THE NEWSDESK: Forget George Osborne, here are my Britons of 2013

GEORGE Osborne may have been given the accolade "Briton of the Year" by The Times, but I can find few who would agree.

The man booed at the London Olympics would not be on top of many people's lists, regardless of whether or not there is now growth in the economy.

Because 2013 has seen some remarkable things done by Britons, which make Mr Osborne's title awarded for a job for which he is very well paid seem hollow and crass - and the newspaper which awarded it hopelessly out of touch.

I am going to mention just five Britons I believe are truly worthy - people who for me all deserve the honour far more than the Chancellor.

The first is someone who has achieved a first, Vale of Glamorgan woman Maria Leijerstam, who became the first person to cycle to the South Pole.

The 35-year-old beat two male rivals in a 500-mile (800km) challenge to ride across Antarctica in 10 days.

She faced snow drifts, white outs and crevasses during the journey on a purpose-built recumbent cycle.

Her mother Adrianne Leijerstam said the achievement came after "meticulous planning, super fitness both physically and mentally, and pure determination."

Miss Leijerstam set off from the Novo Russian air force base on December 16 taking a shorter steeper route than her rivals - American Daniel Burton and Spaniard Juan Menendez Granados.

The former management consultant's route took her over the potentially treacherous Leverett Glacier.

Her mother said: "From the time she was 12 years old and announced she wanted to be an astronaut, Maria has always been an adventurer."

My next three candidates are, again, all women - and I believe they showed the best of this country in the most horrific of circumstances.

The “Angels of Woolwich” faced up to the men who savagely killed Drummer Lee Rigby with little thought for their own safety.

TV footage showed two of them fearlessly tending the already-dead soldier’s body, just yards from knife and meat cleaver-wielding murderers.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, was hailed a hero for remonstrating with the men and trying to help the victim.

The single mum from Cornwall tried to reason with the killer to take his attention away from other potential victims as crowds gathered.

She said as mothers and children were in the area, she thought: "Better me than a child."

Gemini Donnelly-Martin, 20, and her mother Amanda, 44, walked up to the bloodied, knife-wielding killers and asked if they could comfort the soldier.

Gemini simply said: “It had to be done”.

Her mother knelt by Drummer Rigby's body and prayed, her daughter by her side.

Her son later told reporters his mother felt that it could have been her son lying there.

The last Briton I want to mention is Mitul Shah, the man with dual British and Kenyan citizenship, who died trying to save children at the start of the Nairobi shopping mall attack, offering himself as a hostage.

His bravery gave some of the victims time to escape from the al-Shabaab gunmen, although he was gunned down with a number of children during the siege.

His employers, the cooking oil company Bidco Oil, and his work colleagues hailed Mr Shah as a "born leader and an inspiring soul love by one and all".

Mr Shah, 38, was born in north London. After going to school in Kenya, he studied management science with computing at Kent University in Canterbury, Kent and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree.

He then joined Bidco Oil Refineries in Kenya as a management trainee and worked his way up to become a team leader in the marketing department.

Mr Shah, who left a widow, Rupal, and one-year-old daughter Sarai, was killed moments after he was helping 33 children taking part in a TV cooking contest on the roof of the Westgate centre in Nairobi. The event was being sponsored by his company.

One of the directors of Bidco, Dipak Shah, told reporters: "He was trying to negotiate the freedom of the children in order for him to be taken as a hostage.

"Some had managed to save their lives, but unfortunately he, and others, did not.

"It was a heroic and brave act - a true reflection of his soul. He was a wonderful person who always went out of his way, beyond the call of duty, to help others."

These five people all deserve all the accolades we can give - sadly Mr Shah is not here today to receive them.

Now look around you at the people in our towns and communities, and there are so many volunteers helping others, making their lives better, caring for them, speaking for them, all without pay, and all of them, too, deserve our praise far more than those who are handsomely rewarded for their efforts.

