Band Aid 30: You know it must be Christmas when everyone's shouting about a charity single

Ah, how I love the festive sound of intellectual critiques clashing with Geldof's populism

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The Independent Online

I’m pretty sure that when Sir Bob Geldof got Band Aid 30 together in order to wage war on Ebola, he didn’t envisage the very modern intellectual fallout and public snipery his “good deeds” would provoke.

Band Aid 30 is the ever-giving gift for thinkpiece scribes, chucking up themes of celebrity smuggery, white entitlement, askew perceptions of Africa, and whether charitable acts should be beyond criticism.

One problem Geldof has here is that no one with an opinion on Band Aid is right or wrong. All chuntering is valid. Lily Allen was perfectly correct to say the Band Aid line-up resembles a “success club”. Fuse ODG is perfectly right to refuse to sing “There is no peace and joy in West Africa this Christmas”, when he says:  “For the past four years I have gone to Ghana at Christmas for the sole purpose of peace and joy.

Likewise, Emeli Sandé is quite right to suggest that an entirely new Band Aid song is needed, because let’s face it, cutting and shifting words here and there is making the whole thing resemble a bad patchwork quilt the dog’s been sleeping on.

Meanwhile, Geldof, like it or not, is right to keep trying to raise money for causes he champions and using his powers of shouting – I mean persuasion – to pull the well-intentioned deed off; and all the rest of us have the perfect right to download it continuously, or in a free country, slag it off to high heaven.

Geldof has captured Christmas perfectly with Band Aid 30: there’s nothing more festive than a massive and never-ending argument.