Take a hike, Sir Bob

The world’s media has mostly swallowed the propaganda surrounding Live 8’s mission to save Africa. The Sydney Morning Herald led today with this article, headlined: “Act now or it’s genocide.” Barely a criticism of the event could be found within its pages. The Age’s Associate Editor Pamela Bone continued the hyperbole by calling Tony Blair “surely…the world’s statesman.” Why were politicians so committed to the cause? Bone says it was because they were “motivated by ordinary human decency.” Her, and much of the mainstream media’s blind acceptance of the current “save Africa” campaign, is tragic.

The Independent’s Yasmin Alibhai-Brown today exposes the gross hypocrisies of the Live 8 campaign and the grave necessity of truly providing assistance to Africa.

Her main points include:

“Birhan Woldu, an emaciated Ethiopian child, was shown on our screens. We rushed to give more money. On Saturday she stood on stage, a beautiful young woman who so nearly got buried in the famines all those years ago. But to see her being led on and off by Madonna took away the respect Woldu was entitled to. An African woman with such a story was not enough. A fake blonde celeb had to flank her to make her more attractive to the audience.

“Then Madonna, a landowner who resents blameless ramblers walking through her estate, calls for a “revolution”. Can you blame me for feeling nauseous?

“We haven’t even got to the really stinking hypocrisy. Is it true that the Geldof girls were flown in by helicopter, so that they could be there to remember the poor and dying? That even on such a day, VIPs couldn’t bear to mix with the common folk because that (presumably) would be, like, a tad too democratic? That there had to be a VIP area where champagne bubbled for paying corporate clients?”

And this gem:

“Next question from this sceptic. Why were artists not allowed to slag off Blair or Bush or Brown? (Or to mention Iraq?) These leaders tacitly support the exploitation of resources by Western companies in Africa, unfair trade barriers too, and the immoral arms exports. They infantalise Africans and cannot see them as equals. But please don’t dare to mention these small matters, commanded St Bob. Thanks to these unspeakable tongue-tying orders, Blair was not called to account for the viciously cruel deportations of African refugees back into the hellish countries they fled.”

So what did Africans think of it all? Global Voices has a round-up of blogger reaction from the continent.

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