A fascinating story of a woman's determination to create a fairer
society, promote her social justice agenda and improve the city.
The story of Helen's work in the city and throughout the country is told
looking through her eyes in many of the posts she has held: a councillor for
36 years, convener of social work, a national official of her trade union, a
magistrate, a prison visitor, a member of various boards, national
convenerships, lord provost, community justice leader, her charity work
and others. With massive
public support, Helen continues to serve the people of Dundee and
throughout the country.
"... inspiring! a lesson, and encouragement, for anyone striving to make
positive change or facing difficult challenges ..."
Before her election to the Council, Helen
championed women's issues and became the UK national chair of the
women's committee of a large male-dominated trade union. This experience
was to serve Helen well when she became the only female member of the
ruling Labour Group. In addition to
her wider social and political work, Helen continued to make progress on
issues concerning women and women's representation.
One chapter takes a
fascinating look at Helen's time as the city's first female lord provost.
It is an enthralling account of a woman's determination to make positive
change whilst constantly fighting bitter rivals who undermined her at
every opportunity as part of their campaign to remove her from the post
and replace her with one of their own. Helen's heroic stance against vested interests,
male-dominated institutions, brutal opposition, secretive societies and, as events continue
to show, the narrow personal ambitions, egos and the narcissism of
opponents. Dundee had to wait for a woman lord provost to
change the political culture and to bring more women into meaningful
political activity. Helen's magnificent
stance against fierce opposition changed things forever and helped
consolidate the place of Dundee women at the highest levels. Helen had
blazed the trail for other women to follow.
With more twists, turns, plots, frame-ups and conspiracies than a
political intrigue fantasy, the real story is revealed about the
orchestrated campaign of traps and manoeuvres designed to undermine her
at every turn. "... it was often said that Dundee would never have a
female lord provost ... it was to her great credit she achieved so much,
faced the challenges head on and, with massive public support, continues
to serve the people of Dundee and beyond".
"... with such a relentless campaign it was only a matter of time until
opponents and opportunists manufactured a pretext to unite against her"
"... one national newspaper investigated and reported a masonic plot to
remove Helen from the lord provost post ...". The role of some
sections of the media will also be put under the spotlight. Some
fanciful theories and accounts have since been written of events with
some trying to justify the role they played but Helen's publication will
reveal the facts, which will shock some, embarass a few, surprise others
and confirm what most people suspected!
"... inspiring! a lesson, and encouragement, for anyone facing
Watch this page for details of publication.