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UK Politics

Never mind the Sex Pistols – punk artist backs Occupy

The man whose designs helped to define the era is back

His artwork for "Never Mind the Bollocks" helped bring the Sex Pistols' only studio album to the wider world, defining the image of British punk rock. Now the anarchist Jamie Reid, 65, has stepped back into the limelight, supporting the Occupy movement and espousing the view that politics is now "far more repressive" than when he launched his career.

Reid's art is most famously associated with the Pistols. Now, the self-defined "Socialist with anarchist tendencies" has designed the cover of Folk the Banks, a benefit album launched by Occupation Records in the UK to fund the protest movement that has spread across the world.

The record, which includes artists such as Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco and Tom Morello, will be released next month. For Reid, his images of agitprop reworked from the 1970s that will be on the cover are "more relevant" than ever before.

"Things have got far more repressive in terms of politics and corporate control over things," said the man who met the Sex Pistols' manager, Malcolm McLaren, during a sit-in at Croydon College in 1968. "The whole Cabinet is full of yuppie Eton boys, and it is great seeing those people exposed at last. For me to see a whole new generation of young people kicking off again is fantastic."

Reid, who lives in Liverpool, does not vote and remains sceptical of "that system of politics". He is resolute that the Labour Party must "go back to where it came from" if it is to provide an alternative to the Conservative government.

But he puts no faith in Ed Miliband as Labour leader. "The Milibands, the Camerons and the Cleggs – they all seem to be born from the same egg – there is something really weird about them all."

He greatly admires the Occupy movement, a group which he hopes will "keep going and growing."