Band Aid 30 – Why The Criticism?

What do you make of this fuss about a few pop singers trying to raise funds to fight Ebola in West Africa?

I work with headphones on,  usually listening to Radio 2 for the music of my lifetime,  topically debate or chat with whatever latest artist is plugging their new album,  movie or show.

The song featured on Saturdays X-Factor and was release on Monday this week.

I was browsing the repeat of XF late on Sunday night,  flicking through the ads and usual condescending crap,   but then Sir Bob Geldof appeared, touting the new song.

My first impression,  what the hell are you doing on this place of over-commercialism?

But Bob as always was sincere and direct,  I like that about him.

To paraphrase his message “There is a crisis,  people need help,  so get your money out and donate”

Good for you Bob,  succinct and straight to the point.

On release the song sailed to the top of the charts and I’d imagine it will be there right through the Christmas period.

But now,  the media is full of complaints and cynicism.

Adele,  on being asked why she didn’t take part in the single,  responded saying that she doesn’t need to be told how to spend her money or what causes to donate to by a bunch of celebrities including a few who don’t pay their expected taxes.

I take her point.

I don’t need to be told how to spend my hard earned cash,  neither do you

In the media,  many people are questioning the tax schemes operated by celebrities including Bono saying if they are so rich,  then why aren’t they paying their proper taxes and how dare they ask us to donate?

I take their point too.

But does it matter what tax regimes these people operate?   Is that a valid reason not to donate?   If there is an issue with Bono’s tax schemes,  then there are authorities to deal with this and this is currently being actively pursued,  refer to Jimmy Carr and Take That for examples.

On yesterday’s show,   the author of a separate charity single for fighting Ebola in Africa was complaining that there was no need to have a UK single as people could buy his song,  which is more about spreading a practical message of dealing with Ebola rather than a more whimsical charity Christmas song.

I honestly don’t understand his point at all?    Yes his song may be more informative and practical,  but having listened to it,  who’s going to buy it?    Apart from people making a donation for the right reasons,  it’s just not commercial enough to be of interest to the average UK ear.

More so, what I don’t understand is why would anyone so directly involved with raising funds to fight the disease criticise other attempts at assistance rather than welcome it?

People will buy the Geldof song because its commercial,  a feel-good sing-a-long with a message of hope.

People like to think that they are doing something, even if it’s small,  what would you expect them to do?   Jump the next flight to Nigeria with a crate full of Dettol?

People do what they can,  if its choosing to spend their pocket-money on a stupid song,  then that’s totally fine by me.

Personally, I find the song naïve, sickly,  condescending “Buy the song, stop,  the virus” .. yeah that’s how it works?

But that doesn’t matter.

All the criticism, justified or not,  doesn’t matter.

Feel free to take all the easy cheap shots you like,  but you’re missing the central issue,  Just get your money out and put it with your big mouth is.

What does matters is people are dying out there.  Dying in abject misery.  Kids whose parents can’t hold them in their final moments for fear of catching the virus.

Can you imagine that if it was you?   Would you hold your child,  knowing you’d be next or would you save yourself?

Personally,  I’d hold my child,  life would be meaningless without them.    I think most of us would be the same.

So,  despite all the fuss,  all the reasons to criticise,  I hope that the song goes global and raises more than the original song did 30 years ago.

As a side note,  let me remind you of a wee story about Sir Bob.  He was married and had a couple of kids to Paula Yates,  she then had an affair with and left him for Michael Hutchence from INXS.  After Michael and Paula died,   their kid was left without parents,  Bob was the first person to step up to the mark taking in the child because it didn’t have a parent,  no jealousy or bitterness.   Says so much about the man.


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