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The Godfather of the Rotherham MO-Brap scene

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Episode 4- No Fun

Jamie’s Ministry of Food was a massive success in Rotherham.

 

 

 

Such a spectacular success that the whole nation is ready to follow our lead and join the movement.

 

 

I know this, because TV told me.

 

 

Forget all the stat’s, the evidence, the government reports, the science, everything you have ever experienced in real life:

 

 

Pass it On is the only way we can effectively tackle obesity.

 

 

 

In fact, forget all that, because even when months have been edited into four hours- it has been impossible to show the campaign working.

 

 

 

Forget all that- TV told me how to judge if Ministry of Food has been a success. If he could get a few people to come to a party with free admission and free food on a nice Summers day- that would prove Pass it On was a winner.

 

 

 

Before the final acid test- we were given clear signs that the tide was turning. Bramall, a huge building firm used to handling multi million pound contracts, bought a hob for their staff room. Firm proof- and there’s more..

 

“Meanwhile a new company, 2010, with 640 employees has decided to come on board”.

 

 

 

Impressive- unless you know that 2010 are an ALMO, wholly owned and controlled by Rotherham Borough Council to look after their housing stock. So the council, who by this time are up to their necks in the failing scheme, prop it up yet again.

 

 

 

The All Saints Square HQ was buzzing too. 30 volunteers. Now that is impressive. Anyone with experience of volunteering will know how hard it is to get people involved. It must be a pretty inspirational gig that can pull 30 unpaid foot soldiers so quickly. This impression was slightly spoiled by them being shown not to know the basic idea behind the scheme. It looked like they’d signed up for “get to meet Jamie Oliver”. If the scheme is rolled out to other areas without the meet the celeb option- recruitment may well be problematic.

 

 

 

Forget the negativity though. We are told that the HQ has become a cauldron of activity and that it’s getting busier and busier every day. The word unbelievable is thrown about a lot. I can confirm that the impression given is not to be believed.

 

 

 

Forget that- get on board. All down to Herringthorpe for the big party. Free food, free entry, free stuff for the kids to do on a Saturday afternoon and, most importantly, an appearance by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

 

 

 

In my experience: if you want to show a big crowd- you shoot it from a distance in a wide shot. If you want to make a smallish crowd look bigger- you keep everything nice and tight so the screen is always full. Even when he took his little crew up on the slope- the camera kept tight on them to block out the wide open spaces behind.

 

 

Strangely, I got a warm feeling at the end of the show. It was inevitable that Rotherham Borough Council would pony up. To be honest- we were lucky to get off with a quarter of a million (for now). The warmth came from a strong sense of solidarity I felt with the people of Hull and Bradford. We are not alone. They too seem to be ruled by the same type of celeb worshipping drones. A burger on the playing fields and a photo opp’ with Jamie and they couldn’t wait to empty the public purse at his feet.

 

 

None of the neighbouring boroughs showed. If it was such a huge hit in Rotherham- surely an obesity hotspot like Barnsley would be eager to sign on the dotted line. Maybe they have got bogged down with all that boring listening to experts and coming up with a coherent strategy that some nerd politicians do. Them with their booming town centre and Digital Media Centre. What a bunch of squares. They should get down with Dolly and Jamie like our kool kats.

 

 

Or maybe they’ve seen what’s really been happening in Rotherham and steered clear.

 

 

So, that’s at least £250,000 worth of public money and counting. How much has Jamie’s Ministry of Food Ltd kicked in?

How much of the spin off book money is going into the “movement”?

Have a guess.

 

 

 

The damage to the image of the town may cost us even more in the long run. New descriptions in the press this week were “fat town Rotherham” and “Roly Poly” Rotherham.

 

The national spotlight does not shine on our town very often.

 

 

Mud sticks.

 

 

Kebabs for kids, cheesy chips, men who have never cooked in thirty years, hoists for 55 stone patients: to the ABC1 target audience,this is Rotherham without Jamie.

 

 

 

This was not an accident.

 

 

 

The final piece of voice over , delivered by Timothy Spall:

 

“…thousands of new cooks, who had never boiled an egg are making meals for their families and loving it.”

 

 

How did our poor simple town ever manage before he came?

 

 

Jamie will move on now. His next project is looking after the welfare of pigs. No scope for gags about Rotherham there then. He’ll only come back here to slag us off if the council stop funding his folly.

