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Live 8... (The rich score "pop-points")

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  • Live 8... (The rich score "pop-points")

    What did/do you guys think about this thing?
    I'm going to bed now but please rant a little.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/4642169.stm

    See you guys in th morning.

  • #2
    John Pilger said it all for me:
    Tony Blair's "vision for Africa" is about as patronising and exploitative as a stage full of white pop stars (with black tokens now added). By John Pilger

    The front page of the Observer on 12 June announced, "$55bn Africa debt deal 'a victory for millions'". The "victory for millions" is a quotation of Bob Geldof, who said, "Tomorrow 280 million Africans will wake up for the first time in their lives without owing you or me a penny . . ." The nonsense of this would be breathtaking if the reader's breath had not already been extracted by the unrelenting sophistry of Bob Geldof, Bono, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, the Observer et al.

    Africa's imperial plunder and tragedy have been turned into a circus for the benefit of the so-called G8 leaders due in Scotland next month and those of us willing to be distracted by the barkers of the circus: the establishment media and their "celebrities". The illusion of an anti-establishment crusade led by pop stars - a cultivated, controlling image of rebellion - serves to dilute a great political movement of anger. In summit after summit, not one significant "promise" of the G8 has been kept, and the "victory for millions" is no different. It is a fraud - actually a setback to reducing poverty in Africa. Entirely conditional on vicious, discredited economic programmes imposed by the World Bank and the IMF, the "package" will ensure that the "chosen" countries slip deeper into poverty.

    Is it any surprise that this is backed by Blair and Brown, and Bush; even the White House calls it a "milestone"? For them, it is a useful facade, held up by the famous and the naive and the inane. Having effused about Blair, Geldof describes Bush as "passionate and sincere" about ending poverty. Bono has called Blair and Brown "the John and Paul of the global development stage". Behind this front, rapacious power can "reorder" the lives of millions in favour of totalitarian corporations and their control of the world's resources.

    There is no conspiracy; the goal is no secret. Gordon Brown spells it out in speech after speech, which liberal journalists choose to ignore, preferring the Treasury spun version. The G8 communique announcing the "victory for millions" is unequivocal. Under the section headline "G8 proposals for HIPC debt cancellation", it says that debt relief will be granted to poor countries only if they are shown to be "adjusting their gross assistance flows by the amount given": in other words, their aid will be reduced by the same amount as the debt relief. So they gain nothing. Paragraph two states that "it is essential" that poor countries "boost private sector development" and ensure "the elimination of impediments to private investment, both domestic and foreign".

    The "$55bn" claimed by the Observer comes down, at most, to آ£1bn spread over 18 countries. This will almost certainly be halved - providing less than six days' worth of debt payments - because Blair and Brown want the IMF to pay its share of the "relief" by revaluing its vast stock of gold, and passionate and sincere Bush has said no. The first unmentionable is that the gold was plundered originally from Africa. The second unmentionable is that debt payments are due to rise sharply from next year, more than doubling by 2015. This will mean not "victory for millions", but death for millions.

    At present, for every $1 of "aid" to Africa, $3 are taken out by western banks, institutions and governments, and that does not include the repatriated profit of transnational corporations. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thirty-two corporations, all of them based in G8 countries, dominate the exploitation of this deeply impoverished, minerals-rich country where millions have died in the "cause" of 200 years of imperialism. In Cote d'Ivoire, three G8 companies control 95 per cent of the processing and export of cocoa, the main resource. The profits of Unilever, a British company long in Africa, are a third larger than Mozambique's GDP. One American company, Monsanto - of genetic engineering notoriety - controls 52 per cent of South Africa's maize seed, that country's staple food.

    Blair could not give two flying faeces for the people of Africa. Ian Taylor at the University of St Andrews used the Freedom of Information Act to learn that while Blair was declaiming his desire to "make poverty history", he was secretly cutting the government's Africa desk officers and staff. At the same time, his "Department for International Development" was forcing, by the back door, privatisation of water supply in Ghana for

    the benefit of British investors. This ministry lives by the dictates

    of its "Business Partnership Unit", which is devoted to finding "ways in which DfID can improve the enabling environment for productive investment overseas and . . . contribute to the operation of the overseas financial sector".

