Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Oh, sure, it might not have actually made any difference at all to the starving or dying of the world, but - hey - Live 8 did put an end to Pink Floyd's intra-band hostility:

[Roger Waters] says, "It was a great weight off my back to have a rapprochement with the three guys after all the enmity.

"Constantly, in my work, I am exhorting people to let go of entrenched positions, and that could be seen as hypocritical in view of the fact that, for all those years, I held an entrenched position in terms of the history and internal politics of Pink Floyd.

"If (Live 8) is the only time we play together for the rest of our lives, I will reap the benefits of those few days for the rest of my life."

A dying child in Niger issued a statement welcoming Water's comments:

"I am delighted to hear that the painful deaths and almost unimaginable suffering of millions of people like me have not been in vain and the many decades of western banks raping the economies of so many nations has played a small part in bringing about this joyous event. My role was only a small one in bringing this band back together, and ending their argument over whatever it was, and of course, I wouldn't want to take any of the glory away from Bob and Bono without whom our suffering might not have been turned into a tool to make multimillionaires a little more relaxed when they sleep in their soft, comfy beds at night, with full bellies and dry bedding."


Cob said...

Hey, now, it's not fair to write that Live8 'made no difference'. That's harsh, and un called for.

Much more realistic to say that it made 'very little difference' to the poor...with the added bonus that we in the 'First World' can now smugly sit back knowing that we've done our bit to help them for a few years again.

Well done the lot of us...and Pink Floyd were very good, eh?

simon h b said...

But... if there'd have been no Live 8, there would still have been a MPH campaign; and the tiny, tiny concessions would probably still have been produced at Gleneagles.

I don't think Live 8 made any difference

Cob said...

You could be right, but there's no way of knowing. I think it did a little more than nothing.

Live8, like what it did or not, certainly helped raise the profile of the MPH campaign and perhaps helped force the leaders to act at all: the big betrayal for me was Bob and Bono acting as unofficial spokesmen for the whole movement and selling it out by fainting with happiness at the morsels tossed their way - 'Crumbs From Your Table' indeed.

If they'd followed it through and expressed righteous indignation at the paltry gestures of aid then my resepct for them would have actually increased - but they didn't...what's the point in getting the ears of the big knobs if you don't use that influence? The time was perfect for really laying into them, and they effectively dropped the ball for the whole movement. Now, they can't be taken seriously at all.

simon h b said...

As you say, there's not any real way of measuring the effectiveness of Live 8 - I'm not entirely convinced that the G8 position shifted very much at Gleneagles, which seemed to be more about arguing over the detail of the disappointing deal rather than convincing people it was needed - it's not like America turned up going "There will be no slight debt reduction" and then changed their mind because of Johnny Borrell. And MPH was pretty high profile already.

But I'm totally with you on the aftermath, Cob. BonoBob should have been saying "it's not enough", not merely applauding the few crumbs tossed in the poor's direction.

simon williams said...

If you liked the floyd then why not listen to them on my site here

Andalou said...

"make a difference?" interesting topic.... I guess that all depends on your outlook. 20 years ago Bob's campaign made a difference in that it brought attention to a situation that was dire, and bleak, and nobody wanted to deal with it. Did it save Africa, no. Africa is a really big f**cking place. Did it save some lives, YES! How many? Not all of them, but it saved a few. Can you say that your actions have ever saved a life?

What is the price of life anyway? Back in 1985 it was the price of a 45 record. What is the price of life today, or the price of freedom? A DVD?

A major portion of the African continent is in shambles, by civil wars, unrest, poverty. A result of hundreds of years of tyrants and dictators and foreign involvement.

Did the Live 8 concerts do what they set out to do? It did something. Your talking about a subject that you would normally not even consider entertaining. For a small moment in your life, you are weighing out the idea that a series of concerts could influence the leaders of the largest nations of the world. Talk about lofty ideas. When your done with your rant, will you help out your neighbor, will you donate money or clothes to the poor? Will it change your world even if just for a day?

I guess it will all pan out in the coming years whether or not there is a need for Live8 Part 2, or Live8 Part 3. And if it happens, will you be first on the blogs to say that it didn’t work. I can see the headlines now – Live 8 again? And if we have to hear from the Bono and Bob show again, who might be reuniting for this show. Maybe Cher can do her comeback tour again, or the Spice Girls can give it another shot.

Christmas is coming up soon. When you walk about your warm, well furnished home with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand will you think about Africa? Or will you just be content with knowing that you bought the Live 8 DVD set; and the fact that you are listening to Pink Floyd play once more will in some way buy an afternoon snack of whole wheat flower, sugar, split peas and lentils.

Peace - out

simon h b said...

Andalou - your responses are interesting, but they're a little muddled, for a few reasons.

First of all, this blog had been doing a tiny bit for the Make Poverty History campaign ages before Live 8 was announced and railroaded the campaign - for the best part of the year we carried the MPH web-banner on the top of our site. Frankly, it's a little bit patronising of you to suggest that I wouldn't normally "enterain" thinking about African politics - rather a huge assumption on your part, isn't it?

Secondly, Live8 had absolutely nothing to do with raising money for starving people. It supposedly was about gathering public support for a fundamental change in the terms of engagement between the West and the developing world - instead, it turned out that Bob and Bono chose to piss that goodwill away by applauding a lacklustre agreement that fell short of what was being proposed two weeks before the concert took place. If Bono had chosen to stand up to his friends, refused to go to the press and tell everyone how wonderful the agreement was, maybe Live 8 could have made a difference. But it didn't, he took all that energy and will for change, and just used it to heartily slap Bush, Blair, Putin et al firmly on the back when they brought a pitifully small offer to the table.

Bono and Bob hijacked the Make Poverty History movement, milked it for all the personal publicity they could, and then drove it straight to nowhere.

Oh, and the DVDs are being flogged to pay for the concerts, not primairly to raise money for Africa. It's easy to confuse the two, I guess.

Have my actions ever saved a life? I don't know, but I do have a thing about making sure firedoors are closed. It's not much, but then I've not got a profile the size of Bono. I like to think if I did, I would do something actively useful with that - but then, if you actively try and make a difference, they tend to stop asking you back to dinner with the Bushes.

Post a Comment

As a general rule, posts will only be deleted if they reek of spam.