 

 

 

 

Of course he’ll continue to advertise a company that is one of the major suppliers of the fizzy drinks and ready meals he denounces. An organisation that encourages car use and chokes the life out of independent grocers.

 

 

 

So, public money earmarked to tackle obesity in Rotherham goes into a useless cooking scheme designed to promote Jamie Oliver.

 

 

 

Supermarkets such as Sainsburys are prime suspects when it comes to pushing products and lifestyle choices which are related to obesity, but he still happily promotes them and lines his pockets. 

 

  

 

Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?

Episode 3- Healthy Town

Sorry if you usually read this for laughs: some proper politics this time.

As Peter Kay found this week- it is hard to get laughs out of something that is ridiculous in it’s own right.

I know some people who went to the Magna event. All of them had an ace time. All of them could cook already- but so what. I mean; showing someone how to throw a load of stuff into a wok isn’t teaching them to cook is it?

 

Tonight’s confusing hotch potch of sponsored T-Shirts was all about Healthy Towns.

This document, dated July 7th (immediately before the Magna event), concerns the joint bid by Rotherham Borough council and the PCT for Healthy Town status.

Healthy Towns is a new government initiative. They are chucking £30 million into the kitty- with up to £5 million available to each local authority selected.  The selection criteria:

Evidence that achieving a healthy weight for all is a shared local priority.

Evidence of a commitment to creating a ‘Healthy Town’.

Senior level commitment in the PCT and across the local authority (political
and officer), with a proven record of partnership working.

Clear demonstration of the links between obesity and other policy priorities.

 

Rotherham’s council’s idea:

Early thinking also suggests that we have at least two ongoing initiatives
which both demonstrate our intent and commitment and our ability to be bold and innovative. These initiatives are:

1. Rotherham Renaissance

2. Ministry of Food: the developments brought forward by Jamie Oliver’s
presence in the Borough will ensure that the healthy eating agenda is
high on the local agenda. We will need to build and build on this
momentum.

 

So- the Ministry of Food is the key part of the council’s strategy to win £5 million of funding.

After the Magna event- we are shown the opening of the Ministry shop in All Saints Square and told:

“Council leader Roger Stone, who mastered beef stir fry in the steelworks, has come to take a look”.

The impression is that he was blown away by the event and the enthusiasm for the scheme that he has witnessed.

 

Jamie says:

“At the moment, I’m paying for the Ministry of Food”-

then says he hopes to

hand the baton to Roger and the rest of the council, who will take it over”.

 

For a start, at least £125,000 of public money has gone into the Ministry of Food- but we’ll leave that one. In the edited scene, the newly converted Roger Stone is talking about how the scheme will be a positive influence.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7399449.stm

Follow the above link to see the fake opening of the centre again (it was edited to appear like the real opening on TV and the strong suggestion was it happened immediately after Magna). On the top of the page is the date- Tuesday, 13 May 2008 . The centre actually opened on Monday 23rd June- a month later. Two months later – Magna happened. Roger Stone proudly talked about the stir fry he’d cooked and said how the Pass it On scheme “hit all the buttons for us”.

 

As we know- by the time Magna happened – the success of the Ministry of Food was central to the council’s bid for £5 million.  Even though the whole idea behind the scheme is so obviously doomed to failure- the council have no choice but to stay on board and back it to the bitter end. The TV show has been edited to imply that a skeptical Roger Stone has been won over after witnessing the project in action at Magna. In reality- he was cheerleading for the scheme from the off and his delight at the Magna event was just a continuation.

To me this looks like a misrepresentation of the facts. Were the council fully aware of how the show would be edited and went along with it willingly or did they just blindly support Jamie and trust him to do the right thing?

 

As they have placed so much faith in the scheme- you would expect that they have had some input. The images of kebabs being forced down kids and references to people living on crisps and chocolate have been repeated in each episode. The portrayal of Rotherham people has been appalling. No one is allowed to be considered a normal human until Jamie saves them. The most sickening example came this week- when he got people up on stage at Aston Hall in front of their families and said:

“Tell them where you were and where you’ve gone.”

Followed by:

“I’ve changed their lives- as brilliant as that is…”

 

Jamie even wore a Tyrell Corp cap when he visited KP Nuts. Tyrell Corp are the firm that manufacture replicants in Bladerunner. Was that a coincidence, or a nod to the audience that he is a genius who creates new people from nothing?

