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Tony Grist

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Small-minded Bureaucracy [Jun. 15th, 2012|11:40 am]
Tony Grist
Does a local council have the power to stop a child posting pictures of her school dinners on her blog? The one in this story thinks it does.

The blog is politely critical, charming, responsible and constructive. It has an international readership. The girl's school is supportive. Only the Council objects.

There's a certain type of jack-in-office that hates any kind of scrutiny- and never saw an independent initiative it didn't want to squash.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2012-06-15 10:34 am (UTC)
She is a food critic. They pay that idiot AA Gill to do what she is doing. It is a freedom of speech issue!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 11:00 am (UTC)
It certainly is.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2012-06-15 11:51 am (UTC)
Tar. Feathers. Widespread shame upon the heads of town council.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 01:26 pm (UTC)
Amen
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-06-15 12:38 pm (UTC)
The BBC article said that catering staff feared for their jobs and this was the basis for the council's decision. I suppose it's not surprising that The Torygraph neglected to mention it. Who cares about low-income wage earners, when there's a celebrity cause to flog and a government bureaucracy to demonize?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 01:26 pm (UTC)
All the Council had to do was assure the dinner ladies that their jobs were safe.

The call for their sacking came, not from the blogger, but from some idiot journalist on The Daily Record.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-06-15 03:14 pm (UTC)
If this were happening in the States, it would be safe to assume that it was an attempt to rubbish the school lunch program in the name of privatization. Since Rupert Murdoch sets the political agendas in both our countries, it's naturally tempting to assume the worst.

For the record, I agree that the girl should not be censored. It's a free-speech issue. I just doubt that things are always as they seem at first glance.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 03:31 pm (UTC)
School meals are a big issue over here, but it's about nutrition, not privatization- at least I think it is.
The TV chef, Jamie Oliver, has been banging on for years about how we need to feed our children right.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-06-16 11:46 am (UTC)
You no doubt have a better feel for the issues than I do, but I don't trust the Tories.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2012-06-15 01:19 pm (UTC)
Apparently the council has now backed down. Such is the power of Twitter.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 01:27 pm (UTC)
Excellent. I thought that would happen.
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2012-06-15 01:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, I heard the Head of the Council doing a swift U-turn on World at One at lunchtime. However, as michaleen said, it's more complicated than many people have tried to make out and the real problem was her blog going global in the first place. If she'd just been blogging to a few local friends and family, I don't imagine anyone would have bothered, but when people all around the world start criticising the school and the staff for things that are outside their power to change, it all got serious and the council were in a lose-lose situation. If they told her to stop, they'd be pilloried and if they allow her to continue they'd have to deal with all the issues that caused.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 01:40 pm (UTC)
Well, yes, who'd have thought this modest little blog would have gone viral.

But, really, whatever the complexity of the issues, shutting it down was an act of oppression- and enormously stupid.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2012-06-15 07:03 pm (UTC)

Yes

They should have explained the exact reasons rather than the usual waffle. A population who has been pushed around, lied to and bullied by the collective Them is bound to think the worst. And using "refute" on the first line of their statement when they meant "deny" put my teeth on edge.

I don't know if you've seen the injustice I've talked about on my blog, but it's along similar lines, though far more extreme. There's also this unpleasant story about Apple pulling an app which a lovely disabled little girl depends on to speak...
http://niederfamily.blogspot.ie/2012/03/goliath-v-david-aac-style.html

I'm tired of Them throwing their weight about and thinking it's ok not to bother explaining why to the people They hurt, again and again and fucking again.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-15 07:35 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes

The trouble is "They" are paranoid. They interpret even friendly criticism as attack. Power does this to people. I've always thought a lot of trouble could be prevented in this world if those in authority would only lighten up a bit and learn to say, "Sorry, we'll do better next time."
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2012-06-16 09:13 am (UTC)

Re: Yes

Personally at this point in my life I am happy to bring on the trouble. I want Them taken down, wherever They manifest themselves. They've laughed at us often enough while screwing us and I'm not in a gentle self-indulgent mood any more.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-16 01:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes

Nobody should be allowed to become too comfortable in the seat of power. It's bad for them and it's bad for us.
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