I’ve talked before about my deep love for Live Aid (Live Aid: go away), but as we are about to be hit by a tsunami of Live Aid events I can't resist another go. One thing I would like to know is how much of their personal wealth each of these self righteous pop stars has given to charity. I think that should appear as a sur title on the Live Aid stage. If it’s a lot, I’ll back ‘em, but the idea that these millionaires can devote their precious “time” making crappy music while the rest of us cough up the actual money for the cause seems morally dubious to me. I wouldn’t stop at pop stars either—Princess Diana was perceived as a great supporter of charity because she would show up to parade her latest Versace dress or her sympathetic smile at an opening, yet how many of her millions went to feed the starving? The same goes for Blair—how much of the contents of Tony and Cherie’s piggy bank is going to save Africa, or is Blair just looking to salve his conscience over the Iraq war by using other people’s (e.g. tax payers’) money?
Some statesmen are prepared to put their money where their sound bites are—the much maligned Kofi Annan, for example, made a personal donation of $100,000 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, but I would guess he is an exception.
If it turns out that Sir Bob Geldof is a major charitable donor I’d be the first to applaud. If he’s not though, what right does he have to ask other people to donate their hard earned money so he can be flattered on the front pages?