If I had a pound for every time a friend told me that 'politicians never listen to people like us', then I'd be a very rich man. I can't blame my friends for thinking like that, because there's a part of me that thinks it's true. I mean, how can I defend these 'old white men shouting at each other', when they've given me little to no evidence that they actually care about the opinions of young people? It's time for the politicians of this country to wake up and acknowledge that the voices of young people matter. Then - and only then - will we start to listen to them.
Anything that raises money for charity is great, and I am fully behind sending relief money to help the Ebola crisis that is happening in West Africa. Nevertheless, like many others, aspects of the new Band Aid 30 single make me feel uncomfortable with regards to its portrayal of West Africa and West Africans.
Adele was brought up by a single mum who struggled for money but provided her daughter with a stable and loving home. That Adele is now wanting to do the same should be supported and applauded, not attacked as a sign of selfishness. It is the egotistical rock star who wants to play God that is selfish.
Band Aid reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa and Africans. It reflects a colonial mindset that is so deeply entrenched in Western culture that we aren't even aware it exists. The sight of a bunch of rich pop stars parading themselves as paragons of virtue and heroes is crass and eminently offensive. While it may allow them to wallow in self congratulation and positive PR, it is paternalism of the most grievous kind.... Ultimately, it is not Africa that needs to be saved, it is us. Only when we are saved from the greed and paternalism that distorts our understanding will Africa and the rest of the developing world finally begin to emerge from under the iron heel of Western hegemony.