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Elaine C Smith: You will listen to this G8reat army; Believe me, this time we really can change the world.

Byline: Elaine C Smith

TO do nothing is intolerable, to do something is not enough.

And to do everything that we possibly can to force the world leaders at the G8 to move a decimal point in their calculations of what we can give to Africa is at least a start.

Wise words from Saint Bob Geldof We all feel that the world is too big for us to change anything, that politicians don't listen to us and that we are all powerless to change anything.

After the huge anti-war demonstrations and the divisions in the world about Iraq, I can understand why people feel that doing anything is pointless and that nobody listens to the voice of the people.

Yet, as events in France and Holland showed last week in rejecting the European constitution, the word of the people can change a lot.

We have to believe turning up for a demo in Edinburgh will make Blair, Bush and the other world leaders meeting at Gleneagles listen at last.

I believe that attitudes have changed in the last while - although one awful, appalling letter about charity beginning at home and telling me to forget those in the Third World almost made me lose my faith in humanity.

But generally, terrible events such as the tsunami and Iraq war have shown us that when the political will is there things can change.

It was the generosity and the compassion of ordinary people that forced governments around the world to give more to rebuild these poor people's lives in Asia.

That generosity of spirit is what THERE were four people called Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody.

Whenever there was an important job to be done, Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did.

When Nobody did it, Everybody got angry is needed now. We all know that, if money can be found to wage a war in the Middle East, then it can be found to make a difference in the Third World.

This is not about dishing out hand-outs.

It is about giving these people a chance to get rid of the debt repayments that are crippling their economies and allow them to trade fairly with the rest of the world.

I really enjoyed Live Aid 20 years ago and pledged my money like millions of others. But, as a political because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought that Somebody would do it but Nobody realised that Nobody would do it.

So consequently Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done in the first place.

You can make a differenceactivist, I always felt that 'charity' wasn't enough and that the political will of all the governments was what would truly change things.

I still believe that - and it is gratifying to see all those pop stars, who wanted to stay away from saying anything too political in case it harmed their careers or simply were not interested in politics, have changed their tune.

This time, it's Political with a capital P and maybe, just maybe, if the politicians do actually live up to what they promise to do in Africa, then the people will start to believe in them again.

That can only be good for all of us.

Let's hope and pray that they listen to us

CAPTION(S):

On message: Sir Bob will make sure Tony Blair delivers at Gleneagles
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 5, 2005
Words:572
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