Ironic, isn't it, that someone from a government which so extolls the virtues of the "Big Society" should be so lauded and so well rewarded while these people are not.

Comments (16)

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2:02pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Ollie254 says...

I agree that the Angels of Woolwich and Mr Shah are worthy of the highest praise. Together with the actions of many young men and women serving in our armed forces in Afghanistan they deserve the accolades usually given to the theatrical Sirs and Dames who get the gongs.
Having said that turning around an economy wrecked by Labour in the face of criticism from all the left ing media and punditry is a real achievement as well.
I agree that the Angels of Woolwich and Mr Shah are worthy of the highest praise. Together with the actions of many young men and women serving in our armed forces in Afghanistan they deserve the accolades usually given to the theatrical Sirs and Dames who get the gongs. Having said that turning around an economy wrecked by Labour in the face of criticism from all the left ing media and punditry is a real achievement as well. Ollie254

3:26pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

If I may add another Briton of the Year, it would be Paris Lees who appeared on Question Time this year. She is a very intelligent and talented woman who does so much for educating the wider public about issues that we in the transsexual and gender non-conforming community face. If you want to learn something go check her excellent writing and trans advocacy out. If I may make a suggestion, it might even be worth the Argus doing an interview with her.
If I may add another Briton of the Year, it would be Paris Lees who appeared on Question Time this year. She is a very intelligent and talented woman who does so much for educating the wider public about issues that we in the transsexual and gender non-conforming community face. If you want to learn something go check her excellent writing and trans advocacy out. If I may make a suggestion, it might even be worth the Argus doing an interview with her. Katie Re-Registered

3:34pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle!
Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle! Katie Re-Registered

4:03pm Sun 29 Dec 13

KarloMarko says...

I too would like to nominate our heroic armed forces who got their butts WELL kicked in Basra and Afghanistan (And indeed N.Ireland) but still keep giving it up large.

"Mission Accomplished' as we say at Brecon HQ.
I too would like to nominate our heroic armed forces who got their butts WELL kicked in Basra and Afghanistan (And indeed N.Ireland) but still keep giving it up large. "Mission Accomplished' as we say at Brecon HQ. KarloMarko

4:21pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Llanmartinangel says...

Ollie254 wrote:
I agree that the Angels of Woolwich and Mr Shah are worthy of the highest praise. Together with the actions of many young men and women serving in our armed forces in Afghanistan they deserve the accolades usually given to the theatrical Sirs and Dames who get the gongs.
Having said that turning around an economy wrecked by Labour in the face of criticism from all the left ing media and punditry is a real achievement as well.
Yes. And as long as Labour are kept out, this is forecast.

http://m.scotsman.co
m/business/economy/b
ritain-to-top-euro-l
eague-table-by-2030-
1-3246976
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: I agree that the Angels of Woolwich and Mr Shah are worthy of the highest praise. Together with the actions of many young men and women serving in our armed forces in Afghanistan they deserve the accolades usually given to the theatrical Sirs and Dames who get the gongs. Having said that turning around an economy wrecked by Labour in the face of criticism from all the left ing media and punditry is a real achievement as well.[/p][/quote]Yes. And as long as Labour are kept out, this is forecast. http://m.scotsman.co m/business/economy/b ritain-to-top-euro-l eague-table-by-2030- 1-3246976 Llanmartinangel

4:30pm Sun 29 Dec 13

CliveAC says...

The trouble with this type of article is that one never wins. All the named contenders are obviously are exceptional.
The choice of Osborne would obviously be contentious; yet he stuck to his guns and progress seems to be achieved, fortuitiously or otherwise; personally I do not care.
In terms of naming one person, then possibly Murray. He has put UK back on the tennis map.
In terms of achievemwnt I would prefer sections, organisations, which we can cannot exist without, firemen, servicemen, police, front health. Often these are iindividuals who generally put other peoples lives in front of their own.
The trouble with this type of article is that one never wins. All the named contenders are obviously are exceptional. The choice of Osborne would obviously be contentious; yet he stuck to his guns and progress seems to be achieved, fortuitiously or otherwise; personally I do not care. In terms of naming one person, then possibly Murray. He has put UK back on the tennis map. In terms of achievemwnt I would prefer sections, organisations, which we can cannot exist without, firemen, servicemen, police, front health. Often these are iindividuals who generally put other peoples lives in front of their own. CliveAC

4:58pm Sun 29 Dec 13

KarloMarko says...