 

I believe that the negative images of Rotherham will have pretty much cancelled out any ground gained by RIDO in attracting inward investment. Who would possibly want to do business in a town full of characters like the ones shown on TV?

 

Have the council collaborated with Jamie Oliver on this?

 

Did they know he was going to paint a negative picture of the town and go with it. By making us a byword for obesity and stupidity- they may have thought they would get the £5 million by default.

 

The other possibility is- they went along in good faith and gave Jamie Oliver unquestioning support and got stitched up.

 

Check the section in the hospital this week; bearing in mind that the PCT is in for a chunk of the £5 million if the bid succeeds. Jamie is supposedly there on private biz- when two conveniently hot chick doctors conveniently :

“drag Jamie away to show him supersize beds for Rotherham’s growing obesity problem”.

 

They and spec’s bloke then bombard us with stories of a town in peril. 3000 obese kids, 55 stone people, hoists to get out of bed- does this sound like Rotherham to you?

It does if you only know us through Jamie vision.

Jamie poses the killer question:

“Do you think that teaching kids how to cook…home cook basic food is critical in this”.

DOCTOR: “Yeah, absolutely, yeah, definitely”.

 

The Department for Works and Pensions  would disagree- citing reduction in activity levels  to be the most important factor in the rapid rise in obesity levels. They also bang on about the advertising and marketing of high-density processed and convenience foods with high sugar, salt and fat content- but they haven’t got a TV show and a scooter- so they don’t count

Was this incident stage managed and edited by the crew to support the message of the Ministry of Food?

 

Was this an example of the PCT deliberately painting a negative picture of the town in order to win funding?

 

If the council and the PCT have been stitched up in the edit suite – they should speak out about it.

If they have knowingly collaborated in doing the town down- they will get their comeuppance soon. It’s pretty clear to see that the Pass it On scheme is a dud. When it goes tits up- do you think that Jamie’s going to take the blame or pass the buck? Which side of the story will the media run with?

 

———————————————————————————–

 

I can sense some disquiet among my loyal readers:

If Rotherham stands to get £5 million from the government- why not keep schtum?

If they get the dosh- they have to match it from their own coffers.

I believe that everyone knows what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s down to the individual.

What will Rotherham council spend the ring fenced £10 million quid on? My guess is drawing a few cycle lanes on maps and lots and lots of meetings. And the Ministry of Food naturally.

They may as well chuck it in the sea off Iceland.

Or spend their £5million on proper local services.

The OK List

As the Ministry of Food is imploding before our very eyes- it isn’t even much fun having a dig anymore.

The star cut a bit of a sorry figure as he mooched about flogging his book this week.

So to give the Vicky Pollard lookalike a break- here’s a few of positive things you can find out about.

Let’s Get Cooking      (Website)

“Over the next five years Let’s Get Cooking will be setting up a network of 5,000 cooking clubs across England, for children their families and the wider community.

3,000 new cooking clubs will receive funding for cooking equipment and club running costs, training for adult helpers and a range of resources.

Existing cooking clubs could come on board as one of our 2,000 associate clubs and receive resources, support and a limited amount of funding.

All clubs will receive a Let’s Get Cooking activity pack each term full of recipes and ideas for cooking activities involving parents and the wider community, resources such as newsletters, seasonal food wall charts, food safety advice, child-friendly versions of recipes and much more. All clubs will set up their own club website and have access to downloadable resources and advice”.

Unbelievable eh? Fancy trying to get a cooking network off the ground without humiliating people. It’s not even on telly- so you’re just going to attract a load of boring people who want to learn how to cook instead of playing up for the camera. And – NO BOOK: they’re giving the recipes away- mugs.

Surprised Jamie’s best mate Prince Charles didn’t mention this to him. Prince’s Trust is one of the major backers.

 

Food Aware CIC – a local community concern who aim to distribute food rejected by supermarkets for not being pretty enough and stuff (I hope I’m not blinding you with science) are holding an event in town:

“The Food AWARE ”pass it on’ event will definitely be taking place NEXT TUE (14th Oct) 10am to 12pm in Rotherham town centre.

Thanks to those of you who have offered to volunteer their time. If you could email me at foodaware@hotmail.com to confirm your availability on Tue morning. We will be meeting in All Saints Square at 10am. We will be handing out free ‘5-a-day’ bags of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, apples, pears etc to encourage healthier eating & cooking!”

