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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
List chooses top 50 'good people'
Ken Loach
Film-maker Ken Loach is included in the list
A list of the top 50 "good people" in the UK has been published.

The Independent's Good List is inspired by features such as the Sunday Times' Rich List.

It recognises those "driven by an urge to make the world a better place" and includes film-maker Ken Loach, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and Bob Geldof.

The list also includes Gee Walker, the mother of teenager Anthony Walker who was murdered in Liverpool in July 2005. She publicly forgave his killers.

Paul Vallely of the Independent said: "What characterises them is that they force the rest of us to re-imagine the world in a different way.

A scientist who made a breakthrough in cancer treatment would not qualify
The Independent's Paul Vallely

"Unlike a rich list, which has the objective yardstick of being able to measure or estimate pounds in the bank, a good list depends upon judgements of merit.

"So we assembled a panel of experts who were asked to look beyond those who did something which benefited humanity in material terms.

"A scientist who made a breakthrough in cancer treatment would not qualify - he would just be doing his job, however excellently. But Sir John Sulston is on because he did not only map the human genome but insisted on doing so for the public good."

Gee Walker
Gee Walker publicly forgave her son's racist killers

Other choices are expected to be more controversial - such as Laurie Pycroft, the 16-year-old boy who formed the Pro-Test group campaigning for the right to carry out scientific research on animals.

Others, such as human rights lawyers Gareth Peirce and Clive Stafford Smith, work in areas which may be unpopular with the public.

Broadcaster Jon Snow, naturalist Sir David Attenborough, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, politician Shirley Williams and founder of the Muslim Youth Helpline Mohammed Mamdani are also on the list.


Who do you think is worthy of inclusion on a Good List? Who should be recognised for their work or courage?

Some responses received so far:

Bill Gates gives millions every year to charity although he's very wealthy he is under no legal obligation to give anything. without his donations many charities would not be able to do as much as they do
mark, UK

No politicians, No Lawyers, No Celebs no sportspeople no Journalists, No minority interests and no one who gains in any financial or career or publicity based way. This country is full of unsung hero and heroines - The ordinary folk who do extraordinary things because they care not for any kind of reward.
Gary Waylett, Bournemouth UK

John Pilger and Noamh Chomsky for their ability to seek out and report the truth in a world of misinformation and deceit.
john entwistle, lancs england

GCP, CI UK says "Truly 'good' people are hard to find", I disagree. 'Truly good' people are everywhere in our society, they are just difficult to see & hear because they are not self-promoting. The teacher who works extra unpaid hours to tutor children with difficulties, the volunteer manning the phones at The Samaritans, the milkman who stops for a chat with an elderly &/or lonely customer,...the list goes on & on. Look harder, they are all there in our society... millions of them.
Colin, Portsmouth, UK

Prince Charles for his charity work.
Matthias, Germany

To me there are two candidates that stand out for similar reasons; they are Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone. Both candidates are extremely principled and have used their positions to influence the political agenda to different degrees.
Dr Preetinder Cheema, Harpenden, ENGLAND

I would like to nominate Mr Bert Massie who is the chairman of the Disability Rights Commission for his dedication and hard work in making this world a better and safer place for disabled people.
Wayne Massie, Liverpool,UK

The Queen! 80 years of tireless service, no retirement and often in the modern age no thanks. Privileged and wealthy yes. Self promoting, no. "Good" certainly.
Mark Thomas, Gloucester, England

My nomination is for Ray Davies for his observations of the british way of life documented in his popular songs over the decades.
Stuart Harris, Ascot, UK

What a cringingly awful PC list.
Tim, London

I don't understand why Ken Loach gets a placing when as they put it "a scientist who made a breakthrough in cancer treatment would not qualify - he would just be doing his job, however excellently." Isn't Ken Loach just doing his job, however excellently?
Jamie Dyer, Cambridge, UK

