The sudden death of Oscar this week has left people reeling. When the Senedd met on Wednesday to hear tributes, they were poignant, heartfelt, and very personal. Clearly there was a sense of shock and sadness, but there was also a sense of profound bewilderment. In a podcast which I did later that afternoon, Angela Burns MS said that, in his thirteen years in the Senedd, Oscar had been the only member she had never heard criticise any other member personally.
For us in the public affairs community, the Oscar we knew was similar. Always a smile, always a glint in the eye, always a creative suggestion from him as to how he could help. Sometimes the ideas were off the wall, but they were all meant positively and creatively. He was also rightly impatient with the traditional way of dealing with things.
For Oscar, he delighted in being a Member of the Senedd and he adored the ambassadorial role of reaching out and connecting. It was always a pleasure for him to talk to you and never a chore. Oscar was never the greatest orator, never the greatest orator, never the greatest strategist in the Senedd. But he had perhaps the greatest heart. None of the grief and words of sadness were synthetic. We will all miss him. He leaves a greater gap than he, or we, ever realised.