Will they ever dress to impress?

I’d like to see how much it cost the taxpayer for the 45-page research paper on dress codes that formed part of a discussion amongst our elected representatives in the Dáil yesterday.

You read that right - a 45-page report on dress codes. The Dáil’s Committee on Procedures was due to discuss the report in a meeting on whether TDs who fail to impress when they dress should be penalised.

Is it just me who thinks that’s fairly pathetic?

This particular 45-page report - which probably took months to compile and took up the time of civil servants who could surely have been better employed - apparently looks at dress codes in other jurisdictions, as part of a drive in the Dáil to impose a better dress sense on some of our TDs.

What did they come up with? Well, apparently they learned that some national parliaments have dress codes, and some don’t.

Some enforce a dress code, and some don’t. And dressing formally and neatly is pretty much standard.

Astounding news, right?

A quick Google search could have come up with the same details, so how it took a mini-thesis is beyond me.

And there’s more: in the UK, Spain and France, if you turn up to the parliament in a bathing togs, you’re in hot water.

In Bosnia, turning up with nothing on above the waist is a no-no, while in Canada, for some reason, wearing a turtleneck is unacceptable.

Anyway, the reason this vital report had to be put together is that yet again, there’s some move towards smartening up our TDs when they appear in the Dáil.

You know the ones it’s aimed at.

The thing is, all this was also discussed back in 2011, and probably plenty of other times too, when the same Dáil committee recommended a dress code for TDs.

Back then, introducing a dress code was really an attempt to put manners on the new boys and girls and show them that they were in big school now and had to conform.

Here we are seven years later and the same old nonsense is being battered about.

And being paid for too. It’s crazy.

The bottom line is simple. If you want to be in the Dáil, the least that should be expected is that you wear something that respects the institution. TDs command and demand respect - they should show it too.

Of course, it’s what’s said and done in the Dáil that matters, but really - dressing the part isn’t that hard.

We all put on a uniform of one kind or another in every other aspect of life. from school to the workplace or the sportsfield. It’s about dressing appropriately.

The fact that some of our TDs insist on doing the opposite is almost as bizarre as us having to pay for a 45-page report on it. And the fact that it’s actually an issue at all.