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Lookin' After Number 1

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Finally Some Truth
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And still he stays silent

By hailing the failure of this summer's G8 summit as a success, Bob Geldof has betrayed the poor of Africa

George Monbiot
Tuesday September 6, 2005
The Guardian


Two months have not elapsed since the G8 summit, and already almost everything has turned to ashes. Even the crustiest sceptics have been shocked by the speed with which its promises have been broken.

It is true that they didn't amount to much. The World Development Movement described the agreement as "a disaster for the world's poor". ActionAid complained that "the G8 have completely failed to deliver trade justice". Christian Aid called July 8 "a sad day for poor people in Africa and all over the world". Oxfam lamented that "neither the necessary sense of urgency nor the historic potential of Gleneagles was grasped by the G8". But one man had a different view. Bob Geldof, who organised the Live 8 events, announced that "a great justice has been done ... On aid, 10 out of 10; on debt, eight out of 10 ... Mission accomplished frankly."


....


There is just one thing Geldof can now do for Africa. This is to announce that his optimism was misplaced, that the mission was not accomplished, that the struggle for justice is as urgent as ever. But while he holds his tongue, he will remain the man who betrayed the poor.



-- Edited by ArrGee at 00:05, 2005-09-19

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In the Long Grass

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What a load of CRAP!!

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Someone's Looking At You

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TOTALLY A LOAD OF SH_ TE

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Tonight

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How the F..K can they say such Crap

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camilla sørensen


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i got that on my google alerts and it's so annoying








 



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truthbeknown wrote:



There is just one thing Geldof can now do for Africa. This is to announce that his optimism was misplaced, that the mission was not accomplished, that the struggle for justice is as urgent as ever. But while he holds his tongue, he will remain the man who betrayed the poor.


If all the relevant promises have been broken, then I agree with this last point (quoted above).

-- Edited by franna at 14:02, 2005-09-07

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Lookin' After Number 1

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Before ignoring the post out of hand because you don't like it, you should try reading the original post
where there are also references and links to provide the evidence behind this message.
I have no opinion on Geldoff one way or another except that if he involves himself with politics and lives of people he should do so responsibly.


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Lookin' After Number 1

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As the former poster says read the article, do the research and draw your own conclusions then. Don't be slavish little groupies who can't have a bad word said against your matinee idol. These are serious issues and if Geldof is using this as a vehicle for self-promotion he should be called on it.


Remember it should be about the people who need help, not the aging former rock star trying to reinvent himself.



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truthbeknown wrote:


As the former poster says read the article, do the research and draw your own conclusions then.  These are serious issues and if Geldof is using this as a vehicle for self-promotion he should be called on it. Remember it should be about the people who need help, not the aging former rock star trying to reinvent himself.


I think the article makes good points. Promises have been broken and it was unlikely that Africa will get too much out of it. 


I have heard this critique of Geldof a lot (even on this site!) that he doesn't understand the causes and thinks he is the only one who knows the answers.  I think Geldof is well-intentioned but not always right (in pretty much everything!).  As for the self-promotion, I suspect that every act on the respective bills in Edinburgh and London who saw their record sales increase are more guilty of that than Geldof.


OK, there are a few slavish groupies, but writing as someone who thinks Geldof hasn't written a great song for 15 years or so, I wouldn't see myself as one! 


Ultimately, I'd say it's another opinion rather than the truth.



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She's So Modern

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Good post truthbeknown - you beat me to it! I picked that up this AM and was going to post it here.


As for the rest of you, what a bunch of fookin sheep. Make Poverty History! What a joke - the G8 nations cause poverty, not cure it. And if you think they are going to stop creating poverty, you are living in a dream world! These guys are on a mission to rape the world - and no amount of has-been rock stars are going stop them.


Geldof and Bono have shown a total lack of understanding about the way this world works - or they do know, and are simply serving their own self interests.


Question: Why has Geldof kept quiet about the fact that the G8 are now reneging on the deal - which incidentally was a con anyway?


http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_19052.shtml


Now... where is that tw*t Bono...


 


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neworlddisorder wrote:


Now... where is that tw*t Bono...  

He's rumored to be in Toronto at the moment.

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She's So Modern

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franna wrote:


He's rumored to be in Toronto at the moment.


