Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where's the Story?

The BBC is reporting that Bob Geldof has had to 'defend' himself for agreeing to help the Tories in their newly-created Globalisation and Global Poverty Group policy unit. Now, I'm not necessarily the hugest fan of Sir Bob. I think the Live 8 "Make Poverty History" propaganda, whilst an excellent publicity stunt, was far too simplistic in the message it portrayed. Solving global poverty is not as simple as Geldof claims it is. If it was, it would have been sorted out. And he always seems to omit to mention that whilst an African child may die because of poverty every three seconds, African governments are stealing and squandering thousands of pounds in that time too. That money could be put to better use.

Nevertheless, the one thing you cannot doubt about Geldof is his sincerity. You don't spend as much time campaigning for one thing, like Geldof has done, without knowing something about the subject and without having a real commitment to what you are doing. And anyone with a brain campaigning on this subject would spread his ideas and talk about them to anyone prepared to listen - which is why Geldof is only right to talk to the Tories. No-one gets action taken by pissing into the wind - you actually have to do something.

Of course, the BBC article linked to above doesn't mention anywhere who has actually complained about Geldof taking up such a role with the Tory Party. He's emphasised he's non-partisan, and there isn't a single word of complaint from anyone in the article they talk about. So who is he defending himself from?

The BBC journalist, presumably, or some other BBC interviewer. That hardly makes sufficient criticism to draw the headline "Geldof defends Tory adviser role". Indeed, why should he even have to defend his role at all? Only if there is the implicit assumption the Tories aren't really committed to tackling poverty and are only seeking nice, sunny headlines, basking in Geldof's reflected glow. But no-one is saying that, except for the BBC. Who should stick to reporting the news, not trying to mould it in their own image.