BOB’S A LAUGH
FED up with Brexit? Bored to tears with the dire warnings of doom from the Remain faction? I know I am. Fear not, good old Sir Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof KBE (Bob Geldof to you and I) has just given us the heartiest Remain laugh we have had in some time. He certainly brought tears to my eyes when I recently read his “letter to Theresa May”. I was in hysterics. I couldn’t stop laughing. I ached.
Forget the Remain MPs, Theresa has got Bob on her back now, supported by Sting (well he would, now, wouldn’t he), Rita Ora (who?), Damon Albarn (no surprise there), Ed Sheeran and others. The PM must be quaking in her leopard spot shoes at the thought of such intellectual clout being brought to bear on Brexit.
In reporting Sir Bob, the UK’s Observer newspaper headlined “Imagine Britain without its music”. What? No more Boomtown Rats? (That might be a blessing.) No, it’s more serious even than that. A “botched” Brexit (he really means any kind of Brexit) “will leave the British music industry silenced”, he says. I see. The £94 billion his industry thankfully generates for Britain “will be critically damaged” (he omits to say why).
Yes, Bob, after Brexit, you might need a visa to play in EU countries and be big in Germany, where most faded rock stars seem to end up (pity he hasn’t). Oh yes, and don’t worry about EU warnings of the planes stopping flying, Bob — if they do, it will be your admired EU bureaucrats that do it, not the UK. What’s the betting, after Brexit, he will fly just as easily as everyone did before the UK joined the EU, a mere 45 years ago?
As for the rest of the “global” music market, Brexit will open it up even more to his musical “talents” (provided he keeps his mouth shut, which I admit might be a problem for him). He’ll be able to sing “I don’t like Brexit” (sorry, I mean “Mondays”) to his heart’s content, from New York to New Delhi. That’s what Brexit is all about, Bob, “global Britain” ruling itself and making its own trade deals, even in music. Just like we used to. Fancy that.
He says his industry’s “global success” can be traced back to the Beatles. Correct (for once). Let’s consider that. I seem to recollect that the Beatles formed in 1960 and broke up in 1970. Now, let me think, when was it the UK joined the Common Market, unspoken forerunner of the EU we were “conned “into joining? That was 1973, wasn’t it? Yes, it was. Funny that. All that success globally and no EU. Well I never. How on earth did all those musicians that followed the Beatles to the US, like the Stones for instance, ever manage to do it without the EU? It’s a miracle, isn’t it?
Bob might be loudly “active” in most things other than music these days, but he is always predictable. He tells Theresa that he is “committed to a democratic vote” on Brexit. Is he really? I thought we had one, Bob, in 2016; on June 23, to be precise. No, he means a “people’s vote” (in other words a chance to get it “right” next time). Who does Bob think voted that day — the leprechauns?
I suggest Theresa looks at some of Bob’s Boomtown Rats hits to give her a clue as to what he is really on about. Looking after No 1 (1977)? Possibly (all their hits were in the late ’70s and ’80s when we were in the EU, so that might explain it — little else can). Rat Trap (1978)? (That’s what he thinks Brexit is.) Or perhaps Banana Republic (1981)? (Which is what the EU increasingly looks like.) Who knows?
Sorry, Bob, your letter is a joke and if it were intentional, it would be quite a good one. Sadly, it’s not.
He did a great job with Live Aid, it was a wonderful event, for a good cause, but that was way back in 1985 and let’s face it, it rescued the Boomtown Rats from obscurity, didn’t it? Oh, and one other thing. He couldn’t have done it without the thankfully more reticent Midge Ure, of Ultravox fame, the forgotten Live Aid organiser. He’s still making great albums, like Orchestrated, for instance. Why doesn’t Bob do the same? Has comedy become his natural forte?
Most of the excellent musicians who have put their names to Bob’s letter can be found in my music collection. Their opinions on Brexit are no more important than mine or anybody else’s. Neither are Bob’s. British music IS an asset to the UK economy and Brexit will have NO IMPACT on it whatsoever. Its success is global already, not restricted by the EU. That is the point, Bob. Now, where did I put that Boomtown Rats hit?