Thursday, March 09, 2006


Roger Waters has spent the last decade or so mentioning his part in the celebrations of fall the Berlin Wall, which makes it slightly surprising he's offered to go along and play a show in Tel Aviv while the Isreali government are still building their "defensive barrier." He's been sent a request by a group of Palestinian artists asking him to reconsider.

Waters has a pat response:

"I would not rule out going to Israel because I disapprove of the foreign policy any more than I would refuse to play in the UK because I disapprove of Tony Blair's foreign policy."

Interesting. Let's take that theory - "if I were going to object to one government's foreign policy, I'd have to make a moral judgement on every government's foreign policies" - and apply it to that key internet test case, 1930s Germany.

On this basis, Waters would happily have gone to play Berlin even as the tanks were rolling through the streets of Austria, because - hey - otherwise he'd have to always be acting on his conscience, and how tiresome would that be?

Come to that, why did Waters have to wait for the Wall to come down before he played Berlin? Surely if you can happily dissociate yourself from the foreign policy of the place you're playing in, he could have gone and done a jolly tune or two in Potsdammer Platz even while kids in hot air balloons were being shot at Checkpoint Charlie? If you don't care about the policies adopted by local politicians, how can you turn up to celebrate the end of the Berlin Wall?

Perhaps the oddest thing, though, is Waters' happiness to criticise the Bush government in song on Leaving Beirut and To Kill The Child. But then, of course, there's money to made making anti-Bush records for the greying hippy market; there's money to be made playing Tel Aviv. Principles should never come in the way of commerce, eh, Roger?