I bet most of you know this man:
Yes, it's the odious Russell Brand, best known for being a dick, for having been married for a while to Katy Perry, for making insulting phone calls (with the equally odious Jonathan Ross) to Andrew Sachs, and for having about as much talent as a three-day old turd that's been stepped on by a size ten boot…oh, and he's 'helped' raise some money for Amnesty International by taking part in their 'Secret Policeman's Ball' in 2012 (hence the photo). He also (apparently), supports the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Mines Advisory Group, the Noreen Fraser Foundation and the Small Steps Project.
A lot of people will recognise the face, know about the man and have a good idea about what he has 'achieved'.
Now, do you know this man?
What if I told you that this is Sir Nicholas Winton MBE.
Well, Sir Nicholas was responsible for the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War and for finding them homes and safe passage to Britain.
Rather than shouting from the rooftops and seeking out the plaudits of his fellow men (which are richly deserved, by the way), Sir Nicholas kept quiet about what he'd done until his wife, Grete, found in their attic some fifty years later a scrapbook that contained a list of the names of the children, their parents' names, and the names and addresses of the families that took them in here in the UK. By sending letters to these addresses, it was possible to trace eighty of 'Winton's Children'. What happened next is quite extraordinary and almost impossible not to cry at! Click the link to the That's Life programme below:
'That's Life' programme aired in 1988
So, how is it that some vacuous, obnoxious git like Russell Brand can be so well known and so 'admired' by the general population, and yet such a quiet, unassuming and yet utterly heroic individual like Sir Nicholas Winton can be virtually unknown? What does that say about who and what we, the great public, choose to 'celebrate'?
I guess it's just the fact that those whose achievements are truly worth celebrating are precisely the kind of people who wouldn't want them to be celebrated…and vice versa.
Sir Nicholas Winton MBE - as far as I am concerned, you are just a top, top bloke!