Homage to Helena Torry – A Victim of Humourless Bureaucracy

The office of Aberdeen City Council’s Chief Executive is apparently a humour-free zone where incumbents sit in hard backed chairs, rigid-mouthed and narrow-eyed, gazing out on the kleine Leute with barely concealed contempt.

“How dare they laugh at our new clothes“ squawks the Empress, “ we hold the instruments of power and we WILL NOT shy away from our duty in enforcing respect for our office. So the City Chamber bugler raises the alarm and as if by magic the streets of Torry reverberate to a tattoo of black-leather boots. Iron fists rain down on a wooden door and Helena Torry is plucked from the sanctuary of home and thrown into the town’s jail for the crime of impersonating a human being and injecting intelligent satire into her local council politics.

The following is dedicated to this working class heroine who has got up the nose of tight-arsed bureaucracy.

Homage to Helena Torry

For weeks she fought and she fought unafraid

Sniffing out charlatans and voters betrayed

Helena in the courtroom Helena on the Tweet

Until she was the target of the men on the beat.


Fighting the shameless and fighting  all the sneaks

Businessmen, the bourgeois, the bureaucratic beast

Helen always ready to stifle every scheme

Of the grasping and gullible dying regime.


They’ve got manifestos their promises are new

They’ll sit and they’ll argue and all that they’ll do

Is sell-out their own voters and ride upon their back

And jail them and break them and give them all the axe.


Screaming in language in no one understands

Of the rights that they’ve taken from our own bleeding hands

When we stood in the Gardens and questioned the vote

For promises of jobs recited by rote.


Poor old Helena they hunt you down

The bloodhounds are sniffing all over the town

You work till your eyes turn as red as rust

Poor old Helena in you we trust.



With thanks to Homage to Marat – Adrian Mitchell 

3 Comments to “Homage to Helena Torry – A Victim of Humourless Bureaucracy”

  1. Sadly, I see that the Ship of Fools has now taken on-board the Committee of Friends of Union Terrace Gardens: the recent expulsion of Renee Slater from the organisation, this following what Mike Shepherd called the “Helena Torry episode”; the good Shepherd said Helena made the committee “feel very uncomfortable” and it was in dread of “bad publicity”. Shepherd follows this up with the mealy-mouthed “I hope everything works out for you in the current situation”. This gutless action by FoUTG betrays not only a distinct lack of loyalty to one of the leading lights in the battle against what big capital and its cohorts sought to to do to Aberdeen but an astonishing lack of political maturity. The act of standing Helena Torry as a candidate was not only very funny but also a direct challenge to the ways in which political parties of all stripes often seek to manipulate an electorate for narrow ends rather than for the good of the community. This, as FoUTG should know, was exactly the issue in the struggle to save the gardens. By worrying about bad publicity they betray themselves as little more than a visionless PR committee, so perhaps in becoming crew members on the Ship of Fools they have found the perfect vessel on which to sail.

  2. Wonderful to see the Ship of Fools being exposed and fitting homage to Ms Torry and her election agent.
    More please.

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