The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Leadership Contest - Sartorial Matters
by Jabez Clegg

Vivienne over at Forceful and Moderate has noticed that three of the four leadership contenders were wearing the same pale blue tie at today's hustings. What she doesn't comment on is Mark Oaten's tie. It was silk, and dark blue with a fine gold stripe. It looked much like a school, college or Regimental tie (perhaps it belongs to Mark's alma mater). He was also wearing the same tie on Question TIme on Thursday evening.

My tie antennae tell me that, whether he made a conscious decision about it or not, this tie is sending out subtle signals. Firstly, it is reassuringly Tory (and follows the first part of Thorpe's "Look Right, talk Left" dictum). Secondly, the colour scheme sends the same message: Tory dark blue with a thin stripe of old Liberal yellow.

The Independent's Pandora column picked up on this earlier this week, when it reported Mr Oaten had made a visit to upmarket shirtmaker TM Lewin:

Mark was being measured up for a rather fetching salmon-coloured shirt," I am informed. "He was also looking at ties. He clearly feels the need to smarten up and look a little more statesmanlike."

This is something that seems to come more naturally to fellow contender Chris Huhne. The former economist is reported to be a martinet when it comes to appearance:

Huhne once carpeted a colleague for coming into the office wearing jeans. "You should always dress as if you are going to meet the Governor of the Bank of England," he barked.

As for myself, I believe you should judge a man by his shoes. Something from George Cleverley, polished to a parade ground sheen, and you can't go too far wrong.
posted by Apollo Project @ 6:14 pm  
  • At 15 January, 2006 01:02, Blogger Leah & Robin Darbyshire said…

    Oh my God. The attacks on Mark Oaten get more and more desperate by the minute - his car, now his tie! Really find this amusing that you guys have got to scrape the barrel for things to say against him because you can't attack anything of substance. He's a nice guy and clever so it's got to be tiny things like his tie and car cos there is nothing else to slate. I also fail to see how a tie can display politics or a car for that matter. What do you make of the fact that the great 'left wing' Ming thinks it's okay to drive a Jaguar in that case?

    I hope that you always look absolutely impeccable and dress perfectly every single day because otherwise you have zero right to comment on anyone else. All you guys are damaging the Party by stooping to such childish playground levels (the media reads blogs) and the point is, as I keep saying, most of you hardly have the right to criticise.

  • At 15 January, 2006 08:27, Blogger Apollo Project said…

    Methinks you've had a sense of humour bypass. If you want criticism of MO, try this for size.

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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.


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