charity ActionAid has produced a spoof an NME cover featuring Tony
Blair, George Bush and Tony Mandelson with punk makeovers as the latest
step in its fair trade campaign.
The cover appears in a viral
email that is being sent to a million students and young people, in an
attempt to show how “poor countries are robbed of billions by unfair
The cover shows Blair, Bush and Mandelson as a punk
trio called Ruff Trade, complete with stage names Toni Blur, George
Tush and Euro Mandy.
The coverline says the band are on a “third
world sell-out tour”, while a click takes readers to a story in which
Ruff Trade have outraged fans with their “lack of new material and
overblown posturing” at recent gigs in New York and Edinburgh.
story goes on to say that the trio are “now taking their aggressive
brand of rock on a tour of developing countries in a bid to force open
“It culminates in a ‘We’re taking over’
(WTO) pre-Christmas super-gig in Hong Kong on 13 December.”
Publisher IPC said the NME team had been approached by the charity and had given permission for the spoof to be produced.
charity said it hoped the email would encourage young people to
campaign for trade justice ahead of December’s World Trade Organisation
meeting in Hong Kong.
“We’re sending the email to 450,000
supporters and NUS members, but we hope it’ll be passed on to double
that number,” a spokesman added.
Youth campaigner Brendan
O’Donnell said: “Hopefully the unbelievable sight of Tony Blair and
Peter Mandelson looking more new wave than New Labour will grab
“We wanted to make people laugh, but we are also trying to communicate a very serious issue.
trade is costing poor countries $45bn per year. A little more aid and a
little more debt relief is just not enough to make poverty history.
“ActionAid is demanding that the government push for genuinely fair trade rules at the WTO.”