I glanced at the latest Internet craze, which is NeverSeconds, a Blog from a young schoolgirl who lives in Argyll. Seems that this enterprising young lady had decided to become a journalist, and therefore thought she needed writing practice; so wrote about her school dinners, including photographs. Her initial efforts were seen by a few, then more, until her photos of soggy croquettes and a stodgy piece of pizza went viral around the world. An unfortunate juxtaposition of a headline alongside a photo of young Martha caused the Council to ban her taking photographs of her food on School property. The reverse came within twenty-four hours as a torrent of abuse and comment landed foursquare on top of the Council.
So, all’s well that ends well? Not really, because I read some of Martha Payne’s blog postings, and you can see, within one small section of that unspoilt young lady’s prose, an underlying fear of the dead hand of officialdom, of legalistic bully-boys, of an autocratic elite who uses the Law to defend what they believe is theirs to control. She was maybe guided to write the words which she wrote by an adult, such as a teacher or her father, but the facts remain, she qualified her writing to avoid the possibility of upsetting or offending a group which should, in my own opinion, should not even be in existence.
The line which young Martha wrote, including the title was :-
If you think I have spelt Olympics wrong I haven’t! The word Olympics is copyrighted so the school would get a fine if we used it.