Live8: more trite, more seriousness

Jonathan Ross (very tongue-in-cheek): Make poverty history and get Robbie laid, that’s the two messages we’re sending out now

David Sillito, BBC News, backstage at Hyde Park:
Chris Martin is having a chat with the Kofi Annan outside a portacabin with Sir Elton John, Richard Ashcroft and Annie Lennox all looking on. Around 300 other people are trying to master the art of staring at celebrities while looking as though they are far to cool to be bothered by all this. (From BBC)

Ian Youngs, BBC News at Hyde Park
To reinforce his message, Bob Geldof introduced a survivor of the 1984 Ethiopian famine. It was an emotional moment and proved to the crowd they could make a difference. But the embarrassed-looking young lady was then dragged around the stage by Madonna during her first song. The clash of serious message with frivolous pop suddenly became a little uncomfortable.

Random crowd quotes:
– I’ll never do it agian in my lifetime, it’s good to have done it
– The music’s great; great cause.
– It’s our duty to do this

Madonna: it’s a much bigger issue that my own personal problems…I would go there [Africa] if I could effect real change, and not something momentary.

The Killers: People today are coming together as a family, because our brothers and sisters in Africa require our help.

Lenny Henry: [Why are we here..] We’re all really scared of Bob Geldof..and the poverty thing, that too

Andrew Marr: debt cancellation is virtually done. There will be a deal on aid…$25b extra…but it is still not sorted. Trade…that’s the hard bit and not getting very far…we may get some good words on it…African politicians have to put their own houses in order… Nobody should come away from this thinking.. Make poverty history, it’s a great concert, it’s a tick in the box and thats it.

Lots of photos, from concerts and marches.

With a touch of serendipity, my previous post was picked up by someone who has anger that the focus is on this and not this. I’m just quoting some of the things I hear, small indications of various sincerity levels.

Do I think that 9 concerts around the world, attended by a few million, watched by billions can magically change the world. No. But nor can a march of 200000 in Edinburgh. The only people who have a major impact are the politicians, who control the flow of aid and debt and, far more importantly, access to markets and trade; the politicians in both the G8 countries and those in charge of the countries impacted in Africa and other areas of the world affected by poverty. But slowly, slowly, the politicians listen and slowly, something may be done. People need to think they are doing something to encourage this listening. By attending a march. By dancing at a concert. By signing an online petition. By writing a blog post. By donating money. You need to do what your conscious drives you to Read this for another take on the matter.

Sorry, rant over…

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