Throughout his 33-year political career as a councilor, MP and MSP Dennis Canavan has been recognized as one of the most colorful politicians to grace the halls of Holyrood. In 1975, his attempt to introduce a bill to abolish corporal punishment in schools went on to play a major part in the European Commission of Human Rights which put an end to the practice. He then became Chair of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Group from 1980-1981. A keen supporter of devolution, he also gained recognition for voting against the Blair Government's proposals to cut benefits for single-parent children, abolish student grants and introduce tuition fees, as well as successfully amending parliament's landmark right-to-roam legislation to extend access to the Queen's estates, and introducing a bill to make St Andrew's Day a national holiday. When he announced his retirement before the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, he received an ovation in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament. An enthusiastic sportsman and a popular constituency MSP, the father-of-five has also endured immense personal heartache, losing his first son, Paul, to skin cancer in 1989, and his 35-year-old son Dennis to a brain tumor in 2006. His eldest son, Mark, died in Australia at the age of 41 in March 2007, after a three-year battle with motor neuron disease. Courting praise and controversy in equal measure throughout his career, Canavan's contribution to public life was honored when Falkirk Council decided to set up a new educational scholarship in his name. This autobiography chronicles an extraordinary and fascinating life of devoted service to Scottish and UK politics.
'A valuable contribution to recent history and a fascinating account of a lively personality at the heart of it,' -The Herald
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 30th July 2010
Publisher: Birlinn General
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.39