I also would like to nominate UKIP who's heroic attempts to restore sexism, racism,"Mist off Margate Xeneophobia" and a general 1950s "Sid James/UK Douglas Baderism" too often go unappreciated by our so called leaders and the shifty media.

There is nothing WITH with wearing a sheepskin coat and flogging nylons down the lane if it keeps the Poles out.
I also would like to nominate UKIP who's heroic attempts to restore sexism, racism,"Mist off Margate Xeneophobia" and a general 1950s "Sid James/UK Douglas Baderism" too often go unappreciated by our so called leaders and the shifty media. There is nothing WITH with wearing a sheepskin coat and flogging nylons down the lane if it keeps the Poles out. KarloMarko

5:51pm Sun 29 Dec 13

scraptheWAG says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle!
this is a spoof post right mandy milliband a bulldog if labour had won power at last general election i imagine britain would now be bankrupt
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle![/p][/quote]this is a spoof post right mandy milliband a bulldog if labour had won power at last general election i imagine britain would now be bankrupt scraptheWAG

6:17pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Mervyn James says...

The Briton of the year award came from the Times, who cares what these old fogies declare ? Its readers are all ex-system staff ,politicians, and old **** anyway. Come to think of it who cares about awards.... he will be remembered as 'just another tory' in Wales. Instantly forgettable...
The Briton of the year award came from the Times, who cares what these old fogies declare ? Its readers are all ex-system staff ,politicians, and old **** anyway. Come to think of it who cares about awards.... he will be remembered as 'just another tory' in Wales. Instantly forgettable... Mervyn James

6:31pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Ollie254 says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle!
We need the press, odious as they sometimes are, to protect us from the likes of Miliband and the political elite. Without the press they would lie, cheat and control us with impunity. Long live a free press, let them expose the politicos for what they are.
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle![/p][/quote]We need the press, odious as they sometimes are, to protect us from the likes of Miliband and the political elite. Without the press they would lie, cheat and control us with impunity. Long live a free press, let them expose the politicos for what they are. Ollie254

7:01pm Sun 29 Dec 13

KarloMarko says...

Well the glorious British press would never lie, fix, cheat, fit-up and destroy ordinary lives cheerfully in the guise of "freedom" aka money, would they?

They would never rant about scroungers and dodgers whilst their scumbag owners are cheerfull "tax off-shore" would they? I mean Murdoch, Rothermere? Really? Those "patriots"?

And remind me, just who is currently on trial? So many, so precious to our liberty.
Well the glorious British press would never lie, fix, cheat, fit-up and destroy ordinary lives cheerfully in the guise of "freedom" aka money, would they? They would never rant about scroungers and dodgers whilst their scumbag owners are cheerfull "tax off-shore" would they? I mean Murdoch, Rothermere? Really? Those "patriots"? And remind me, just who is currently on trial? So many, so precious to our liberty. KarloMarko

7:19pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Mervyn James says...

Ollie254 wrote:
Katie Re-Registered wrote:
Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle!
We need the press, odious as they sometimes are, to protect us from the likes of Miliband and the political elite. Without the press they would lie, cheat and control us with impunity. Long live a free press, let them expose the politicos for what they are.
Erm so far they aren't having much effect ! and they still lie, cheat and take us for mugs.... Highlighting issues hasn't stopped any of these politicians from exploiting us if they get half a chance. who monitors this 'free press' no-one by the seem of it, and their spying on people NOT politicians and violating families of murdered children, and putting up false phone calls etc, doesn't give me a lot of faith in it.

