September 21, 2015

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Hello again!

The other day, my friend Gerry (many of you know Gerry here at the BTA) sent me an article about a relative of mine that I had only briefly heard about as a child. It turns out that I have Labour in my blood!

His name was Aneurin (or Nye) Bevan and by the age of 19, he was the head of his local Miners’ Lodge in Tredegar, southwest Wales. He later became a Welsh Labour party politician, spending 31 years as an MP and he was most well-known for spearheading the establishment of the National Health Service, designed to provide free at point-of-need medical care to all Britons. He also became the leader of the Labour party’s left wing, which came to be known as “Bevanites”!

The main objectives of the Bevanites were state control of the distribution or exchange of goods, free and comprehensive welfare, health care and education, housing for all and full employment.

I won’t go on too long about him, but I can’t not mention the fact that in a poll for the Top 100 Welsh Heroes conducted in Wales in 2004, the largest poll in Welsh history, Nye placed first! Two places ahead of Tom Jones (sorry, Catherine). Other notable people on the list included the poet Dylan Thomas, the actor Catherine Zeta-Jones and Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

So, thank you, Gerry, for pointing out my Union heritage to me – maybe that’s why I feel so at home here.

Do you have any stories about interesting relatives that you would like to share with the BTA community? Let me know.


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