Sunday, 4 September 2011

These signals *do* matter

I remember hosting a small party of London chums for a weekend in Suffolk some years ago. Amongst them was a City lawyer, and because he was 90% City and only 10% lawyer he was superlatively good company. However, he didn't translate well from the square mile to the empty quarter; he pitched up in cashmere City overcoat, cufflinks and black loafers, his only concession to the country being immaculate jeans. Clearly, a winter's tramp through the clay of newly turned fields was not going to be on the agenda, so we spent the time much as we would in London. In the pub, watching rugby. 


I imagine Cameron's wardrobe being similarly limited to town suits, morning and evening dress, with some jeans, shorts and Boden polo shirts for the hols. As the Mail points out, he appears to be sporting the same pair of black town loafers for the Braemar games that he wore for his Tuscan holiday, and his brown suit with the patch pockets looks like Lord John circa 1978. Now those who know me will be aware I'm the last person to comment on men's fashion, but in a Prime Minister these signals do matter.


As a Cameron, he could legitimately sport his clan tartan, and thus signal to besieged and demoralised Scots Tories that he identifies with them. Not to take this obvious opportunity may signal the opposite - that he doesn't want to be seen as identifying with Scotland or the Scots, or even to draw attention to the gaelic derivation of his surname, the 'Cam' part meaning 'crooked' whichever way you translate the 'eron' part. 


Alternatively, he could at least have bought a pair of brown brogues and a Barbour. Not to conform to the simple expectations of the country also signals that it doesn't matter, that rural folk are not a constituency worth wooing. 


No, not snobbish or pretentious. The Prime Minister has a certain responsibility to conform to the simple courtesies of a diverse nation. We already have a Speaker who dresses like an end of the Pier ventiloquist and has made a mockery of his office. 'One nation' doesn't mean 'one wardrobe', Prime Minister. 

6 comments:

James Higham said...

Your right - it's not snobbish or pretentious. It is a signal and that's what Kate and Wills were doing in their various style trips [mainly her]. It is important the signals sent out by the choices made.

Laurie Brown said...

Raedwald, you are mistaking Cameron for someone who gives a shit...

Anonymous said...

a turban then?

James Higham said...

Radders, I've extended your comments a bit - hope you don't mind.

Rossa said...

As I've said on James's blog. What colour shoes should the DoE have had on with his kilt then? Same question for Sam Cam and her Maj? All had black shoes on. Fair's fair. If he's committed a sartorial sin what is theirs?

Edward Spalton said...

According to that excellent Scottish blog SUBROSA, it is Sam Cam's trouser suit which will neither be forgiven nor forgotten by the ladies of Perthshire. Nae sense o' the fitness o' things, some folk.