I was being rhetorical - I know where I won't find him


 


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In the Long Grass

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to lighten the subject seeing as no-one actually knows the truth, did anyone see totp2 last night on uktv g2?bob was on doing the great song of indiference with the dudy little irish dancer!

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I think there are many points in the article that are valid criticisms. For every action taken there will always be a counter-action, and for every opinion expressed there will always be an opposite one. This is a healthy thing.


I believe that Bob genuinely believes he's doing what he thinks will further the cause. I know he knows the problems are still far from being solved. We've read his arguments for not having more Africans on the Live 8 bill and, in the cold light of day, the truth is that the audiences would not have been as large for a gig featuring many African acts. I also think Live 8 did increase public knowledge of the G8 summit and extreme poverty in Africa.


I have heard Bob say in interview that Africans would prefer to speak for themselves. We know also that Bob listens to and takes note of the criticism. In the run up to Live 8 we had well-publicised criticism from Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher, and yet at Murrayfield these two artists featured on the child dies every 3 second click video. This was no accident I'm sure. Bono and Bob are all too aware of the game they're playing with the Western leaders.


For me the issue is not whether or not Bob Geldof is the right person to be speaking about Africa or how genuine his motives are, but that we all should have the same courage to do something rather than do nothing.


The world's in an awful state. The USA can't even look after their own poor people. No one person could solve all the problems we face as a global community. Bob's not perfect. He's just doing what he thinks he can do to help.


What's the truth? There's some truth in all of it.



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in the same vein....


 


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-1678543,00.html


 










With a song in their heart and not much at all in their heads
SIMON JENKINS








How is a sensible person to react to last night’s Live 8/G8 extravaganza? It defies hyperbole. It steamrollers scepticism. The money swilling, the masses migrating, the greenhouse gases combusting, the publicity bingeing, are beyond all reason.

Live 8 claims political status, but the politics is totalitarian, using celebrity to mobilise a crowd. The crowd has a noble place in politics, but it is a transient one. Tomorrow it is gone and its punch leaves no bruise. Small wonder Tony Blair is playing Pope Innocent to Bob Geldof’s Francis of Assisi. He co-opts him into power.








NI_MPU('middle');
Geldof is to fast politics what McDonald’s is to fast food. He is simply good at it. How can you do nothing, he screams, “watching people live on TV, dying on our screens!”. Fill up on McCartney and Madonna and you will feel much better.



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She's So Modern

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I think there are many points in the article that are valid criticisms. For every action taken there will always be a counter-action, and for every opinion expressed there will always be an opposite one. This is a healthy thing.
 
I always work on the assumption that most people form their opinions on this matter from the information they are spun via the news media, marketing people, the celebs PR departments. and their smoke and mirror techniques.
 
 I believe that Bob genuinely believes he's doing what he thinks will further the cause. I know he knows the problems are still far from being solved. We've read his arguments for not having more Africans on the Live 8 bill and, in the cold light of day, the truth is that the audiences would not have been as large for a gig featuring many African acts.
 
This proves my first point - here you are musing over Bob's arguments about how many black musicians were on the bill at Live 8 - This is irrelevant rubbish and is used to limit discussion on the REAL issues. 
 
 I also think Live 8 did increase public knowledge of the G8 summit and extreme poverty in Africa.
 
 
The public has known about poverty in Africa for years - Remember Live Aid! The public have been trained to put their hands in their pockets and throw cash at a problem that won't go away by simply using money.
 
 I have heard Bob say in interview that Africans would prefer to speak for themselves. We know also that Bob listens to and takes note of the criticism. In the run up to Live 8 we had well-publicised criticism from Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher, and yet at Murrayfield these two artists featured on the child dies every 3 second click video.
 
Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher have no integrity - they were serving their own interests.
 
 
This was no accident I'm sure. Bono and Bob are all too aware of the game they're playing with the Western leaders.
 
What game is he actually playing, and who is playing who?
 
 For me the issue is not whether or not Bob Geldof is the right person to be speaking about Africa or how genuine his motives are, but that we all should have the same courage to do something rather than do nothing.
 
There is no right or wrong person - there are only truth and lies.
 
 
The world's in an awful state. The USA can't even look after their own poor people.
 
The USA is not in the business of helping poor people, it is in the business of death and destruction.
 
