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Ian


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The Nurse who Inspired Live Aid
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There seems to have been a severe case of dumming down on the message board of late. Come back Meekus all is forgiven.. Where are Arrgee, Franna and Mark Boyle when you need them most.

I thought you might like information on a new publication which is a riveting read and might be an ideal choice to sun yourselves with in exotic locations.

The book by Claire Bertschinger has a retail price of 14.99, but Amazon are currently selling at 8.99
Ian



The Nurse who Inspired Live Aid
Moving Mountains
by Claire Bertschinger
published by Doubleday
A proportion of the royalties goes to the African Children's Education Trust


Twenty years ago, Michael Buerk's reports on the famine in Ethlopia shocked the West into action and resulted in the biggest relief programme the world had ever seen, supported by Bob Geldof and Live Aid. One of the most memorable images of that time was of the young British nurse working for the International Red Cross, who, surrounded by 85,000 starving people, had the terrible task of choosing which children to help out of all those who were too far gone to be saved. They called her 'Mamma Claire'. 'In her was vested the power of life and death,' Bob Geldof has said, 'She had become God-like, and that is unbearable for anyone.' Earlier this year Michael Buerk persuaded Claire Bertschinger to return to Ethiopia for the first time to confront her feelings of guilt, and the result was a moving documentary shown in January 04. When she joined the International Red Cross, Claire Bertschinger was fulfilling a passionate vocation for relief work in dangerous places. Apart from Ethiopia, she has worked with war wounded and hostages in Labanon, with the Mudjahadeen in Afghanistan, and with prisoners and victims of crossfire in Uganda, Sierra Leone and the Sudan. Often working in war zones under fire herself, she has shown an impressive combination of courage, commitment, compassion and resourcefulness. Her story is of a warm, charismatic woman who chose to save lives rather than settle down and start her own family - and in the process found a great personal happiness.

You can order a copy of Moving Mountains from Amazon



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Ian wrote:


There seems to have been a severe case of dumming down on the message board of late. Come back Meekus all is forgiven.. Where are Arrgee, Franna and Mark Boyle when you need them most


gee, thanks alot



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Ian wrote:


There seems to have been a severe case of dumming down on the message board of late. Come back Meekus all is forgiven.. Where are Arrgee, Franna and Mark Boyle when you need them most.


I was flattered when I read that this morning, but wondered how many people would be insulted by it.  Flattered as I am, I'm with Joanna on this one.


Where am I?  Lately, there haven't been many threads I was interested in contributing to. 


Now that I know BG's planning a lecture tour in the US, I've been watching the video of BG's talk at the Hay Festival to think through how that presentation would likely go over in the US.  A few more viewings and I may have something to post on the matter.  The swear count seems to be:  f*ck - 7, sh*t - 1, twat - 1, tits - 2, shag - 1.  That's likely to be a problem.  As is calling the US guilty of "exceptionalism."   But again, you'll probably hear more from me on this subject, generally,  later.


I've just finished reading "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time" (loved it!) and am trying to read a book on singer/songwriter Steve Earle.  Since I'm not that familiar with his work, it's kind of difficult to get into. 



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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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Surely Bob must be a little more 'US' aware than he used to be now? Surely even Bob can tone his language down and present himself in an appropriate manner for the occasion? Can he?

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Jules wrote:


Surely Bob must be a little more 'US' aware than he used to be now? Surely even Bob can tone his language down and present himself in an appropriate manner for the occasion? Can he?


This is (among other reasons) why I remain frightened:


Book Excerpt: The Debt Threat: How Debt Is Destroying The Developing World by Noreena Hertz


Harper Collins, 2005


...But while the pierced and sunglasses-wearing rock star might have been able to fill giant stadiums, Bono was a nobody as far as American politics was concerned. If he was to play a part in putting debt relief on the U.S. political agenda, he needed help. So he phoned a woman he thought might be able to do just that. Bono knew Eunice Shriver -- the founder of the Special Olympics, and daughter of Rose and Joseph Kennedy -- from a charity recording project; he describes her as a "Hibernophile," a person who knows more about Irish culture and politics than most Irish people. She told him that she'd love to help and suggested that he get in touch with her son. "I think Bobby would be good at this," Bono recalls her saying. "And I knew Bobby but hadn't thought to ring him. And he was good. He was more than good."

For while Bono had passion, Bobby had political savvy. Shriver immediately knew that in order to get the United States to really commit to debt cancellation, it was essential that not just the Democrats but also the Republicans, right-wing journalists, and most important, Wall Street, blessed their proposal. With this in mind, one of the first things Bobby did was set up the meeting between Bono and the well-connected Gelb.

But Bobby also knew that Bono couldn't just go and meet the men on Gelb's list until they both knew their subject inside out. "I had been minding my own business," Bobby recalls, "making records, producing movies, when I got Bono's call. I knew nothing about debt, but I did know I wasn't going to Washington with him, or to see anyone at all, unless we really knew what we were doing. We really had to know what we were doing." So Shriver picked up the phone and called "a guy I knew who was doing a lot of work on this subject." That guy was Jeffrey Sachs, one of Harvard's most famous economics professors.

"I called Jeff up and I said, 'I have this friend that I did the Christmas record with, a musician called Bono, and if he comes over to Cambridge, will you spend a couple of days with him and try to get him up to speed on the actual numbers?'"

Sachs was forthcoming. "Sure, I wanted to meet Bono," he recalls. But debt cancellation had been something he had been advocating for years, to little avail, and he was skeptical of the impact the musician could have. "It's never going to work," Bobby remembers him saying. "No one in Washington will pay any attention to you. We can't get anyone to pay attention to this issue."

But by the end of their two-day cram session, Sachs felt differently. Shriver recalls Sachs's palpable excitement. "He said, 'This guy is a very persuasive guy, you know; maybe something can be done.'"

