Sunday, July 03, 2005

Making Poverty History...

So I sat there in front of my tv for the best part of 11 hours yesterday...I haven't done that since July 13th 1985 when I was a mere 11 year old desperate to see Madonna on stage in Philidelphia. Knowing that something good was happening to save starving Africans, feeling saddened by images of boys and girls my own age dying and donating my pocket money to the cause, buying the t-shirts etc. That if course was Live Aid.

This time around for Live 8 I am a 31 year old mother of two and Bob Geldof didn't want our money, he wanted our names. The purpose this time around was to make the G8 leaders aware that we - the humble public and the people who elect the leaders - were not happy with the unfair poverty in the world and wanted something done. At the end of the day though, 20 years down the line from being that little girl waiting to see Madonna, people are still starving to death needlessly every day. I truly hope I am not sitting writing about this again as a 51 year old.

Some people are cynical about how effective things like Live Aid and Live 8 are. They grumble about mega rich superstars telling us to help the poor and needy. Yes Bill Gates probably does have enough money in his account to save a small country single handedly but we need to remember that people like him, David Beckham, Brad Pitt and the other's who introduced acts yesterday and made speeches are popular icons for todays society and as such have a hugely influential effect on the fans who adore them. Same goes for the hundreds of acts who gave their time to entertain us all. They are all people with influence over sections of society and yesterdays line up's in the concerts around the world ensured that whatever your musical taste's their would have been someone you liked showing their support.

Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe it's because I'm a Mum, whatever the reason I cried when I saw the images from the third world countries and I felt a sadness and an ache for strangers that is normally reserved for your close family.

So following yesterday's events, we take it now to Edinburgh on Wednesday for the final push on the long walk to justice and we hope they listen and we hope they do something...and if they don't listen then the richest nations in the world cannot be democracies but dictatorships and the blame for third world poverty cannot lie with anyone else but 8 men. 8 men who would go down in history as the one's who wouldn't make a difference...when all the world wanted to.

Jenny xx

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