U2's Bono has made headlines by insulting the Swedes. During a concert in Sweden, the Irish pop singer gave the Roman salute (more commonly referred to as Nazi salute or Sieg Heil) during a concert in the guise of the Mister Macphisto character from the Zoo tour.
“I’m just back from Sweden, I didn’t know how much I liked the Swedish. Tall, blonde, blue-eyed…boring. But now it seems the Swedes are beginning to discover their Aryan potential."
He <a href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/u2s-bono-gives-nazi-salute-to-mock-far-right-swedes/">recited the name "Akesson" with each salute</a>. Jimmie Akesson is the head of the Sweden Democrats, a party opposed to unfettered immigration that has grown in popularity recently in the country.
Mocking racism by invoking racism may seem a bit backwards or hypocritical but this is Bono we're dealing with. The Guardian is just one outlet who have <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2010/sep/23/bono-one-millennium-development-goals">pointed out the irony here</a>, as they describe Bono's One charity campaign:
<blockquote> The apocryphal story finds our hero on stage between songs, intriguing his audience by repeatedly clapping his hands together. "Every time I clap my hands," he finally intones, "a child in Africa dies."
At which point someone in the crowd shouts: "Then stop fucking clapping!"
As I say, it's an old favourite, but it was called to mind this week by news that Bono's ONE campaign had blitzed the New York media with fancy gift boxes. These contained several items, from designer water bottles to $15 bags of Starbucks coffee, as well as information explaining that poverty-stricken African children live on less than $1.25 a day – "about the cost of the cookie in this box".
To which the only reasonable rejoinder would seem to be: "Then stop spending your money on biscuits for journalists." </blockquote>
The scathing article from the Guardian points out multiple such cases. Like how despite lobbying the Irish government to earmark cash for his pet charities, he pays taxes out of the Netherlands to avoid the higher rate of taxes that would support those in his native country. Bono isn't very much a fan of natives of Western countries though it seems. The slight against the Swedes notwithstanding, Bono has made his opinion on the matter clear. According to Jamie Drummond', of Bono's One NGO, African migrants who are full of "youthful energy" are necessary to replace the "senile" aging Europeans. Bono says Africa's population will soon "double" and "whatever the circumstances" will make their exodus to Europe "and that is a good thing." Speaking as the head of the One NGO in this case, Bono signed off reminding all involved that "demography is destiny." Well, he seems to certainly have a point on that last matter.
Then there's the matter of the charities themselves. The New York Post did a feature on Bono's ONE charity that revealed out of $14,993,873 only $184,732 actually went to the charitable causes. The rest of that was overhead, well, apart from the over $8 million spent on executive and employee salaries. And to think, he probably writes that off on his own tax returns as well. What a deal!
Speaking of taxes, Bono, U2 and ONE have all been called out for tax avoidance. ONE campaigns against tax avoidance despite having been shown to have shirked paying taxes itself. Bono's name even appeared in the Panama Papers. <a href="https://inews.co.uk/opinion/bonos-one-charity-scandal-shows-whole-model-aid-must-change/">The hypocrisy did not go unnoted by iNews</a>:
<blockquote>Such double standards have become all too typical in this sector as it swelled to obese proportions, assisted by political paymasters using other people’s money to look compassionate. Note again the six-figure salaries, with ONE’s chief executive taking home almost £350,000 a year. Drummond and his wife, who is ONE’s head of marketing, collectively pocket even more. This body held a board meeting at Claridges, one of London’s most luxurious hotels. The Africa director took business class flights on the continent. Clearly it’s tough at the top of the poverty industry.</blockquote>
Oh, but it gets worse. You remember when Bono made headlines back in March? A former employee of ONE in South Africa reported how she was to be offered as a sexual favor to a Tanzanian MP. When she refused she was demoted. Bono admitted the "toxic" culture of bullying, abuse and (from the sounds of it) attempts to purvey favor from politicians through what amounts to basically prostituting its employees.
Don't worry though, Bono has said he is (direct quote ladies and gents) "deeply sorry."
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