Who’s the Dummy? The Political Trial of Helena Torry

We’re in the middle of a serious financial crisis and Aberdeen City along with other local authorities has been cutting back on services and yet there is money to be thrown away on a ridiculous prosecution of Renée Slater who had the ingenuity to put up a mannequin in the May elections.


But what’s that? You can’t make light of our democratic system?

I’m sure James Gillray would  have approved of dummy aka Helena Torry but the po-faced officials involved in this silly prosecution don’t like it when someone dares cock a snook at their ridiculous affectations.

In this country we suffer from a surfeit of impossibly dreary politicians whose party allegiances far outweigh any duties they feel to the voters they dupe to get them elected into office. Helena Torry was at least honest in that there was no disguise over what she was. This was an elegant stroke of genius from  Renée Slater which exposed the small-minded, humourless individual/s behind her prosecution.

The person or persons responsible should be made to wear a red nose for a whole year so we can see who they are and laugh at these pompous and ridiculous characters.

If citizens want to ridicule their own elections they should be allowed to do so without fear of persecution and prosecution. Those voted-in are  our representatives after all. Those of us who don’t crave public office have better things to do with our lives. We leave the nonsense to them. And they seldom disappoint. Nonsense-wise that is.

Money was no object in this case. Not when a point had to be made.There will be no slighting of our office here. Oh no. And so Renée Slater was prosecuted under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and these things aren’t cheap y’know. It took two days for a sheriff to rule there was no case to answer. Not cheap. Two days of not cheap.


In the dock for the prosecution was deputy returning officer for the City Crawford Langley. Mr Langley who is a former employee of Aberdeen City Council explained how he had been given nomination papers by the accused an hour before nominations closed.

After the sheriff threw out the charges, Mr Langley is said to have blamed a technicality for the failure of the prosecution.

Was it a technicality that it was a real dummy standing for election rather than a – well – dummy of a different kind?

As for Renée Slater she is justly happy with the outcome and that reason prevailed – eventually.

She is quoted as saying that Helena would have given ‘voice’ to the silent majority in Torry (in Aberdeen).

While Renée Slater was happy to point out that she never sought to belittle or demean the electoral process while glad common sense prevailed  Mr Langley did not sound so chirpy.

He is quoted as saying, ‘I am obviously disappointed that the case against Renée Slater was dismissed by the court on the grounds that there was no case to answer.

‘It is important to understand that this decision was based on a strict legal technicality in the way that the charge was framed and that the court did not consider the facts of the case or give a ruling on legality of nominating a non-human candidate.

‘As I understand it, the prosecuting authorities chose to bring the charge under section 65a of the Representation of the People Act 1983, which is the provision which applies to general elections in Scotland and local government elections in England.

‘The equivalent offence in a Scottish local government election is section 65b. Since section 65a does not create an offence at a Scottish local government election, there was no case to answer.’

To which I say, ‘he he.’

He’s not finished? Let him get his own blog.

So Helena Torry is out of the clanger and justice – hang on min, here’s – Mr Langley

‘If faced with the same situation again, I will have no hesitation in referring the matter to the police.’

Aberdeen City Council should forthwith instigate an annual Helena Torry day when the people would be free to drag the dour officials out of their sumptuous offices and pelt them with jokes and make them to tell us 10 good things they’ve done for the people who pay their wages during the previous year at pain of being bounced out of their jobs and all the way down Union Street for a jolly good dunking in the River Dee.


5 Responses to “Who’s the Dummy? The Political Trial of Helena Torry”

  1. Hi Lena.. Have used a quote from you re: Helena Torry.. Hope you don’t mind..? BBC outside Aberdeen City Sheriff Court. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WRFl9jvOCwhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJEL56CMOzc

  2. Crawford Langley generally comes across as a cordial, well-meaning and entirely reasonable chap.No doubt this is a large part of his attraction to the powers-that-be in this city. His true character as a council lapdog was revealed during the UTG referendum debacle, however, and while we are a forgiving lot here, I can’t see Mr Langley’s reputation ever recovering from this latest fiasco.

  3. I agree, the greedy self important asses need to know who they represent. And a good Scot has a good sense of fun.
    And after the last two years of politician’s cheating and corruption charges I would think we are well past fun with the antics of many MP,s


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