    Poverty reduction? Of course not. Instead, the world is subjected to a charade promoting the modern imperial ideology known as neoliberalism, yet it is almost never reported that way and the connections are seldom made. In the issue of the Observer announcing "victory for millions" was a secondary news item that British arms sales to Africa had reached آ£1bn. One British arms client is Malawi, which pays out more on the interest on its debt than its entire health budget, despite the fact that 15 per cent of its population has HIV. Gordon Brown likes to use Malawi as an example of why "we should make poverty history", yet Malawi will not receive a penny of the "victory for millions" relief.

    The charade is a gift for Blair, who will try anything to persuade the public to "move on" from the third unmentionable: his part in the greatest political scandal of the modern era, his crime in Iraq. Although essentially an opportunist, as his lying demonstrates, he presents himself as a Kiplingesque imperialist. His "vision for Africa" is as patronising and exploitative as a stage full of white pop stars (with black tokens now added). His Messianic references to "shaking the kaleidoscope" of societies about which he understands little and watching the pieces fall have translated into seven violent interventions abroad, more than any British prime minister in half a century. Bob Geldof, an Irishman at his court, duly knighted, says nothing about this.



    The protesters going to the G8 summit at Gleneagles ought not to allow themselves to be distracted by these games. If inspiration is needed, along with evidence that direct action can work, they should look to Latin America's mighty popular movements against total locura capitalista (total capitalist folly). They should look to Bolivia, the poorest country in Latin America, where an indigenous movement has Blair's and Bush's corporate friends on the run, and Venezuela, the only country in the world where oil revenue has been diverted for the benefit of the majority, and Uruguay and Argentina, Ecuador and Peru, and Brazil's great landless people's movement. Across the continent, ordinary people are standing up to the old Washington-sponsored order. "IQue se vayan todos!" (Out with them all!) say the crowds in the streets.

    Much of the propaganda that passes for news in our own society is given to immobilising and pacifying people and diverting them from the idea that they can confront power. The current babble about Europe, of which no reporter makes sense, is part of this; yet the French and Dutch No votes are part of the same movement as in Latin America, returning democracy to its true home: that of power accountable to the people, not to the "free market" or the war policies of rampant bullies. And this is just a beginning.
    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

    Comment


    • #3
      Still, it provided Pilger with something to fulminate on for a few thousand words. At least us here all do it for free!

      Sorry, but to me this just comes across as pompous and holier-than-thou. I don't believe it's analysis of Blair and Brown's motives, although it may be spot on in it's analysis of the actions of UK Plc. Unfortunately government is about having to balance many contradictory forces. Why not praise the intentions and say 'Nice start, now what about these arms sales?'.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sadly, "pompous and holier-than-thou" more or less sum up Pilger these days. However, this piece appealed to me as the antidote to all the Live 8 hype. Perhaps it was those pictures of 'Saint' Bob cuddling up to Blair. Perhaps it was hearing that he had instructed the performers not to criticise Blair or Bush from the stage ("Don't mention the war"!). Perhaps it was even his performance of 'I don't like Mondays'... :x

        Never have I seen such a politically stage-managed event. Of course, its a two-edged sword and gives loony lefties like me a ready-made soap-box to fulminate from, but overall the impression is given that Blair is really a good guy after all and that, just possibly, he, all those pop stars, and that nice man Bill Gates will be able to persuade those men in the G8 to listen to 'us' and "make poverty history". What an inversion of reality!

        Of course there are various motives at work here, but they are no more 'humanitarian' than the carpet-bombing of Yugoslavia. Even Bush might just about slip past a lie detector as he decries 'extreme' poverty. After all, rather than just uselessly dying by the side of the road, all those Africans could more productively be living in common-or-garden non-extreme poverty and slaving away for the corporations in maquiladoras and sweatshops - particularly now Latin America seems to be playing up again. There has to be somewhere to ship production off to when the natives start getting restless!

        Here endeth the rant.
        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey, we NEED Pop Stars to lead us on the path of Goodness! ( :P )

          I wonder how many of them were thinking of poor peoples as they were driving in their limos to the various after-gig parties?
          Madness is always the best armor against Reality

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Daily Mirror
            EXCLUSIVE: GIVE 8
            Macca and The Who back Mirror call to donate their profits as CD sales rocket after Live 8
            By Cameron Robertson
            LIVE 8 stars vowed yesterday to donate to charity massive profits from the Hyde Park gig after a Mirror call.


