Why this Bristol student is backing Stephen Williams

Bristol University’s student newspaper, epigram, has a piece from Sarah Redrup explaining why she is backing the Lib Dems’ Stephen Williams when she heads to the polling station in Bristol West today:

It may seem strange to some that a 2012-entry student from an under-achieving state school has chosen to support the Liberal Democrats. There are several reasons why I believe, despite the tuition fee debacle, that the Liberal Democrats are a party that represent my interests as a student.

The policies that attracted me the most to the Lib Dems were those addressing the specific barriers to accessing university that I felt whilst at school. One of these is the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 manifesto priority, Pupil Premium , which directed funding towards children and students on free school meals, helping secondary schools like mine address serious attainment gaps.

Sarah also deals with why she is not tempted by the Green offering:

It is the Lib Dems’ practical approach to policy-making that really speaks to my personal politics. My favourite policies, regardless of the party to which they belong, are always the ones that prioritise evidence.

I can definitely get behind the Green Party’s environmentalist outlook, and in particular their passion for cycling, but it’s vital that we’re able to consider unconventional methods (e.g. GM crops, nuclear power) when it comes to sustainable living, and that we don’t abandon sensible approaches for dogma’s sake, especially when the scientific consensus in favour is strong.

The Lib Dems, however, tick a lot of these green boxes  for me too. They followed through on another front-page manifesto policy by establishing the world’s first National Green Investment Bank, which is currently funding over 40 green infrastructure projects. Bristol West’s Stephen Williams  has been particularly active in this area by personally overseeing legislation that will require that, from 2016, all new homes will be zero-carbon.

And finally she looks at why Stephen, and not just the party, gets her backing:

As the first openly gay Lib Dem MP, Stephen Williams’ experience of homophobic bullying has led to his invaluable campaigning  which lately culminated it a multi-million pound fund to address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

He was the only man on, and Vice-Chair of, a parliamentary committee on Body Confidence , and has done great work alongside the Somali community with Lynne Featherstone to try to end FGM . Stephen also remains the only MP to be given an award by the World Health Organisation  for his fight against big tobacco, and recently helped to pass legislation backed by the charity Shelter to ban revenge evictions.

You can read the full piece here.

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One Comment

  • If I was ale to vote for Sephen Williams I most certainly would for all the good reasons in the article above, and some others, but especially because as Sarah Redrup points out —
    “…Stephen also remains the only MP to be given an award by the World Health Organisation  for his fight against big tobacco..”

    If he had never done anything else Stephen Williams would deserve to be re-elected for working to free people from the disease and death resulting from the activities of big tobacco.

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