The BBC held a vote for the leader of a “world government”. The results:
1 – Nelson Mandela
2 – Bill Clinton
3 – Dalai Lama
4 – Noam Chomsky
5 – Alan Greenspan
6 – Bill Gates
7 – Steve Jobs
8 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
9 – Richard Branson
10 – George Soros
11 – Kofi Annan
Interesting that Clinton ranks so highly, and Chomsky for that matter. (Was there some sort of campaign for the latter, I can’t help wondering?)
There’s a distinct broadly leftish tinge to the list – perhaps reflecting the sort of people (15,000 in total apparently, half from America) who are likely to be intrigued by the question.
You’d have to say it is a small feather in the cap of South Africa that it gets two nominees – a reflection, fair enough when you think of it, of the amazing peaceful transition in which those two men played such a part.
But the only Briton being Branson – you should be able to hear me wince – oh he’s entertaining enough, but …! (Tony Blair was 12th, which I guess you could call the British “donkey” vote.)
But, surprise surprise, no women. The BBC reports:
“Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [was] the highest-ranking woman at 13th. Hillary Clinton was the next most popular woman at 16th.”
J.K. Rowling was 49th – presumably with the youth vote.
Who would I choose? I think Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN Commissioner for Human Rights might get my vote, although I’m open to other suggestions …