Monday, June 24, 2013

Bono: Mainly doing good for Bono, big business

You know what I'd hate to be? I'd hate to be one of those people who have spent much of the last decade giving Bono the benefit of the doubt.

Because those doubts are starting to pile up now.

First, last week there was George Monbiot, asking what the hell was Bono's One campaign doing endorsing the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

This "Alliance" means, for example, that farmers in Mozambique who use free seed, saved from the last year's harvest, become outlaws; the better to enforce Monsanto's seeds onto the developing world.

Why, no, insists ONE: this is a good thing:

Seed policy reforms pursued by new alliance countries are designed to make the local seed market flourish and enable smallholder farmers to access the same types of improved seeds that raise yields and income levels, which more productive farmers take for granted elsewhere in the world.
Well, yes. Forcing people to buy seed is good news for the seed market, and without a market there wouldn't be a place for smallholders to purchase seeds from Monsanto, with all the claimed benefits of Monsant... hang about, aren't you meant to be a charity promoting the development of Africa, rather than a corporation selling seed to the continent?

Monbiot's piece was inspired, in part, by the publication of The Frontman, a filleting of Bono's role as "one who has become an unwitting symbol of a complacent wealthy Western elite".

And the third scoop? He's done an interview with Focus On The Family, the Colorado-based far-right Jesus fundamentalists.

What sort of people is it Bono is hanging out with?

An organisation that wants transgender people to be banned from using public toilets.

They're - shall we say - gay hostile.

They're selling camouflage trucker caps with little crosses on them.

They're desperate to stop government from being able to object to having to fund sectarian organisations.

So why is Bono helping them out by sprinkling a little of his stardust?

Surely, this is the point where people have to stop making excuses for him, right?

Unbelievably, his fanbase are trying to spin this, too:
It may appear that Focus on the Family is using Bono. But I think the case could be made that Bono using them. He's long talked about how the churches need to wake up to what their scriptures are telling them: help the poor. By doing this interview, he can leverage support from a huge and influential group, Evangelical America. Bono is both a believer and a good salesman. Thanks for sharing!
"No, no; he isn't burning down the orphanage; he's merely ensuring that the petrol soaked-rags aren't around to cause problems any more. You've got to trust the man..."