            Profits from soaring CD sales and downloads in the first week after Bob Geldof's Make Poverty History concert for Africa could top آ£1million. Urged by the Mirror, Paul McCartney, The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, Eurythmics' Annie Lennox and Keane agreed to pledge their shares.


            They follow Pink Floyd lead guitarist Dave Gilmour, who earlier declared: "This money should be used to save lives." Other stars said their charity donations remained private but hinted they would also contribute.


            Geldof said last night: "This is very much in the spirit of the day. It's a wonderful gesture and if others want to do it, that's fantastic."
            http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_obje...name_page.html

            One must respect their desire for privacy as to the actual amounts, poor dears...
            \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

            Comment


            • #7
              Once we get over all the cynicism and tub-thumping (on both sides of the argument) I think it's worth looking at where the Live 8 concerts came out of and why they happened. Here follows my extremely limited and possibly myopic understanding of the situation (based on some causal reading of the Independent, the BBC and the Internet):

              Last year saw the release of Band Aid 20, the re-release of the original 1984 single, this time in aid of (I think) the situation in Darfur. The situation there is somewhat different to the original Ethiopia famine disaster of '84, since the explicit cause behind Darfur (aiui) is entirely political (Ethiopia was also political but the fact that the harvests had failed for a number of years excerbated the situation there.) At the time of the single's re-issue there was a statement on the Band Aid 20 web site to the effect of:
              you can't put a band aid on the gaping wound of hunger and poverty...[it's] a political wound that can't be healed by pop singers and people [buying] records. They can help to stop innocence dying and to focus attention, but its politicians job to fix it. When you buy this record it becomes a political demand that...when Tony Blair meets the world's seven richest leaders [at the G8 summit] on the [20th] anniversary week of Live Aid...they know that millions bought this song to demand, finally, that...people stop dying of hunger in Africa each year...
              At the time, afaik, there was no suggestion from the Band Aid organisers that they would do a Live Aid 2 type of concert. There were suggestions in the UK media that there should be a LA2 concert, but istr Geldof was pretty adament that he wouldn't do LA2.

              A few months ago there was a report that some people were going to try to stage a LA2 concert, but BG said that while they might stage the concert the name 'Live Aid' was trademarked and they couldn't use that. Nonetheless, there did appear (to me at least in my uninformed little world) to be some kind of public groundswell for a concert of some description, and whether you think the motives were genuine or fake Bob Geldof and Midge Ure did decide that it would be possible to organise a series of concerts in the run up to the G8 summit in all the G8 countries as a display of public support for a change in attitudes to Africa on the part of the developed world.

              Unlike Live Aid, Live 8 didn't have fund-raising at its centre but 'consciousness-raising', whatever that might be. Again, whatever you might think of the motivations of the people who appeared at the Live 8 concerts, the people who went or the people who watched on their TV sets (and I have to admit that I only watched some highlights on BBC3) I think the end result is to enable Blair and Brown (neither of whom I'm a fan of) to say to the other G8 leaders, 'look, our people want us to do something about this'. It's not the concerts themselves that will change anything, but the ability to point to 2.8 billion people and use them as leverage to make politicians face up to their responsibilites is a powerful weapon imo.

              Will any of this make any difference at the end of the day? Personally I doubt it. The primary skill of your modern politician is the ability to appear like they're doing what you want while all the time doing (or failing to do) something else. Bush will repeat his mantra of 'doing what's right for the US' (which translates as what's right for Halliburton), the European leaders will bicker and squabble as they always do and although they'll say a lot down at the grass roots level little will actually change. There's too much self-interest at stake for anything fundemental to happen. Are Blair and Brown cynically using the summit to boost their domestic images? If they are, then they're doing it on the wrong side of a general election, so actually I think they're probably genuine about their desire to make a difference, but whether they actually will is unclear.

              Is Geldof cynically using the Live 8 concert to boost his back catalog? Personally I don't think Geldof can win on this one; if he did nothing he'd be accused of turning his back on Africa, but by doing something he opens himself up to a whole load of criticisms about how many African musicians there are, the whole back catalog thing of the acts that appear, etc. Is Geldof a saint? Of course not - I don't believe in saints, outside of the notion that we're all saints in our own private lives anyway - but he moves through the set as an indefatigable moral force, saying 'this is the right thing to do so f*cking do it', which is a huge responsibility.

