Saturday, October 02, 2004

i am tony blair's apologist

Bono takes the platform at the Labour Party conference to ask for justice for Africa. He said that we'll be watching to see if the politicians deliver.

Exactly how many chances do they get? How long's Bono going to give them before he admits that if they haven't delivered it is because they choose not to?

The western governments know about it all already because they designed and built much of the misery in Africa, and - and this is the bit I think Bono just doesn't see - their entire system of power and standard of living depends on maintaining it.

They are poor because we are rich, and we are rich because they are poor.

By taking the platform, Bono is denying that and having faith that the system of vampiric cruelty will right itself. It's as absurd as expecting justice from the Catholic Church's investigations into its paedophile priests, or complaints against the police being investigated by other coppers.

His presence lends credibility to the Labour conference and the government, credibility that they have long proven they are unworthy of. He even singled out Clare Short for praise, when she was the worst of Blair's government for damning the world's poor (so far).

Bono makes a habit of this. At the G8 summit in Genoa he was there hobnobbing with the leaders and slagging off the protesters for their violence.

I don't think violence is ever right, Bono said.

Think of the magnitude of political violence ordered and/or supported by those politicians whose hands he was shaking, those who he praises and compares to Elvis and the Beatles.

If we had war crimes trials for winners as well as losers, and if we applied the standards of Nuremberg then Bono's mates like Clinton and Blair would be dangling from ropes.

He called James Wolfensohn, the head of the fuckin World Bank a 'moral' man, 'the Elvis of economics'. More like the Goebbels.

The suits love the glamour and credibility Bono gives them, and they've realised all they have to do is say the right words, it needn't affect them carrying on with all the things Bono's complaining about.

Blair's the most adept politician of his generation. He knows that conference tends to look divisive and insular, so to counter that they need something media-friendly full of warm fuzzy feelings. He's from the 1980s Labour Party, a time when the Tories had realised the value of American-style rallies whilst Labour still used conference to discuss and debate. It made them look all bickering and ideological. Blair knows there needs to be unifying noble themes.

What better cause, what could be more clear and simple, than Africa - people hopelessly impoverished and diseased and dying miserably for the simple lack of food or the cheapest drugs.

Indeed, this is why Blair's done all this before. His conference speech three years ago was full of how great we were going to be to Africa, how it was 'a scar on the conscience of the world', and in the meantime we've continued to stand by and watch the wars and starvation and epidemics, when we've not been actively fuelling them.

The Bono appearance is just a repeat of that cynical hoary old trick with some extra glamour (beats the Tories past performances with Cilla Black and Kenny Everett). Bono has an inkling of it and said so - I am Tony Blair's apologist, the rock star pulled out of the hat at the Labour Party conference - yet still retains the bizarre belief that a little tweaking will make the globalised economy fair, and those who enact the injustice are the best people to fix it, we just have to ask them nicely.

While - out of context - what Bono said about injustice was unarguable, it actually entrenches the injustice because it places faith and credibility in the Labour party and the Western globalisers as the agents of positive change, instead of recognising them as the architects and engines of the suffering.

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