Stephen Williams running scared

5 12 2010

Stephen Williams in 2008 when he changed his mind on fees for the first time. He changed it back before the 2010 election... and again after being elected

On Saturday 4th December 2010 Stephen Williams was supposed to be debating the Big Society against Paul Smith the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate in the 2010 General Election.

You can see some of what Paul said over at his blog.

You can’t see what Mr. Williams said because he didn’t turn up!

He sent his agent Cllr. Jon Rogers who arrived citing concerns about student protests for his non attendance. There were no student protestors there. I’m reliably informed that when Cllr. Jon Rogers took the time to inform Stephen Williams of this he still declined to attend.

What is Stephen Williams afraid of? On Friday Mr. Williams’ surgery was marched on by students. He was invited to address the crowd. When he came and delivered a prepared speech he was heckled but he was not sworn at, there was no violence and he was not jostled by the crowd which was all around him. Indeed Chief Inspector Steve Kendall praised students and organisers for co-operation.

So what is Stephen REALLY afraid of? I suspect its hearing how many people feel betrayed by him.

On Thursday he will be voting on the  hike to tuition fees. Before the election he guaranteed he would oppose all increases. Now he says he may abstain.

Let’s be clear: an abstention is just as bad as a vote for the hike. The more Lib Dems who abstain from voting the fewer MPs the Government needs to achieve a majority.

So what can you do to help? Now you know you’ve got him under pressure.

1. Get down to College Green right now. There’s an education cuts/fees hike demo happening on College Green 5th December 2010 from 11.30- 14.30.

2. Write to epletters@bepp.co.uk (the Evening Post letters page) calling on Mr. Williams to honour his pledge and spelling out an abstention is as bad as a vote for.

3. From Monday 6th December 2010 please politely telephone Stephen Williams Office on 0117 942 3494 and call on him to honour his pledge. Let him hear the genuine opposition to his flip flop. He provides this information publicly and there is nothing improper about you making the telephone call.

Please always remain polite and non violent in all communications or protests. Do not give the Lib Dems the opportunity to wriggle out of public meetings citing fear of protests.


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4 responses

5 12 2010
Elisabeth Winkler

As a friend once pointed out, why are politicians not subject to advertising standards? Why is it OK to promise one thing before an election and do another afterwards? Politicians do not even issue disclaimers pre-election such as: Please do not believe everything I say as my position may change according to my political masters. (And New Labour was just as bad, no?!).

5 12 2010
turningbristolred

I think politicians should do what they promise unless circumstances substantially change. I agree that a more intelligent dialogue should be opened with members of the public.

I don’t think New Labour were just as bad at all. I think there was an over reliance on presentation and we lost our way at times but on balance I’m proud of our record after 13 years in government.

5 12 2010
Paul Bemmy Down

So you say in your manifesto that you won’t introduce Student Fees and you do, or you say you will abolish Student Fees and you don’t. Is there a difference?

5 12 2010
turningbristolred

Well let’s be clear. a. at the time I wasn’t a member of the Labour Party I was a 6th former, doing normal 6th former things like drinking. b. I opposed the introduction of tuition fees at the time. Though not in the impressive way I’ve seen college students doing so in the last few weeks.

Labour have accounted for that.

There is a big difference. Stephen Williams made a personal pledge to oppose all fees rises before the 2010 election. More over he’s campaigned on it in 2005. Led his Party’s attempts to ditch its policy in 08. Then pledged to oppose rises in 10.

He used the pledge again and again on his campaign literature and his website. It was an unqualified personal promise made to electors and in full knowledge of the economic circumstances and the polls indicating a coalition was a distinct possibility.

I’m and others are keeping the pressure on him so that he honours that promise. That’s the job on an opposition.

Where about’s in Bemmy Down are you Paul? I’m down there a fair bit.

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