With Bono thoroughly briefed, it was time for Shriver to start spinning his Rolodex.

His first call was to James Wolfensohn, the head of the World Bank, a man whom Bono had been trying to meet ever since Jamie Drummond had first approached him, but with no luck. Shriver, however, had worked for Wolfensohn some ten years back, in between leaving law school and entering the music business. "So I called Jim and his office put me through to him in London, and I said, 'I'm sure you've heard of this Jubilee debt relief thing?' And he said, 'Of course.' And I said, 'I have this friend who's a singer, who is a sort of activist on this debt thing-and he'd like to meet you.' And he said, 'Oh no, I don't have time for that.' And I said, 'Jim, he's in Dublin. You're in London. Why doesn't he come over tomorrow? It's Sunday. You have nothing to do on Sunday.' And he said, 'Okay, tell him if he can be at the Berkeley Hotel at noon, I'll have lunch with him.' I called Bono, and said, 'If you can be at the Berkeley at noon tomorrow, Wolfensohn will have lunch with you.' And Bono said, 'Wow, can I bring Geldof [the knighted lead singer of the Boomtown Rats and founder of Live Aid]?' and I said, 'It's up to you, man. It's your lunch. Whatever you want.' And I called Wolfensohn back and said that Bono would be there at twelve and was going to bring this other guy."

The lunch was a disaster. "Afterwards Wolfensohn called me," recounts Bobby, "and he was furious because Geldof had yelled at him the whole time." Bono confirms it. "Yeah, Bob was like, you f--king this and you f--king that, and how can you f--king sit here in your f--king seat, you prick. And Jim Wolfensohn is a real debonair sort of gentleman, and he looked over at me with that look of 'help' on his face.
But we got on."

"He liked Bono," says Shriver. "He thought he was bright. And said that if he wanted to work on trying to get money for debt relief he would do what he could to help."

Game on....


The full excerpt (Parts 1 & 2) can be found here: http://www.atu2.com/news/article.src?ID=3970&Key=Debt&Year=2005&Cat=   Of course, you could also buy the book. 



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No he hasn't learned a thing! He needs to listen to Bono, seriously!

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Ian


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Thanks Franna for the info on The Debt Threat, i found it very interesting.  Bob sometimes gets carried away I quite agree but he must have had his reasons as he is nobody's fool.  I think I will order a copy of the book, perhaps then after I've perused it we could start our own international book club LOL.

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Ian wrote:



 he must have had his reasons as he is nobody's fool. 



I don't doubt Bob's intelligence, but it seems to me if that description of BG's behavior is accurate, it could only have been fueled by passion - - long after reason had left the building. 


Acceptable behavior in the UK and acceptable behavior in the US are apparently very different things, and Bob seems to continue having difficulty either making that distinction, conforming his behavior to the norms of US culture, or both.  I cannot think of ANY POSSIBLE REASON why Bob might have expected cursing at Wolfensohn to be an effective tactic.  Foolish would be the kindest term I could apply. 



-- Edited by franna at 01:50, 2005-08-09

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It is a real tragedy that Sir Bob is so impatient with the very people he must have patience with!  Just because he is keen on an idea/philosophy does not make it so for everybody else.  He needs help.  And while we are on this subject, Bono does not always fare well either!  He blew up at Canada recently when he, too, became inpatient with them for refusing to meet Bono's demands for aid to Africa.  In fact, at the summit meeting , most nations were willing to give aid to Africa, but the aid they were willing to provide was below what PM Blair had on the table.  Africa will not be out of trouble for quite some time.


Sir Bob's bottom line is very clear for Africa - feeding the poor, providing infrastructure, obtaining medical supplies, and providing education.  He just has to understand that those things will always come with a price - no body gets anything for free.  The first concert in 1985 cost him money in America, if anyone wishes to remember.  I think he also had to consign some funds in Britian.  Not everything was donated and not all worked on the project for free!  This seems ludicrious to me, and I think to Sir Bob as well, but that's the reality when you are working with unions, etc.


Where have all the billions of dollars gone that have been given to the Africa nations?  Somebodies pockets are bulging with the stuff and it's not gotten to the people who need it the most.  Until Africa gets its nations to unite, kick out the dictators, terrorists, robbers and thieves and get some intelligent people in high places to organize the country, Sir Bobs' passion is watered down in the realities of doubt, frustration and fear from all other countries.  If anyone has read "With Bob Geldof In Africa", you will see what I mean.  It is very frustrating.  I got upset over things that were happening in the country and I can see Bob's frustration.  I just don't think there is a simple plan that will work.  It's very complex...


I do know that when I heard that Uganda and Tanzania got 1/3 debt relief, they put that money into immunizing the childrren and getting education available to hundreds of thousands of children.  If other African countries could do this, that would be a big help to Africa, as they would have a generation of kids who stay healthy and get educated.  The only catch in getting the debt relief - Uganda and Tanzania had to have little goods to export!  What is that all about?  I do not understand that way of thinking.  At least those two countries did something within the system - however perverted that system may be.

The charities in Africa need to be better organized and reduce their red tape with the governments -  most vie for funds from the same organizations in order to obtain goods/food for the area they are working in.  That makes it hard for the organizations because they have to pick and choose who to give money to.  It becomes a game.


I think Sir Bob is doing what he can where others have not - mainly because his is not a political organization and does not rely on other organizations for funds.  I think that in itself is remarkable and he should be honored that he has made a difference.  What's that phrase...small steps...


There will always be assistance needed in Africa, or so it seems.  Thank God for people like Sir Bob who have taken the initiative to provide an organization that actually gives aid where it is needed and no funds are lining someones pockets.


O'Shora



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