I would love to say it was great so keeping the message that was endlessly played throughout yesterdays concert (Live 8. G8. Be great.) but it wasn’t. Like the original Live Aid no doubt in a few years time people will look back and say it was amazing but for me it’s all about what happens over the coming week. Already it looks like debt relief for the poorest nations has been secured and that aid will be doubled. The third key measure is fair trade. The amount of money the US and Europe (in particular) subsidise their local producers is amazing. They also force developing nations to open up their markets while at the same time ensuring their own are protected. This has to stop.
Key for me also is the government in Africa. Many countries which are poor also have a concentration of wealth and armies fighting over small strips of land which leads to questions of “why should I donate”. I’m not sure how this should be solved – I definitely don’t support the idea of regime change where the west takes over the running of some of the worst countries. Maybe a half way house is required where aid,debt relief and trade rules are introduced only if key UN advisor’s placed in each African country can see that the money is being used wisely and that the poor really are getting the help they need. But to think that all countries in Africa are like this is naive – I was surprised at the amount of calls that yesterday was an ego trip for most taking part and it will make no difference. Even if this turns out to be true and not one thing will change surely people have got to try in the hope that their efforts, particularly in Edinburgh, will make a difference.
Finally – concert highlights – Coldplay & Richard Ashcroft even though their timing was way off, Madonna proving she’s still got it even in her 60’s, Travis who actually got the whole crowding moving, The Killers who were robbed and got to play only one track, Velvet Revolver…rooooooooooock and Robbie – Come On!! Lowlights – Elton, Dido, Mariah Carey – fuck off with your mike stand requests and Pink Floyd – yawn. Over 60 and don’t we all know it.
All in all an OK concert – hopefully by Friday we can say it was great.