 
 No one person could solve all the problems we face as a global community. Bob's not perfect. He's just doing what he thinks he can do to help. What's the truth? There's some truth in all of it.
 
 
That's just another way of saying their is no truth at all - and if there is no truth - why bother making the effort to find out - eh!
 
 
 

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In the Long Grass

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this thread is really confusing now

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V Deep

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neworlddisorder wrote:


The USA is not in the business of helping poor people, it is in the business of death and destruction.        


No.  I think it's much more accurate to say that the USA is in the business of doing business, and any "death or destruction" that happens along the way, as well as any "helping poor people" is simply the cost of doing business.



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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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How can anyone blame Bob single handedly for betraying the poor? Bob did more than his bit and then he handed over to the G8 . No decisions were his, no action or inaction were his. Here is a follow up article on the subject: G


8's historic Africa deal


Thursday September 8, 2005 The Guardian


 George Monbiot, as ever, exaggerates to make a point, but on the Gleneagles summit he becomes misleading (And still he stays silent, September 6). He lists aid agency criticisms but omits other verdicts: "the greatest summit for Africa ever" (Kofi Annan); "an important, if incomplete, boost to the development prospects of the poorest countries" (Professor Jeffrey Sachs); or "a major breakthrough on debt" (Kevin Watkins, until recently head of research at Oxfam).


Article continues



-- Edited by ArrGee at 00:07, 2005-09-19

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Thanks for posting that, Jules. 


One thing I'd like to add to my first post in this thread, and since for some reason I can't edit it directly, is this:  Problem is, BG just isn't the type to keep his mouth shut.



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In the Long Grass

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yeah but these things dont happen overnight so he cant just go out shouting about whether we failed or succeeded straight away, cos the fact is we wont no whether its worked till a while after the UN meetings

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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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As Fran says Bob wouldn't keep his mouth shut and he was optimistic. Africa had never featured so high on the agenda at a G8 it looked promising. And besides whether or not Bob keeps his mouth shut or shoots off still has nothing to do with the action or inaction of the G8.

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In the Long Grass

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its not all down to bob.maybe tony blair should do the talking for a change

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Tonight

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Tango: Agreed.


Wasn't he the one who planned the G8 to be about poverty anyway? As a member, does he not have the dty to uphold what has been promised?


And yet, if nothing should come of it, I would be even more outraged for Sir Bob to say nothing.



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She's So Modern

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franna wrote:



neworlddisorder wrote: The USA is not in the business of helping poor people, it is in the business of death and destruction.         No.  I think it's much more accurate to say that the USA is in the business of doing business, and any "death or destruction" that happens along the way, as well as any "helping poor people" is simply the cost of doing business.



Death and destruction are simlpy the cost of doing business, eh! you make it sound as if it can't be helped - is that what you are saying!


 


 


 


edit for typo



-- Edited by neworlddisorder at 10:20, 2005-09-09

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Jules - What you do not seem to understand are the conditions of aid - the promises of the G8 were nothing more than a con while the current modus operandi of the G8, the World bank and the IMF are in place - here is a short article of how these conditions are applied:


 


Sixty years ago the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were established to bring global financial stability and provide countries with development loans. Yet now, these institutions are the leading exploiters of the poor, and the British government is complicit.


Take Zambia, which over the last 20 years has been forced to adopt World Bank/IMF economic reforms, including sweeping trade liberalization, dismantling the public sector and massive privatization. Zambia was forced to lower tariffs on textile imports, especially used clothes, which caused a surge in imports of cheap, second-hand clothing from industrialized countries. The textile sector could not compete and all but vanished: 30,000 people lost their jobs.


Such reforms have increased poverty and combined with the HIV/AIDS epidemic to give Zambia the lowest life expectancy in the world: 33 years.


In 2002, the Zambian parliament voted to halt the IMF demand to privatize the National Commerce Bank. In response, the IMF threatened to withhold $1 billion of debt relief. Its representative in Zambia said: “If they don’t sell, they will not get the money”.


Market fundamentalist reforms have been pushed in country after country with the same effects. World Bank/IMF rhetoric says that countries should design their own economic strategies; the reality is that the neo-liberal cocktail is imposed, leaving developing countries free only to decide the pace and sequencing of reforms. Poor countries are therefore free to decide the speed at which they will make themselves poorer.


