It’s back Baby. Ranty Friday has been brought back for a couple of weeks. I actually planned to bring it back this week as I saw something in the paper last weekend that made me rage. And then, as often happens, something else came along to supercede it and so the original idea is parked.
A few people have also told me they missed my Ranty Fridays so it might be back for good, or it might just be whilst I get these few things off my chest.
The first of them being the backlash I have seen against the latest Band Aid single that was recorded last Saturday.
First of all people have suggested that even doing the song is a ridiculous idea. Why? How on earth can you raise a million quid in the space of a few hours? People want to do something for this hideous disease that stops a mother cradling her dying child; husband comforting his dying wife. Yes there have been adverts on the TV and radio asking us to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee and have people have donated in their tens of thousands. As they have to Oxfam, Medecins san Frontier, Save the Children, the list goes on. But do we tell Cancer Research to not bother because Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Macmillan are raising money this month too? Of course we don’t. We throw everything we have at charity in the hope that as much money as possible is raised.
Teenagers watching an advert for the DEC on X Factor may not see the advert as they fast forward through the ads, or they may see it and not connect with the plea. But show them One Direction and a group of YouTubers singing that appeal and they are probably much more likely to reach for their debit cards or mobile phones.
People have also been bashing Sir Bob Geldof with the suggestion he doesn’t pay sufficient tax and should, as though this will help. This is not my argument to comment on as none of really know how much tax he does or doesn’t pay. That is a discussion for him, his accountant and HMRC. But let’s for argument sake say he paid all the taxes require of him. Would that mean that he should not raise money for charity? Do any of us not do anything for charity because we pay our taxes? Paying your taxes is nothing to do with charity donations. There are many charities that get no government funding so we could all donate every penny we earn to HMRC next year and it still wouldn’t find a cure for cancer or wipe out malaria.
I agree that if Sir Bob’s “public shaming” of stars such as Adele is true, that is wrong. To suggest they were “doing nothing” is simply not true. Nobody should be forced into getting involved with charity, or feel they have to be a part of it. And of course Sir Bob had no idea that Adele had already made a sizeable donation to Oxfam.
There have also been articles on pulling apart the song and dissecting the lyrics. Do we really have to take things so literally? I heard Fuse ODG on the radio this week talking about why he didnt take part, and I understand where he is coming from. He is all about promoting a New Africa, focussing on the good that is coming out the continent. Hell knows our work with Comic Relief echos that and we have been all about Proving Progress. The trouble is whilst there IS a huge amount of progress and lasting change, there is a mico-organism that is killing people indiscriminately and whilst we stand around and have these debates more people die.
The message is simple. Buy the song and donate money. Or dont like the song, don’t buy but still donate money. Don’t do nothing but bitch about people trying to do something for people that are in desperate need.