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The changing ideology of rockonomics

At Hyde Park, Dido just introduced as the “African Ambassador for Music from Senegal”, Youssou N’Dour*, who she was “in awe” of, “not just because he has a wonderful voice, but because of his wonderful beliefs”. He came on stage to say:

“The debt cancellation is OK. The aid is OK. But, please, open your markets.”

There will be an awful lot of well-intentioned nonsense given unquestioning, reverential coverage today, with ignorance and platitudes dressed up as profundity. Maybe, however, for perhaps the first time at an event of this type and on this scale, a kernel of truth will wriggle its way onto TV.

I consider this a small but notable victory for the notion that, if you permit free speech and are prepared to tolerate every misguided and moronic idea, eventually the truth will out.

* [edit]: add correct spelling and link.

21 comments to The changing ideology of rockonomics

  • That sounds like it would be Youssou N’Dour, whose music is rather marvelous.

  • Verity

    Gosh, Perry, thank you! I’d never heard of him and clicked on the link. Yes, his music is wonderful!

  • Surreal moment just seen on Sky News, geopolitical/economic advice dished out from Duff Mckagan the ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist. I mean, COME ON!!

    Almost as good as dopey old Miss Dynamite on the ITV news last night talking about “people less unfortunate than ourselves” (sic). Yup, that’s what she really said!

  • I will just third the observation Youssou N’Dour’s music is wonderful

  • Verity

    Michael was this the first time you heard it, too?

    It is just so compelling!

  • Verity: No. I have lots of his music on my iPod.

  • Verity

    Oh. Well, I’ve sent the link all over the place.

  • I was unable to listen for some reason…

  • Verity

    Alisa – Yes, it’s tricky. You press the square button, and then you wait. The music will come on, but not before you have had an urge to start clicking on different buttons.

  • Verity

    Alisa – Did you try it again? You have to wait longer than normal, but it comes on.

  • Joke from Smash Hits (from about 1987):

    Q. What does Youssou N’Dour call his wife?

    A. Her N’Dours.

  • Verity

    Hey! It doesn’t work! I got my phone bill and I clicked my fingers, but the phone company says I still have to pay for the long distance calls!

    What a load of crap!

  • Stefan

    Youssou N’Dour and his fellow African Angelique Kidjo (who appeared at the Africa Calling event at the Eden Project in England) are quite right in pointing out that the opening of markets is more important than just throwing money at the problem.

    I just hope that Youssou’s message doesn’t get drowned out in the self-congratulatory blah that’ll inevitably follow the Live8 concerts.

  • Verity

    Stefan – I hope so too, because that is the only realistic way forward. We on Samizdata have been banging on about this. Constantly throwing money at them because they’re apparently unable to take care of themselves is so insulting – yet this doesn’t seem to cross the minds of St Bob & Co. So patrician – we must take care of the peasants. Such noblesse oblige!

    I think there could be a case made for forcibly removing African dictators, even those who were elected by 99.65% of the electorate and placing temporary administrators in charge (Mbeki’s brother – can’t remember his name, would be one excellent candidate), but other than that, we should stay out of it. Open up our markets and let them have a go! Britain and Europe would get cheap produce (and other goods) and the African entrepreneurs would get a chance to generate capital, to the benefit of everyone.

  • Verity, it did not work, but never mind, I’ll find a CD in a store to listen. BTW, what was that bit about the phone bill? I did not get it:-)

  • Verity


    For that link to work, click on the square button for a few seconds, then click on the single arrow. It didn’t work for me at first, but then it did.

  • Verity

    Alisa – Forgive me! I’d posted the joke about clicking your fingers somehow obviating poverty on the wrong topic! It had nothing to do with the link not working. Sorry. I hope you got the link to work.

  • Stefan

    Removing dictators is not always the right answer either. Which is the lesser of two evils? The known or the unknown?

    To come back to the money, this morning’s newspapers declared that the artists who had performed at the Hyde Park concert (and elsewhere), had seen a 1000% upswing (yes, one thousand percent) in album sales following Live 8. There are calls that those artists enjoying this surge in sales should pledge to give this same surge in profit to Live 8. Sounds fair enough to me.

  • W

    I saw Youssou at Eden. His bass player did a long solo that was jaw-dropping…and so casual. The whole Eden set up was wonderful – hospitable, clean, caring, friendly. The production – staging, lights, sound system was first rate and the all-African set was fabulous.

  • here are calls that those artists enjoying this surge in sales should pledge to give this same surge in profit to Live 8. Sounds fair enough to me.

    …and Dave Gilmour has made a statement.

  • Youssou is one of my favorite singers. I hope this will finally give him the recognition he deserves.

    If you haven’t heard it, his latest album “Egypt”, for which he won his first grammy, is one of the most important albums of the year. This is very different than Youssou’s usual style, with middle eastern sounds rather than his usual high energy Mbalax. He makes a very strong statement for peace by showing a different side of Islam than what we often hear in the news.

    Youssou’s guitar player, Jimi M’baye, just released a solo album which I’m helping him sell in the US through CD Baby & iTunes Music Store.