I am absolutely flummoxed by the savagery in the UK press which is being lobbed in the direction of Bob Geldof at his attempts to organise Live8. I am staggered at the narrow-minded opinionated drivel that is being aired.
Every single person who feels this welling urge to attack the man is completely and utterly missing the point of what he is trying to do. He is accused of being a hypocritical millionaire, by the same people who say he is a crap musician who hasn't sold any records in years.
And your point is? Do any of you personally know Bob and have access to his bank accounts? Can you say what percentage of his personal wealth he has given away over the years in charitable donations? Didn't think so.
He is criticised for the line-up, not enough African acts. It's a fair point, there aren't. But what percentage of the British population would turn up to the show if it had been headlined by African acts? My guess is not many.
There are many things wrong with the attitudes, tastes, opinions and morals of people living in wealthy countries, and he can't possibly be held responsible for them all or expected to change them overnight. If he influences even just a handful of people with this concert then it is a job well done. And what is with the persistent complaints about Coldplay playing and how awful their music is - grow up, what have your personal musical tastes got to do with raising awareness about poverty?
The poisoned arrows are slung at him for being 'a failed popstar' and therefore, obviously, a complete idiot and unable to grasp world politics. Haven't you noticed what happens when the running of the world is left to the 'experts'? Why can't he know as much as anyone about trade, aid, debt relief? If a person is in a wheelchair does this mean they can't learn French? If a person is black can they not be a gourmet chef? What kind of farcical non-logic is running through these people's minds?
'Whinge - Africa is not the only place experiencing poverty'. We know that. Gotta start somewhere. Toss a coin. 'Whinge - Africa is totally corrupt. If we wipe out debt the leaders will just steal the aid money.' So what, we should do nothing? Seriously? Then you'd better get down on your knees every night and give thanks to your Kinesiologist that you weren't born a starving woman being raped in a war-torn country.
If the IMF and the World Bank can give loans which come loaded with crippling restrictions and conditions I'm sure future aid can be given with conditions of transparency on expenditure and on the proviso of non-corruption. 'Whinge – I hate celebrities, it's all for themselves.' Well think about that next time you're jerking off over a picture of Paris Hilton and having an 'ironic' discussion about Celebrity Love Island.
Bob Geldof is not a saint, I'm sure he hates that ridiculous label. Live8 is not perfect, nothing ever is. But why not give the man some credit for trying to make some difference? As he says, it's about AWARENESS, about wanting to change things. About getting off your backside and letting politicians and world leaders know that you're not happy with how things are being run. Maybe debt relief is not the way forward. Maybe increased aid is a waste of time. But at least open up the debate, for surely you cannot be suggesting that everything is ok as it is?
What would be preferential, that you all carry on sitting on your fat arses and living in your own cossetted little bubble, listening to whichever band is 'cooler' than Coldplay on your ipod, but it's ok really cos you buy Fair Trade coffee when you go to Starbucks?
Another one under fire for drumming up publicity to Make Poverty History is Bono. Again, cries of 'self-aggrandizing popstar, not his place, blah blah blah, sucking up to George Bush'.
Personally I think George W Bush is an evil misguided grunt who probably ought to be tried for crimes against humanity, locked up and the key swallowed by the Loch Ness Monster, but does my opinion influence his policies? Hell no. If Bono manages to get him to act in a more humanitarian manner by chuckling over Jesus-stories, then more power to his elbow. At least he is doing something. You, all you rabid, close-minded, selfish selfish stone-throwing people, what have you done lately?
I would like you all to come and look in the eyes of the kind of people we are trying to help in Zambia. Maybe Mary, HIV+, a widow, husband died of AIDS. Eight of her own children to look after and five nieces and nephews orphaned from her sister's death from AIDS. Drought in Zambia this year, empty maize fields. An entire household with growling stomachs. Can't exactly nip down the shops for a takeaway. A kid without food in its stomach will not have the energy to go to school. A malnutritioned HIV+ mother will not live long. More orphans. And so it goes on. Look them in the eye and say 'Yeah, Live8, load of rubbish, that Geldof is only in it for himself. And I won't go cos I hate Coldplay.'