December 2017
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Why don’t ageing rock stars just shut up and fade away?

Former rock star Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and of “After the Goldrush”) seems to have been reborn as an environmentalist. He has just attacked a Canadian tar sands oil extraction project saying: “The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The Indians up there and the native peoples are dying”. That’s an interesting comparison from Mr Young. Hiroshima was devastated by the world’s first atomic bomb and over 100,000 people are estimated to have died (click on picture to see more clearly)

I haven’t been to Fort McMurray. But someone who worked there wrote, “Fort McMurray is also known as Fort McMoney a town of 50,000, 30 miles from the nearest plant with maybe 2,000 natives earning up to $150,000 a year if they care to take a job. Most do and live normal lives. Many waste their life drinking, taking drugs etc – the result of having too much money and nothing to do. More die in traffic accidents, odeed or frozen to death than health issues caused by oil extraction. I worked there for 10 years and know people that spent 40 years there and they have no related health issues.”

Neil Young is not the first aged rock star to open their big mouth before engaging what’s left, if anything, of their brain. Recently we had our very own Brian “Badger” May comparing the culling of badgers to genocide. I’m not sure which genocide he had in mind. It could have been the 1915 slaughter of over one million Armenians and other ethnic Christian minorities by the Turks. Or perhaps the 1994 Rwandan massacre of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsis. Or maybe it was the Holocaust where over 11 million people – mainly Jews and Slavs – were killed by our German friends. Interestingly, homosexuals were also included in the Holocaust. I wonder how Mr May’s former bandmate, the homosexual Freddy Mercury, would have reacted to Mr May’s apparent suggestion that gassing homosexuals to prevent the spread of homosexuality was the same as culling a few thousand badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB.

But, of course, the crass stupidity of Young and May are mere bagatelles compared to the continued rantings of arch idiots like Saint Bob Geldorf and Saint Bono.

As a registered non-dom, Geldorf is legally entitled to avoid income and capital gains tax on international earnings. His fortune is estimated to be about £32m. If he’s earning say 3% on his investments, that’s £960,000 a year – £18,461 a week. Although he does his best to pay as little tax as possible, he is forever mouthing off about how more of the money that we ordinary people pay in taxes should be shovelled into the waiting pockets of African kleptocrats (click on picture to see more clearly)

Bono is much richer. He too has “useful” tax arrangements. In 2006, U2 moved their publishing arm to the Netherlands after the tax exemption for artists introduced by former Taoiseach Charles Haughey was capped at €250,000. Bono’s fortune has been estimated at about £400m. At 3% interest a year, that gives Bono £12m a year – £230,769 a week or £32,967 a day. If Mr Bono paid the same levels of tax as us plebs, the Irish or British government would have lots more money to give to enriching African leaders while their people starved to death.

Hey, ho. That’s the way it goes. I wish I was an ageing rock star with a big mouth and a drink and drug-addled brain and could afford to be a blundering, greedy, hypocritical buffoon worshipped by a sycophantic press and by politicians eager to be seen to be trendy and  “doing the right thing” – with other people’s money, never their own.

2 comments to Why don’t ageing rock stars just shut up and fade away?

  • Brillo

    Dear old Bonio is worth about £500m, who needs that much money. He could give 90% away and still live like a lord. But you and I know that he won’t. Another do as I say merchant. It makes your flesh crawl.

  • Paris Claims

    This pair could quietly spend some of their own money on improving conditions in some of the poorest countries like Zimbabwe, for example. They could buy seed, machinery, build irrigation systems. It would hardly condemn them to the poorhouse. In a couple of years they could turn around the lives of many people, and then come back, show us what they have done, and ask for more help. But no, they don’t. When was the 1st big effort launched to save Ethiopia? What’s changed, except the population has grown exponentially, and more of them are starving.

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