It must be a slow news day. Vice President Cheneyâ€™s outfit wasnâ€™t solemn enough for the recent Auschwitz rememberance ceremony. …
With a not-so-subtle implication that Cheney, in opting to stay warm in Oswiecim, Poland, must be anti-Semitic because the cold didnâ€™t seem to bother him on Inauguration day, Givhan says, â€œ[His clothes] had the unfortunate effect of suggesting he was more concerned with his own comfort than the reason for braving the cold at all.â€
I’m obliged to disagree. Rightly or wrongly, the clothes we wear are taken as strong indicators of our attitude to the situations we’re in. If the minister turns up to take your wedding or Grandma’s funeral in jeans and a t-shirt I reckon you’d be entitled to feel aggrieved.
I think we are entitled to expect the leaders who represent us on solemn occasions will dress appropriately. If I’d been a US citizen I’m pretty sure I would be feeling let down. I don’t begrudge the fellow the opportunity to dress warmly, but if a parka was the best VP Cheney could manage I’d suggest he changes his tailor.
Much more significant, though, is the story I heard on the radio yesterday that Auschwitz survivors were kept shivering in the cold whilst visiting dignitaries were ushered into relative warmth and comfort. More significant still was the announcement earlier this week by Michael Howard of the Conservative Party that his party would place strict quotas on immigrants and asylum seekers should he be elected. This from a man who himself comes from a family that sought asylum in this country. Truly appalling.
The only comfort is that he has about as much chance as I do of reaching Number 10.