Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (04/12/11)

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The Independent Online


I have always cringed when I've sampled the juvenile atmosphere of the House of Commons on TV – more like a rowdy classroom under the supervision of an incompetent supply teacher than the seat of the world's finest democracy – but last week, the politicians' behaviour was more offensive than usual.

Grown men jeered and whooped at each other, shouting "calm down dear!" and "trust fund!", pulling faces, and doing a little dance that was supposed to represent the economy flatlining. Their attitude was one of undisguised glee. Since many of them are lawyers by trade, they are well schooled in feigning righteous antagonism against ostensible opponents from whom they are really morally indistinguishable, and many of them are happy to admit how much they enjoy the fake squabbling.

However, they should remember that what they are debating is people in the real world losing their livelihoods and facing year upon year of no fun at all. It would show some respect if they genuinely calmed down dear and treated the subject with the gravity it deserves.


Why did so many people breathe a sigh of relief last week when the men in our lives finally shaved off their moustaches? Is there something exceptional about a moustache that innately suggests comedic value alongside a strange sense of being not quite right?

A full beard suggests ruggedness, testosterone, and someone far too busy being manly to worry about shaving. A clean-shaven face is neat, businesslike, and pleases mothers. But a moustache merely proves that a man has paid a lot of attention to grooming and is fastidious to a slightly worrying degree.

During the month of Movember, when many men grew tashes to raise money and awareness for men's cancer charities, they were able to experience the brief, daily period of self-absorption that is usually only known to women who wear make-up – and some of them liked it rather too much. Now, women have their mirrors back, and men have returned to pretending that they really couldn't care less about their appearance.

That's much more like normal, and perhaps why we celebrated when Movember came to an end.