MR PENDLE: Time that ‘black tie’ dress code was given boot

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we are, so we are constantly being told by this Government, all in this difficult economic situation together.

And those words kept lingering in Mr Pendle’s memory as he watched the Chancellor’s Mansion House speech to leading bankers last month.

There they were, the great and the good, unnecessarily over-dressed to the nines in black dinner suits and bow ties, while the rest of the country looked on.

Why, in the 21st Century, do we still insist in this country of having these outdated black tie functions, where people have to wear clothes they would leave hanging in their wardrobes for the remaining 364 days a year?

Many of the wearers look either unsuitable or uncomfortable - and in some cases both - in wearing them, and surely it is nothing more than tradition that dictates the dress code?

Chancellor George Osborne could have made his Mansion House speech just as well in an ordinary suit and tie.

Those attending his speech could have enjoyed their soup and posh meal just as well in everyday attire.

It all seems, to Mr Pendle, an excuse of allowing a tradition to live on that is way past its sell-by date.

But more importantly, it gives the impression to the ordinary man in the street that far from all of us being in this mess together, there are some who are in it a good deal deeper than those who were at the Mansion House.

FOR years, we have told by educational experts that spelling does not matter.

What is more important, these free-thinking modern-day boffins tell us, is that children get their message across.

Now while Mr Pendle can accept that, there is a limit - imagine what this and any other newspaper would be like if this “anything goes” attitude was applied.

So he welcomes the views expressed by online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe last week when he said poor spelling was costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for internet businesses.

The Confederation of British Industry has also warned that too many employers are having to invest in remedial literary lessons for their staff.

Have things really reached such a low ebb?

Are on-line firms really struggling to find enough recruits who can spell?

Do people, as Mr Duncombe said, really use text language when writing letters?

If the answers to the above are yes - and Mr Pendle suspects they are - then it is a sorry state of affairs.

And the CBI is absolutely right in saying the improvement of basic literacy - and numeracy - skills of all school and college leavers must be a top priority for the Government.