Charlotte- Daisy Love and Katie Wilson discuss the pros and cons of the Band Aid charity single.

FOR: Charlotte- Daisy Love

Sir Bob Geldof recently released his most controversial record to date and, in doing so, he has come under heavy fire from musicians, politicians and the public alike.

He has been accused of ignorance towards the Ebola crisis undermining the hard work and bravery of the individuals and charities currently dealing with the situation. He has been bashed for the new lyrics being patronising towards Africa and causing offence with lines like, “How can they know it’s Christmas time at all?” when about half the population are Christian, it’s more than likely they are aware of this significant religious occasion.

Artists involved have also been blamed for jumping on the song as a publicity stunt, smugly taking part while donating very little of their own millions they have stashed away in the bank. While on the other hand Adele, who donates a considerable amount of her millions to various charities every year, was cruelly criticised by Sir Bob for not taking part or returning his calls.

I find these points difficult to dispute. The irony of Rita Ora turning up to the recording studio in Notting Hill dressed in a £1,000 red Gucci suit, singing about those dying from disease and starvation while preaching that we should all donate is a little hard to take.

But looking at the facts, the single went to no. 1 in record time meaning it obviously had an impact on people across the country. So much so that they were compelled to buy the song of which every penny went tax free, thanks to George Osborne, to the Ebola cause. Will this help the Ebola crisis? Of course! Because more money gives more resources, more medicine and more support for the people risking their lives to deal with the Ebola threat. So while I may be the first to criticise Sir Bob (especially in his attempt to scape goat Adele for not getting involved) his recipe obviously works.

When my housemate came home last week and asked me what Ebola was, but preceded to reel off all the previous winners of Strictly come dancing- ever- I think there is a problem. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Strictly as much as the next person. But somewhere along the line Glitter-ball trophies became more important to this generation than the outcry of individuals dying through disease and poverty around the world.

So if this years Band Aid appeal has done anything, through controversy or not, it has a reminded a generation who are often more interested in the showbiz page of the Daily Mail than casting an eye to real news, that the world is still very much out there. It isn’t always pretty, and it sometimes needs our help. Whether privately like Adele, or unashamedly in the face of everyone for a little glory seeking, a little giving goes a long way. If it takes Sir Bob to show us this, so be it.

AGAINST: Katie Wilson

Since the first Band Aid charity single, released years before we were even born, Africa as a continent is in a totally different state now to what it was then. The rerelease of the single has brought much controversy to the current charitable music World, with Adele and Fuse ODG refusing to be on the track. Personally, I think that it is wrong to criticise them for not wishing to sing. Quite often, celebrities can be seen to be “doing good” with the ulterior motive of enhancing their own name and career. The two acts refused for different reasons. Adele is said to have made a private donation to Oxfam, which is totally her choice and her way of doing things. She clearly didn’t feel the need to be associated with Band Aid in order for her to be part of helping Ebola. Fuse ODG was originally prepared to be part of the single but dropped out when he read over the lyrics. To many, they are seen as patronising and are inclusive of the whole of West Africa, as opposed to the three affected countries.  One of the lyrics is: “No peace and joy in West Africa this Christmas”, strictly untrue as there are only three affected countries. Fuse ODG actually plans to donate profits from an up- and- coming song to the cause very soon. Emelie Sande is also rumoured to have proposed a change in the lyrics of the song, to little avail.

The way in which the lyrics negatively portray Africa could be seen to heighten the egos of the West and enhance the idea that the West is superior and can save the lives of all. I cannot deny that the money that is being raised by the single must be worthwhile. However, where is the proof that the money is going where it should? The general public, the ones donating to the cause, will never know if all of the money that is donated will actually reach where it should. This is a very sceptical view, but it is unlikely that all of the people dealing with the money or working at charities would be working on a voluntary basis.

Although it raises money, some people may not always be totally aware of the reason for the single or the severity of the cause. One Direction fan-girls are likely to purchase the song simply because Harry Styles features on it and he’s just so great. Although this raises extra cash, ignorance could be what got Ebola to this stage in the first place. It originally came about in 1977 and it is not until now that anyone is trying to do anything about it because it was on a smaller scale, until now. I am sure that some of the money will help in terms of providing extra medical care and research and in the end will help towards making Ebola more manageable and stopping the spread.



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