Petty bureaucrats roundly defeated by 9-year-old girl and her blog
Britain has reputation for terrible food. Maybe something has improved since I was at school. Maybe… but I have almost nightmarish memories of the gunge that was served up at school. Ask any true Brit and she’ll tell you that the worst part of bad English cooking is incontestably the school meals.
Martha Payne a.k.a. VEG is 9-year-old schoolgirl who’s been documenting her school meals on her blogNeverSeconds. She’s built up a big following and consequently she’s succeeded in improving the quality of the meals in her school, and also in raising a lot of cash for a kitchen in Africa.
On Thursday Argyll and Bute Council, the local authority responsible for Martha’s school meals, told her through her school that she couldn’t take photos of her lunch any more. Only later, under pressure, did they publish their reasons.
Perhaps predictably, the story of this shortsighted and ridiculous censorship went viral in both blogs and traditional media. There was outrage on Twitter and derision on the BBC. NeverSeconds had more than 4 million views and Martha’s goodbye post got over 2000 declarations of support. She raised enough money for 20 kitchens in Africa.
Yesterday Argyll and Bute capitulated and VEG can once again document how many hairs she finds in the stuff that’s served up to her.
I love stories like this. Powerful companies or politicians being defeated by ordinary people wielding social media to improve the world. Go and read Martha’s blog. The directness and candour with which she writes makes it easy to understand how she built up such a following and why Argyll and Bute Council should have thought twice before picking a fight with her. Power to you VEG.