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Bono Supports Referendum on Bank Bailout
To mark the occasion of President Barack Obama's historic visit to Ireland, the new issue of Hot Press contains an exclusive Bono On Obama cover story.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 19 May 2011
No Irishman has had greater access to successive US Presidents than the U2 frontman, who’s in a unique position to assess the President’s term to date.
“A lot of politicians need to control their smile, it’s like you can see the wires (laughs), but there’s absolutely nothing fake about this man,” insists the U2 singer who first met Obama during the build-up to the 2004 Presidential election.
Bono recalls performing at the Presidential inauguration, the President's views on Africa, meeting him in The White House, his sense of humour and inviting Obama and Condoleezza Rice to dinner.
“I remember the first half of the dinner the two of them kind of talking politely through me, and then the second half of the dinner, it was like I wasn’t there (laughs). They were just kind of sharing and swapping ideas.”
In assessing the Presidency, Bono emphasizes the fact that Obama is a master of modern technology – also pointing out its importance to Ireland.
“He’s the BlackBerry President and he gets technology,” Bono says. “I hope that they’re going to spend some time introducing him to the representatives of the wealth of technological geniuses – genii – that we have here... He's on Facebook. He's on Google. I worked personally quite hard to get Google to choose Ireland as their headquarters outside of America and I’m very proud of it being here – and Facebook now.”
Also on the homefront, striking a note which is certain to resonate with people all over Ireland, the singer supports the call for a referendum on the bank bailout.
“That is an affront; that is an injustice to the Irish people,” he says of the socialisation of private debt. “It would be a very sophisticated thing indeed should the Irish people demand a chance to debate and argue, and finally decide themselves, on what will in the end be a decision that will affect their children and grandchildren.”
In what is a far-reaching interview with Olaf Tyaransen, he also talks about the recent killing in Pakistan of Osama Bin Laden.
“The lives of the women and children were, under Obama’s leadership, a critical part of the calculation,” Bono proffers. “I don’t believe it was an execution, as some have suggested. The safety of the Navy SEALs was and should be pre-eminent. Part of me would have liked to have seen a trial..."
Then there are the production difficulties which have befallen the Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark musical, which he still believes can be a huge Broadway success.
“It’s fraught with danger and then we had one very serious accident that was a real freak, the rest were just kind of the sort of accidents that happen on Broadway. But the combination made it look like we were being very lackadaisical about safety, when in fact the guy from Cirque du Soleil, who was the world’s expert, was working with us and we had really gone to every length for safety."
|Bono on Obama is featured in our special Hot Press "Heads of State" issue, out now. The issue also features Morrissey on the Queen – plus, among other treats, an in depth face to face with leading Leinster and Irish rugby star Jamie Heaslip and, to celebrate 30 years of the Slane Castle Festival, the Hot Press Interview with the man behind the event, Lord Henry Mountcharles.|
To buy this issue go here...