US leaders have long viewed the World Bank as an instrument of foreign policy. Soon after the World Bank was created the US State Department noted “the important diplomatic weapon of loans” and that the US “could gain important…diplomatic objectives through the judicious use of credits to countries”.


Thirty years later, in 1974, an official US report noted the function of development banks to “use their loans as leverage to encourage… acceptance of market economy principles in recipient countries”. These banks “serve as vehicles for assisting countries favoured by the United States and for influencing the economic affairs of countries with which the US government has international disagreements”.


The British government shares responsibility for the devastating impact of World Bank/IMF reforms. Since 1999, Gordon Brown has been chairman of the IMF’s Financial Committee which sets its overall strategic direction and which is described by the government as “the main forum for discussing IMF policies at the ministerial level”.


Moreover, Britain is a leading supporter of the neo-liberal economic model for poor countries, despite mainstream media coverage depicting it as a champion of the world’s poor. Some British policies appear positive, such as ending tied aid (aid given on condition that recipients buy from the donor), increasing the aid budget and leading international calls for greater debt relief.


But take a closer look. Tied aid has been replaced by “globalised aid”, which requires recipients to promote liberalisation or privatization. Britain’s aid to Mozambique is conditional on continuing the privatisation of water. In Uganda, Vietnam, Ghana and Tanzania, Britain has explicitly incorporated World Bank conditions, including privatisation, into its own aid programmes. Gordon Brown has made very clear in recent speeches that aid will only be provided if countries “create the conditions for new investment” and “open up to trade”.


The increase in British aid gives it a greater lever to impose World Bank-style reforms. The same goes for debt relief, which under the World Bank’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries scheme is only provided when countries adopt the required reforms.


In my research in the declassified British planning files, one clear British goal in the world emerges: to ensure that the global economy and important regions function to benefit British and Western corporations, meaning that countries’ markets are to be opened up.


A secret 1970 report entitled “Priorities in our foreign policy” notes that Britain needs “to act in support of our commercial and financial interests throughout the world… We must contribute within our economic capability to international stability and the protection of our interests in the rest of the world from which so many of our raw materials derive… We shall need to pay particular attention to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa”.


A Foreign Office report from 1968 states that “we should bend our energies to help produce a world economic climate in which our external trade, our income from invisibles and our balance of payments can prosper”. The key to this is “freer” global trade and “increasing our efforts to open up new markets in Europe, Latin America and the Far East”.


Thirty five years later, exactly the same goal was repeated by the current Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt, when she said: “we want to open up protected markets in developing countries.”


These are the major goals which to me explain why Britain is such an enthusiast for World Bank/IMF reforms that impose the corporate globalisation model around the world.



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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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I wasn't referring to the issue of the conditions of aid simply whether or not Bob can be held responsible in any way or feel that he has betrayed the poor. Bob didn't impose any conditions. His personal views on the agreements and inaction of the G8 don't betray the poor.

Thank you for posting that article though. You don't discose the source of the article or who wrote it. I'd be interested to know that.

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In the Long Grass

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the fact is bob is not a politician he's an activist.its not up to him to inform the public of every little hitch.thats the job of blair

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Drag Me Down

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i don' have that channel any more tango, but did you watch out take tv last night? bob was on it

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In the Long Grass

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darnit!i was watching peter kay at the top of the tower.he's class!

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Tonight

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So have you found a name to your band tango 


ADMIN: camilladk, Cazzy, Tango - Please keep to the point in a thread.  If you wish to go off on a tangent, start a new one elsewhere.



-- Edited by ArrGee at 23:09, 2005-09-12

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According to some press reports Bob has gone to New York to talk to the UN.After all that Bob has done for Africa people still moan.Poor Bob cannot do right by some people.Yet for me he is one of the "best" human beings around.

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:cry
MAKE POVERTY HISTORY REGRETS GELDOF AND LIVE 8




International charity Make Poverty History reportedly regrets joining forces with SIR BOB GELDOF and BONO, and the Live 8 concerts - because they hijacked their cause.

Initially the charity hoped celebrity involvement would raise awareness about the issues affecting the developing world, but as the Live 8 concerts grew into a huge media circus they worried the stars involved had lost touch with why they were there.

