Bob Geldof & Band Aid - you screwed up over Africa (again)

It's Bob's way or the highway. 

Charity in UK has somewhat gone wrong methinks.  Nuts.  Why? Am slowly coming to the conclusion, it is no longer about helping - but often helping for helping's sake. After all, many will say:  something is better than nothing. Right? Wrong. 

Doing charity today often means you need never connect with the folks who will receive the 'aid' you painstakingly collect for people at grass roots.  Who, how, when and why it is done is immaterial.  Those questions seem to be removed.  Why bother? So busy are frantic, feverish 'managment' staff from ivory towers booking recording studios. meeting rooms and planes to fly on celebs - and no doubt Evian bottled from France....  

Why bother listening to those who the money will be spent on? Or the people who will deliver it.   No consulting is needed at grass roots. Because somewhere in our collective consciousness, giving aid automatically allow the benefactor to put themselves into a lofty position - from which all actions, words and intention can never be criticised.  

Having pondered all this for the past few days I came to a conclusion.  Having supported Band Aid as a young teen, today I now state - please lovely British people - do not donate to Band Aid 30.  

Today, so many charities stopped thinking about the end cause.  To start at the end (the people you donate to) and to then come up with a solution. I know as I have spent 2.5 years doing this.  It has left me broke. Isolated. But I can sleep at nights.  

Today. it is about doing what you want.  Even if it upsets the very people you wish to help. It is about ignoring valid questions.  'Bollocks".  Dare to ask where the money goes or the expenses involved? Silence.   

I am so sick and tired of seeing celebrities - being used in way that demeans and strips dignity from the act of charity.  21st century is now big business for charity.  

Am tired of how fake posturing is so fake. How causes are all about cross selling of brands. And just piggy backing onto a cause to feel good.  
From the awful t-shirt 'feminism looks like this' made by women in factories that are not paid a living wage. Yet these disgraceful 'feminists' at Fawcett Society, Elle and Whistles who are also elite businesswomen and thinkers (blog post coming soon about them from me) - how they can continue to enjoy the limelight and proceeds that either subtly and sneakily profits their brands and caterpaults their profile, twitter followers via the media in this digital age is - quite frankly: shocking.  I am tired of seeing the collective goodwill and generosity of British people, who time and time again show the world just how generous we all can be - trodden, castigated and kept in the dark. 

To poor Thandie Newton (who seems a lovely soul) posing for pictures while women in Ghana look on disconsolately.  

To the corruption and bad decisions made by massive institutions such as Comic Relief (when tweeting one of its founder Emma Freud - she never answers) - who took my money (because I donated) and allegedly chose to spend it on arms and tobacco companies.

To then watch the gathering of good hearted musicians ( so am not having a go at them) for Band Aid 30, all of whom want to no doubt help, having made their fortunes, is depressing. Is there not a better way? My hands were stuffed in my mouth as I read twitter go berserk.  My heart in my feet.  As I can imagine the hurt being done to African nations to fighting to escape the stench of stigma and poverty. The sustainable projects.  How people in West will confuse Ebola with all of Africa.  Tourists are are already cancelling trips to Kenya. 

All so a song that inadvertently getting headlines and attention of fawning from everyday folks over celebs 'helping.'  As people tweeted 'god bless ya' - such is their blind devotion, am worried.  Very worried.   I cannot even watch the video as I want to cringe at the lyrics.  The posturing. 

All of which is being commandeered by one man, the lead singer of a somewhat band who today just says 'bollocks.'  When asked this simple question: - why doesn't he like to pay his tax like the rest of us? And of Bob coming to save Africa and British people by preaching to us ordinary citizens to solve Ebola - when in fact there are already huge efforts underway.  Including this music video sung by W African artistes - who could have gotten help to re-record THEIR version. 

I mean Bob is then filmed by Sky saying how one band was  'Exhausted' over singing an Ebola Aid video from ivory towers atop recording studio hanging out with each other - is irony in buckets. I mean the sheer 'hell' of receiving adulation. screaming fans, cross selling and free global media attention?  Wish Bob  would try picking up the phone to those in the THREE countries (not the 54 nations that we call Africa) who are digging graves You see that type of action by those kind of people in my books earns the word: 'exhausted.' Respect.  

So questions that Bob Geldof will never answer methinks:

  1. Is the BandAid30  record label making money, taking any fees?
  2. How did the celebrities transport get paid - was it free?
  3. Is it true One Direction flew in different private jets? 
  4. How much of the 99p of the song will be donated? 
  5. What fees is Bob taking? 
  6. Why do you charge £50,000 to speak on poverty.  
  7. Why did you Bob not fly out your chosen 30 to W. Africa to join and support existing song - or invite the artistes out there to sing the record alongside celebrities from the Western Hemisphere. 
  8. Did any of the celebrities not ask how the money will be donated? 
  9. How much of your private wealth do you donate to charity?
  10. Have you built a career out of the misery of people in Africa? 
  11. When fly to Africa, what class do you fly and where do you stay Bob - at five star hotels?
  12. You are pally with Tony Blair - the man who helped USA invade Iraq and many civilian lives lost - how can you stay friends with someone like that.  I had no idea until recently of the clamouring calls to face war criminal charges - in light of 'Africa' how can you be friends with someone like that?  
  13. Why did you Bob not think about staying in Ireland and using your taxes to help destitute Irish people - who need every penny for welfare? 
  14. Why do you scream and bully professional journalists who ask you fair questions? 
  15. Do you really think your time is a tax - yes it would if you were getting NO money, had self funded it all and volunteered.  But you did not to that - did you Bob? 
Please help us Bob understand your boomtown wacky ways.  You see, to me you appear a out of control, narcissistic ego mad bloke who has been caught plundering the overflowing jam jars of human kindness and goodwill. The same jam jars that are half broke, dusty and struggling to stay in the shelf given that others are so busy giving it a good ole kicking and shoving around.  You know - welfare cuts, poverty etc etc  

Ok. Time now to garner evidence.  To switch tack.  And to find out more about why donating to Band Aid 30 is a bad idea.  

