Matt's Crow Country: U2's Bono should not be towing the party line

PUBLISHED: 10:23 13 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 11 May 2010

CALL me old fashioned, but I like my rock stars to be firmly anti-establishment. Would a snarling Johnny Rotten, a pouting Mick Jagger, or even a whining Liam Gallagher roll up at the annual conference of a political party? Somehow I doubt it. So you can

CALL me old fashioned, but I like my rock stars to be firmly anti-establishment.

Would a snarling Johnny Rotten, a pouting Mick Jagger, or even a whining Liam Gallagher roll up at the annual conference of a political party? Somehow I doubt it.

So you can imagine that it didn't amuse me to see Bono, lead singer of U2, making an appearance, via video link, at the Tories annual get-together last week.

Not that this kind of flagrant hypocrisy from the Irish singer, who joined Tony Blair on stage at the Labour party conference back in 2004, surprised me. After all, it seems that, like The Sun, he changes his opinion depending on which way the wind is blowing.

But it disgusts me that politicians and other celebrities continue to fawn around this man as if he is some kind of saint.

While there is no doubt that Bono does his fair share for good causes, so do a lot of other famous people. And not all of them feel the need to crow about it like he does.

The shameless self publication he indulges in on the back of his charity work has no doubt helped his band shift a few records, despite the fact that, in my opinion, the last decent album they produced was about 20 years ago. His personal wealth is estimated to be £400million.

And then there is the small matter of where U2's money goes. In 2006, the band moved all its accounts from their native Ireland to the Netherlands. There's nothing wrong with this per se, but the move came just months before a new law came into force concerning music royalties, which would have seen the band pay a far higher level of tax. And all this from a man who is constantly asking Western governments to give more in terms of aid - where does he think they get their money from?

I'm not trying to run down people who do work for charities in their spare time. But I do think that celebrities like Bono, who spend a lot of time preaching to the rest of us about how to live our lives, should make sure they get their own houses in order first.

Well done to the residents of Bassingbourn for again coming out in force against a potential gipsy and traveller site in their village (see page XX).

While I don't want to get into the rights and wrongs of the issue, it is good to see a group prepared to back up their opposition with action.

Too often people are happy to complain about something, but when it comes to the crunch won't get off their back sides and do anything about it.

The pro-active approach of these residents could make all the difference when South Cambridgeshire District Council comes to its final decision.


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