Thursday, May 18, 2006

Not the New Statesman heroes list

New Statesman readers have voted for their top 50 'heroes of our time'. Frankly, the choices are either safe - Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela at one and two respectively are hardly controversial, are they? - or else ... odd.

I mean, Thatch? At number five? Let's be charitable and put that one down to deliberate poll manipulation on somebody's part.

But then there's Bob 'Tory Stooge' Geldof at number three. And the Queen and Prince Charles. And Richard Branson. And bleedin' Bono. And even Tony Blair, who at 18th, comes in one place ahead of George Galloway.

Needless to say, most of the more obvious selections also make the cut: John Pilger (4th); Peter Tatchell (6th); Noam Chomsky (7th); Hugo Chavez (11th); Tony Benn (12th); Fidel Castro (16th); Germaine Greer (25th); and Ken Livingstone (43rd).

Love 'em or loathe 'em, at least you know what they are doing in a poll of ostensible leftwingers. But surely the field should be better than this?

These days - especially since the deaths of Joe Strummer, John Peel, Georgie Best and Paul Foot over the last year or two - I'm hard pushed to think of anybody I feel merits the description 'hero'.

So I am turning over to you, the small but select readership of this blog, in the search for some names that fit the bill. The comments box is open ...

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