Those who moan about brand Band Aid are missing the point

Craig Wills
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Bob Geldof recognises that "something for something" is how the world works (Source: Getty)
Like many, I was - and still am - the proud owner of the 1984 original “Do They Know It’s Christmas” seven-inch. I was 10 years old, and had in that year been bombarded with harrowing pictures of far-off communities, visuals of malnourished dying children, babies, adults and animals with the backdrop of arid land; utter hopelessness abound.
I also knew the equation: poor, starving African people needed money, money could be made through selling a record – ergo, something for something, capitalism at play, with the money going to a good cause.
Without the encouragement from Twitter, Facebook and social media soundbites, the nation collectively popped to Our Price, and with eager anticipation put the vinyl on the record player while gawping at the hotties from Bananarama, Boy George, the Quo, Spandau Ballet and an embarrassment of beauty and fame on the record sleeve. In awe, proud to be part of something that gave and gave.
Through the medium of fame and pop music, £8m was raised for charity, plus there was a Christmas number 1. Job done.
To this day, the original Band Aid song is the second biggest-selling single in the UK, with 3.7m copies sold. So why, 30 years on, is there such bile and hatred aimed at Bob’n’Bono for shaking the fame tree and crafting another Band Aid for 2014?
Sure, Bob’n’Bono, One Direction and crew are indeed pretty one dimensional, hungry for fame and dollar; and sure, the elite and mass inequality of wealth and prosperity is also an issue - but what tide do we really expect to turn?
Capitalism provides tax, tax provides healthcare, the legal tax system allows some to be “creative”. And so the ebb and flow exists.
While no-one from the Band Aid camp is saying that all the woes and injustice of a modern economic framework are perfect, the fact is the brand of “Aid” needs a helping hand – “something for something” is the world we are in, as it was 30 years ago.
Let it be, people: bedroom walls adorned with the scrummy faces of Olly Murs, Harry Styles and Rita Ora are a perfect platform from which to raise awareness and rattle a few collection tins - £1m in the first five minutes should surely silence the cynics and naysayers.
I am sure the irony of the term ‘band aid’ is not lost on Bob Geldof. It is a metaphorical plaster over an oozing wound, but anything that can help cauterise the death and misery must be a force for good.

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