First, the BBC. Band Aid, and the aid movement generally, took a knock to its reputation from the BBC report which implanted the idea that Band Aid money went to insurgent groups. Clearly the apology, as is the way with these things, had less impact on the public mind than the original report. Restorative justice demands that the BBC should run a few documentaries on the work of Band Aid in order to make reparations. I hope Bob Geldof will press for this.
Now, FairTrade. The report came from the Institute for Economic Affairs. It is their second pop at FairTrade, the first being in 2007. The Guardian report, by Simon Bowers, does go as far as to mention that they are a free-market think tank. But the damage is done by the headlines:
Guardian "Fairtrade Foundation accused of failing coffee farmers".
Mail: "Unfair trade: Ethical food ‘is not lifting Third World farmers out of poverty’"
Telegraph: "Fair Trade does not help the poorest, report says"