Thursday, 27 June 2013

My hero!

Everyone has a hero and for me its an easy list to create. So I thought I would start out my list with world politicians. Well, politicians who were also visionaries. Plus two visionary people who should have been a politicians. I know what you are thinking, but fortunately there are a few politicians that can meet the criteria.

I have managed to meet only two on this list. but that is hardly surprising. I met Tony Benn in Sheffield when he was performing on stage with an old friend and work colleague. Roy Bailey.

Tony Benn is formerly Viscount Stansgate, and a retired British Labour Party politician. Benn's campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act. He held the position of Postmaster General, Minister of Technology then Secretary of State for Industry, before being made Secretary of State for Energy. Benn has topped several polls as the most popular politician in Britain. Since leaving Parliament, Benn has become involved in the grass-roots politics, and has been the President of the Stop the War Coalition for the last decade. I have written about Tony Benn before. Click Here

Roy Bailey, is a socialist folk singerIn the 2000 Honours List, he received the MBE for services to folk music. In 2006, he returned the MBE in protest at the government's foreign policy with regard to Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. In 2003, Bailey together with Tony Benn were awarded "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for their programme Writing on the Wall. Tony Benn cites Roy Bailey as "the greatest socialist folk singer of his generation." Roy Bailey is an Emeritus Professor of Social Studies at Sheffield Hallam University where we worked together.

Christopher Hitchens a British-American author and journalist. A noted critic of religion. He said that a person "could be an atheist and wish that belief in God were correct". According to Hitchens, the concept of a God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. His anti-religion polemic, God Is Not Great, sold over half a million copies. This should be on everyone's reading list.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician. In the 1990 general election, her party won 59% of the national votes and 81% of the seats in Parliament. She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from 20 July 1989 until her most recent release in 2010, becoming one of the world's most prominent political prisoners. Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Aung San Suu Kyi was also presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, which is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the United States. She has received nothing from Great Britain.

Aneurin "Nye" Bevan, a Welsh Labour Party politician who was the Minister for Health in the post-war Attlee government. The son of a coal miner, Bevan was a lifelong champion of social justice and the rights of working people. His most famous accomplishment came when, as Minister of Health in the post-war Atlee government, he spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, which was to provide medical care free at point-of-need to all Britons.

Mohandas Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu, was the pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world. I have written about Gandhi before Click Here

Nelson Mandela a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality. For me the most important achievement of Mandela while in office, was the fostering of racial reconciliation.

I also have a top ten list of people I would like to invite to dinner to view the list Click Here


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