I've been studiously avoiding the news and any coverage of the Live 8 concerts this weekend, because of the sheer hypocrisy of multi-millionaire popstars preaching how we should make poverty history, when they themselves are the product of the very worst in capitalist marketing. "Make poverty history"? I think they've got it the wrong way around.
Make *wealth* history.
No-one needs a personal fortune of tens of millions of pounds, or a couple of billion stashed away of a private island somewhere. It's only the vested interests of the rich that make the gap between the rich and the poor wider every year. Call me a commie-pinko-liberal, but if you were to take the the money that those millionaires and billionaires will never, ever spend in their lives, and distribute it to all those people who're living on less than a dollar a day, then we might give everyone a reasonable income and a means to live, not just exist.
I earn about thirty grand a year, and despite being mortgaged to the eyeballs and driving a car the costs me a fortune, I'm comfortably off - the only reason I would need more money would be to buy more shit that I don't really need - a dozen videogames and DVDs a month, a bigger, even more overpriced home, a widescreen TV, home cinema system and a nice Aston Martin DB9.
So, Sir Bob, Bono, Madonna, et al - put your money where your mouth is and try living on an income like mine, fly on EasyJet, not your own private plane - drive a Peugeot instead of a Porsche. Put that money to good use by sending it to Africa, not being pushed around by pinstriped stockbrockers slicing off their own 10%.
There are more than enough resources in the world to allow everyone to live in plenty - it's only corporate and individual greed that creates a world of such division - a fundamental cruelty of humanity and the systems and conventions we choose to live in, and the unwillingness to change the status quo in order to preserve what we have, rather than change it for the good of us all.
Without a fundamental change of the principles of economy, poverty will never be eliminated, regardless of how many international popstars stand up to preach on the mass media. The Live 8 concerts will do wonders for the record sales of the artists involved. How many of them will give the profits from their sales spikes to the needy all around the world? Not a one, I'd wager.
It's enough to make you vomit.