Why I think Bob Geldof got it wrong on Band Aid and why I think his attitude is a disgrace:

  1. Bob G is non domicile - it means he avoids paying taxes but ask us to dig deep - when in aid charity singles already exist.  And British Government has already sent our money across I think.  If anyone has any stats - please send 
  2. It stinks of latent. colonialism  - of the 'white man's burden.'  The image has only a few black faces - one of whom I knew: Seal (where has he been all these years but no doubt dragged his way across to sing a few lines/ 
  3. The line "where a kiss of love can kill you - And there's death in every tear' is disgusting.  To then get the african artiste to 
  4. Arrogantly says 'bollocks' when asked to address serious concerns about his song:
  5. He charges £50,000 to speak about poverty - yet no mention on the site where this money goes. 
  6. We have no idea how the money is being spent.  What the expenses are. Are the planes flying in celebs first class and if so, who pays for them?  Our money from the charity single?
  7. Because Bart Baker can do a much better job - and a parody version is now in order.  Needs to - to help redress all the harm and injury done. 

Articles you must read. 
1. Journalist Ian Birrell today  - 'Should Band Aid be resurrected' gives a damning indictment.  

2. Even British Ghanian FUSE ODG feels awkward about it via article in The Voice.  

3. Again. The Voice, reports 'Outrage over 'ignorant' Band Aid 30 Ebola Lyrics shares what some in Africa think.  

4. Top reason is how funds at the start did not help. How the money did less good than expected. 

5. Seeing Bob Geldof on Sky News today moan about how hard the band Bastille (zzz) worked to be part of the song  How they cancelled their show to fly across to be in the studio. To race back and are 'exhausted' - really? 

6. Adam Taylor of Washington Post today who writes: "For a lot of people, however, the re-release of the Band Aid song leaves a bad taste in the mouth." 
6. 'Problem with God is he thinks he is Bob Geldof' - ha ha ha tells it how it is:

7. Band Aid 30 forgets to remind world that Africa is quite capable of helping itself:

8. Fuse ODG, Ghanian rapper on why he turned down to sing the Band Aid 30 song.

9. Bob lashes out at UK journalist. 

10. Bryony Gordon in Guardian writing on why Adele was right to turn down the song. 

11. Aaron Brady, Professor writing  in Al-Jazeera on: "Saving Africa yet again, with a song'.  Brady is a post doctoral fellow at the University of Texas and formerly a doctoral candidate at the University Of California.  Also an editor and blogger at New Inquiry.

12. Bim Adewunmi, back writer in the Guardian how 'Band Aid 30: clumsy, patronising and wrong in so many ways".

13. Daily Telegraph Bob Geldof share holding of Ten Alps where he lost a Govt contract.

14. Staunch defence of Bob Geldof and Band Aid by a commentator Brian Barder who fails to write that he was British Ambassador to Ethiopia during the famine period 1983 - 1986.  Please read the comments below Brian's op-ed.

More evidence
Excerpt below from one of the articles in Slate above says:

As the economist William Easterly wrote in Slate earlier this year, the song promotes “a worldview in which ‘they,’ Africans, are unable to help themselves in preventing famine, and so passively await rescue from ‘we’ Western famine experts, a category that apparently includes rock stars.” 

Irresponsible Bob.  And deeply worrying. To see celebs who are rich, coming to ask fellow British people who are already facing austerity and welfare cuts., to pay for Ebola. No wonder Chancellor is ringing you Bob to cheerly say that he is cancelling VAt - after all - you just saved him money, time and effort for UK Govt to worry about Ebola.  On the same day that PM David Cameron warns of global financial crisis.   Who refuse to discuss serious issues.  

Where can you donate:

1. If you are a celeb - keep caring  Keep using your profile but do it in way that is intelligent? That asks questions - as not all charity is always good charity.  

2. To help fight Ebola, why not support music in Africa. If you have already bought the Band Aid version - then try to see if you can buy another copy? Or better still return it on even greater humanitarian grounds 'as you want to support the folks out there directly' - after all it is going into one fighting pot - is it not?

3. Ebola songs that I support:

Africa Stop Ebola - Tiken Jah Fakoly, Amadou & Mariam, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare and others.

For those who start condemning me to shut up. To ask why aren't I doing something about it.  I am. In my own way. That is equal, dignified. Fair.  And sustainable. 

Here ya go:
Me talking about what I do and why here

#LTTTW campaign (Let's Travel The 'Third World') film

The campaign website for #LTTTW 

And yes, I do bother to connect at grass roots. Watch this. 

The final say from someone who knows better than most of us. 
I shall leave you with this excellent excerpt from The Voice article cited above. A true voice from someone, somewhere in Africa - a continent of 54 nations.  
Solome Lemma, co-founder of grassroots response initiative Africa Responds, said there were "other ways Geldolf and his famous friends to contribute".
"While the original Band Aid single raised the profile of the Ethiopian famine and money, it left Ethiopia, and really the rest of Africa, with a terrible legacy that painted us as famished, poor and downtrodden," Lemma told Channel 4 News.
"If Geldof was really committed to using his platform as a musician, then work with African artists. There are a multitude of artists from the three most affected countries - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea - and the rest of Africa that he could have bought on to do a different song. The first one was flawed in every way, including the terrible, patronising lyrics," he said.

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