Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bono preaches from his lofty and lonely pulpit

Stephen Harper might be scary, but to his credit, he has rejected Bono's blatant lobbying attempts at this year's G8 summit:

After meeting with Mr. Bush, Bono praised the U.S. president for announcing plans last week to pour US$30-billion over five years into Africa to fight AIDS.

But Mr. Harper appears to sing from a different songbook.

The celebrity trio has requested to meet with the prime minister several times over the last few days, but has received no response from the Prime Minister's Office, said Taylor Thompson, a spokeswoman for DATA, an aid organization co-founded by Bono and Geldof.

Mr. Thompson said Canadians are known as "great, generous people," but Mr. Harper's team "is not currently doing them justice."
Until such time as it is conclusively determined that Harper is to blame for the decline in generous taxspenders because he declines to meet with rock stars turned activists, hit control + alt + delete or alternately, apple + esc + option.


Elaine said...

I didn't think Harper would meet with Bono. I am glad Harper let Bono know that he is much more important than he is.That must have been a pounding to Bono's over inflated ego. Harper bascially told Bono to suck him dry and call him dusty.Harper is doing us proud on the world stage.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but the self-proclaimed "Voice of Canada" thinks otherwise. Lead item on CBC news website right now:

Bono, Geldof slam Canada as a 'laggard' on African aid
Last Updated: Friday, June 8, 2007 | 5:00 PM ET
CBC News

Two of world's most famous anti-poverty activists tore into Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday, accusing Canada of blocking other G8 nations from making clear targets in the group's humanitarian aid package to Africa.

The comments by U2 front man Bono and musician Bob Geldof came after the countries pledged on Friday, the final day of the G8 summit in Germany, to recommit $60 billion to fight the spread of disease and poverty engulfing the continent.

U2 front man Bono leaves at the end of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, on Friday. U2 front man Bono leaves at the end of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, on Friday.
(Odd Andersen/Associated Press)

"I said some years ago that the world needs more Canadas, and I meant it," Bono said. "I can't believe that this Canada has become a laggard. I think he's [Harper's] out of sync with the people."

"A man called Stephen Harper came to Heiligendamm," added Geldof. "But Canada stayed home."

Anti-poverty activists have criticized the leading industrialized countries for failing to live up to promises on African aid made two years ago at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

The high-profile musician-activists slammed the accord for not promising new money, saying it was rife with deliberately misleading language and lacked clear targets.
Continue Article

The high-profile activist-musicians cited sources inside the summit who alleged Harper personally blocked the G8 leaders from accepting accountability for fulfilling their promises.

"It's as if we have the place bugged, because everybody tells us," Bono said.

But Harper was quick to dismiss the charges in a press conference later Friday.

"I can say with absolute certainty that Canada was not blocking anything on this," Harper told reporters. "We happen to believe that when it comes to aid moneys that the whole framework of accountability is important.

"Canada has made a commitment, along with other countries, to more than double our aid over the next decade. Canada's on target to meet our obligations. I think we're the only country on target to meet them and to meet them early."

But Paul Zeitz of the Global AIDS Alliance said Canada's proportion of resources going to international aid has dropped in the last two years.

"Usually, Canada is seen as a leading light," Zeitz told CBC News Friday. "In this situation, it's not happening."

By 2010, there will be 11 million people in Africa who will require life-saving AIDS medicines readily available in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, but only 20 per cent of patients are getting them, Zeitz added.
Opposition questions aid figures

The opposition has said the Harper government only arrived at a claim to be on target by re-calculating Canada's 2005 commitment and shaving $800 million — nearly one-third — from the $2.9 billion the previous Liberal government promised in 2005.

During question period Friday, both the Liberals and NDP accused the Conservative government of failing to make aid to Africa a priority.

"Why is the Canadian position at the current G8 to downplay and reduce commitment?" Liberal MP Ralph Goodale asked Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay.

Mackay replied that the previous Liberal government was not able to keep its commitment and spent only $1.4 billion last year in African aid.

NDP MP Alexa McDonough demanded to know when the government would provide details and deadlines for aid to Africa.

"The budget is going up for Africa," MacKay replied, adding that the budget commitment reached $1.7 billion this year.
PM says meeting Bono not his 'shtick'

On Thursday, the prime minister declined a personal meeting with Bono at the G8 summit, saying he was too busy to discuss the African AIDS crisis with him.

The musician, who has become a leading voice of global AIDS and poverty activism, managed to hold talks this week with U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also hosting the summit.

"Meeting celebrities isn't my shtick," Harper said, although he expressed admiration for Bono's humanitarian work.

"That was the shtick of the previous guy," added the prime minister, in reference to former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, who met with Bono several times.
With files from the Canadian Press


Note the attribution at the end: "with files from the Canadian Press". Really, when is Harper going to realise he shpould resign and turn the government back to the natural Masters?

Anonymous said...

"The budget is going up for Africa," MacKay replied, adding that the budget commitment reached $1.7 billion this year.
PM says meeting Bono not his 'shtick'

Ha ha, you conservative suckers. Your money is still stolen, it's still going to get filched into the pockets of government greedheads and their cronies, the people over there are still going to get screwed by their government like they always have been, but Harper made the utterly meaningless gesture of snubbing Bono, so you're all, like, "Wow Stephen Harper is da man! ... You go girl! ... Way to stand up for ... nothing!"

mariposa said...

Hey Anonymouse - can you read (I mean other than lefty propaganda) - see this:

Bono's ok with using tax dollars so long as it's somebody else's taxes since he avoids them:

But Bono -- who flies around the world urging western democracies to use taxpayer dollars to forgive Third World debt on the one hand and then moves his business from Ireland to avoid paying taxes on the other -- is singing from the wrong song-sheet when it comes to slamming Canada and its commitment to helping Africa.

How do you spell HYPOCRITE?

He thinks it's ok to lie about Canada, and some media lackies lap it up:

Firstly, Harper emphatically denied he blocked any deal and pointed out that Canada is the only G8 country on track to meet its commitments to Africa made in Glen-eagles, Scotland, two years ago.
In fact, Canada is ahead of schedule to meet its commitment.

Bono is just another celebrity, like so many others, with an overinflated view of his own importance.

He bashes a country that is doubling its foreign aid - what an idiot! But hey, that's your hero for you.