Finally international media have caught up with the sentimental counterproductive patronising Band Aid initiative. We hated ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’ the first time around and hoped they would go away. But they are doing it again with the Ebola epidemic, which only adds insult (patronising untruths) to injury.
Thank all the gods that the world is starting to notice how wrong this kind of ‘charity’ is. We heave a collective sigh of relief that at least Damon Albarn and Adele have refused to join the ill-conceived effort, and newspapers like the Guardian, and even Sky News are questioning it.
And no, we are not armchair critics, as so many comment threads on Facebook read. We are not lazy, or cynical. Geldof c.s. must not be praised because ‘at least they are doing something’. Damon Albarn was quite right when he said that throwing money at a problem often creates another problem. Ask South Sudan.
We fight this wrong thing because it is wrong. Singing from a privileged platform in a centre of power about poor Africans dying somewhere far away perpetuates a system that keeps power and money largely in the hands where it is. It absolves West African governments from their duties and creates more death in the long run.
International government coordination is what is needed on Ebola, with a role to play for West African governments as well its international counterparts. Government operations are paid for by taxes. Asked if he paid his taxes, Bob Geldof started swearing on Sky News. Enough said.