Bob Geldof charged with stealing the thunder of Edinburgh march
SIR Bob Geldof has been accused of arrogance "in a different league" by a leading organiser of the mass Make Poverty History protest in Edinburgh.
John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want, believes Geldof hampered the success of the campaign by organising his Live 8 concert in London's Hyde Park for the same day as the protest in Edinburgh in 2005.
Mr Hilary wrote the comments ahead of the broadcast of Starsuckers, a More 4 documentary shown last night which made similar claims.
Geldof has written a 58-page letter to the makers of the documentary in which he defends his initiatives to try to mobilise world opinion through concerts, including 1985's Live Aid.
Mr Hilary, who featured in the documentary, wrote: "In the film, Geldof is accused of undermining the Make Poverty History campaign's attempts to hold G8 leaders to account for the scandal of global poverty.
"By contrast, Saint Bob now claims that he alone should be credited with putting issues of world poverty on the political agenda and not the millions of ordinary people who take action on such issues year on year."
He added: "The Make Poverty History campaign was not perfect and many of us have been candid about its shortcomings. Yet Geldof's arrogance is simply in a different league.
"To suggest that he alone was responsible for creating a mass movement on global poverty is a direct insult to the millions of people around the world who have worked steadfastly for debt cancellation, trade justice, women's rights, workers' rights and environmental sustainability over decades."
Thousands of campaigners descended on Edinburgh in July 2005 ahead of the G8 summit in Gleneagles that month, calling on world leaders to take action on global poverty.
Geldof was criticised for arranging a sequence of Live 8 concerts across the world where the likes of U2, Coldplay and Madonna called for more aid for Africa, fairer trade and debt cancellation.
He was further criticised for turning on the South African activist Kumi Naidoo who said at a press conference: "The world has roared, but the G8 has responded with a whisper."
Geldof attacked his statement as a "disgrace" and defended Tony Blair and other G8 leaders.
Edinburgh-based activist James Picardo, of anti-debt campaign group Jubilee Scotland, was among protesters at the Make Poverty History march. He described the timing of Geldof's Live 8 concerts as "unfortunate".
He said: "The march was a mass action from thousands of people and there was an opportunity for the world's media to look at that.
"But by having Live 8 on the same day, the media's attention was instead focused on that.
"There was nothing to stop Bob Geldof from doing it the day before or after."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South