THE end of the tie is being forecast. This almost entirely welcome news comes after Speaker John Bercow said that MPs no longer need to wear ties in the House of Commons.
Narrow knitted ties are rather cool, if you ask me, and when I went to the same office five days a week, my neck was always knotted. Nobody told me to – it just seemed to be the thing to do.
Nowadays I almost never wear a tie, although I put my favourite one on the other day before going to interview a couple for a feature. It is short, made of knitted silk and has horizontal black and purple stripes.
But really, ties are ridiculous, aren’t they? So, all power to Bercow, even if a few tie-wearing Tories predicted the end of the world if men stopped wearing gravy-stained bits of material around their neck.
There is a lot of formal flummery in the Commons, and Bercow himself goes to work wearing a gold-trimmed black robe. It might give the face of politics a good scrub if all the ornate traditions were swept away, to be replaced by open-necked shirts all round.
Bercow’s ruling came about because the tie-wearing twit Peter Bone complained that a Lib-Dem MP had asked a question while not wearing a tie.
Bone was on the radio yesterday, rumble-grumbling about the end of the world as we know it and so on. Apropos of nothing other than being a Europe-hating Tory twit of an MP, he slipped in a complaint about the BBC being the “Brussels Broadcasting Corporation”.
Oh, dear. This reminds me that a tie can also be a noose. Only saying.
Here is another Tory MP in a tie. Gary Streeter represents somewhere or other in Devon. He became cross with the journalist Paul Mason in a discussion about social media, later tweeting: “This is why I (sic) hate social media. It gives a voice to people who don’t (sic) deserve one.”
This reminds me again that a tie can also be a noose. Only saying.
Presumably the tieless unwashed who don’t deserve a voice are those disobeyed the knotted instructions to vote for Mrs Maybe at the election.
Social media gives all sorts of people a voice. Sometimes they use that platform to drone on about the same things. That is their right. But to dismiss social media because it gives a voice to people is to prove that it is time you popped a cork in it. A Champagne cork would do. You’ll probably have one of those lying around the place, Gary.
As for ties, they do also represent all sorts of old-fashioned codes, hence the saying about the “old school tie” – a handy if hackneyed image for the ways society enforces its codes, in that case giving jobs to your old mates, and so forth.
Club ties, military ties – all different coloured stripes of nonsense. The fewer ties, the better. Although this does mean that in an open-necked democracy, you can’t always spot who’s the boss. If the boss is male, he is probably the one in the open-necked shirt and neatly pressed jeans.
Not wearing ties makes me happy, although I will always have an affection for that black-and-purple numbers.