What’s behind a simple mind firing off a shot at U2’s Bono for being a suck-hole!

Blimey, what was he thinking?

One
very faded pop star dares to utter blasphemy by attacking legendary U2
front man and one of the world’s most popular non-denominational
securlar Christians, Bono – for “shamefully sucking up” to leading
politicians.

Perhaps it was a case of “don’t you forget
about me” as 80s rock star and Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr has lashed
out at Bono for appearing last week with British Prime Minister Tony
Blair and former US president Bill Clinton, as they joined him in one
of his crusades – African poverty.

The diminutive Kerr became a veritable human landmine when he claimed overnight in the UK:

“How
can Bono, having graced concert stages for over two decades, draped in
the white flag of peace and screaming ‘No More War’ at the top of his
lungs, contemplate praising and back slapping Tony Blair?”

Good question Jim boy!

“I
can’t believe that anyone could fail to identify that no matter what
gesture Blair may make towards African debt relief, his slippery hands
are currently dripping in the fresh warm blood of Iraqi men, women and
children. As for showing Clinton any respect, did Clinton’s government
not provide more for military spending than any previous American
government?”

Kerr was long involved with Amnesty International – must have dug that one out of their manual you assume.

However,
still another good question. But an even bigger question remains,
whatever happened to the two soul mates who in the early to mid’ 80s,
used to literally sing off the same song sheet, and sang and played
together, and supported the same radical causes? For a time both bands
were a genuine mutual admiration society. But it seems after the ‘Live
Aid’ concert transformed U2’s fortunes where they have never looked
back, in the years ahead Simple Minds went from huge stadium band to
passed over contenders. While both bands were also very active
supporters of Amnesty International and such causes as freeing Nelson
Mandela, that all seems like a lifetime ago now.

There
was a time when Jim Kerr and myself were the best of mates and shared
the same dreams for his band on the way up, and I was a trusted
confidante and colleague, and even his press agent. Now we used to
discuss a lot of things including his upbringing as a working class kid
from a council estate and being a god fearing catholic from Glasgow.
Substitute the world Dublin – and you have Bono. Now while he was
hardly cut out of the more radical socialist left leanings of another
musical mate Martyn Ware (ex-Human League, Heaven 17 – Sheffield), Kerr
most certainly did have a well developed social conscience.

To
the point where his band had Richard Branson amend their Virgin
recording contract so that all their royalties derived from then
apartheid South Africa were donated to charity. I think he actually
copied that move from Bono! Naturally Virgin didn’t make the same
concession given they had a very active Cape Town branch and the Virgin
MD and Branson’s partner was himself South African.

For the
more cynical among us who tire of celebrity “do-gooders”, Bono has
become something of a “rent-a-cause” over the past decade. Personally
from the very early days of observing U2 I’ve always regarded Bono as
pretentious as an iconic pop star, but still his political posturing
has always been that of a man with his heart in the right place. Yet
while Kerr’s attack might also not be unrelated to his underwhelming
career moves of the last decade – and there’s nothing like a major
controversy to be thrust back in the spotlight by taking pot shots at
rock’s most prominent “saint” – possible envy doesn’t disqualify the
validity of Kerr’s argument.

There is a very real point of
debate about Bono’s long-time Tony Blair double act, where the war in
Iraq does raise eyebrows about him being a Blair acolyte, which Kerr
now queries. Pop stars and PMs pissing in each other’s pockets is
rarely a good combination, although Peter Garret doesn’t have to worry
about that too much right now does he? But when the whole Britpop
movement was evolving and Blair rode its trendy coat-tails, there were
plenty of pop stars who fronted up for cocktails at number 10, who are
now hugely embarrassed by their political bottom licking. Bono clearly
isn’t one of them and while he might well argue in the immortal words
of Lyndon B. Johnson, that “it’s much better to be inside the tent
pissing out” – in the case of Iraq as Kerr might ask, is it high time
Bono tried the alternative?