Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Dedicated follower of fashion
Every now and then it’s good to spend a bit of time organising one’s wardrobe, after all, spring is on the way and a king needs to look his best. So that was one of my jobs at the weekend, following my recent castle move. When I say wardrobe I mean a few shelves and a hanging rail to accommodate my small collection of... well, when it comes down to it it’s mostly tee-shirts. And being a chap of a certain age, they’re mostly black.
I eschewed fashion decades ago, when I learned that I will never see being trendy as being worthwhile. Following the herd; expressing my individuality by wearing the same uniform as everybody else - that was never for me... although, for eight years in the navy, that was exactly what I wore, on and off duty. It was the law.
But driven by preference I refuse to wear obvious labels and scoff at the prices of high street fashion. Man at Matalan – that’s me, but in its own way that is still following a trail blazed by other fat balding middle-aged blokes. At least in my defence, neither my mother nor the missus buys my clothes... that’s why they are mostly black tee-shirts.
Let’s face it, few of us are attractive clothes horses and with the exception of formal business wear, making a sartorial effort often falls well short of the intended impact - fellas are not made for fashion. Oh, it’s fine for the Beckhams of this world, but admit it, if you see a fashionably dressed bloke over thirty you assume he’s gay. You have to cut your cloth to suit and I’m more a fashion acorn than icon.
Of course, the politicians are no stranger to fashion and are quick to follow a trend, or to drop it as soon as it attracts the wrong sort of attention. The current trend seems to be to dream up more ways of taxing the bejasus out of all of us, but as in the rag trade there is little that is actually new. Labour, having dropped the10% rate under Gordon Brown are now trying to sell it as the Emperor’s new clothes, but we can all see through its flimsy attempt at selling a Tory principle (low taxes) as their own.
At the same time, Tim Montgomerie seems intent on reclaiming a LibDem spring fashion standard of taxing acquired wealth; if I was a squirrel I’d be well hacked off that my year-long effort to hoard nuts was to be raided to feed lazier squirrels. Good luck with selling that to Conservative voters, Tim.
It all comes down to sales. To sell stuff you have to pass it off as desirable, new... different. If you can get people to eat horse sold as beef I’m sure you can get them to swallow poo dressed as policy. In politics we don’t call it marketing, however, we call it propaganda. When fashion gets desperate it panics and does this:
They seek him here... he's in hell.
When politics gets extreme you need a modern day Joseph Goebbels...or Peter Mandelson to sell your shit.
But why can’t politics be innovative, rather than just, you know, a bit ‘stealy’? Here’s something new for government: live within your means. And here’s a new and exciting way to be fair about taxation and discourage under-reporting of income. Why not set an earning level above which you pay LESS tax? It is manifestly unfair that the busy squirrels lose the most nuts; why not actually reward success for a change?
That’s a trend we could all be comfortable with, unless you’re still stuck in the miserable Marxist mode of hating anybody who has more than you do.