochgilphead….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • The dinner ladies were clearly ‘caught in the middle’, but have they really faced an onslaught, or is it mainly the last 24 hours intense publicity triggered by the council and aggravated by the irresponsibility of the Daily Record? Surely most people could see straight through this ‘newspaper’ and out the other side, and well beyond Lochgilphead anyone with half a brain knows full well it’s not the dinner ladies dictating the school meals policy. The Daily Mail was also selective in picking the original headline pictures, leaving out the healthier meal that Martha had also photographed. Both papers seem to have prioritised sensationalism over balanced reporting, and a bit of peace and quiet now sounds like a very good idea. I was absolutely amazed at the comments that the dinner ladies were left in tears at the press coverage, in fear of losing their jobs and even worried about being seen in the streets of Lochgilphead. It’s not the Salem Witch Trial all over again, is it? Having said that, there’s a very distinct distortion of Isaac Newton’s theory that every action causes an equal and opposite reaction – when it comes to the rapid spread of a sensational story in the age of the internet, every action seems all too often to be met with an unequal and excessive reaction.

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  3. What a load of rubbish! It is wonderful that people are able to raise issue through social media, children should not be eating the crap that is fed to them and the dinner ladies should refuse to serve it if they had any sense about them!

    Your comment that “Then there will be worries about the consequences of what Martha might turn her attention to next. It will do this child no good at all for her teachers to start to worry what she may say about their teaching styles or how she might grade them.” is so ridiculous, you are clearly a very scared fuddy duddy who is afraid of change and what could happen if more wonderful people like Martha were in the world!

    Children should absolutely be taught to question what is wrong with this society and feel empowered enough to make changes – average teachers should be held to account as should GP’s who don’t care about patients and city council who are not doing what the people want.

    Viva la Revolution Martha

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  4. Pingback: Argyll News: It’s goodbye from Martha as Council switches off her dinnercam | For Argyll

  5. Lets face it, if the council had done its job properly, Martha’s blog would only be being read by her family and a few friends, the sooner the council sorts its self out, the sooner Martha will recover her anonymity.

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  6. I think Martha’s parents are making a good job of things without anyone’s help. They defended the dinner ladies and the school and the family obviously discussed positive ways to look at the original publicity. The raising of so much money is no doubt what they will focus on. Given that they could not have predicted vast media interest or the council’s reaction, they seem to have responded by making a positive from every negative. You can’t do better than that.

    The idea that they’re somehow enemies of the dinner ladies is misguided. It was that appalling rag the Daily Record that slated them. I have no doubt the whole community of Argyll knows the dinner ladies are good, hard working people and it seems from Martha’s blog that the parents were at pains to defend both them and the school. Hopefully now everyone can move forward in the same positive way that Martha has.

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  7. Pingback: Ban on Scottish school lunch blog lifted after online outcry – AFP | Lenta Asia

    • Of course they are and of course we do. Have we said otherwise?

      But this does have to come to an end sometime.

      The end of the school year and Mary’s Meals helped as hugely as they’ve been could not provide a better punctuation mark.

      It’s called ‘an exit strategy’.

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  8. I just worry for Martha and the dinnerladies….all this stress and bother is not nice for anyone to have to deal with (including for Martha’s family) – and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it. The blog is a great idea but unfortunately it is the ensuing publicity and arguments that it has caused that is hurting people. The dinnerladies are great and Martha’s idea was a really good one….but if it is now causing distress it might be time to stop.

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  9. could not disagree more.
    There is a nationwide issue about School Meals.
    What Martha is doing is getting children talking about what they are eating ! This should be encouraged and expanded.
    This is GOLD that none of the celebrities have succeeded in doing.
    She is questionning WHERE her meat comes from – GOOD – if the council cannot provide a satisfactory answer, then they should work harder.
    She is highlighting that some meal choices are good and some are not. GOOD – let the council take that on board and improve the choices.
    She is challenging her fellow students – her choices are far better than some will be. GOOD – let her continue to be a good example.
    And far more importantly she is learning how to stick at something, not be a 1 day wonder; she is learning to engage with other children around the globe; she is learning that some things do not change over night because life is more complicated than that; but that one person CAN make a difference with words…
    Oh, and the fine Dinner Ladies – let the council do their job as employers and ensure that there is a full dialogue with them to make the neccesary improvements and to ensure that they are happy and secure in their jobs.

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  10. How much more evidence do councillors need to fire Clueless Sneddon? Great publicity wheeze by the dad expecting blundering Sneddon to charge in but pity the poor manipulated child. Been following the blog and its obvious dad is writing or guiding the entries. Mary’s meals is the winner so not all tawdry. Didn’t some parents in US get prosecuted for something similar.

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    • Just for the record, people can hear Mr Sneddon being interviewed at length on BBC Radio5live at 11.25 yesterday (friday) morning and can draw their own conclusions.

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  11. Wouldn’t the budget for school dinners go further if a good one course meal were concentrated on? I’m sure kids get enough sugar that they don’t need pudding at school.

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  12. It was all going to come to a natural end in the next week or two anyway (end of school term & start of summer holidays), which makes the decision by the Council to try and ban it all the more incredulous.

