Yesterday, the Independent published its' Good List 2006'- a listing of 'fifty men and women who make our world a better place'.
There's a few names with whom it's hard to take issue with, such as Sir David Attenborough and the saintly Monsignor Bruce Kent. But some of the other choices leave a lot to be desired. "Few have done more to fight the death penalty in the US than the British lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith", the Independent announces- without asking what right does an British lawyer have to lecture Americans on how they deal with their murderers? Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries is lauded for condemning the Iraq war, but supporting 'the war in the Balkans'- presumably for the 'moralist' Bishop- and the Independent, the lives of innocent Serbs are of lesser account than innocent Iraqis.
Shirley Williams and Chris Patten, two of the most disastrous and accident-prone politicians of the post-war era are also included as is Bob Geldof, the clapped out, foul-mouthed pop star who became a multi-millionaire businessman by exhorting the poor in the rich countries to hand over their fxxxing money to the rich in poor countries.
Other ludicrous choices include Anne Owers ,the Inspector of Prisons who doesn't believe in prisons, and the tiresome self-publicist Peter Tatchell who believed the British government should have armed Shi-ite militia in an attempt to overthrow Saddam in 2003.
Instead of Stafford-Smith, Williams, Harries, Patten, Owers and Tatchell- what about Pilger, Benn (Tony, not Hilary), Hitchens (Peter, not Christopher), Berners-Lee (the modest and self-effacing inventor of the World Wide Web) and last, but not least the wholly admirable Jimmy Perry and David Croft -who with their classic comedies have done more to put a smile on people's faces than most of the Indie's 'good' men and women put together.
What do you think?