This afternoon, Bob Geldof stood in front of a packed press conference and launched Live 8 with the following words:
Still 20 years on [from Live Aid], it strikes me as morally repulsive that people die of want in a world of surplus.
Bloody right. He pointed out that more people die in Africa from hunger every day than die of AIDS, conflict and other major diseases combined. It’s ridiculous, appaling, stupid and disgusting. But we can do something about it, and thousands of people are doing their best to get the message out.
However, in a hideous display of irony, this is a comment on the BBC Website regarding Live 8:
I was 14 when Live Aid was on and donated my pocket money to help. I wont donate anything this time because it’s nothing more than a political racket!
Let me make this clear: Nobody is asking for any money. Live 8 is not asking for your money (the tickets are free). Make Poverty History is not asking for any money. While they could and would be entirely justified in doing so, they are simply asking for our voices. The G8 conference is in Gleneagles on July 8th. The G8 has it within its power to eradicate poverty by 2025. The point of the concert is to draw attention to the Make Poverty History campaign, the aims of which are:
The first two aims are for long-term benefit. Africa currently pays more back in debt than it receives in aid. That’s insane. The third is for the short-term while the effects of the first two are felt.
Incidentally, Bob Geldof and Bono studied under Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics, until they gained an understanding of how the international economic system works. They’re not seeking publicity, they genuinely believe in this. Hell, everybody believes in this. It’s just a matter of convincing those in power to act.
Please, please visit the Make Poverty History website. Spend a couple of minutes reading up on their goals and aims. If you agree, and I expect you will, send emails to your MP and Tony Blair. Every voice counts. If you can march in Edinburgh on the 8th, brilliant. I want to and am going to try. It’s not marching against anything or anybody. It’s not politically biased or based on complaint. It’s for the greater good, the betterment of humanity, of standing up for what we know to be morally right.
This is no hollow cause, no political racket, no publicity stunt. Just imagine what we could do.