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Did Bob miss the eBay boat? No, he’s on it.

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

Bob Geldof Neil McIntosh has caused quite a debate over on the Newsblog by suggesting that Bob Geldof shouldn’t be getting so worked up about Live8 ticket sales on eBay, suggesting instead that if Geldof had auctioned the tickets in the first place, he could have raised a lot of money. Understandably, this upset a few people, and so the debate has begun.

Of course, Geldof isn’t really that bothered whether his tickets are sold on eBay or not. It’s illogical to complain: After all, by selling them, people who are more committed to his cause than those current ticket holders will buy them. Geldof simply had his little faux-angry outburst to get Live8 another day of headlines. And it worked beautifully.

This also explains a point which has been confusing me. I’ve been naively wondering why Geldof has organised this huge concert, which will attract fans of the artists playing, and not people who support his cause, thus making no political point whatsoever. The point of the concerts is clearly not to have a large demonstration of public support. The idea is to generate a whole wave of media coverage, with the central Africa theme in the background. Once this consumes the whole news cycle, politicians will then be forced to respond.

Think about it: The day of the G8 meeting itself, the papers will be full of reportage from the previous day’s concerts. The following day, they will be full of reportage from the rally. Therefore, Tony Blair will be forced into announcing something, or he will look weak, unresponsive, and ultimately impotent.

It doesn’t really matter who goes to the concerts, as long as they’re considered a success. So they need a full house – and what better way to ensure a full house than to give away the tickets?

This is an extremely cynical plan, as it assumes that Geldof can second-guess and manipulate the media, and that’s a notoriously dangerous thing to do. However, he’s very brave to attempt it, and he believes his cause is just; even if I’m not entirely convinced, I’m glad that the issues are being publicly discussed, and that’s a major step forward. So good luck to him.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

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