Let’s Go Out, Darling!
I promise this is positively the last bonkers UKIP story of the year…
Apparently I was wrong. UKIP do have another key plank to their manifesto, apart from ‘Aren’t foreigners ghastly?’ In their 2010 manifesto edition they felt it should be made compulsory for people to wear evening dress to the theatre. The Daily Telegraph’s Charles Moore agreed with the plan, saying; ‘It is now almost compulsory not to dress up for the theatre, even in the West End. This has had the predictable result that theatre-goers pay less attention, eat and send texts all through the performance.’
This is right up there with those ‘herbal shampoos mend split ends’ claims. I’m not sure how dressing for the theatre affects your ability to text, but I went to see a jazz concert last night, and many in the young audience were texting throughout the show. Did it bother me? Not really. It probably would have done if I was attending a very sombre play, but we don’t complain about exit signs and overhead spotlights being on, do we?
I think UKIP didn’t go far enough – for the theatre, bustle skirts, top hats and monocles should also be required, and your landau should gallop over at least one working class child on the way to the theatre, crippling it.
Actually, there are some other UKIP reforms to consider. As pointed out by the LRB, ‘Nigel Farage & Co have no policies that align with their stance on immigration and European integration. They are tax cutters and public sector trimmers; they want to outsource more of the NHS; they would restrict benefits and dump the Crown Prosecution Service. They take an infantile pleasure in dirt and incontinence – landfill, tobacco smoke, coal-powered energy – and they don’t want a nanny state telling them’ what to do. Except, of course, when they tell us we have to dress up for the theatre.
There’s been some other news on the UKIP front – recently its voters were socially profiled by a research group who found that they don’t like foreign food, don’t read and have no interest in the arts. I’m not quite sure how this fits with the theatre dressing thing at all. But then nobody promised consistency.