Dame Shirley Williams talks about her life in politics
She’s one of our most experienced politicians who, during her long and impressive career, was highly influential in both the Commons and the Lords. Shirley Williams may have retired from front-line politics but she stood down with a reputation as someone who really did make a difference. Many don’t even come close to achieving that.
In An Audience With Shirley Williams at the Thornbury Arts Festival near Bristol on Thursday (26th April) she will talk about her extraordinary political life and how as a child she believed that being an MP would give her the power to bring about all kinds of good things for society.
By the time she retired from the House of Lords, after 50 years at the cutting edge of politics, she had indeed made sure that some good things had been achieved.
She fought to the last - it was during her ninth decade that she single-handedly forced the last government into a U-turn over their plans to restructure the NHS. The battle of course goes on but Williams made it clear that what she saw coming was ‘privatisation by stealth’.
On her retirement, Tom McNally, the former leader of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords said: "Throughout her life, Shirley has made an outstanding contribution to the politics of this country. Her bravery and commitment to her beliefs has benefited both parliamentary debate and public discourse for the past five decades."
*An Audience with Shirley Williams is at Thornbury Arts Festival near Bristol on Thursday April. For further information go to www.thornburyartsfestival.com