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

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 627th post was filed under: News and Comment.

More posts worth reading

The Nativity × Gaudí (published 17th February 2019)

The 8 (published 16th February 2019)

From above (published 15th February 2019)

Diary for 14th July 2008 (published 14th July 2008)

The new terror alert system in full (published 20th July 2006)

Correction: Miliblog did not cost £6,000 (published 24th June 2006)

Ronnie Barker has died (published 4th October 2005)


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