Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, June 06, 2005

Make Poverty(Coldplay) History?

I haven't got my white wristband, but the Make Poverty History campaign is one which I support. If you are rightly skeptical of the ability of aid and debt relief to make a difference I suggest reading Jeffrey Sachs who puts forward a compelling case in 'The End of Poverty'.

However one thing puzzles me about this whole Live8 business. If the aim of the concert is to create political pressure on those responsible for aid budgets to Africa, how does getting 150 000 people to come for a day to watch U2, Coldplay, Elton John, Madonna and many more achieve this?

For that lineup people would be willing to pay good money, let alone it being available for free. For an estimate of ticket prices for above mentioned bands on eBay see this. The argument supposedly is that people would not want to go if the lineup consisted of say established African stars. If this is the case then the political pressure which the politicians should supposedly be heeding does not exist.

The arrogance of some of the musicians who are 'sharing' their songs for the cause is astounding. (I would exclude Geldof and Bono as they actually spend thier time lobbying politicians but Chris Martin is truly preposterous.)

Luckily Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are behind the cause, but make no mistake most of the musicians who will be performing will be doing no more than indulging their egos.

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