I would recommend all the Sunday School teachers and volunteers at my local church who selflessly give their time each and every Sunday.
Lesley White, Scotland

It's all good and well people like Ken Loach being on there, but I know I'd rather be watching 'Deal or No Deal' than one of his fiercly Socialist films, so Where Is Noel Edmonds?? It's a crying shame that such a wonderful human being like Mr. Edmonds can't be on the list.
Alf, Warwick, England

Rosie and John Sandall of Peterborough who have devoted a huge part of their life helping victims of the Chernoble disaster.
Sue, Spalding, Lincs

I think that - at least in the public eye - Adam Hart-Davis deserves a nomination. OK, he's a celebrity of sorts but he seems to be the most down-to-earth, approachable one to me.
Dan, Hull

Abigail Witchall would definitely be on my list for her bravery and her ability to forgive.
JEB, ULVERSTON

I contrast the general weathercock of statements and policies of most politicians with the constant coherent set of values of Tony Benn.
Pat Brockman, Hagley

Does the emancipation and rehabilitation of over 40,000 children from bonded labour count as good? Yes? Then I nominate Kailash Satyarthi.
DR, Dundee, Scotland

Shouldn't this be renamed the "Left-wingers' good list"? It's a bit transparent. Where's Margaret who saved the country and is now cruelly vilified by many on this "good" list? Alternatively, with Gareth and Clive on the list, it should be the "Naive List".
Martin Moore, West Yorkshire

Brian Haw is missing on that list.
Marjan, London

I would like to nominate Dr.Inderjit Singh who is a regular contributor to Thought of the Day on Radio4.His logical thoughts and interptations of Sikh religion and how that serves and brings together this troubeled mankind deserve nothing but praise
Avtar Singh Paul, Birmingham England

I nominate John Humphries especially and all the interviewers on the Today programme. 'Tribunes of the People!' and essential to ask persistently, on our behalf, the questions that others don't want to answer.
Pat Allchurch, Ledbury, UK

Another list that smacks of the liberal intelligentsia with nothing better to do. I would question a good 50% of that list as to the the selfish motives that put their name in the limelight in the first place. Do as an earlier respondent suggests and go look for some unsung good people in the country
Clive, UK not Europe

David Walliams - yes he is a celebrity but he did something - swimming the channel - which not only raised a lot of money for charity, but also was something that required a lot of physical and mental dedication and discipline. He did not even take time off work, he trained while also touring the country with his theatre show of Little Britain. He did not just leave it at making a personal appearance or two, he did something impressive.
Liz, London

The founder of the world's first childrens hospice Sister Frances Dominica. She is truly one of the few who restore your faith in humanity
Sammie, Oxford, UK

Michael Palin. In a world saturated with news coverage of death and destruction it is so warming to have the ACTUAL beauty of the world portrayed to us by such a wonderful and witty character like him.
Michael Gordon, Edinburgh, Scotland

Terry Waite, who is a man who lives his faith, and Gordon Wilson, whose daughter was murdered by the IRA at Enniskillen in the 1980's - he publically forgave his killers and went on to become a member of the Irish Parliament in Dublin.
Leo, London, UK

Where is Michael Eavis? He has been running Glastonbury for the past 30 years and raised millions for charity whilst at the same time giving pleasure to millions. Not a bad combination
Geraldine Grant,

I would nominate Warren Buffet for donating most of his vast fortune to charity.
Peter Waldron, Cape Town South Africa

The many thousands of volunteer leaders in the Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade in the UK. I own them so much
Tom Spalding, England

As expected, the Guardian Good List is the usual assembly of self-serving rich celebs, overpaid lawyers, publicity-seekers and TV "faces". It's easy to be a do-gooder when you are "loaded". What about ordinary people who "make a difference"?
Adrian Martin, Birmingham, UK

Camila Batmanghelidjh for her work with young people whom others have considered "hopeless".
sylvia meek, derbyshire

