Hat-tip to Kerron Cross for drawing this to my attention, but the BBC's Politics Show is currently holding an end-of-year poll to find out people's
Greatest Living Political Heroes. A fair enough idea, I thought, until I saw the so-called "Magnificent Seven" shortlist which comprises the following:
Now there can be no disputing the heroic status of three of these names - Margaret Thatcher, Tony Benn and Shirley Williams - while Neil Kinnock might just scrape in for the "grotesque chaos" speech and for generally losing elections in a rather heroic way.
But Norman Tebbit? Alex Salmond? CLARE SHORT?!! Come on, you're having a laugh, surely?
The absense of my own greatest living political hero Denis Healey from this list is a startling omission on the part of the Beeb.
Denis is widely acknowledged to be the greatest Labour Prime Minister we never had and his recent interview with The Observer's Bill Keegan shows he has lost none of his sharpness.
If he had been on the list, I'm willing to bet he would have got many more votes than his old rival Tony Benn.
That is, after all, what happened in the Deputy Leadership Election in 1981, even though the union block vote nearly conspired to turn it into a Benn triumph.