Back in October of last year, I posted a little rant on the subject of Bono and the slightly dubious finances of his non-profit organisation, the ONE Campaign. I wasn’t the only one who was confused and annoyed by all this (and by the U2 frontman’s ‘offshore’ tax activities) by any stretch of the imagination – indeed, last night, during the band’s Glastonbury Festival set, a group of UK Uncut protesters attempted to raise a banner rightly demanding that he pay his taxes.
They almost succeeded too, until the Glastonbury security spotted it and forced them to take it down. Music website The Quietus reports that there were “scuffles” with and “threats” from festival security in the process (what happened to peace and love, Glasto?). The NME quotes a “spokesman for Glastonbury” as saying, all too conveniently, what actually happened was that:
The stewards decided to stop the banner going up, but it was their decision and not under instruction from organisers. They clearly decided the banner could be dangerous and could disrupt people’s view. It was a decision taken on the grounds of health and safety, not on the grounds of censorship
So all those annoying flags and banners that end up being waved down the front at every single Glastonbury don’t disrupt people’s views ever, Mr Spokesman? Hmmm.
Despite the ‘elf ‘n’ safety gorn maaaad‘ excuses, I can’t really see this as anything other than crass hypocrisy on the part of Glastonbury anyway, especially after organiser Michael Eavis commented in a recent interview with The Guardian that:
I think it [the festival] could well become more political. We’ve always been a sounding board for lots of unrest… If people are really faced with dire circumstances, that will get them angry and motivated, and that’s the way we’re heading at the moment. It [politics] gives Glastonbury soul and gives it back its purpose.
What really got me, however, was Bono’s apparent response to the abortive protest:
Er… Precisely what were Live Aid and Live 8 (particularly the latter) all about then, Bono?
Pot, meet Mr Kettle. Kettle, this is Mr Pot.