    Mum & Dad appear to be trying really hard to protect Martha from everything, which should only be applauded. They have consistently praised the school and all of the staff in the school.

    If the dinner ladies are feeling threatened that is the responsibility of the educational department to address appropriately by offering extra support to the dinner ladies and informing them very clearly that the issue is with the Authority and not the role of dinner lady.

    And if they are being threatened in the streets of Lochgilphead, that’s more about the mentality of some of the people in Lochgilphead rather than anything to do with Martha’s blog.

    If Mum and Dad can continue to protect her for the next week or so, I think it is important for Martha to be able to finish her project. She is only nine years old, no matter how you explain to her the events surrounding her blog she could still worry that she had done something wrong if it is stopped abruptly. And the one person who has done absolutely nothing wrong is Martha.

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  13. ‘It’ll all end in tears’ – absolutely not.

    Nick Nairn and Michael Russell have both committed to work together to turn this unfortunate episode into something positive. Why can’t Argyll and Bute be part of that positive change.

    Councillor McCuish should invite them both for a meeting and commit Argyll and Bute Council to being the lead Authority responsible for rolling out any changes.

    When Nick Nairn and Co have decided what changes should be made they will probably want to work with some dinner ladies directly to test out how best to make the meals. Once tested, they will also need help to demonstrate to the other dinner ladies in the county (and possibly beyond)how to prepare and cook the new meals. Who better to do this than the excellent dinner ladies at Lochgilphead High School.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • “When Nick Nairn and Co have decided what changes should be made they will probably want to work with some dinner ladies directly to test out how best to make the meals. Once tested, they will also need help to demonstrate to the other dinner ladies in the county (and possibly beyond)how to prepare and cook the new meals. ”

      This is a method already trialled successfully in England by Jamie Oliver & there is no reason why it couldn’t be equally successful here.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Exactly Barmore 2 and look at how successful that series was. Not only did it highlight how difficult a dinner lady’s job can be, it helped everyone to understand that the major obstacles to change were nearly always further up the management tree and not at the grass roots.

        Nick Nairn certainly appears to be sincere in his commitment to try and do something positive but there must be a little bit of him thinking that this would be a fantastic opportunity for a TV series and I have a suspicion production companies will be queuing up to fund it. You could offer Mary’s Meals the opportunity to be the programme’s sponsor (free of charge).

        Martha and her Mum & Dad can have as much or little involvement as they like. They might even choose to have no involvement with it at all, but I think from reading Martha’s blog she would be happy for something like this to go ahead as it would hopefully only bring good.

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  14. I am a huge fan of free speech, but this slow motion train wreck, could easily be cited as an example to curtail all of our Liberties on the internet.
    Whilst raising money for charity, is always commendable, throwing dinnerladies to the wolves, who need to work like everyone else to feed their families, is nothing short of appalling.
    This is not the work of poor Martha, but the Father, who, with the planning and forethought of a chess master, has systematically played, the people, the council, and the school.
    Of course the school would request that no more photographs should be taken, in light of a certain tabloids headline! Would you not, if it happened to your business? Or if somebody wrote a blog about you??
    What if someone goes to every shop and business in town, and does exactly the same? Nobody looks good under a microscope.
    This blog was written with all the tact and grace, that one would expect from a certain tabloid newspaper, which thankfully is no more, for the same lack of good judgement.
    Really, does it need to have the likes of “Pieces of hair” listed for meals in which no hair was found? That, right there, coupled with the blatant misrepresentation of what is on offer at the school, is a tabloid sales pitch, if ever I saw one!
    If the computer savvy among you, were to take the time to download the images sent in as “examples” of school meals in other countries, especially the one that looks like it was taken by a professional, and examine its EXIF data, you will find that two were taken in 2011, and one was taken in 2007! Yet again, hardly a truthful representation.
    For those who aren’t aware, EXIF data tells you the make of camera used for the picture, along with date and time, and occasionally location.
    To all those people that jumped on the band wagon, without a single thought for the people, especially the dinnerladies, who are being consumed by the fallout, shame on you!
    I ask you again, if someone wrote a tactless, and overly critical blog about you, or a member of your family, how would YOU feel??

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    • The blog is clearly written by the child.
      It is a family education project that all the rest of us have abused.
      The dinner ladies are employed by the school..
      this blog is not “tactless, and overly critical blog” about ANY individual.
      The blog and the family have been supportive of and supported by the staff.
      The pics are great.. and the engagement that Martha is getting with folks around the world is inspiring.
      If the council cannot support their staff (the dinner ladies) then attack the council .. NOT a 9 year old.

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      • At NO point, in my post did I “attack” a 9 year old.
        I am sure that by now she feels quite helpless, regarding the way in which this has spun out of control.

        The fact remains, that it is out of control, and thanks to the media, the frantic fighting for “rights”, and the baying for the Councils blood, nobody stopped to think about the innocent people that have been caught in the crossfire.

        Nobody should be attacking anybody, and everybody should be supporting the dinnerladies.

