Words like “great” and “genius” are used with frenetic frequency these days, but Dannie Abse wore these qualities with the same ease as his characteristically crumpled tweed jacket. Dannie, whose death at 91 was announced over the weekend, was a man from whom wisdom and compassion oozed before he even uttered a word. But when he did speak, it was with a soft wit and natural warmth that somehow conveyed great truth.
Dannie was born in Cardiff in 1923 to a high achieving Jewish family. His brother Leo was my MP while I was growing up. Dannie trained as a doctor, practising in London but always maintaining a home in Wales.
Edwyn Collins told us that there are too many protest singers and not enough protest songs. The great English protest singer, Billy Bragg, came to the view that social justice would be best advanced by breaking up the UK. Obviously this is not a view I share because it would have split our great Union. I’m referring of course to the UK music phenomenon that is MP4, including our ex-Runrig keyboard player Pete Wishart MP of the SNP.
Today Kevin Brennan MP joined other Labour MPs to vote against the hated Bedroom Tax during a debate in parliament.
The Bedroom Tax has caused hardship for hundreds of thousands of people across the country, costing low-income families an average of £700 a year. Two thirds of those hit by the Bedroom Tax have disabilities and 60,000 are carers.
The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly joined the Tories to keep the Bedroom Tax in place and have previously resisted any attempt to protect people from it. Yet today the Liberal Democrats joined Labour in voting against their own policy in Parliament.
Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan and Mark Drakeford AM were delighted to attend the recent official opening of the Ely & Caerau Hub which will act as an important resource point for the local community.
The hub includes a full library service, housing and benefits advice and a wide range of other Council services such as waste management. It is also where Kevin and Mark hold their weekly surgeries on Saturday mornings.