Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 1 July 2017

Right honourable gentlemen?

In which G.M. Norton feels nauseous. 

One of the big headlines in Britain over the last couple of days has been the decision that male MPs no longer have to wear ties in the House of Commons.
The Speaker of the House, John Bercow, made the unexpected announcement after being questioned on the matter by a wag who had spotted a Liberal Democrats MP sans tie.
So naturally, I thought I’d give my two penneth on the matter.
Now as you know, I love wearing all forms of neckwear; neck ties, bow ties, cravats and neckerchiefs. I feel better when I dress up and make an effort. Of course, that’s not to say that I always wear neckwear. At the weekend, I will reach for a polo shirt or camp shirt, or if chilly, a woolly jumper.

What you may not know is that I also love breaking rules. I have a big rebellious streak running through me so the idea of forgoing something set in stone and daring to be different does rather appeal to my inner scallywag. But importantly, I also have a respect for tradition, especially one that goes back more than one hundred years.
When I watch the Queen’s Speech, I’m so in awe at the pomp and ceremony. I think this is something that we should continue to hold dear and cherish. It’s what makes Britain.
So, there you go. I’m quite appalled at the decision. MPs are representing their constituents and are making important decisions about the United Kingdom so they should be appropriately dressed. If a necktie is too much, then wear a cooling cravat instead for crying out loud.
Aside from tradition and my own personal preference for neckwear, there’s something else that makes me positively nauseous at the ramifications of such a decision. And it isn’t the horror of the open-necked business shirt that screams car salesman, not ‘right honourable gentleman’. 

I find that when people dress well, they’re behaviour improves exponentially. Now, some of the behaviour in the House of Commons is often bordering on the obscene so I dread to think what a more relaxed style of dress will do. If I believed in god, I’d be saying “Heaven help us.” Instead, I’ll just reach for something strong and hope for the best.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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  1. I think it's good in some cases, though - one male MP, who is paralysed down one side, really struggles with shirt and tie (and stairs, and many other things in the HoC), so if relaxing the rules makes it easier for people like him, it's not all bad.

    1. A good point well raised! Although I must say, socks will always be my nemesis to put on.


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