NOT judging a book by its cover is all well and good in book land, but when it comes to the politicians elected to represent me both here and abroad then, I damn well want them to look like they mean business.
Mick Wallace and his merry band of independent TDs make those of us who adopt a dress-down Friday policy look as if we are going to a job interview on that day.
Apparently, the Wallace tax scandal means that the question of a dress code for TDs in Leinster house is now back on the table.
In yet another perfect example of how this Government is completely out of touch with what people want, they parked the matter last year for fear that the public would regard it as a frivolous issue. A Government source said: "The mood has definitely changed now."
Actually it hasn't. Pretty much all of us have always wanted our politicians to look well turned out. It's embarrassing to see these highly paid representatives of the people look like students despite the fact that they are involved in making major decisions concerning our future. I'm sure that at some point in our careers most of us have dressed inappropriately for work -- I certainly did.
When I finally got pulled up on it I wasn't exactly shocked -- I had an uneasy if unspoken feeling all along that my dress code made me look unprofessional but I needed someone in authority to say it to me. It was momentarily embarrassing.
Most of us attended schools where uniforms were mandatory. And I know that where I went to school they did not want you to do anything while wearing that uniform to compromise the school's reputation -- things such as smoking, wearing make-up etc. It all seemed very authoritarian and many of us rebelled in small ways but the point of it was to prepare us for the outside world. School is, after all, about grooming us for the workplace.
If Wallace and co were simply so immersed in the daily grind of their very important jobs and really believed that how we kit ourselves out is irrelevant then surely Mick would never have referred to Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor as "Miss Piggy" due to her penchant for colourful attire. He simply would not have noticed what she was wearing. But he did. And so do you and so do I. The independents are not the only TDs who need a quick stint in finishing school.
Look the part. Be the part... unless, of course, you're Mark Zuckerberg.