Sounds good to us. Supermarkets throwing away perfectly good fresh produce because it doesn’t fit in with their slick marketing campaigns. The ultimate symbol of our trash society that values image over substance. Anyone would be in favour of this; except possibly someone who gets a big lump of dosh from their slick marketing campaigns. Someone who is the personification of our trash society that values image over substance. Who know’s – Jamie may turn up in support but it would mean he doing things he never does: criticizing supermarkets and visiting Rotherham without getting paid.

 

Want a simple recipe book from a top chef who doesn’t hate the working class?

Feel happier buying a book when the publisher says all royalties will go to the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development rather than on Range Rovers ?

 

“At a time when money worries are front-page news, Britain’s most trusted cook, Delia Smith, is once again on hand with a wide range of tasty recipes that are cheap and easy to prepare. Being frugal can be fun once you’ve learned a few simple tricks, among them: / buying fresh produce when it’s in season / replacing more expensive ingredients with humbler alternatives / experimenting with different cuts of meat / being creative with leftovers. Thirty years on, the message of Delia’s Frugal Food has never seemed more relevant. With some 170 recipes, from luxury soups to paupers’ puddings, this new illustrated edition shows you how to eat well without having to spend a fortune”.

Amazon link

Article

Delia’s Cooking School- Free Online Recipes For Novices

 

I can’t comment on the Jamie Oliver book- (not buying it, reading it in Rotherham WH Smith is not advisable). Also, if he’s so proud of it- why not put his own picturee on the front?

So you can make your mind up- here’s an article by a Jamie fan on Oliver’s new book. General summing up- books alright but not ideal for a novice and Pass it On won’t work.

 

jamiegohome has no involvement in any of the above projects- but we think 1, 2 and 3 sound pretty good.

If you are involved in any of them- please leave a comment giving more details.

Episode 2

This week’s dollop kicked off with a few clips to remind the audience that normal life in Rotherham is all about force feeding kebabs to kids and not understanding the concept of boiling.

 

The visit to the last match at Millmoor was a pointless set piece, supposedly intended to attract local men to the project.

 

 

The whole Pass it On idea was shown to be worthless. Even under pressure from the production team- nobody was actually doing it. That’s really going to work in other towns then. You know- ones where you won’t have the celebrity chef and the TV cameras to gee you up.

 

 

No nonsense sidekick Julie Critchlow told him he had to shake his team up and bring in some new faces. See- in the show, it’s never the idea that’s bad: it’s the people of Rotherham. Luckily- there’s always a collaborator on hand to explain this to the camera.

 

 

This pep talk happened in the hairdressers and included a number of quick camera cuts and different angles (including one of those arty but difficult to pull off into the mirror shots).

 

 

How many takes do you think it took before they got that “get rid of the deadwood” scene right?

 

 

So back to Millmoor to seek out new blood. How lucky were they that Mick the Miner happened to turn up? And to randomly pick him to go first.

 

 

Not that lucky really- seeing as he had been headhunted by researchers who visited Maltby colliery (or Maltby Mine as the series called it). He had given them his details and they had invited him along. Despite the fact that he lives 24 miles away from Millmoor (Armthorpe, on the other side of Donny) and is on record as saying he wanted nothing to do with Jamie Oliver- he turned up. Hey presto- he is picked as the guy to go first.

 

 

He was willing to say and do anything to get on telly. In his suspiciously stiff wooden chat with Jamie, he repeated: “that’s the first thing I’ve ever cooked in my life” over and over. He then went on about how there was a stigma about men cooking.

 

 

“I’m a miner, know what I mean”.

 

 

Not really. In a way- this is as bad as last week for confirming stereotypes. Northern men are useless, sexist oafs. Like everyone else in the series- they can only become real men by copying the Jamie example.  Jamie made the point that these were “proper lads” and it was great to see them “transformed”.

 

 

Obviously wishing to prolong his TV career- Mick the miner chipped in with:

 

 

“What I’ve done today is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life”.

 

 

What sad empty lives the nation must think we lead. How we aspire deep down to be as good as the target audience. They have it all and we live in caves. Thank goodness a missionary came to show us posh ham and asparagus.

 

 

Jamie responded to camera:

 

“Show me why miners don’t cook. Real men do cook”.

