Equal opportunities in Argyll and Bute

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

As Andy Stables has noted, the political slogan, equal opportunities – rather like the idea of sustainable development – is something of a contradiction, but that doesn't stop its being put into practice in some odd contexts.  A recent egregious example was by Council apparatchiks in Argyll & Bute when they decided that Martha Payne's blog, NeversSconds, needed to be silenced because it didn't give every school meal an equal chance to be seen by the blog's readers – Martha just showed pictures of the meals that she ate on her prison-style plastic tray.

The humourless Council said ...

The Council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the ‘never seconds’ blog for obvious reasons despite a strongly held view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils however this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing.  In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils, so a decision has been made by the Council to stop photos being taken in the school canteen.

As they couldn't actually ban Martha's blog, Council officers stopped her from taking pictures inside her school canteen to use in the blog.  Brilliant!   How they must have congratulated themselves as they thought up this Soviet-style solution to Martha the dissident (who's all of 9); bonuses expected all round, I should imagine, before Roddy McCuish, the SNP leader of the council, who knows a public relations disaster when he sees one, stepped up and put an end to the nonsense, insisting there was "no place for censorship" in Argyll & Bute.  Well, Huzzar for that!

The blog has now raised over £85,000 for the charity Mary's Meals, so let's hope that Martha gets top marks for citizenship to make up for what look like pretty duff school meals.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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