The uniform of the enemy

All hell broke loose in Parliament today over Labour MP Clare Curran wearing an old Highlanders rugby jersey, in protest against their new green one.

It has inspired blog posts by Sue Kedgley and David Farrar,   But what is “business attire”?  I guess the woman depicted to the left is in “business attire”, because that is what she wears in her business.

The problem with Speaker Lockwood Smith’s ruling is that he expects all MPs to dress in what I call the “uniform of the enemy” – i.e the clothes that those who have desecrated our planet and oppressed our people traditionally wear.

P.S. – I personally prefer the new Highlanders Jersey colour, although to be Green (as opposed to green) it should really be C:95 M:0 Y:100 K:27.

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3 thoughts on “The uniform of the enemy

  1. I tend to agree with Kiwiblog’s analysis on this issue – putting aside semantics, a rugby jersey is pretty obviously not appropriate clothing in Parliament, according to the current rules. Sure, there is legitimate cause to say those rules are either silly or offensive to some people with other modes of fashion. But that’s a separate issue to protesting about what colour a rugby team should wear.
    My overwhelming feeling is that there must be bigger issues for Clare Curran out there that warrant protest than this one?

  2. Agreed, Stevedore.

    This debate is somewhat disconnected with the big issues that face us, like peak oil, climate change, global economic downturn, and a Government that has no policies to address those issues apart from borrow, give tax cuts to the wealthy, and hope the market will deliver.

    Nevertheless, there is still an issue, albeit a symbolic one, as to what is and is not “acceptable” for our elected representatives to wear in Parliament.

    And I do think that impacts on the culture of Parliament, and whether New Zealanders perceive those they have elected to be genuinely representative of their electors.

    Why should our elected representatives be forced to wear the uniform of corporate New Zealand, if that is not what they are elected to represent?

  3. Agreed back at ya! I always thought it was unfair that Rod and Nandor had to adjust their sartorial style to fit in to the House when they had been elected exactly because they would not fit in. If that was the point Clare Curran was making – accepting diverse people into Parliament -then I’m much more supportive. If however she was pulling making a cheap parochial stunt to impress Otago rugby fans then I’m less supportive. I guess the test will be whether she continues over time to challenge biases in the old boys’ dress-code. Or will it turn out that normally she is not so keen to wear a rugby jersey, even to the terraces of a rugby game?

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