Monday, April 05, 2010

Geldof responds to "Starsuckers"

A documentary film to be televised in Britain tomorrow criticizes the humanitarian work of Sir Bob Geldof. The film called "Starsuckers" says that money raised through Geldof's concerts was misspent and even led to tragic deaths.

In response, Geldof made public a letter he wrote to the director of the film. From the WA Today in Australia, writer Paul Lewis tells us what is in the letter.

n an attempt to persuade the director to retract the allegations from the film, to be televised in Britain tomorrow, Geldof wrote a meandering and at times emotional explanation of his work.

In it he said he had significant influence over world leaders in the run-up to the 2005 G8 summit. He contrasted the achievements of his Live 8 campaign with the global coalition of anti-poverty campaigners, which he characterised as ''a bit lame'' and almost entirely ineffectual.

Claiming that ''all … the combined lobbying might of the total NGO community'' failed to ignite public opinion over global poverty, Geldof drew attention to the powerful impact of the Live 8 concerts, which were televised simultaneously to audiences around the world. ''They are the vast billions watching,'' he said. ''Brought together around the electric hearth of the TV or computer screen by the Pied Pipers of Rock'n'Roll.''

He also defended his proximity to world leaders: ''Like it or not the agents of change in our world are the politicians. Otherwise you're always outside the tent pissing in. They stay inside their tent pissing back out at you. This is futile. My solution is to get inside the tent and piss in there.''

The film in question is Starsuckers, a polemic against media and celebrity that includes a string of allegations about Geldof. They include the suggestion that money raised from the 1985 Live Aid concerts to tackle famine in Ethiopia was misspent, leading to deaths, and criticism that the successor concerts two decades later, Live 8, overshadowed a mass movement of campaigners in the Make Poverty History coalition.

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