Meeting Bob Geldof, making a difference and fund raising events at Ronnie’s

Posted on July 20, 2010 in Ronnie's News


I had the very great pleasure of meeting Bob Geldof, or Sir Bob Geldof to be correct, last Friday in London. It was just a couple of days past the 25th anniversary of Live Aid and 5 years after Live 8.

There are many people I admire for a variety of reasons, but there are not many I truly believe to be inspiring. And Bob Geldof to me is inspiring. Through sheer persistence, passion and a desire to make a difference he, and the movement he created with Midge Ure and one or two others, built a hugely significant and World changing moment. It started with him seeing a tea time news report on the plight of tens of thousands of people dying of starvation in Ethiopia, a pornography of poverty, a biblical famine, call it what you like but it moved him to action.

Geldof famously said at the time “to die of want in a world of surplus is not only intellectually wrong it is morally repulsive.” He was right. Bob Geldof still points to the wrongness of perpetuating a system called the Common Agricultural Policy which uses everyone’s taxes to grow a surplus of food, to store that surplus and then to destroy that surplus. It went on in 1985 and it still goes on today. Morally repulsive to this day. But what Bob Geldof achieved with Live Aid and the incredible legacy it has left is that he has made a lasting difference to the lives of millions of people. They kick started the green shoots of recovery in an entire continent. It wasn’t instant, and in some places may still not be visible, but the recovery shoots are there. But what it did that cannot be taken away from them is that they did save lives and its legacy is continuing to save lives. Sure, there are people who knock what Live Aid achieved, these are mainly the same people who question the validity and purpose of sending any aid to Africa, but that is an ongoing issue which the likes of Save the Children, Oxfam, etc have to contend with. But they still do something; they don’t give up despite the hurdles and obstacles in their way. And they can do it better now because of the awareness that Live Aid kick started to a worldwide mass audience particularly in July 1985 and again in July 2005 with Live 8. And there are signs that many countries in Africa are developing quite rapidly economically, which is the ultimate objective anyway.

As Bob Geldof said to me and the audience of people he was addressing, “fuck failure, that word doesn’t exist to our mindset” and once again he was right. To save just one life through his actions would be a major achievement but to save thousands and thousands, which Live Aid has done, just makes any criticism at all irrelevant. If all Live Aid had achieved was to save just one life, would you or even could you call that a failure? Of course not!

So that brings me on to a series of charity fundraising events that we are hosting at the bar over the coming weeks. I would like to emphasise the word “hosting” here, because we are merely facilitating the events. The organisers of each event are individuals who have similar traits to Geldof in that they want to make a difference to their chosen causes. It might be on a different scale to Live Aid but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.

On August 29th, the Bank Holiday Sunday, Tom Hastings, one of the organisers of the very successful Purple Haze event (raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness) held in Dukes Court towards the end of last year, is hosting another fund raising all day event starting at 12 noon running through to 10 pm. After that Steeve Mac will take to the decks until 3am in the morning of course. Then on Sunday 26th September, Imogen Hope has put together Songs For Heroes, another line up of great local bands including Rough Twist, Old Yellow and Stellar. All the proceeds for this event will be going to Help For Heroes.  

As I mentioned all the money raised from these events will make a difference to their relevant causes, so support them if you can, no matter how small your contribution may appear to be. After all, to quote Laozi the Chinese philosopher, “a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step”.

You can keep up to date on the line ups for both these fantastic events at or on our facebook page

Oh and one more thing, well done to Jeminy who, on her 22nd birthday, put on a fund raising event last Sunday at Ronnie’s to raise money for St James Orphanage in Uganda. I believe it went extremely well. She has made a difference.

See you soon.


Tuesday 20th July 2010

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