 

 

Of course miners do cook, but for the series to work and the spin offs to sell- we need to buy into the idea that Jamie can remove the stigma of cooking for men (Even though there is no stigma). 

 

There was a dud story line about a beef farmer who’d never eaten beef or something- then it was back to class.

 

 

The girls were worried about the new comers threatening their shot at TV stardom. After seeing Mick put in some A grade arse kissing about the taste of chillies- they had to up their game. For the camera- Natasha explained how they were letting down the great man. How he was taking the trouble to do all this for them and they were letting him down.

 

 

All failure is down to us. All success is down to Jamie.

 

 

Back in town- there is a little scene which enables everyone to see the brand name on the back of the kitchen fitters T-Shirts. Let’s hope that Sainsburys don’t accidentally get any exposure in the same way when the staff start wearing their logo.

 

 

In walks hapless council leader Roger Stone. Here we see a mark getting played. The Sun quoted a figure of £130,000 when talking about the running of the shop. On camera- Jamie parrots a few clichés and puts the hand on him for the cash and says he wants the council to keep it on when he’s gone.

 

 

Country and Western fan Roger fell for this once before when he signed up for a scheme similar to Bookstart last year. When I say similar- it’s like pretty much exactly the same only the council leader got to meet Dolly Parton and the council tax payers had to fund it. He is non committal, but we know the drill now Roger.

 

 

Back to Natasha. Planting her own food, saying her kid thought kebabs grew in the ground and getting her friends to shake their bums while they stir fry.  She tells Jamie that Rotherham people are stubborn. Boy does she want to keep her TV career alive. She overacts when she gets her surprise promotion- but it’s OK.

 

 

In a perfectly logical step (by the standards of Ministry of Food) no nonsense sidekick Julie Critchlow- who it has been firmly established can cook- joins the group. She will be taught how to throw salad leaves into a bowl by someone who it was firmly established last week can’t cook- even though her boyfriend works in a café and she uses a knife like someone who has loads of kitchen experience.

 

 

Will Natasha pull it off? (Yawn).

Jamie calls her live on the radio- and she tells him it was all good.

 

Remember

 

 

Will they show the next radio show- when he calls to ask Clare how the lessons are going and is told that nobody turned up to the last one?

 

 

“If you’re ever low. If you ever question if Pass it On I a load of old bollocks- if your confidence ever goes. Go see Mick.”

 

 

Mick has changed “after his Epiphany”. He thought it was for women- till he met Jamie.

 

 

This is a remarkable man. Someone who has steadfastly refused to cook but, when offered the chance to be on telly, completes a 40 mile plus round trip to be shown how to put salad leaves in a bowl by someone else who pretends they never cook.

 

 

We are treated to a little teaser for next week, where those useless Rotherham bastards are kicking off about nowt again to thwart our hero’s vision. No nonsense sidekick Julie Critchlow and Jamie have a chat on a driveway. There are cuts to close ups of both, a two shot, an over the shoulder shot and a long shot to finish. How many takes do you think it took them to get the right level of drama?

 

 

This week- the images of Rotherham were less toxic than last week, but the whole thing was more obviously contrived. Everything was so clearly set up and the characters played their parts with such gusto. This makes the cruel, exploitative images of last week even worse. Surely,no-one can seriously believe that what is being shown is reality.

 

 

This means that the poor girls we were invited to hate last week are OK now because Jamie saved them.

 

The image of single mums who Jamie has not met is still kebab muncher.

 

 

Remember that Roger Stone- when it’s time to sign that next cheque.

 

 

Normal life in Rotherham is all about force feeding kebabs to kids and not understanding the concept of boiling- that’s the advert you paid for.

 

Fiddling the Figures

In a bid to deflect local criticism; Jamie is hiding behind his claim that he came to Rotherham because it is statistically the most average town Britain.

We have pointed out before that this claim is not correct and the areas visited by the Ministry of Food show are far from typical.

(Read here)

The claim is based on the book “Welcome to Everytown” written by the philosopher Julian Baggini.

Unlike Jamie, who used to pop up for the odd day now and then, Baggini lived in Bramley to research his book for six months. Today he has this to say about the “reality” TV show:

“When I was back in the town recently, I met a local doctor who had provided a programme researcher with obesity statistics, only to be asked if he could find worse ones. Many could benefit from ‘Jamie’s Ministry of Food’. But there’s nothing super or smashing about being sensational – it just leaves us feeling a little sick”. 

