Bob Geldof has drawn fierce criticism for getting himself involved in the debate over the Scottish independence referendum.
The Dublin-born musician spoke at a rally at Trafalgar Square in London yesterday, urging Scots not to break from the union with Britain. He said: “I’d just like to tell everybody in Scotland we’re all f****** fed up with Westminster and it’s even more frustrating for us because we don’t even get to do the argument that you’ve begun. This argument needs to be had among us all, you can’t selfishly resolve it amongst yourselves by taking an easy opt-out clause.
“Before there was a United States, before there was a United Nations, before there was a united this, that and the other there was a United Kingdom and it was an extraordinary meeting of very different minds of two extremely close cousins.
“The United Kingdom is one of the greatest ideas for the modern age. Between the native genius of the Scots and the pure pragmatic drive of the English we made a world beater. The pity of this is that we are the closest of cousins – when one of our blood spills then it all spills. There is such thing as a big glorious no. No is not always a negative.”
His involvement has irritated many people who are questioning what the debate has to do with Geldof given that he’s not even Scottish or British.
He is now facing an online backlash. One angry post on Facebook read: “A vote is a personal thing no one should be persuaded by outside influences. But make an educated choice by weighing up the advantages and disadvantages that would exist for their future.”
Other posts on Facebook included:
“Oh shut up, Geldof.”
“Bob, stick to music. It was once good & could be if you concentrate on something you actually know.”
“Surprised to hear this from such a prominent Irishman! Have you forgotten what the English did to your country Bob?”
“Why do entertainers think they can advise a country on the direction it should take?”
Geldof is never far from controversy, and has faced criticism in the past for his self-promotion and opinionated attitudes.
Of course, the people of Ireland spent centuries fighting for independence from Britain before finally achieving it in the early 20th century.
The Scottish referendum will take place on Thursday 18th September, with experts still unwilling to predict which way the country will vote.
Watch Geldof’s speech below.