Op-Ed: Scots schoolgirl raises £56,237.42 for charity after end of ban

Posted Jun 16, 2012 by Paul Wallis
The sour has turned sweet since the Argyll and Bute Council revoked the ban on Martha Payne’s blog NeverSeconds and some timely support from Jamie Oliver. The blog’s charitypage, Mary’s Meals, has now raised a lot more money.
Martha Payne  food blogger
Martha Payne, food blogger
Martha Payne
The story was interesting in a very Scottish way, as ABC Australia reports:
But after a public outcry council leader Roddie McCuish reversed the decision.
"Well, we didn't think it was a good idea at all, actually, to ban the photos - and we would encourage Martha to continue doing what she's doing," he said.
He said staff had feared for their jobs, but he admitted there might have been an overreaction.
Martha's blog has now had well over 4 million visits.
Scots will recognize the sound of doors opening and closing and some justice in this result. (My family are Mackenzies, so this is a considered Highlander opinion, coming from Australia or not.) Apparently, the ancient Scottish custom of measuring respect by hip pocket values hasn’t quite vanished, despite many rather pointed requests from Scots for the last few thousand years.
The bureaucratic stupidity also appears to have been quite healthy and as cowardly as usual-
1. Always do everything possible to discourage honesty in children.
2. Never admit a mistake when you can blame someone else, particularly if that someone else happens to be a little girl.
The inevitable public fury did quite a lot of good for Martha’s blog and McCuish, thankfully, apparently undid the damage before Argyll and Bute became the most despised council in Scotland, an unenviable distinction. It seems that Veg/Martha’s blog and its sister site Mary’s Meals has become a cause celebre in a big way.
The picture in question was of a meal which begged for an honest opinion. You can see the picture on Martha’s blog, Sherene Chen-See’s DJ article and on the ABC article.
Anyway, back to the huge achievements by a little girl- That £56,237.42 is eight times the original target of £7,000 set by Martha. This achievement makes her more useful to the human race than the 5 billion “adults” endlessly whining about the state of the world and doing nothing about it.
Donations can still be made to Mary’s Meals. (They take PayPal donations, too, DJs.)