Wednesday, December 28, 2005


As a multi-millionaire businessman, it's only ever been a matter of time before Bob Geldof completed his drift rightwards and started to work for the Tory party.

Geldof - at least since making his first pile of cash - has always had a conservative streak (you'll recall, of course, his outrage that teenage girls magazines talked to teenage girls in a language teenage girls would respond to, for instance) but it's surprising to see that a man who claimed he wasn't getting too close to party leaders has made such a blatantly party-political move.

Of course, you could accept his argumen at face value when he maintains that "I don't care who I have to go to to try to make this agenda work", but this isn't simply about sitting down and making suggestions. He's joined a policy group determining policy for a political party, and been at least complicit in allowing his joining to be press-released at a time when it would receive a disproprtionate amount of coverage and play into the portrayal of David Cameron as the coming man of British politics.

Jim McCabe sent us this take:

Simon, spin doctors on both sides will, doubtless, make much of Geldof's "non-partisan" status. The Tories will revel in securing an "endorsement" of Cameron's new reign, while Geldof's office will be savvy enough to know that this alignment risks alienating the Guardian/Independent element of the Live8 support, so will stress Geldof's "individuality".

Of course, it would never have happened under Thatcher, a woman who would have been much happier with Geldof outside the tent pissing in. Now, though, he's going to be in the mess hall, tucking in. We're waiting to hear how Cameron intends to increase aid levels to a point which can make a difference while cutting domestic taxes, and exactly what the party of choice of the CBI will be prepared to give up in terms of foreign trade to help others. Without wanting to sound too cynical, we suspect that Cameron's entire developing world policy might have been 1. Sign up Geldof; 2. Parade Geldof; 3. Erm, that's it.


Anonymous said...

That distant sound you hear. The one like thunder is the sound of the impending Tory government.

Labour are about to tear themselves apart and the tories will sail in and win three terms as Labour get down to a good bit of old-fashioned in-fighting. Just like the old days.

But the difference this time is that while Thatcher's approach was to be upfront about how much she was going to hurt you, Cameron's will be touchy feely, he'll take away your jobs with a smile. And you'll thank him for it.

Marvellous. Fucking marvellous.

Anonymous said...

Nobody who cares about Africa can take New Lab seriously. Jack Straw couldn't recognise Bob Mugabe at the UN, and ended up shaking his hand and greeting him warmly. Only in 2009 will our overseas aid reach the target New Lab set in its manifesto in 1997.

I'm no fan of Geldof or the way MPH was hijacked this summer, but the only way to get anything done in this world is at the political level. This government is a failing government and if he has to work with the Tories to coerce Labour into a proper left-wing position on international aid, so be it.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Mmm, anonymous - the threat of a smiling Thatcher is a nasty one; but we're a long way from a Tory government yet.

Disgusted: I can see there's a possiblity that Geldof is hanging round with the Tories to make Blair jealous - but since that's the most generous interpretation anyone can think of, and it being a poor idea, it's much more likely that Geldof is more comfortable with a party which has only really shown itself to be in favour of companies making large profits and people paying smaller taxes.

New Labour's position is pretty poor, but part of the reason why is because Bob & Bono pissed away the massive support for change at Gleneagles. Those millions of people's demands for change were carried there by these two multi-millionaires, and when the demands were ignored, instead of standing up and calling the "world leaders", they stood up and applauded them.

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