Break The Dress Code

Love Parade 2007 in Essen
Less shirt, more pink

We voted for change. All we’re going to get is a change of clothes.

I will never support any TD who votes to enforce a dress code in the Dáil. A silly thing to be upset about? It is not – because this stands for something.

We voted for people who rejected the uniform. We voted for men who refused to wear suits. We voted for those who did not dress up in fancy clothes to show that they were important. This stood for something.

And now the established parties tell us, “You cannot have those people.

“You must have more people like us. You must have the obedient, the conforming, the place-holders. Your choice is what we say it is. Whoever you vote for, the establishment wins.”

This is the message the major parties want to send us. It is not acceptable.

2 replies on “Break The Dress Code”

This occassion seems silly, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a dress code for a parliament per se. It’s an institution that should inspire a certain respect to visitors and those that work there alike.

There’s other reasons as well.The Dutch parliament for example forbids parliamentarians dressing in uniform. That is to say, any group of parliamentarians may not dress up so that they’d be considered to be in uniform dress, relative to eachother. A few years back, one faction was pretty close to violating this by all wearing the same tie. The idea is to prevent any group of parliamentarians using dress to intimidate their political opposition.

It’s pretty clear from what era that rule stems.

Pink shirts? A bit daft. Then again, the risk you run is that you allow a little bit of sillyness, and before you know it, frothing extremists will be using this as a reason by precedent to wear whatever offensive symbol they want to put on display. Keeping it simple with a business dress-only style rule actually might keep from over-politicizing these stupid symbolic issues.

I don’t disagree that some sort of dress code might be reasonable. But not this dress code, and not at this time. The few people who were elected to the Dáil without dressing in suits are independents (unless you include Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, whose shirtsleeve look would probably also breech the code), and are there very much in protest against the status quo. To force them to conform to that status quo, even symbolically, would seem like a direct rejection of the electorate’s decision.

And why is the business suit the only acceptable form of dress? The population is very pissed off with the suit-wearing classes.

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