Douglas Alexander has joined Bono in the fight against world poverty. We have an exclusive transcript of their first meeting at the weekend.
‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’
Jeez, I know Bono, it’s a good job we have this jet to help us combat poverty. Did I tell you I’m a son of the manse?
‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’
Er, have you tried looking behind the leather settee? It might help if you take those sunglasses off.
Well, quite. That’s what we said, and so did Bowie. Fragmentation seems to be a new norm in politics across much of Europe. So where are we off to?
‘Where the Streets have no Name’
Paisley? Oh god, they’ll be re-naming the streets after that awful girl soon.
‘Is it getting better, or do you feel the same?’
Ach, I’m not over it yet. Hopefully going to Rwanda will help.
‘Have you come here for forgiveness, have you come to raise the dead, have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?’
To be honest I just needed a job, and working with you and Edgey seemed like a great fit. Now Gordon’s gone I need a dark brooding pal to hang about with.
Are you ‘Stuck in a moment You Can’t Get out of’?
Not at all. I believe that our generation is living through a period of profound transition, as the politics of the 20th century gives way to the politics of the 21st century.
‘One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should. One life with each other: sisters, brothers. One life, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other.’
Exactly. We called it pooling and sharing.
‘Say it’s true, it’s true. And we can break through. Though torn in two, we can be one.’
Absolutely. An increasingly interconnected and interdependent world had already undoubtedly reduced the agency of national governments around the world over the affairs of their own citizens.
‘And so we are told this is the golden age. And gold is the reason for the wars we wage.’
No doubt. So today crosscurrents of dissatisfaction – from distrust of politicians to concerns about living standards to fears of international threats – are prevalent everywhere. This is the ground on which the seeds of distrust have grown.
‘I may have lost my way. But what I forgot to say. If you didn’t know. Is never let me go.’
Hmmm. The problem is ‘it’ sees grievance as a commodity to be quarried for electoral profit. It sells cries of protest to people who feel voiceless.
‘I have climbed the highest mountains. I have run through the fields’
Yeah well, simply amplifying anger is not enough – we need to offer answers.
‘I was on the outside when you said you needed me. I was looking at myself. I was blind, I could not see.’
Look Bono our first and most urgent task is to restate the task of progressive politics as one that enables our constituents to harness real power and control to achieve what they set out to achieve. It starts from respect, deep and real respect, for the hopes, aspirations and dreams of the people we seek to serve.’
Stronger Together. When do we land at Prestwick?