In these seemingly inauspicious times, we may recall that 30 years ago famous musicans from the UK, the US and Europe came together and raised £150 million for starving children in Africa. It that summer of 1985, two live concerts, one in London, the other in Philadelphia, played simultaneously to record crowds and was beamed across to 1.9 billion people in 150 countries.
Enduring names like Queen, David Bowie, U2, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Madonna, Phil Collins and others, more famous in the 80s, like Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Boomtown Rats, Sade, Paul Young, Simple Minds and Duran Duran performed for LiveAid.
I was then a student in London and felt that we, as a human race, if united could achieve anything. Yet the events of recent weeks also tell us that we, once divided, whether by race, religion or culture, can cause death and, ultimately, our destruction.
Whilst we argue about religious extremism versus freedom of expression or distracted by cultural minutiae and political bickering, every 10 seconds a child dies of a hunger-related disease. It’s not that some these things are not important (they are), but not all causes are equal, and we really only have a finite time on this fine world of ours!