For column inches they will destroy anyone, believe it. The irony was the hated celebs (Who deserved ALL they got),managed where we couldn't, to hogtie this free press,which in turn has almost stopped the press from exposing the very people they need to. Until toilet rolls like the Sun and others are sent to oblivion there is no such thing as a free press,certainly not an honest one.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: Ed Miliband also deserves some credit for putting the press in its place this year. Granted, he was initially as terrified as any other mainstream politician of taking on the media mafia, but he overcame that by making a statement about how disgusted he was with regard to the way that persecuted transsexuals like Lucy Meadows. Once he'd done that, the press caudillos had it in for him and tried to get at him by desecrating his late father's memory whilst at the same time attempting to whip up anti-Semitism. However, Ed stood firm against the 'news'paper bullies and showed true grit by standing up to them, revealing himself to be a true British Bulldog and not a Press Poodle![/p][/quote]We need the press, odious as they sometimes are, to protect us from the likes of Miliband and the political elite. Without the press they would lie, cheat and control us with impunity. Long live a free press, let them expose the politicos for what they are.[/p][/quote]Erm so far they aren't having much effect ! and they still lie, cheat and take us for mugs.... Highlighting issues hasn't stopped any of these politicians from exploiting us if they get half a chance. who monitors this 'free press' no-one by the seem of it, and their spying on people NOT politicians and violating families of murdered children, and putting up false phone calls etc, doesn't give me a lot of faith in it. For column inches they will destroy anyone, believe it. The irony was the hated celebs (Who deserved ALL they got),managed where we couldn't, to hogtie this free press,which in turn has almost stopped the press from exposing the very people they need to. Until toilet rolls like the Sun and others are sent to oblivion there is no such thing as a free press,certainly not an honest one. Mervyn James

9:03pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Ollie254 says...

KarloMarko wrote:
Well the glorious British press would never lie, fix, cheat, fit-up and destroy ordinary lives cheerfully in the guise of "freedom" aka money, would they?

They would never rant about scroungers and dodgers whilst their scumbag owners are cheerfull "tax off-shore" would they? I mean Murdoch, Rothermere? Really? Those "patriots"?

And remind me, just who is currently on trial? So many, so precious to our liberty.
Yes the press are on trial and the people who got us into wars on the back of a lie should be there with them. The dock would have to be made bigger, however, if you put all the expenses scandal MPs and the relatives they employee as admin workers there with them. That scandal continues and we only heard half of it. Well done the Dail Telegraph.
[quote][p][bold]KarloMarko[/bold] wrote: Well the glorious British press would never lie, fix, cheat, fit-up and destroy ordinary lives cheerfully in the guise of "freedom" aka money, would they? They would never rant about scroungers and dodgers whilst their scumbag owners are cheerfull "tax off-shore" would they? I mean Murdoch, Rothermere? Really? Those "patriots"? And remind me, just who is currently on trial? So many, so precious to our liberty.[/p][/quote]Yes the press are on trial and the people who got us into wars on the back of a lie should be there with them. The dock would have to be made bigger, however, if you put all the expenses scandal MPs and the relatives they employee as admin workers there with them. That scandal continues and we only heard half of it. Well done the Dail Telegraph. Ollie254

9:08pm Sun 29 Dec 13

scraptheWAG says...

its got to be bobbey bright leader of the council
its got to be bobbey bright leader of the council scraptheWAG

1:08am Mon 30 Dec 13

smokintheweed says...

scraptheWAG wrote:
its got to be bobbey bright leader of the council
Sad git.
[quote][p][bold]scraptheWAG[/bold] wrote: its got to be bobbey bright leader of the council[/p][/quote]Sad git. smokintheweed

10:38am Mon 30 Dec 13

jaggededge says...

True bright is a sad git
True bright is a sad git jaggededge

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