Political reform was Shirley Williams' theme when she delivered the eighth National Library of Scotland Donald Dewar Memorial Lecture.
At Edinburgh International Book Festival on 25 August, Baroness Williams of Crosby praised 'the innovation and relative accountability' of the devolved Scottish Parliament. She referred to the Scottish Constitutional Convention which was set up in 1989 to promote devolution. A similar body might be a useful starting point for Westminster reform and to restore public faith in representative government, she suggested.
Shirley Williams is well placed to discuss political reform. After serving in the Wilson and Callaghan governments, she left the Labour Party in 1981 to become a founder member of the Social Democratic Party. She is regarded as an outstanding figure in the British political landscape, and one of the most dynamic and inspirational female politicians of our time.
A lively question and answer session followed the lecture, with topics including political engagement and Shirley's immersion in politics from a very early age. Chairing the event was author and journalist Brian Taylor, who gave the lecture in 2006.
26 August 2009