Bono Urges "It's Not About Charity, It's About Justice."

As reported yesterday, U2’s Bono spoke at the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton, England, urging the UK government to "get real" and deal with AIDS and world poverty, NME reports. Labeling Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Of the Exchequer Gordon Brown the "John Lennon and Paul McCartney" of global developments, his impassioned call told them to "finish what they started" and end world poverty for good. "I'm fond of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown," Bono said. "They are kind of the John and Paul of the global development stage, in my opinion...the point is, Lennon and McCartney changed my interior world - Blair and Brown can change the real world."

He said that the UK should be leading the fight against world poverty as it has "the reins of power in its hands". He praised the government for stepping up its action to stop the spread of AIDS, but said that there was still much to be done.

"It's not about charity it's about justice," he continued, saying that the fights against world poverty was as noble a cause as when their ancestors fought against the Nazis. "Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment. Because there's no way we can look at Africa - a continent bursting into flames - and if we're honest conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else.

"Anywhere else. Certainly not here. In Europe. Or America. Or Australia, or Canada. There's just no chance. You see, deep down, if we really accepted that Africans were equal to us, we would all do more to put the fire out." He added: "We've got watering cans; when what we really need are the fire brigades," reports the BBC.

A full transcript of Bono's speech can be found at U2's site.

Bono Urges "It's Not About Charity, It's About Justice."