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It's pants but our civilised society may depend on an MP butting in; OPINION: that'stypical.

Byline: Steve Groves

THROUGH the years, the sensible majority has sought to ensure that nothing is allowed to undermine the fundamental conventions by which society runs. Quite right, too.

The one thing we don't want is a bunch of scallywags running hither and thither with nothing on their minds but enjoying themselves. It is one of the great disappointments of the General Election that campaigning didn't focus on this.

And the weak-kneed brethren who run law and order have buckled again despite evidence showing a clear need to act on our behalf. It says here that prosecutors at Bedford Magistrates' Court have abandoned an attempt to get a court order that would have ensured that a teenager pulled his trousers up. I say teenager - he was 18 so old enough to vote but clearly too young to know that wearing his waistband so low that it showed his underpants was evidence of a maladjustment so grave that the courts should act.

The kid was in trouble for some significant breaches of decent behaviour and was rightly getting his just deserts. But the lawyers reckoned that, just to make sure, hoisting his trousers up to waist level would protect society further.

Of course we need protection from assault and loutish behaviour. And ensuring we never see another pair of underpants is clearly the answer. The town of Delcambre in Lousiana has made the wearing of what are called "saggy trousers" an act of indecent exposure which attracts a $500 fine or six months inside.

This is the stuff. It may be too late but if this sort of action had been taken years ago we could have outlawed the wearing of winkle-picker shoes, cheesecloth and kaftans, shoulder pads, bib and braces, camouflage trousers, leg warmers, coloured tights, torn jeans, hot pants and, of course, tank tops.

Britain would have been a safer place if only simple rules had been laid down in statute designed to ensure that we all dressed sensibly in tweed or - for leisure purposes only - pastel windcheaters and fawn slacks. With matching shoes.

That scene in Notting Hill when Rhys Ifans appeared on the stairs wearing only a pair of murky Y-fronts would have been removed by the censor. An incident in which the actor's "real life" undergarments were offered at auction could have been stamped on before the gavel fell. The revelation by Edwina Curry about the colour of John Major's underpants - blue, of course - wouldn't have got into her memoirs and we'd all have been saved from such a gruesome image.

And did we really need to know that an astronaut wore the same underpants for a month during his visit to the space station? Happily they were experimental and designed to be odour-free and worked on this occasion. The lawyers were right. Society is being undermined by the shameless flaunting of nether garments. We need to be protected from underwear. The MP brave enough to promote a Pants Bill can expect a place in the annals.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 10, 2010
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