So the Celtic Tiger is now a chastened little cub, and Ireland is coping with its worst recession in decades, but anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof is delivering a tough love message to his fellow citizens – just deal with it!
Geldof was interviewed by an Irish radio station last week while he was in London at the G-20 summit urging leaders not to forget about the world’s poor even though the global economy has gone kaput.
“Ireland is neither hopeless nor bankrupt. We will get through it. We’ll pull ourselves out of it. It will be incalculable pain but it will be done,” Geldof told the Newstalk station, adding that the Irish need to “get over” the recession and “move on.”
The former Boomtown Rat turned poverty crusader, who has a worldwide platform thanks to the historic success of his Band Aid/Live Aid efforts in the eighties and subsequent initiatives on behalf of Africa, says the Irish will have to experience some financial hardship in order to achieve long-term gain, calling this week’s budget cuts announced by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen “completely justifiable.”
After making his plea for continued global aid he added, “I’m really aware that I give people a pain in the arse. I give myself a pain in the arse hugely.” Well, you know what they say – no pain, no gain! There’s no denying that Geldof, together with Bono, has shone a huge light on the world’s poor and sick who continue to endure their own version of a recession.
Geldof wasn’t afforded an official platform at the G-20 summit, but he did make time to meet with members of the media to get his points across.
“We need an injection immediately of $50 billion into poor areas and it will translate into about 1 percent of global stimulus,” he said. “The G-20 must deliver a future and if they fail to deliver that they shouldn’t have a job themselves.”
Serious stuff for sure, and pity the poor reporter who asked Sir Bob for a “20-second soundbite” for a TV program. His reply? “No, I’m not going to do 20 seconds, f*** off. Sit down and talk to me seriously.”