A Make Poverty History source tells London newspaper the Evening Standard, "We got our fingers burned. They were saying things that no one else believed and they drowned out everything else. Never again.

Another insider tells charity specialist magazine Third Sector, "At the G8 (summit), our worst nightmares came true as far as celebrity engagement was concerned.

"Ultimately, there wasn't anyone who didn't think it was a big mistake on the road to Gleneagles (Scotland) to allow Geldof to have the platform in the way that he did.":

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This is so sad.



disbelief:

 


I also think Sir Bob means well.  I just think it is overwhelming and he gets impatient with all the world politics and red tape...not to mention the state of Africa's own politics.  He sounds off and often it comes across as either nieve or uninformed.  I do think he is informed, but maybe not very realistic with how to solve the problem.  It takes talent to solve problems like Africa has - and perhaps Bob doesn't have the calling, means, etc.  His aid service has made changes, but I don't think any of us have all the information, so I think it is unfair for us to judge him too harshly.  Who truly believes the press/media anymore is being 100% honest in its reporting of facts?  Not I!


Sir Bob did not make policy at the conference.  He does bring awareness to the many problems that Afician has.  This  is inspiring.  He also has an organization that aids Africians directly and this is commendable, as he has done this for 20 years.  Does anyone remember that Sir Bob did not want to do the concert this year?  Perhaps this is why - unwarranted backlash to him!  As if Sir Bob is responsible for what came out of the G8 meeting...hogwash!  As if Sir Bob is responsible for not enough Black African groups playing in the concert - what groups are there?  Does anybody know?  This outcry was also expressed regarding the first concert.  This is ludicrious.  More people came to the concert because Bono, Sting, Madonna, Alicia Keys, etc. showed up!  That is just reality.  Why should Sir Bob be held responsible if certain nations withdrew their Africa support funding after the meeting?  That is misplaced blame!  Blame the country that tried to look good at the conference then showed their true face when they returned home and called back to withdrew their promises!


Sir Bob is not perfect, neither am I.  He is trying to make a difference in how we handle aid/food to a extremely needy nation.  He does not have all the answers, but I have to agree with him on one thing he has stated time-and-time again - "People are starving in Africa and dying of Aids.  We can help feed the starving and treat those with aids.  We have a responsibility to do this as we are all part of the human race."  Give him credit where credit is due.  That's all I am saying.





And what's this about America?  Yes we are in the business of doing business as a viable country.  So are all countries, so stop USA BASHING!  All countries are pro-profit making - what would be the point not to be!  There is not a country in existence who does not have blood on their hands!  Please correct me if I'm wrong...?


On a darker side, has anybody seen the movie "The Constant Gardner"?  Very interesting...


O'Shora


 



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In the Long Grass

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i cant believe it!theyv done so much for the cause, and it has worked.once again i am shocked and appalled by the bad press bob is getting.is there anything cheerful out there

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i feel so bad for bob.................... as i've said five thousand six hundred and forty one times, i get these googe alerts for any mention of bob and there is never any good press

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Geldof Speaks


Three months ago Bob Geldof declared Live 8 had achieved its aim. But what really happened next?

Oliver Burkeman
Monday September 12, 2005
The Guardian

The words "mission accomplished" have been deployed on two extremely high-profile occasions over the last two and a half years, and, with hindsight, both of them now seem regrettable. The first time, of course, they were the backdrop to President George Bush's triumphant arrival by fighter plane on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln where, before a crowd of cheering sailors, he announced an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq. The second happened two months ago, when a plainly exhausted Bob Geldof emerged to deliver his verdict on the G8 summit at Gleneagles, and on Live 8, the massive global network of rock concerts he had organised to heap pressure on the world leaders in attendance. Bono paraphrased Churchill. Geldof, however unintentionally, quoted Bush. "Mission accomplished, frankly," he said.


.... 

The halls of the United Nations in New York have long echoed to the opposing sounds of utopianism and dogged, messy pragmatism; the latter tends to stand a better chance of being heard outside the premises. Geldof - whatever he says when on stage before hundreds of thousands of rock fans - clearly plans to contribute more of the latter than the former. "Look, you can take a totally oppositional stance to everything, and there are various reasons you might do that," he says. "Or you can use the platforms that people give you."



