Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Interesting... as you'll recall, the original booking for Hyde Park on July 2nd was in the name of the Prince's Trust, for the annual Party In The Park. Now it turns out that the deal for the PT to step aside and let Live 8 have the park is a hefty GBP1.6 million pound payment to the trust. And where is that money going to come from?

Well, it'll come from the money raised by the text-messaging being done to distribute tickets.

But wasn't this meant to be a free gig?

Apparently not; every entry to try and get the free tickets will cost one pound fifty.

But this isn't supposed to be a fund-raiser, is it? Wasn't it supposed to be an awareness-raiser?

Well, it's raising awareness of the potential of mobile phones as a revenue-raising device, isn't it?

More to the point, perhaps, is the sudden shift of cash from the Make Poverty History to the Prince's Trust. Now, the Prince's Trust is a fine organisation, and it does very good work, but isn't there something a little suspect it over a million and a half quid being shifted from one charity campaign to another on little more than a whim. It's like Guide Dogs for the Blind giving the first ten grand it gets from a dog-shaped collection box to the Spastics Society, in return for the Spastics Society moving their child-in-calipers collecting box from the High Street.

What's more, the pledge is that the PT only gets the "first" GBP1.6million, which means the organisers are expecting that to be the minimum cash they pull in. There are only 145,000 tickets on offer, which means they're excpecting at least ten disappointed punters to be one pound fifty worse off. Oh, plus the cost of text message payment to their phone networks - great news for Orange, 3, Vodaphone, O2 and T-Mobile, who can look forward to an extra million plus messages generating revenues for them.

But if the first one and a half mill has been spoken for, earmarked for something other than the supposed aims of the event, then the rest of the cash will go towards helping make poverty history, right?

Nope - the residue will "go towards the cost of staging the event."

So, a big, free gig with the aim of Making Poverty History actually going to be raising cash for mobile phone operators and the companies involved in staging the gigs. Yep, that's going to tilt the world on its axis alright.


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