Whistleblowing on G20

Isn’t it always the same? Your wardrobe is full of fine clothes but you still haven’t a clue what to wear. I mean, what DOES one wear to a riot? Knacker of the Yard suggests the merchant bankers among us should refrain from donning the pin-stripes tomorrow, lest Swampy takes offence and goes berserk as you alight at Cannon Street. This is all very worrying. I have, on occasion, had a pot of tea with chums in the square mile, and I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw any of them in a suit. It’s all changed from the Gordon Gecko days, I can tell you. Time was in the 80’s if anyone (me) walked into a bar in the city in anything less than a Hugo Boss he’d be met with howls of derision. Nowadays yer broker wears chinos and mocassins rather than sharktooths and tiepins. The level abuse is just the same though.

Besuited like Merchant Bankers . The Horrors of Excess.

Besuited like Merchant Bankers . The Horrors of Excess.

Ever-the-one to keep my finger on the pulse, just when the barrow boys were shedding their threads, I was venturing into the world of permanent suitage. I used to throw on a suit for work every now and then—usually when Black Dog was nipping round my ankles more than usual that day. My theory was that people would think I was going for an interview and therefore treat me better at work and/or give me more money. It never worked. Mind you, the theory was pretty solid: there was once a Daily Mirror photographer who regularly spread the rumour that he was being courted by The Sun, which led to a succession of gullible editors giving him a pay rise every six months. He came from the Land of the Shiny Suit, earned a fortune and drove a Rolls, chauffeured by an YTS kid. That’s what I aspired to (well, not the shiny suit) but my pathetic attempts to get my guvnors to drown me in extra dollars came to nothing. (An aside: there was once a particularly painful correspondent from a district office of a London national newspaper, again from Shiny Suit Land, who was dubbed by his colleagues the “Shite in Whining Armour”).


But it did teach me the power of a Whistle and Flute. You feel better in a suit. You do, I tell ya. You walk taller, bolder and more confidently. If you look like me (like a robber, rather than a robbee) it stops coppers staring at you for quite so long or people changing train compartments when you board. And, of course, you get served quicker in a boozer. You just do, and that’s a fact.

So, even given that I look like a bloke with a head transplant, five or six years ago I began wearing a suit to work daily. I’m the only bloke in the office that does, and that’s ok. It took my colleagues a while to get used to it, but it’s sorta taken as a given now. It doesn’t matter any more whether I’m going down the local, out for dinner or going for an interview. No-one ever knows. They have to guess (and they usually guess right).

My suits have a strict ranking: No.1s for special occasions, (cocktail evenings etc); No.2s :every day suits (generic pub-wear); No.3s: drinking heavily suits (Black Dog days). The order is worked out by the criteria of smartness, age and stain-resistant qualities. It is, of course, not unusual that I’m wearing my No.1s when I unexpectedly find myself drinking heavily. On such occasions I just do the best I can and call into Sketchleys in the morning.

The Author trying to turn No.1s into No.3s

The Author trying to turn No.1s into No.3s

For less than 200 of your English Pounds (about 7 Euros) you can pop into Marks, or Millets or wherever you choose and deck yerself out in something that your dad would be proud of. AND it saves your T-shirts for the weekend. Simples.
So my advice to you tomorrow is Suit-Up so you won’t look like a banker and , as it’s a special occasion, put yer No.1s on.

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