The Trouble with Band Aid Is That You Can Buy the Single, Think You Have Done Your Bit and Walk Away None the Wiser about the Causes of Poverty in the Developing World

By Thomas, Mark | New Statesman (1996), November 22, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Trouble with Band Aid Is That You Can Buy the Single, Think You Have Done Your Bit and Walk Away None the Wiser about the Causes of Poverty in the Developing World


Thomas, Mark, New Statesman (1996)


You could be forgiven for believing that the human race is doomed. The list of omens seems endless: Bush is re-elected; John Peel is dead; Ariel Sharon asks whether any other leader had so much blood on his hands as Yasser Arafat. Yet for some reason we insist on believing that it is only the US which has no sense of irony. A gunfight breaks out at Arafat's wake--which I can't help but think is what he would have wanted--and, frankly, none of us would have been that surprised if Israel had bombed the Ramallah compound during the funeral, just for old times' sake.

Then Iyad Allawi claims that there have been no civilian casualties in Fallujah. And US marines are filmed killing unarmed wounded men, which might as well be broadcast with a voice-over asking: "Have you ever considered a career in al-Qaeda? Dial this 0800 number and ask for Osama."

On top of all this, Band Aid is re-releasing "Do They Know It's Christmas?".

To this, incidentally, the answer is: of course they know it's Christmas! Do you honestly believe the entire continent of Africa goes to work on 25 December thinking: "Hang on, I've got a funny feeling the rest of the world is having a day off."

Yes, they know it's Christmas. If they didn't, it would be the biggest conspiracy in the world. Everyone visiting any part of Africa would be told at customs: "Whatever you do, don't mention Santa." Tinsel would have to be banned, carols would never be sung and the millions who are African Christians would be sitting around with censored copies of the Bible asking: "Does anyone know when Jesus was born?"

If the future of Africa lies with Will Young and Rachel Stevens, then Africa is fucked. If bands such as The Darkness want to help, then I suggest we drop the entire band, in full performance mode, into the centre of Darfur. The sight of high-pitched Spandex wearers appearing in front of them might just confuse, worry and frighten the Janjaweed militias long enough to delay their genocidal onslaught by a few hours.

And yes, dear reader, you are right, I am a begrudging, cynical bastard.

You would be right to say that some of Band Aid's musicians are politically astute and involved in the issues. Not many of them, mind you, though Damon Albarn has put his money where his mouth is on numerous occasions during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, and Bob Geldof and Bono know more about debt and poverty in the developing world than most MPs (on reflection, this doesn't sound like the compliment I intended it to be .

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Trouble with Band Aid Is That You Can Buy the Single, Think You Have Done Your Bit and Walk Away None the Wiser about the Causes of Poverty in the Developing World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?