Have U2 gone too commercial?
It’s been all over the news in the past few days. Elevation Partners, an investment group that Bono is involved in, buys up a large slice of Forbes. Forbes magazine often gets referred to as the “bible of capitalism”. At the same time U2 Unlimited, the company that holds all the rights to the U2 master tapes, moves to Holland to avoid a change in Irish tax laws, rising a lot of criticism from Irish politicians. And to top the bill, there’s that damn “U2 Tower” no one in Dublin really seem to want, other than some politicians and the band themselves. The Guardian does a great job of summing up all the controversies in this article.
A lot of criticism is being voiced over this. Is this the same Bono that helped stage Live Aid, or the Drop the Debt campaign? Surely he could not possibly be avoiding taxes by moving a company to the Netherlands, right?
And once again, we got thinking about this. Bono is often criticised for being involved in all this charity fund raising money, but then being obviously, some would say filthy, rich himself. Avoiding tax schemes and investing in the “bible of capitalism” surely can’t help this. But is it fair? Does having a lot of money and preaching against world poverty make you come across as a hypocrite? It’s certainly what the press makes it out to be.
It’s a discussion that’s often raised and that probably everyone has an opinion of and we’re interested in hearing it.