Pop singer, Bono, cited John Hume’s celebration of diversity in his Nobel Prize-winning speech of 1998 in a pro-EU polemic as U2 kicked off the European leg of its Experience and Innocence tour in Germany this week.
The Dubliner, writing in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote “Europe had made us a better, more confident version of ourselves”.
He remarked: “We stand a bit taller among friends. Also, the closer the north and the south of Ireland got to Europe, the closer we got to each other. Propinquity crossed the border and brought the barriers down.”
The frontman, whose real name is Paul Hewson, wrote that he was “extraordinarily proud of the Good Friday Agreement and how other countries have rallied behind Ireland on the border issue, revived by Brexit”.
He went on to quote Mr. Hume’s paean to diversity that he made in his Nobel Lecture in Oslo in December 1998.
“All these achievements are under threat, because respect for diversity - the premise of the whole European system - is being challenged.
“As my countryman John Hume has said: ‘All conflict is about difference, whether the difference is race, religion or nationality. The European visionaries decided that difference is not a threat...difference is of the essence of humanity,’ and should be respected, celebrated, and even cultivated.”
Mr. Hewson concluded by stating that Europe was a “thought that needs to becomed a feeling”.