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  15. Nice to see some of Martha’s photos chosen, with some great music, to back the closing credits on last night’s BBC2 Newsnight, with reference made to the ‘Streisand Effect’

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  16. Nothing of this issue is out of control. To say that it is is just alarmist nonsense. The blog has done an enormous amount of good which has been set against a small amount of bad stuff from bad people.

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  17. I stumbled across this thread from a link in Wired regarding Martha’s wonderful lunch menu musings. I must say that I find the conclusion arrived at in the anonymous commentary of “newsroom” that Martha must “put it to bed now” and recover the “liberating cloak of anonymity” is small-minded and nasty in its tone. “VEG” (Martha’s own pseudonym before Argyll & Bute decided to pull the plug on her interesting and inspirational blog), has found a voice within NeverSeconds that has allowed this 9-year-old to explore and share not only the minimalist portions of her own prison-style servings, but those of her peers from all over the world. It’s broadened the curiosity of this already bright young girl in terms of diet, culture and language.
    She has never been offensive about her portions, just honest. What is offensive is the shameful reaction of adults to her blog. The “kitchenladies” should not feel threatened. If they do it’s not because of the actions of Martha herself but the reactions of a cheap and sensationalist press and an over-zealous and protectionist council. Maybe knuckles should be rapped in the council or the school, and if they are it’s not because of Martha, but because of the bland, unhealthy and unenticing stodge that they are passing off as food.

    Martha is a credit to her parents, her school and to Scotland. She is entitled to keep this blog and I hope she does.

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    • Here we have a young child being manipulated by her scheming father, the press, the blogging vultures seeking to feed on any issue regarless of the truth, those who wish to use any opportunity to hound council employees. The truth is the loser in this affair. The newsroom made a very good point. Let’s not let little children jangle the keys of heaven. It does no good to them nor to our community.

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  18. 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.

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  19. There appear to be two parties at fault in this debacle, A&B Council and a few national rags who are deviod of the ability to be reasoned and impartial. I think it was pretty obvious why these newspapers were so selective in portraying this situation in such a sensationalist and negative light, it suits their political agendas at the expense of a very well meaning child not to mention staff who prepare and cook meals with the budgets they have year in year out. This ban on photographing meals in the dinner hall could surely have been reversed without all the hype and mass media attention had the individual who made this decision appreciated that censorship, especially of an extremely productive and as mentioned well meaning child is something alien to Scotland. Maybe the staff at the school could have been given more reassurance that they were not at risk of losing their jobs, that it was merely reckless and thoughtless media attention. How refreshing to see Councillor McCuish on TV this morning holding his hands up admitting A&B Council had got it wrong, a rare thing in politics these days be it local or National. If only more politicians would do the same considering the gravity and serious repercussions of some mistakes made. Instead we get the usual predictable spin applied to their faux pas, shifting the blame.

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    • If it transpires that ‘the individual who made this decision’ was responsible for any other historic mistakes that have brought the council into disrepute, the question would be whether the council is descending into an unseemly witch hunt / scapegoating exercise or whether there are senior staff who must be ‘let go’ if our council is to retain its credibility and public respect. Hard times ahead for the councillors.

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  20. Robert
    I think you have a mistype in your sentence
    “if our council is to retain its credibility and public respect.”
    If you replace “retain” with “regain” you would be closer to the mark.

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  21. So it is ok for you “big boys and girls” at FA to blog and comment as much as you like and to keep stories open for as long as you think them worthwhile, but not for this girl to do so?

    It is ok for her to do her little writing project but not to aspire to the stature of serious comment or worldwide attention?

    Don’t you see the irony here?

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  22. And…”"It will do this child no good at all for her teachers to start to worry what she may say about their teaching styles or how she might grade them.”

    Ho, ho, ho….. then the cat would really be amongst the pigeons and the sacred cows of our broken ejukashunal system might be put out for slaughter.

    Let the Director of Ejukashun defend the mindless boredom of many a school day.
    That would be really funny.

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    • This is a difficult one, Michael, a matter of fine judgment which we hope we’ve got as right as we can.
      You’ll have noticed that we have not published anything on the blog itself.

      Mary’s Meals thank you from the children of Lirangwe Primary in Malawi for the unexpected manna made possible by the funding the blog has generated requires to be made public.

      The professional public sector PR consultant’s evaluation of Argyll and Bute Council’s press release on Friday morning was a study of incapable public communications – an issue of general concern in relation to the council’s capability.

      And the song is a classic example of creative subversion. We feel that the repeated sound of the sung words ‘Argyll and Bute’ have made the name a toxic brand and foresee a swift move to Argyll and the Isles. (But only, we hope, when the product has reached a point of evolution where it does not intoxicate another brand.)

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  23. I know a dinner lady in a school on an island not that far away and she cooks up meals quite different from the ones described. On what, as far as I know is the same budget.

    Why the difference?

    I will try and find out.

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    • That’s interesting Ronnie, I too would like know why this is the case. When you say ‘quite diffferent’ can you elaborate? Are those meals on the island more nutritious, do they look more appetising? is there more choice? larger portions? Of course, these opinions on meals are all subjective as quality, how appetising etc. are not particularly easy to quantify.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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