-- Edited by ArrGee at 00:08, 2005-09-19

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Ian wrote:


"You're a rallying point and therefore a whipping-boy at the same time, and that's part and parcel of the gig... [But] unless you engage with the political process, you aren't going to get political and economic justice." [quoting BG]


Well said. 


Word of the day: "grotesquerie"  Love that.



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I haven't heard anything on the news about the UN summit, with the exception being that Bush is scheduled to speak today and what a traffic nightmare it creates.  Then again, I haven't been watching much news lately, and what I have seen has primarily been local NYC election coverage, continuing fallout from Katrina, and Judge John Roberts' confirmation hearings in the US Senate.  The latter two will be of far more immediate interest to most US citizens than the goings-on at the UN, so I'm not really surprised if there hasn't been much media coverage.  Not good for keeping up any sort of domestic pressure on MPH/ONE/DATA/Live8 (whatever you want to call it)'s goals.


I did see these recent New Tork Times editorials, which lead me to believe the opportunity for substantial change has passed, at least for the moment.


Do I think BG is to blame?  No.  I do think he has a responsibility to publicize that the mission was NOT accomplished after Gleneagles.  It simply wasn't a "done deal" - at least not to the extent most of the public thought (assuming that these reports are true and the G8 is backing away from their promises).  After that, whatever work he chooses to do or not do regarding Africa is, in my opinion, a purely personal choice.

The Lost U.N. Summit Meeting Published: September 14, 2005

A once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform and revive the United Nations has been squandered even before the opening gavel comes down this morning for the largest assemblage of world leaders ever brought together in a single location. The responsibility for this failure is widely shared. But the United States, as the host nation and the U.N.'s most indispensable and influential member, bears a disproportionate share.


There are several casualties of this failure of leadership, including the need to reform the United Nations and to strengthen its role as a monitor of human rights. But the most tragic loss is a genuine opportunity to help the one billion people around the world who each live on less than $1 a day.


Last month, President Bush used a recess appointment to send his notoriously undiplomatic, and Congressionally unacceptable, choice for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, to New York. He contended that contrary to all appearances and to common sense, Mr. Bolton was just the man to achieve the reforms the United Nations needed. Almost immediately, Mr. Bolton began proving Mr. Bush wrong by insisting on a very long list of unilateral demands. The predictable effect was to transform what had been a painful and difficult search for workable diplomatic compromises into a competitive exercise in political posturing.


With Washington jealously protecting the prerogatives of the Security Council, where it holds a veto, others chose to be equally jealous in protecting the prerogatives of the General Assembly, where the influence of poorer and weaker countries is greatest. And when Washington challenged the right of the secretary general to set specific development goals, others then contested his right to set standards for management or human rights. And so on.


That extinguished the idea that international security issues and international development issues are vitally linked, and can be most effectively tackled in tandem. By the time Washington retreated to a more realistic position, it was too late to retrieve much of the bold original agenda, as set out in earlier United Nations summit meetings on development, in the thoughtful recommendations of several high-level panels and in the constructive proposals of Secretary General Kofi Annan. The failure is even more poignant because the United States is clearly on the right side of some important arguments.


Washington, for example, strongly supported the idea of replacing the discredited United Nations Commission on Human Rights, on which nations like Sudan, Libya and Cuba regularly sit, with a new, reformed body that would exclude such notorious rights violators. The final document dilutes this crucial provision to the point of meaninglessness.


On this and other issues, the document offers little more than a fudge of feel-good phrases and pious wishes for future action that leave everyone off the hook from taking entirely practical actions that are needed right now.


This week's summit meeting should have strengthened international commitments to reach broadly accepted development benchmarks over the next decade that could avert tens of thousands of needless deaths from extreme poverty. It should have given the secretary general the power to bypass patronage and rely on merit in choosing and retaining senior officials, creating a crucial institutional safeguard against a replay of the oil-for-food fiasco. It should have reinforced vital international commitments and understandings on nuclear nonproliferation, including those that Mr. Bolton, in his previous job, did so much to undercut.


Although the ceremonial speeches by national leaders are just beginning, the serious negotiations over this summit meeting's outcome are now over. Every one of the more than 170 national leaders attending, starting with President Bush, should be embarrassed about letting this rare opportunity slip away.


