Oddly Enough

Meet Bono? I'm not interested, says PM

Bono, lead singer of the group U2, arrives at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm June 6, 2007. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters on Thursday that meeting Bono was not a priority on the sidelines of a Group of Eight summit. REUTERS/Jim Young

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (Reuters) - You can stop staring hopefully at that phone, Bono. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be calling.

The Irish rock star turned poverty activist met U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a Group of Eight summit but was told Harper was too busy to talk to him.

Harper, a somewhat wooden figure regularly mocked for his lack of flair, told reporters Thursday that meeting Bono was not a priority.

“I’ve got to say that meeting celebrities isn’t kind of my shtick, that was the shtick of the previous guy,” said Harper in a dig at his Liberal predecessor Paul Martin, who met Bono regularly.

“I hope we do it at some point but my principle focus in public policies is not kind of to meet celebrities,” added the prime minister, a Conservative.

Activists say Canada is trying to block a deal to ensure that western nations live up to promises to boost aid to Africa.

For the record, though, Harper said he liked the music of Bono’s band U2.