The Voice of the Dinner Lady


Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver recently launched a new campaign to transform the food system in UK schools. The climax of the campaign came when he had the chance to 'convince' Charles Clarke to add a bit of extra dosh to the school food budget. Ffootage describes Jamie's plight as his life long ambition within the food industry; to make people healthier and cooler through eating ‘pukka’ food (not the pies). I was fortunate enough to catch some of the essential, governmental conversations that took place around this subject. Yet, the meeting with Charles Clarke needs unpacking. Is Labour aligning itself with the simple ideals of a popular celebrity or being made to look subservient to the protests of this peculiar individual? Was it a coincidence that Labour announced its change in lunch plans for children on the same day that Jamie went to Downing Street, or is it useful for Labour to capitalise on this link given the impending election? How is governmental policy shaped by the celebrity activist? What is the role of the docu-film in this process? Many questions.