To wear a tie or not ... that is the question!
NICK Robinson, wearing an open necked shirt, interviewed Theresa May on television and started a debate. Should he have worn a tie? I declared my antipathy towards ties. I haven't worn one in 20 years.
Sales have dropped dramatically since the turn of the century and only one-in-10 workers wear a suit everyday. A third prefer jeans and only 12 per cent regularly wear a tie to work. Ties are in decline.
There is, of course, a contrary view that was articulated by the Duke of Edinburgh when he said to a guest at a Buckingham Palace reception: "You can't be very successful. You're not wearing a tie." In defence of this fashion item, is inveterate tie wearer Dave Whitworth of Mount.
"I've always been a tie wearer - at grammar school, as a trainee in the drawing office at Hopkinson's and as a student at the Huddersfield College of Technology, forerunner of the University. At that time most full-time students, other than the art students, wore ties. After I left Hops to become a YEB engineer, I continued with my tie wearing, as all YEB engineer were tie wearers.
"I reckon I must have around 50 ties. You obviously prefer the casual look, while I and my wife like to look smart. The only time I do casual is when I'm out with my walking pals and, of course, on holiday. I suppose I'm a bit of an oddity, but as they say, each to his own."
I also had a call from Dr Stephen Dorril of Netherthong: academic, investigative journalist, author, broadcaster, tie wearer and occasional DJ, who is one of the most elegant people I know.
He summed up his point of view simply (and with a chuckle): "Wearing a tie means you are part of the elite and not the mob."
Steve invariably wears a suit, usually with a tie.
Women dress up but men never bother. They are appalling.
His extensive tie collection is augmented by two rather special ones. He was at his publisher's office in London when his book MI6, a history of Britain's secret intelligence service, came out about 20 years ago. "A chauffeur driven Rolls Royce pulled up outside. It had been sent by Mohammed Al-Fayed who invited me to Harrod's.
"When I got there, there was a big display of my book at the entrance. I went up to his penthouse suite and spent two hours talking to him about M16, because in the book I had said MI6 agents were in Paris at the time Diana died in the car crash. He wanted to know if the Duke of Edinburgh had ordered her assassination. He was mad but very nice.
"He gave me presents before left. Harrod's chocolates and two ties from his personal collection. One red, one blue, with designs of pyramids and pharaohs. They were clip on ties." (Clip-ons are usually worn by police and security officers so an assailant can't get a grip).
"He said they might be useful if MI6 ever came after me."