A bit (OK, a lot) of silliness yesterday, as it was pointed that Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Ed Miliband were all wearing similar clothes. Buzzfeed even ran an entire article on it even though the “news” had already been discussed extensively on Twitter.
Dan Hodges even tweeted this earlier today:
Dear politicians. We do not look at you and say "Wow. He's wearing a jumper. He's just like me". Drop the dead jumper.—
Dan Hodges (@DPJHodges) April 05, 2015
I was talking to a friend yesterday who suggested that politics is the most cynical profession out there. Tweets like Dan’s above are partly to blame for that view. The implication is that these middle-class men of a certain age have carefully considered whether teaming a light blue collared shirt with a navy blue jumper will position them correctly in the eyes of the voting public.
This was also taken to ludicrous extremes by Howard Jacobson’s somewhat turgid and exhausting discussion of George Osborne’s trousers on A Point of View today.
It’s unsurprising that we want to relate absolutely everything back to ourselves – after all, we’d like to think the world revolves around us as voters. But isn’t it far more likely that these men barely gave a second thought to their wardrobe when they got up yesterday? They wear these clothes because they’re what men like them wear, especially in early spring in 2015. What’s the alternative? A suit at all times, even on a Bank Holiday weekend? A V-neck tee and skinny jeans? They’re in their mid-to-late 40s, for goodness’ sake.
How about we ignore what politicians are wearing and listen to what they’re saying? And that applies not just to these men but also (and in particular) to the tiresome, predictable misogyny meted out to the likes of Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood.