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The dinner ladies were clearly ‘caught in the …

Comment posted NeverSeconds: time to let Martha Payne recover anonymity by Robert Wakeham.

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.

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • 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.
  • Nothing like hijacking stories and picking out the juicy bits to prove that Senator McCarthy was right all along (to put it briefly)
  • 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’
  • 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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