Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 02/07/05

Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing...

I'm spending the day avoiding Live 8, that festival of pointlessness playing at a corporate-sponsored venue near you right now!

For pointless it certainly is: it will change precisely nothing. The problems of poverty and starvation are not things which can be put right by a bunch of has-beens (McCartney, P Diddy, etc.) and never-will-bes (erm...) plugging their collective back catalogue while thinking that what they're doing is so worthy, so kewl.

The problems are to do with the way in which our world is ordered; where wealthy Western corporations (and the governments they own and control) rip the under-developed nations off for their raw materials, keep wretched dictatorships in power and then, when the need becomes so great that it can't even be ignored by our corporate media, offer those self-same victims 'aid'.

But this 'aid' comes with strings attached: in order to qualify for it, the countries in need must agree to a programme of 'restructuring' which involves 'liberalising' their economies. In other words, opening their internal markets up so completely that those same Western corporations can dump their surplus production on them, thus destroying those countries' indigenous businesses, which in turn makes it more difficult for those countries to export to the wealthy world; and 'liberalisation' also means the compulsory privatisation of public services, as it has in South Africa, where the charges made by the newly-'liberalised' water companies can no longer be afforded by the poorest, so leading them to have to resort to water from infected wells. Hence widespread cholera outbreaks in the townships. Such a triumph for capitalism - I doubt if that even happened under Apartheid.

Have we heard St Bono of Arselick (The Prince Of Celtic Bollocks) or Lord Geldof sounding off about this? If they've mentioned it, it hasn't been reported; ergo, given the fact that the official media hang on their every word, they haven't said it. Instead, we have Bono and Bob simpering over two proto-war-criminals, telling them how wonderful they are and posing for photo-opportunities with their heroes; and how that cartel of cretins calling itself the G8 are "the stars of the show".

It is the policies of the G8, their commercial backers, and other unrepresentative bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which have put (and kept) the poor poor for two generations or more (in the over-developed world as well as Africa, Latin America and South Asia). Why expect them to reverse the habits of decades and do something which will really work now?

Even the protests are becoming worthless, as the self-styled Make Poverty History campaign has the requisite politicians and B-list celebs and luvvies on board: march alongside that wonderful Gordon Brown, wear white to show how pure you are, don't criticise capitalism and don't mention the War!! The result is the street equivalent of the official media reporters 'embedded' with the occupying forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere: nothing of worth is said, nothing of worth is even allowed to be hinted at. And, in the meantime, the real protests, by groups and individuals not on the golden leash of official approval, can be marginalised and go unreported (except when convenient, when the protestors get fed up of the obtuseness and pettiness of officials and police, and decide that they will not be pushed any further: then they can be written off as 'agitators', 'anarchists' and 'fringe elements' who are there simply to riot).

All worthless. Totally worthless. A sideshow, nothing more.

So, who's going to have the nerve to tell the safely 'embedded' little tin gods of pop ('Sir' Bob, 'Sir' Paul, 'Sir' Elton and - it surely can't be long delayed - 'Sir' Bono) to shut the fuck up and, if they're really so concerned, to try to storm the Gleneagles Hotel and tell a few firm truths to those who have the power to improve the lives of billions, but choose not to do so?