Sir David Attenborough, he has, for longer than I can remember shown us the beauty of this world and its delicate nature, he makes us all feel part of one world with no political, religous or national divides. The man is a rare treasure.
D. Kennedy, Cumbria

I would like to include Frank Field who, to me, represents a small group of MP's who uphold the integrity of elected representatives at a time when there is widespread disillusionment with our parliamentary system.
ken, uk

I would nominate my dad, he doesn't have celebrity status but has save hundreds (probably thousands) of lives through his work as a doctor and has contributed back to society through charitable work and voluntary contribution. Even after retirement he has kept himself busy getting a degree in Forensic Archaeology and doing voluntary archaeological work for societies that are preserving our heritage for future generations. All this for very little reward, he is truly a good person.
Duncan , Salisbury, UK

Jamie Oliver. A shining example to us all. He is an inspiration with the work that he has done with young people. He shows huge maturity for a young man
Helen Golding, Sevenoaks, England

Terry Wogan - a life less serious is a life to enjoy.
George Anderson, Market Bosworth, UK

Having travelled a little, it is always good to return to the UK where despite the competitive pressures of everyday life, the voices of the minorities and the 'little people' can still be heard. It's still largely a 'good' nation, epitomised by the thousands of unpaid carers!
Paul Oliver, Blandford Forum, England

Richard Dawkins; his intellectual work criticizing religious dogma in order to benefit future generations' morality, well-being and unity is both brave and remarkable. His other writings concerning evolutionary theory and genetics have also contributed to a wider understanding of who we are, and where we came from. A true gentleman.
Andrew Lusher, London, UK

It has to be Bono from U2 as he campaigns for rightous causes and is a public figure
dave roden, sutton coldfield

If you define a 'good person' as someone who makes you feel positive by their very presence, and inspires warmth, affection and love just by being them, then people like Michael Foot, Victoria Wood and Sir Bobby Robson would happily fit into this list.
Sean, Newcastle upon Tyne

Great idea. Maybe one day, instead of TV programmes like the X-Factor, someone will make a programme where "competitors" put forward ideas/projects to help other people and they are trained in various useful skills and the winner is awarded the resources to carry through the project. How about this idea, BBC bosses?
Janice, Leeds

I would nominate George Galloway for telling the truth as it is and not what the spin Government of Blair, wants us to believe.
Thomas Lowry, Leeds UK

Truly 'good' people are hard to find. I could never nominate any person who is in any way in the 'public eye' as lets face it there is always a catch and they never have any truly altruistic motives. The thousands of unsung heroes in the medical profession, the services and the armed forces would always get my vote way ahead of the Ken Loachs, and Bob Geldofs of this world
GGP, CI UK

Jane Tomlinson, one remarkable person!
Alison Sanderson, West Yorkshire UK

I think instead of looking for the well known names you should look amongst the inner city unpaid help and support centres. I am sure it would not be hard to find if you ask "the people".
Mrs. Jackie Perry, Phuket, Thailand

What about me?
gordon mann,

My nomination is Nick Griffin, Chairman of the British National Party. He is a man who is not afraid to speak the truth and confront the Political Correct nonsense.
John L. Rogers, Vinhedo, SP, Brazil

I do not want to nominate an individual. There are many thousands of volunteers across the country that should be recognised. St John Ambulance, The Lifeboat Association, Hospital Volunteer Drivers etc. etc. are all good people who freely give up their own time to help others.
Peter Rubie, Bracknell, UK

Good idea. Society is obsessively focused on celebs and sports stars who entertain, but usually don't create any form of positive legacy. We need to spend much more time recognising those that work tirelessly to make the world a better place - doctors, policemen, charity workers....
Ved, Singapore




SEE ALSO
Bob Geldof answers your questions
13 Jul 06 |  Business
Profile: Gareth Peirce
10 Mar 04 |  UK
'No hatred' for Walker murderers
01 Mar 06 |  Merseyside
The great defender
11 Mar 02 |  UK News

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