As regular readers of this wee blog know, I’m a Scot living in Bristol so that means my MP is one Stephen Williams, a Lib Dem MP elected on a wave of hope and optimism. Sadly he’s worked hard to extinguish as much of that early promise as possible and has ensured he’s thrown any liberal tendencies down the toilet in order to help prop up the coalition.
His voting record, is frankly, fucking shameful, especially when it comes to welfare.
- Voted moderately for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)Source
- Voted very strongly against raising welfare benefits at least in line with pricesSource
- Voted strongly against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disabilitySource
- Voted very strongly for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial needafford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such supportSource
- Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefitsSource
- Voted strongly against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young peoplewho have spent a long time unemployed
Bristol West is a constituency that features some of the most affluent areas in the entire United Kingdom as well as areas of high unemployment, especially among young people.It’s also a seat that features a high student population, hence the strong Lib Dem support over the last decade or so.
It’s a seat being let down by it’s MP, unless of course, you’re wealthy or you’re so insulated to what’s happening to this part of Bristol that you don’t notice the people sleeping in the streets, or the young people trying to find work or the struggles most people have to go through. The situation is in the area that the richer areas are becoming richer and the poorer areas are being readied for gentrification as money flows in but as it’s not actually ‘trickling down’ to the poor sods kipping in the shopfront of Oxfam shops, or the family priced out of the area thanks to landlords letting to affluent Bristol University students. The cracks are evident and there’s two good things that come out of the fact Williams has been a compliant Lib Dem drone is that the support for the Green Party is increasing. Back in May the area gained two new Green councilors and support is growing, especially with the more middle class residents of the area that have some sense of social responsibility as we cannot continue propping up a system where Tory and Labour argue about how quickly they’re going to impose more austerity and more cuts upon us.
The other bit of positivity is that UKIP spent a lot of money in the city last May and failed to make the gains they hoped, and indeed, they look to be stagnant in terms of support in Bristol.
So over the next few months I’ll be campaigning to get rid of Williams for the Greens, (I’m also going to be helping out in Llanelli to campaign for Plaid Cymru) in hope that perhaps the area gets a better MP that represents everyone, not just the wealthy who benefit from living here.
Also, as someone that wanted Scottish independence, and wants Wales and England to enjoy the same level of self determination as Scotland, there’s one more reason to campaign to get Williams out.
So yes, come May, fuck you..