U2 frontman and tireless campaigner Bono has reportedly been awarded an Honorary Knighthood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
He’ll join that other rock ‘n roll knight, Sir Bob Geldof, in being recognised more for his humanitarian work than his contribution to popular culture.
At a time when the loans for peerages police inquiry is continuing and the honours list struggles to retain credibility, some are claiming Bono’s gong is further proof that such awards are devalued. Others maintain the Irish singer, real name Paul Hewson, thoroughly deserves recognition for helping to ensure the serious political and social issues of the day filter through to those who have little time for politicians and more established campaign groups.
Whatever else you might think of him, Bono certainly manages to get the attention of world political and religious leaders.
The fact he uses such access to world leaders to further the cause of issues like the crippling debt levels of developing countries, Aids awareness and social and economic inequality is worthy of recognition (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6206063.stm).
But there is also an argument to suggest that if he really wanted to make a political statement, he should refuse the honorary knighthood until the causes he fights for are addressed and decisive action to tackle such issues is taken.