The myth of Saint Bob

What a cracking article by Andy Kershaw in The Independent. You should, of course, read it all, but here are some edited highlights:

Geldof’s arrogance is breathtaking. First, he dismisses the idea of having Africans on his bill since, supposedly, they are not big enough draws. Now, outrageously, he is planning to corral the Africans into Cornwall rather than allow them to appear on the same stage, on equal terms, with their European and American counterparts. And I thought apartheid was dead …

…All that is needed is a smattering of Africa’s finest across all five concerts. This would have been so much less patronising to Africa and could have done so much for African self-esteem… Now, his compromise is to ghettoise the Africans in the West Country.

I am delighted the Live8 organisers have now heeded my call to stage one of the concerts for Africa in Africa. The announcement of the line-up has been delayed while sponsorship is drummed up. This is, reportedly, because the organisers have only allocated a total budget of one tenth the hourly budget of the London show – tossing the Africans crumbs from the table of Europe’s rock aristocracy…

If Geldof has genuine empathy with the continent he claims to champion, he wouldn’t be telling Africa’s world-beating performers that they’re not worthy to share a stage with himself and his tedious friends.

Via The Sharpener.

I’ve just about given up talking about Geldof myself. He appears to become increasingly egotistical every day. He does well out of African poverty; if it wasn’t for Africa, Geldof would be a washed-up has-been. Now his media company rakes in millions. Selling concert tickets makes “dirty money”, but making money out of Africa is apparently okay so long as it goes in Geldof’s pockets.

1 comment

  1. good comment by Bill Thompson – BBC:

    “And meanwhile, I will spend 2 July doing something that minimises my exposure to Live 8 and all that it stands for – the popstar mentality that believes that a bunch of ageing musicians and a bunch of wannabe millionaires prancing around a few stages can do anything to raise awareness or affect political will.

    Maybe I will go and spend the day helping out at my local Oxfam store, selling fair trade products and doing the small scale work on the ground that can really make a difference in the long run, rather than the grandiose gesture that changes nothing but makes some famous people feel good about their wealth.”