 


And these Op-Ed pieces yesterday:

Meet the Fakers By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Published: September 13, 2005

The biggest gathering of leaders in history unfolds this week at the United Nations, as they preen and boast about how much they're helping the world's poor. In short, it may be the greatest assembly in history - of hypocrites.


The fact is that with just a few exceptions, the presidents and prime ministers coming to the U.N. summit are doing a disgraceful job in helping the poor. That's one reason the world's richest 500 individuals have the same income as the world's poorest 416 million people.


We Americans set a dreadful example as hosts to the summit. President Bush has been trying to wriggle away from his 2002 endorsement of the principle that rich countries should try to provide 70 cents in official development assistance for every $100 in national income. (Mr. Bush has sharply increased foreign aid from the Clinton years, but it still stood at only 16 cents in 2004 for each $100 of national income.)


The Bush administration also tried to change summit documents to downplay references to the millennium development goals of overcoming poverty. Fortunately, the Bush administration backed off and now grudgingly joins the international consensus against infant mortality.


It's common to hear abroad scathing criticisms of U.S. stinginess, much of it deserved. But Japan is also a cheapskate, giving only a hair more than the U.S., and Italy gives even less.


The new Human Development Report 2005, recently issued by the U.N. Development Program, is blessedly undiplomatic in its willingness to point figures - at just about everybody. It notes that the U.S. and other rich countries seem unwilling to provide a total of $7 billion annually for the next decade to provide 2.6 billion people with access to clean drinking water. That investment would save 4,000 lives a day, and the cost is less than Europeans spend on perfume - or than Americans spend on cosmetic surgery.


Meanwhile, the report adds, AIDS kills three million people a year and devastates countries like nothing since the Black Death in the 14th century. Yet annual world spending to fight AIDS amounts to three days of military expenditures.


This U.N. summit is meant to review the millennium development goals, such as cutting child deaths around the world by two-thirds by 2015. All the goals, adopted with great fanfare five years ago, are feasible, and some countries - from Bangladesh to Indonesia, Brazil to Mongolia - are on track to meet them. Hats off to them. But most of the world appears likely to miss the goals.


Two countries that should be the leaders of the developing world, China and India, are both off track and should be ashamed of their records. In India, among children 1 to 5, girls are 50 percent more likely to die than boys, meaning that each year 130,000 Indian girls are discriminated to death.


Bangladesh has now overtaken India in improving child mortality, and Vietnam has overtaken China. If India had matched Bangladesh's rate of reduction in child mortality over the last decade, according to the U.N.D.P., it would have saved 732,000 children's lives this year.


Likewise, China has largely ignored its poor interior, so it still loses 730,000 children each year. China has also taken diplomatic positions that hurt the world's most vulnerable populations, by supporting Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and by implicitly endorsing Sudan's genocide just as it once endorsed Pol Pot's.


And African leaders? Perhaps this is naïve, but it strikes me as racist for them to have complained about brutal white rule in South Africa or Zimbabwe while excusing black rule that is even more brutal.


Readers often ask if I find it depressing to visit African slums or mud-brick villages. On the contrary, it's exhilarating to see how little it takes to make a difference. Ancient scourges like river blindness and leprosy are being controlled, and a clever initiative by Bill Gates and others to promote vaccinations (the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunization) saved more than one million lives just between 2001 and 2004.


That makes it maddening to see leaders posturing for the cameras at the U.N. while, as the U.N.D.P. report notes, "the promise to the world's poor is being broken." The report adds that the gap between the current trendline on child mortality and the one the leaders committed themselves to amounts to 41 million children dying before their fifth birthday over the next decade.


Rather than toasting themselves, these leaders should apologize for this continuing holocaust.


 

Necessary Measures By Amir Attaran Published: September 13, 2005

Ottawa


Five years ago, about 150 world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York and tried to move the mountain of global poverty. They adopted eight Millennium Development Goals - quantifiable measures of progress on problems like malaria, tuberculosis and child and maternal mortality. The achievement of those goals by 2015 would lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty.


