Feb 2010 12

After successful feedback and sales of the Dylan Don’t Sing for Tesco t-shirts, Aspecks was commissioned to print two more designs for The Co-Operative Party as well as some more Dylan t-shirts. Check out the print video for the Fred Perry and The Feeling’s Mutual designs.

For more information about The Co-Operative Party’s The Feeling’s Mutual campaign please visit http://thefeelingsmutual.org.uk

An Unlikely Politician: Nandor Tánczos
Sep 2009 12

Say hello to Nandor Tánczos, New Zealand’s first and only Rastafarian Member of Parliament, well at least up until 2008 when he resigned his seat in order to concentrate on more grassroots endeavours. Tánczos, by his own admission comes from an anarchist background politically and he had to consider what appeared to be contradictions between this background and his own Rastafarian philosophy before entering Parliament in 1999. However, he reconciled these difference by striving to change what he considers to be an elitist power structure that is designed to maintain the status quo. He asserts that “True power does not reside in Parliament. It lies in the hearts and lives of ordinary people. That’s why most of my life has been committed to supporting grassroots participation in decision-making. At the same time it is useful to have allies in Parliament who support community participation.”

Far from being a mere political activist and dangerous radical (as his opponents sometimes characterised him), Tánczos holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from the University of Waikato, and a diploma in sustainable land management at Unitec. Whilst an MP he was the only parliamentarian in the world with a qualification in permaculture design. He also co-founded Hempstore Aotearoa, a business that produces hemp-related products such as cosmetics and clothing. So this is a man who really knows what he is talking about.

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In defence of politics
Aug 2009 26

I am the first to admit that conventional democratic political processes are often corrupt, slow and ineffective due to bureaucracy and vested elitist interests that are contrary to  the greater well being of societies. I hold cynical views about corrupt politicians and social injustice and believe that it is fine to be disappointed and even disgusted by politics. BUT I ABSOLUTELY HATE it when people say that politics is not important or does not affect them or their daily lives.  According to the work of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)  there is a worrying trend of of increasing global voter apathy going as far back as 1945 so that “voter turnout has decreased globally over the past 10 years by almost 10 percent, both in established democracies as well as newly-democratized developing countries.

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Politics cannot be easily defined but this wikipedia entry provides these key points by describing it as:  as process by which groups of people make decisions. The term is generally applied to behaviour within civil governments, but politics has been observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. It consists of “social relations involving authority or power” and refers to the regulation of a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy. However, there is not an academic consensus on the precise definition of “politics” and what is considered as political and what is not. Max Weber defined politics as the struggle for power. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics)
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Corruption Alert!
Jul 2009 24

Three New Jersey mayors, two state lawmakers, a deputy mayor and five rabbis were among 44 people charged Thursday in a two-track corruption and international money-laundering probe, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey announced. The investigation began as a probe into a money-laundering ring that allegedly trafficked in goods as diverse as human organs and fake designer handbags. Based on information from a cooperating witness, the probe then widened to government corruption when the witness approached public officials about bribes, the attorney’s office said in a statement. “This investigation has once again identified a corrupt network of public officials who were all too willing to take cash in exchange for promised official action,” acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra said in a statement. “It seemed that everyone wanted a piece of the action.”


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Dizzee Rascal for Prime Minister ??!!
Jun 2009 18

“A black man, a purple man, a martian man can run the country….as long as he does right by the people.”

The interview below took place on the BBC’s Newsnight programme the week of President Obama’s election in November of 2008. Although this is only an abridged version of the interview, when you watch the full interview, it should be clear to all that Jeremy Paxman (the interviewer) is inferring that the topic of conversation was above Dizzee’s intellectual capabilities (even though I do like how he calls him “Mr Rascal”)! In truth I think Dizzee more than holds his own (even if he could have been better briefed – Aspecks is available for such tasks!), he clearly appreciates the positive effect the election had and understands the importance of having a President who is mixed race, who can be held up as a symbol of unity.

‘Mr Rascal’ also makes some interesting points regarding political parties and appears happy to admit his slight ignorance of their activities and importance to the political process. He also reveals his apathy towards politicians (not exactly a revelation but one that reflects a wider public sentiment), effectively stating that they are all fairly similar irrespective of party allegiance and that every now and again you might get a ‘genuine one’. However, he then points out that change occurs when everybody comes together to make a difference and that whilst a high-profile individual such as Obama can have a morale boosting effect, it is the people, the community who can affect real positive change in society.

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