Most dogged defenders of our food & farming standards: Devon MPs Ben Bradshaw, Luke Pollard and Dorset MP Simon Hoare stand amongst those who braved the government to demand standards be enshrined in law and not on the table in any future trade deals. (Devon MP Neil Parish almost made it into this select group, but fell at the last hurdle, preferring to believe the fiction that the chocolate teapot Trade & Agriculture Commission would be an adequate defence against government backsliding on standards rather than to cast another rebel vote.) Although unsuccessful, this small group of MPs were representing the will of 95 per cent of the British public on this topic. Rarely have we Brits been so united on anything.
Inspirational figure of the year: Captain Tom Moore. It started on 6 April 2020, when at the age of 99, Captain Tom began to walk laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. He made many media appearances and became a popular household name attracting over 1.5 million individual donations. He featured in a cover version of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together. The single topped the UK music charts and made him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one.
Bringers of hope and beacons of cross border cooperation: scientists working on the coronavirus vaccine. As Brexiters celebrate isolationism and exceptionalism, it is important to remember that millions of lives will be saved as a result of international collaboration.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by a multi-national team at the university and at the company, headed by French CEO.
Endurance and persistence: Steve Bray, aka Stop Brexit Man. Come rain, shine, wind or snow, Steve was outside the Houses of Parliament calling out the lies and challenging MPs and Lords. His clarion calls could be heard inside the chamber and on many of the outside broadcasts from College Green. Indefatigable. He won respect and admiration from both sides of the Brexit debate…and annoyed some Brexiters, it’s true.
Award for voicing what we all wanted to hear the media say: Emily Maitlis.
Cummings’ breach marked the beginning of the end of people’s compliance with lockdown rules and punched another hole in what was left of trust in the government. The eye test malarkey was, frankly, taking the you know what. How many lives have been lost needlessly as a consequence? Emily spoke out and was vilified. We say “Bravo!” More, please.
Look out for the baddies awards…it’s a long list, more’s the pity.