The trouble is that progress toward these benchmarks often cannot be measured. And if their achievement cannot be measured, the goals are not only a letdown for the world's poor, but also a time bomb for the credibility of the United Nations. As world leaders gather in New York again this week, the United Nations will have to grapple with the question of whether progress is on track to achieve the goals by the 2015 deadline. So far, this inability to measure progress has meant that the United Nations has either guessed or remained silent.


Consider the hazard of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, a fate that befalls more than 500,000 women annually, according to the World Health Organization. The Millennium Development Goal on maternal mortality is to "reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio." Measuring that ratio requires an accurate count of both safe births and maternal fatalities.


But according to the United Nations Millennium Project, only a "handful of countries" can really prove the maternal mortality ratio is improving; poor, rural countries where obstetricians are scarce, home births are common and the dead are mourned privately simply do not have the data. That is why in 2000, their most recent assessment, scientists from the United Nations warned that "it would be inappropriate to compare the 2000 estimates with those for 1990," or to "draw conclusions about trends."


Malaria is another example where United Nations goals hinge on something immeasurable. In 2000, the organization's scientists warned that "it will not, in general, be possible to measure the overall incidence rate of malaria." Yet barely two months later, the United Nations placed bets on doing exactly that and persuaded the world's leaders to endorse a new Millennium Development Goal to start lowering the incidence of malaria by 2015.


Having ignored the advice of its own scientists and fashioned its goal unwisely, the United Nations today studiously avoids having an opinion on whether the malaria crisis - the disease is the No. 1 killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa - is getting better or worse. And yet, nobody who studies malaria doubts that it is getting worse.


Probably the most useful discussion the United Nations could plan for this week's meeting would be one that asked world leaders to endorse new goals against which they could truly measure progress. This is feasible: there are alternative ways to track malaria's toll or to assess the safety of pregnancies. For instance, dozens of demographic surveillance sites could be set up in the poorest countries to document births, deaths, illnesses and social services. This has already been done in countries like Tanzania and Ghana.


How disappointing it is that the United Nations leadership went to great lengths to ensure that no such discussion could happen this week. Last September, Louise Fréchette, the United Nations deputy secretary general, instructed the organization's scientists that she didn't want the summit meeting being "distracted by arguments over the measurement of the Millennium Development Goals," and ordered that they refrain from proposing any refinements to the goals. This is lamentable political censorship.


By putting that discussion off limits, and pretending the Millennium Development Goals are meaningful as they now stand, the United Nations has lost five years on a short timeline and sabotaged its own vital mission to help the world's most unfortunate and needy people.


Amir Attaran, a scientist and lawyer, is a professor at the University of Ottawa.



-- Edited by franna at 18:14, 2005-09-14

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In the Long Grass

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yeah neither have i.i keep checking parliament and news channels but i cant find anything about it.i hope its going well

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Wow, some looong posts you guyes can make. I think it is a shame that they haunt bob all the time. Some terrebel things to say about him. I think he has, and still do a good job, it had my attention. Because of bob and live 8, I now know what MPH is. Thank you Bob

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err...... today i got a letter from the house of commons, i guess not so many peeps care much about the mph campaign around my area cuz i sent this email to my local mp and he personally replied !!! i also sent a post card to blair i dunno which one the mp is replying to..


he gave me a copy of a letter that tony blair had sent him 


i'll type it down for ya:


"Dear ms Flynn


I have now recieved a reply from the prime minister in relation to your correspondence concerning the aids history campaign

please find enclosed a copy of this letter.


If i can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at the house of commons office on .etc "


i can't type the other letter down cuz it's too long. lol.


 



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Cazzy MPs normally reply personally. Well mine does and he used to be a senior cabinet minister, so I'm sure they all do, it is part of their job. So don't get too disheartened. If you can get the letter scanned it I'd be interested to see it.

I've written to my MP asking to make an appointment to talk about Trade Justice in the next couple of weeks. I'll report back on how I get on.

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i was rather pleased with my response now i'm just as deppressed as i ussually am


 



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Don't be despressed, be glad he writes back to everyone and takes his job seriously. It would be a poor show if he didn't wouldn't it? With any luck a number of people have written to him. We want something to be done don't we? And your effort is part of that.

This thread is now a bit redundant as Bob has had his say, sounds like he's feeling a bit depressed at the lack of action too.

-- Edited by Jules at 12:51, 2005-09-17

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