Shirley Williams has died aged 90

Lovely lovely lady. One of the last great and honourable politicians. I joined the SDP because of her.


An amazing lady, like her mother.
Genuinely honest and straightforward.
She will be missed and a shame that there are not more like her.


I used to bump into her from time to time when I was an undergraduate, she was always delightful.

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“Shirl the Pearl” :hugs:

She gave the main speech at my graduation in Sheffield in 1980 - amazing speech - one phrase I remember “Be successful but be kind”
I also joined the SDP because of her.


Yes, I liked her very much. As you say, integrity we rarely see anymore.

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I was on a residential management course In Netherlands when working for Philips Electronics in the late 80s. We were talking about long term challenges that would face us as future divisional managers. I recall her saying that in the medium term the rise of militant Islam would be probably one of the paramount issues we would have to cope with.
That was 35 years ago, how perceptive, besides being a very good politician she was a very good academic.,…I think shortly after she married a Harvard professor specialising in International relations.

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My favourite non-Shirley Williams Shirley Williams anecdote:

Dr Who actor Tom Baker tells of being verbally assaulted when stepping out of Silk Sound Studio in Soho on to Berwick Street by a woman who kept repeating over and over “l shall never forgive you!”, “l shall NEVER forgive you!”. Tom eventually managed to calm her enough to ask what for and her reply was told “For abolishing grammar schools… you are Shirley Williams aren’t you…?”



I’d love to know what she thought of what Nick Clegg and Tim “fish finger” Farron did to the LDs.

Especially Clegg, going back on the student fees promise killed the LibDems for a generation.

I remember being horrified, not so much that he chose the Tories to ally with, but that he did it so swiftly. Smacked of lack of proper thought to me.

As to Shirley Williams I have only 2 reservations about her. Killing Grammar Schools purely on grounds of dogma, and treading the lazy and corrupt ‘I can’t get elected so I’ll not bother’ path to the world’s 2nd largest unelected chamber.

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