Read Independent Article Here.

Keep On Running

I have different views on the obesity problem to the people behind Ministry of Food.

I believe that lack of exercise is the reason people in the UK are getting bigger. I agree with the assessment of the Department for Works and Pensions

 

Reduction in activity levels is considered to be the most important factor in the rapid rise in obesity levels. With reduced physical activity there is a rise in sedentary behaviour. For example, there is a reduction in school pupils participating in school sport and in pupils walking to school but a larger number watching TV and playing computer games”.

 

This is in tune with my own experience. I eat pretty well. I also exercise. I find that the level of exercise I do has a massive effect on my physical well being. Of the people I know- those who do regular exercise tend to be healthier than those who don’t.

 

It seems obvious to me that more exercise is the key to a healthy nation.

 

There are quite a few people I know who are enthusiastic cooks. They are proper foodies and insist on fresh produce. They are also fat. The ability to cook in no way guarantees a healthy lifestyle.

 

Most (make that all) people know that regular exercise is good for them. Lots of people (I won’t invent a percentage) do absolutely none.

 

What do you think would happen if we started a Pass it On campaign for exercise?
Do you think it would be a success?

 

Me neither.

 

If I went round inviting people out for a run- I would not expect many takers. If I told them they had to promise to take another two people out for a run at a later date- my expectations of building a chain would not be high.

 

Basically:

Everyone knows exercise would improve their health.
Everyone knows how to exercise for free.

Loads of people choose not to because it does not fit in with their lifestyle choice.

Even those with the best intentions often pack it in because it’s just not for them. You should see the number of people down the gym every January. They like the idea- but not the reality.

 

With healthy eating:

Most people know how to cook if they want to. If they don’t, there are a host of free resources available for them to consult.
In my experience- most people do cook a bit of fresh stuff at home.

 

The amount of home cooking they do is based on their lifestyle choice. They like the idea- but the reality doesn’t fit in with their situation. They don’t need to have it “passed on”. Rather- they pass because they prefer not to cook.

 

Nobody would make a Ministry of Food style show about exercise- because it wouldn’t sell to the ABC1 women Channel 4 target in that time slot.

 

You would have to say that the school run, excessive car use and not taking part in sport make you a poor role model. A bad parent. You could even follow some “ordinary mums” round. Follow them after they drop their kids off. Watch in horror as they go to a café, slurp coffee and talk about what was on TV last night.
The bastards: how can they live like this at the expense of their kids well being? Sure they’ll come out with excuses- but they’re just lazy aren’t they.

 

Put that proposition to the great British public and they would dash for the remote control. Uncomfortable viewing.

 

Far better to point the camera at carefully cast grotesques who we can sneer at. I might be carrying a few pounds, but I don’t eat 10 packets of crisps and a Galaxy every night. I don’t sit on the floor feeding my kids cheesy chips and kebabs every night. Bad mothers- take their kids off ‘em. Cut off their hands so they can’t smoke.

 

Much more comfortable isn’t it. The bastards. If only they were a bit more like you- they would be so much better off.

 

Much more relaxing. You can be on the goodies’ side without getting off your arse. You can cook a bit- so they don’t mean you. You can get the book-  I hope it’s got that lovely recipe for mega chocolate fudge cake that was on the website.
Apparently- 60% of the nation can’t cook at all- so you are even more special than you thought.

 

If this absurd celeb driven reality show skews the debate away from the real issues- who cares. It’s only a laugh isn’t it.

——————————————————————————

Quickly:

 

Kudos to Kebabish Pizza Balti of Donny Road, East Dene.

I their delivery menu through the door the other day. It is headlined:

TOO TIRED TO COOK?

The first firm to cash in on the anti Oliver backlash.

Do They Mean Us?

The reaction to the first episode…

You can’t say we didn’t tell you so.

My particular favourite was the woman on a national radio phone in who said that people in Rotherham should have their human rights taken away.

Of the national press- I think Andrew Billen’s bit in The Times  was most up front in terms of Rotherham hate. Obviously, I haven’t have time to read all the press coverage because, contrary to popular belief, some of us people in Rotherham have got jobs.

Do you think Rotherham Borough Council are happy with the publicity their considerable investment has bought?

First Dolly Parton, now this. Whic celeb is going to stitch them up next? Jade Goody? Barney the Dinosaur?

