Page last updated at 20:55 GMT, Thursday, 2 June 2005 21:55 UK

Call to focus on 'real' G8 story

On Tuesday Bob Geldof urged a million people to descend on Edinburgh to campaign against world poverty as world leaders meet for the G8 summit in July.

In an interview with the Scottish Press Association, pop star Midge Ure told people "not to panic" and focus on the "real story".

I heard a police chief in Edinburgh quoted as saying it's totally irresponsible what we're doing and this gives anarchists the chance to hijack a high-profile event.

Midge Ure
Midge Ure has been defending protest plans

But this is just scaremongering, it's just crazy.

Don't panic. People have taken this figure of one million literally but it's purely symbolic, it's just Bob being Bob.

We try to rein him in but you can't control him. Now he's gone to Europe and left me to pick up the pieces.

He could have said 10 million, he could have said a billion, Mars is going to crash into Scotland. It doesn't matter, it was a symbolic call for people to stand up and be counted.

There won't be a million people in Edinburgh, they will be mainly Scottish coming from in and around the central belt region, and they'll go home that night.

'Children dying'

So we've had the outrage, we've had the shock-horror and negativity and people panicking about anarchists sleeping under the mulberry bush, let's now return the focus to the real story, the kids dying in Africa.

This event is a chance for ordinary people to make their voices heard, to say to Bush, and the other world leaders: 'You're here in our country and you haven't even had the courtesy to invite us'.

Concern has been raised over how Edinburgh will cope

It's not irresponsible what we're doing. What would be irresponsible is letting the leaders of the Western world come to Scotland and sit in five star luxury up the road and walk away three days later having done nothing.

So, instead of people worrying about crusties trampling on their garden pansies, or worrying about not having enough toilet roll, let's remember the tens of thousands of kids who die from preventable causes in Africa every day.

There will be an element of troublemakers, no doubt.

G8 is synonymous with crusties turning up and putting in the windows at McDonald's.

But we want to be the antithesis of that. We want families, doctors, teachers turning up to be part of a day which might just change the world.

I have to say I am scared. I am unsure what we're doing just like we were before Live Aid 20 years ago, but look how amazing that turned out to be and this is no different.

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