Tag Archives: Never Seconds

Plain as parritch

Today is World Porridge Day – 10/10 every year.

Mary's Meals: A cold volunteer Along at the east end of Princes Street this cold morning, determined to stay till the porridge runs out, were three volunteers for Mary’s Meals, celebrating World Porridge Day and collecting to feed children going to school in Malawi.

Porridge or parritch is a variant pronounciation of pottage – both soup and porridge are, in Scots, plural nouns. The porridge I ate (with raisins and guilt-free for-a-good-cause golden syrup) was probably not the halesome parritch of the Cottar’s Saturday Night. But it was tasty.
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Filed under About Food, Sustainable Politics

Scotland’s Food Programme

What does everyone know about Scottish food?

It’s the haggis. And the whisky. And the deep fried Mars bars.

Scots eat unhealthy food, get drunk, and our iconic national dish is made of the bits of the sheep that you’d have needed to be drunk and hungry to think worth eating.
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Filed under About Food, Bread, Grains, of Edinburgh, Oil, Photographs, Politics, Supermarkets, Sustainable Politics

Our constitution, July 2012: Social rights

1. Enhanced constitutional rights (b) Social rights (right to universal healthcare, education)

The right to work, and to be paid for your work, is a radical demand in the UK at the moment (see Economic Rights) also A day’s work for a day’s pay:

How is it that wanting a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work has become a left-wing, radical/revolutionary value? Iain Duncan Smith notoriously called Cait Reilly “snooty” for expecting to be paid to work in Poundland – though he himself continued to draw his MP’s salary and expenses during the six months he took off work in 2009 to care for his wife when she had breast cancer.

Social rights are good for the individual, but they’re also good for the general welfare.

Article 25: (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Healthcare: what you need, when you need it, free at point of access Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Elections, Equality, Healthcare, Housing, Scottish Constitution, Scottish Culture, Scottish Politics, Tuition fees

School Dinners? Dog’s Breakfast

Argyll and Bute council have formally responded to the stushie over the Never Seconds blog.

Before we move on to their response, let’s consider a thoughtful and informed reaction to the ban on VEG taking photos of her lunch and posting them on her blog, by professional photographer Paul Clarke.

Paul Clarke wrote:

Quite sensibly, many non-public locations carry with them restrictions on photography. I very much imagine that schools fall into this category (let’s do the full public/private/who-paid-for-it space analysis another day, hey?). If I, as a photographer – even one visiting my kids – walked in during a normal school day and started firing off shots, even if they weren’t of children, I’d be very likely to be hauled up for it.

And I think that’s ok. A general presumption that “everywhere is ok for a photo” might satisfy some people’s urges for blanket transparency, but there’s no doubt that it would change the character of some spaces that we’d previously thought of as “reserved” in some way. (School as a “child reserve” – there’s a thought.)

He’s quite right. A primary school should have stringent guidelines about photographs being taken. Continue reading

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Filed under About Food, Scottish Politics

School Dinners and Spygate

Why have Argyll and Bute Council been so foolishly high-handed with such a brilliant blog as Never Seconds? Explanation could lie in Spygate, which if you don’t live in the Argyll area, you probably don’t remember or never heard of.

I think Never Seconds is one of the most important Scottish food blogs. It hasn’t been going very long (first post 8th May 2012) and it’s a very simple and very effective concept and it was clearly making a real difference – both at the school and in the wider Scottish discussion about what children get to eat at school.

As Maryn McKenna says at Wired.com:

Can we all agree how monumentally stupid this is?

Here we have a kid who got excited enough about feeding children well that she not only changed the food in her own district — within two weeks, officials were allowing children in her school to have “unlimited salads, fruit and bread,” which apparently was the policy all along only someone forgot to say so — but also got children around the world excited about their lunches too.

Every day VEG goes to school, she gets a meal for which her parents pay £2. (If you want to find out roughly how much Argyll and Bute spend on each school meal they serve, the Scottish Government’s data is here.) And she takes a photo of it. She’s not the first photo blogger to do that and she started doing it because her parents assumed she was exaggerating about how bad the school meals were.

It seems everyone who had school dinners remembers hating them. (I was a vegetarian back before Scottish schools did a vegetarian option: I went home for lunch or had sandwiches, so my memory of school dinners is the glorious smell of chips. Mmm, chips. And then not getting any.) But then you leave school and well, they couldn’t have been that bad, could they? Continue reading

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Filed under About Food, Education, Epetitions, Scottish Culture, Scottish Politics