Sir Bob Geldof today launched a moving appeal to third world nations to ‘give whatever you can’ in the face of the ever worsening crisis in the western financial markets. The credit crunch, which has now come to dwarf the AIDS pandemic sweeping Africa, has, said Sir Bob, seen ‘suffering on an unprecedented scale’.
Addressing an audience of peasant subsistence farmers in Ethiopia, he urged Africans to ‘Give us your money. Pick up the phone and give us your fucking money now. These people are losing their bonuses, their stock, their options… People are literally losing their liquidity right now and you have the power to stop it.’
The appeal follows a harrowing television report by Michael Buerk from a Wall Street wine bar, where thousands of economic refugees have ended up. ‘They can’t drink the water, and so are forced to drink the Pinot Grigio, despite the long term risks to their health,’ he said. ‘Many of their wives are painfully thin – this morning this woman walked forty miles on a Treadmaster, but has only eaten one lettuce leaf in three days.’
Meanwhile the people of Eritrea sent a television message to Washington, expressing their sympathy at the horrendous financial losses, and promising to return in its entirety all aid money received over the last 20 years. ‘It’s impossible for us to imagine what it must be like to lose that much money,’ said one man, ‘Literally, impossible.’