 

The joy of the Internet is that you can go to forums and listen to the views of hundreds of intelligent, media savvy individuals. The sadness of the Internet is that these individuals sit back in front of the idiot box and unquestioningly believe everything they see. And react like they are told.

 

Do you know anyone who eats ten packets of crisps and a large Galaxy every night?
If you did- do you think teaching her to cook meatballs would be the answer to all her problems?

 

The forums are the real life equivalent of the two minutes hate. The Ministry of Food chat forum at www.jamieoliver.com is full of bile. Viewers complaining that Jamie should have been much harder on the people in the show. Don’t worry kids. They have been branded as bad mothers in the national and local consciousness for the rest of their lives. Don’t think the images of Natasha growing her veg later in the series will get her off the hook. If making a vulnerable girl a national hate figure is not good enough for you- don’t worry. A few helpful posters have pointed out infractions they spotted which they intend to report so she will lose her benefits.

 

The official Jamie forum is moderated, but the hate is not commented on. The only two posts I saw replied to were: one that questioned the authenticity of the show and one that suggested the whole thing was intended as a money making scheme. The second was dismissed as heresy. The idiot was really put in his place as a know nowt. The Jamie shows that make dosh are the little half hour ones that can be flogged around the world. M of F takes a while to make and is not going to go big internationally.

 

That’s us put in our place, eh?

 

Regular readers know our view of Jamie’s campaigning.

New comers click here

Being an everyman who really cares is Jamie’s schtick. It puts him up there with; Ramsay the hard nosed chef with the international rep’ and Delia the homely eccentric. Take away the campaigns- and you’re left with some podgy Britpop bloke who’s getting on. Without the altruistic aura- the empire falls. This is all marketing for the Jamie brand. The fact that the series will also spawn a best selling book and is sponsored by Sainsburys (and very much in tune with their current ad’ campaign- the type of coincidence that caused pound note loving Jamie to leave the Beeb way back when) is a nice bonus.

 

The kicker is the Pass it On campaign: a wafer thin concept which has failed to take off in Rotherham- despite the weekly flying visits from Jamie.

Who would you Pass it On to? Jamie keeps saying that 60% of the population NEVER cook. Do you know many people that can’t cook? If you do- are you willing to go round their house and show them step by step how to cook a basic recipe? Remember- you have to go round. You can’t just give them the recipe because these people are too intimidated by going into the kitchen to do it themselves. That’s the reason for all the social problems in the UK don’t you know. You also have to make them promise to do this to two people they know.

The folks on the show were being polite. “Too busy” or “not enough time” were a courteous way round saying- “your idea is shit”. Perhaps they weren’t comfortable with patronising their friends.

 

Pass it On is a great idea for a forward looking business. The Internet is killing cookbook sales and, you can go to Delia’s website for loads of step by step simple recipes or the BBC for over 100 video recipes on demand.

 

The buzz word for any publishing and entertainment biz is social networking. The Pass it On website has been designed so it is all about networking. Add friends to your virtual table.

Fatfacebook, chubbycheeksbook.

 

You get to hook up with people or publish your own chain. Pass on your own recipes- for free. See, from a business point of view- Pass it On is a great idea. You get access to your core customers (let’s not even pretend people who are non cooks are going to get on board). They are encouraged to check back regularly, so you can advertise on the site. The whole thing is self perpetuating. The JamieNation passing on their vision.

Linking up with other people who have a new found hatred of Rotherham.

 

A dinner party database. Come Dine With Me goes live.

 

As many of his forum fans say- Give that Man a Knighthood…

 

For services to business and commerce.

How Low Can You Go?

Jamie goes to visit people on the night before he starts his cooking classes.

The two girls he visits both have takeways when he arrives.

One has burger and chips untouched in packaging. One has kebab and cheesy chips- untouched and just about to be opened and fed to kiddies.

Now- these two meals: surely they are the kind of thing you eat as soon as you get them home. What remarkable timing to arrive at both houses exactly at the moment they are about to eat. Especially as they are quite a distance apart.

Neither lass looked like they’d just walked in either. You don’t think that somebody might have fetched their dinner for them do you? Who could that be?

Strange how we only went round the houses of the two youngest and apparently most vulnerable members of the group. Hopeful members of the X Factor generation who know you must play the game to get on telly.

Regular readers will know that we meet the star of the series next week.

The new face of Rotherham. How low will they get him to go?