              I agree there is something faintly absurd about the world's richest man (Bill Gates) going on to the Hyde Park stage and telling the G8 to 'make poverty history' when here's a man who could probably wipe out the entire debt in Africa with a pen stroke. But Gates is only a private citizen, it's not down to him to sort out the world's problems (he can't even sort out Microsoft's software problems :P). Even if Gates did personally cancel the entire African debt situation that wouldn't solve the root underlying causes of the problems that Africa faces. It would, as we observed at the top, merely be a band aid over a larger, gaping political wound.

              And that is why the meeting today in Edinburgh is so important, because it's not organising concerts or cancelling debt (or more likely arranging 'debt relief') that's going to achieve anything, it's all about changing the ways we all think, act and behave towards each other whether in the UK, Europe, the West, Africa, the Third World or wherever.

              Cheers,
              David
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DeepFixer
                Hey, we NEED Pop Stars to lead us on the path of Goodness! ( :P )

                I wonder how many of them were thinking of poor peoples as they were driving in their limos to the various after-gig parties?
                I think bands like say Napalm Death and The Dead Kennedys and other underground punk or metal bands with politically or socially oriented texts have raised my consciousness more than any pop-group can ever do.

                I like those DIY people who have the guts to stand up and do it their own way. While doing alot to help the afflicted in their private lives.

                I saw Cameron Diaz on Oprah (flipping channels) talking about issue's related to this. I think it was about voting in America. She said that 'apathy' was what got Hitler in power, or something like that. What a f**king naive assumption. I wish I could fly over there and bitch-slap her silly and tell her that it was because of economic and social situations and racial scapegoating. When there is a sharp economic polarization in society people will vote for the guy who seemingly could turn the tide for them. And the big businessmen could never have gotten a better deal for their buck. At home or abroad....

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's obviously time to revive this: http://eclectech.co.uk/banned-aid.php :lol:

                  I can also testify to the power of politically motivated music, having been a great CRASS fan in my time (it's interesting that Bjork emerged from this scene with KUKL - her L8 performance was not screened here - did anyone see it?) Jello Biafra would have been a wicked compere!

                  On TV this morning Richard D North was saying that Blair and Brown had made a 'political mistake' aligning themselves so closely with L8 and MPH as the paltry measures they are proposing will in no way satisfy the protesters. But surely Blair must realise this? Some other cynic on R4 observed that he is a dab hand at manipulating the type of broad fuzzy sentiment that L8 induces.

                  That's my problem, I guess. I don't think its politically good for the UK, let alone Africa, for Blair to be seen the as a good guy. We need to reclaim the Labour Party for the purposes for which it was intended.

                  I must say, however, that watching 'anarchists' (or are they agent provocateurs?) smashing car windows is not an edifying spectacle, either. Sometimes I despair of the left.

                  It could be argued, by the way, that a bit more apathy all round would have stopped Hitler. He was able to win the backing of Big Business because the Communists were starting to pose a serious threat; the Nazis' first task was to crush the workers' movement. And do apathetic people really carry out industrialised genocide? I think not. I wish these media airheads could keep quiet if they don't know what they're talking about.
                  \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll agree on the Dead Kennedys, because ever since I was 13 that Biafra chap has been making me feel mighty guilty about military actions that took place before I could even read and write! Bless him.

                    On the pop front, I'd just like to put in a good word for Shakira, the Colombian hip-shaker best known for Objection (Tango) and Wherever, whenever. Not the most "political" songs ever recorded, but as an individual she has set up a charitable organisation to help children in her own country stay in school and get some decent food on their plates.

                    http://www.fundacionpiesdescalzos.com/english/index.php
                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [quote="Mikey_C"]It's obviously time to revive this: http://eclectech.co.uk/banned-aid.php :lol:

                      That sums it up pretty nicely.

                      Originally posted by Mikey_C
                      I can also testify to the power of politically motivated music, having been a great CRASS fan in my time (it's interesting that Bjork emerged from this scene with KUKL - her L8 performance was not screened here - did anyone see it?) Jello Biafra would have been a wicked compere!
                      Yeah.. I'm not personally keen on Bjأ¶rk's style. But she's good at creating the music that she wants. And I respect her as a visual artist.
                      Music to make people think at least.

