Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bono: the master politician

Seasoned Bono watchers won't be surprised to note that he's turning his ire on Blair for the failure of the G8 to deliver on its promises from two years back. Not Bush - Bush, whose even weaker response Bono lavished with praise last week. Bono's modus operandi has always been to pop up to criticise leaders who are about to be voted out or step down, giving the impression that he's prepared to lecture, without the danger of losing the chance to hang out at state banquets.

(It's notable that this time round, Bono met only with Merkel and Bush, both of whom will still be in their jobs this time next year.)

Interestingly, Bob Geldof - whose business interests are primarily centred on the UK, unlike Bono's US-centric affairs - was happy to call all the G8 leaders "creeps". Except one:

"I'm really sorry for Tony Blair. He pushed this to the point of exhaustion so well done him, he had nothing to lose so he went out all guns blazing," he said.

The sad heart of the story, though, is that this is partly Bob and Bono's fault: they were the ones who took the mass demand for action behind the wire in Gleneagles, and, over some games of golf, exchanged it for some vague promises. They dispersed the crowds for their friends. And now they're surprised the promises were broken.

Perhaps it would help journalists cover these stories if they stopped referring to Bob and Bono as "rock stars" - the outcomes are a lot less surprising if you tag them as "millionaire businessmen".


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