UK’s Big Brother – the uglyness of real life
The End of Innocence: When grown-ups live in Fantasy Land, they get scared of the truth and try to put a ban on it.
It started as a fun writing project — 9-year-old Martha Payne decided to blog each day about lunch at her school in Scotland, rating and photographing each meal.
Six weeks and more than 3 million page views later, her “NeverSeconds” blog has become an Internet sensation and provoked a minor political controversy.
The local government body — the Argyll and Bute Council — banned her from taking pictures in the dining hall, citing “the unwarranted attacks on its schools catering service which culminated in national press headlines which have led catering staff to fear for their jobs.”
Martha detailed her daily lunches, carefully scoring for taste, health rating, number of mouthfuls — and “pieces of hair” (usually none).
Other children from around the world — U.S. students among them — soon started to e-mail her their own school lunch descriptions and photos.
She has raised more than £25,000 ($39,000) for a Scottish charity, Mary’s Meals, which, she quotes her grandpa as saying, “feeds over 600,000 children in 16 countries, including Malawi, Liberia, Kenya and Haiti.”
In her final entry, posted Thursday, Martha writes: “This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.
“I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either.”
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- Argyll and Bute Council seek to silence 9 year old blogger (bigbrotherwatch.org.uk)
- Let them eat cake, but no cameras: British council gags 9 year old school lunch blogger (thenextweb.com)
- Scottish council muzzles 9-year-old school dinner photo blogger (go.theregister.com)
- Who’s afraid of a nine year old with a camera? (pixiq.com)
- School dinner blogger ‘banned’ (bbc.co.uk)
- 9-Year-Old Who Changed School Lunches Silenced By Politicians (wired.com)
- 9-Year-Old School Lunch Blogger Silenced By Politicians [Food] (gizmodo.com)
- Council bans 9 year old’s school dinner photo blog (libdemvoice.org)
- Argyll and Bute Council backs down on school dinners blog ban (libdemvoice.org)
- The 9-year-old school-dinner blogger is free again to photograph her school dinners. (althouse.blogspot.com)