                      Originally posted by Mikey_C
                      On TV this morning Richard D North was saying that Blair and Brown had made a 'political mistake' aligning themselves so closely with L8 and MPH as the paltry measures they are proposing will in no way satisfy the protesters. But surely Blair must realise this? Some other cynic on R4 observed that he is a dab hand at manipulating the type of broad fuzzy sentiment that L8 induces.
                      L8 is nothing more than to up the revenues of records sale's (no more no less) sorry on my deterministic and arrogant leaning on this issue.
                      Making a worldwide revolution into a fad is the totally wrong way to adress any issue. And Africa has been a geopolitical pawn to make people feel sorry for instead of strengthening their exports and providing them the healthcare they need.

                      Why no domestic african bands/music, people state in "bloggs", like those chants and whatnot.. Look above!

                      Show me 'their' culture.. Not western capitalist culture.


                      Originally posted by Mikey_C
                      That's my problem, I guess. I don't think its politically good for the UK, let alone Africa, for Blair to be seen the as a good guy. We need to reclaim the Labour Party for the purposes for which it was intended.
                      I should say the same of our Social-Democratic party. But Social Democracy seems to be on a roll-back nowadays.
                      Just like "the welfare state".


                      Originally posted by Mikey_C
                      I must say, however, that watching 'anarchists' (or are they agent provocateurs?) smashing car windows is not an edifying spectacle, either. Sometimes I despair of the left.
                      What some idiots who claim they are leftists do, is not to be confused with leftism. I think it's because leftists speak about "revolution" alot and that gets people confused to mean a violent riot or destruction of small shops.
                      I don't think "the revolution" was meant to be destructive.

                      I think this needs considerable debate among leftists to younger people.
                      Because it sure made me shirk away from leftist politics, and thinking, at the start.

                      Originally posted by Mikey_C
                      It could be argued, by the way, that a bit more apathy all round would have stopped Hitler. He was able to win the backing of Big Business because the Communists were starting to pose a serious threat; the Nazis' first task was to crush the workers' movement. And do apathetic people really carry out industrialised genocide? I think not. I wish these media airheads could keep quiet if they don't know what they're talking about.
                      Definetely!

                      Maybe it's disinformation or maybe i'm expecting too much from a hollywood actress. I at least watched that propaganda movie "Triumph Of The Will" to know a little more about the movement and violent seizure of power in germany. At least the one it wanted to portray to the outside world. I didn't see any apathy though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                        On the pop front, I'd just like to put in a good word for Shakira, the Colombian hip-shaker best known for Objection (Tango) and Wherever, whenever. Not the most "political" songs ever recorded, but as an individual she has set up a charitable organisation to help children in her own country stay in school and get some decent food on their plates.
                        Maybe thats because she's been hanging around with Napalm Death and doing some thrashing and wailing on stage. This is ironic because the song they mixed in her voice is called 'Suffer The Children'.

                        http://xxx.reek.tv/x.htm

                        Ahhh well... Anything for a laugh i'd say...

                        She's quite silent on the radio nowadays.. I wonder why?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I actually think pop stars donating money to charity is kind of undoing what I understood Geldoff was trying to achieve, which was emphasising this wasn't another disaster relief charity appeal. Whether it's a political mistake for Blair - I think it would be if most of the population deeply cared about the issues, or will even look what comes out of G8. Like the original Live Aid or the Tsunami Relief Fund, for most people it's been about doing their bit for an obviously good cause while not particularly caring about the detail.

                          As for the anarchists - Mikey - I would say that as we know from released records that at least as far as the 80s MI5 have infiltrated almost every far (and not so far) left group in existence, at least some of those 'anarchists' will be agents. And some will be the usual idiots who will have gone with the explicit intention of battling the pigs.

                          What intrigues me is that the police flew in in Chinooks - since when have the <u>police force</u> had Chinook helicopters? Once again, as with the miners strike, the police are being used as a militia, because Britain doesn't use the army against it's own population. (And of course has never used members of the army dressed as police officers. .).

                          Definitely not an edifying sight, but granted far too much news time for the proportion of protestors they represent. But then that's the point of violence isn't it - gets you noticed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jules
                            MI5 have infiltrated almost every far (and not so far) left group in existence, at least some of those 'anarchists' will be agents.
                            I think you're right. There was one quoted in The Times (aka The Daily Murdoch yesterday who really sounded suspicious.

                            I think the message all allong has been "go the the official demos but keep away from Gleneagles as there's going to be trouble". So trouble there has to be.

                            A bit like the way protesters were steered away from Fairford airbase to the 'official' demo in London after the war started.
                            \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                            Comment

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