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
This is all very interesting.
A reader* sent me this link to a recent article in the New York Post on the subject of Bono’s non-profit, the ONE Campaign. The idea behind this campaign sounds like an admirable and excellent one in theory – it aims to end poverty and the scourge of AIDS among the world’s poorest people.
But the campaign’s recent promotional campaign has left me puzzled. I’m not sure that if I worked at ONE I could justify sending out promo press packs which contained such expensive goodies as:
“a $15 bag of Starbucks coffee, a $15 Moleskine leather notebook, a $20 water bottle and a plastic ruler”
Which arrived on journalists’ desks at a crucial time for the campaign
“in four, oversized shoe boxes, delivered one at a time via expensive messenger. The boxes were timed to arrive for the UN ‘Summit on the Millennium Development Goals'”