fancy designer outfits and colour-coded couples. Next year all our MPs should
dress in blue jeans and white T-shirts for the opening of Parliament. Here's
why, writes Susan Erasmus.
some outfits work beautifully, others cause titters, but they all have one
thing in common: they don't come cheap.
look great, but understatement clearly is a concept that hasn't quite caught on
with everybody. Some outfits look as if the 'designer' was given the following
instructions: I want to stand out in the crowd and I really don't mind looking
ridiculous. All things bright and beautiful etc. Spare no cost and the sky's
idea: What about spending nothing at all on outfits for the opening of parliament?
I am not suggesting people attend in the buff, or dig out last year's outfit,
although that would be a good start. What I am suggesting is that all 400 MPs
and their partners, as well as assorted dignitaries and hangers-on should all
attend the event in white T-shirts and blue jeans – and donate the difference
to a charity.
It will be
a real attention-grabber internationally.
talking at least 1000 people and the collective price tag of these outfits must
be huge. Even if some outfits are recycled or home-made, I cannot imagine that
the average price tag will come in at less than R5000 – and that's a very
will be to choose a suitable cause – maybe a support group for victims of
domestic violence, or a children's home, or a bursary fund for poor students
who have excelled – and donate the whole amount to this organisation during the
opening of Parliament. Nothing could make a greater statement than that about
the good intentions of our MPs as far as the people of this country are
pomp and ceremony, you ask? The answer is simple: we have had pomp and ceremony
over and over again, and it hasn't really worked for us, judging by the last 12
months. It might be time to try something new. (By the way, last year's outfit
is languishing unworn in the cupboard – somehow purple ostrich feathers and Pick
'n Pay don't really work together.)
make a greater statement than the President delivering the state-of-the-nation
address in a T-shirt and jeans donated by a local clothing manufacturer? Also,
these jeans and T-shirts can be put through the wash and donated to homeless
shelters a day or two after the ceremony is over. This will also exhibit real
solidarity with the poor and create another classic photo opportunity.
And on a
more bitchy note, it will spare us having to look at outfits like those of
Anele Mda and Pinky Mncube to name but two. So just in case you wondered, I
have not become all sweetness and light and charity. But every now and again I
too am allowed to be nice for a day.
And if I
can do that, the MPs of SA can too. Come on, guys.
Health24, February 2013)