Modern maniac?you must be joking

Financial Planners


If you want to get ahead, wear a hat. Or maybe a headband. Also, a teal cape would be nice. Oh, I’ll probably hold the sword for a few hours. In the days following the coronation, political circles unanimously declared his minister, Penny Mordaunt, the “breakstar” of the ceremony.

This may have come as a shock to King Charles. King Charles also played an important role in the event and might have been thought to have won the highest honor at the ceremony. But there’s no question that Mordaunt – who played a key role as council chairman – stole a piece of the show (at least for a sad political bigot like me). She was brilliant and carried out her sword-wielding duties with dignity. She was far more prominent than the prime minister. By the time her coronation day was over, her odds of becoming the next Conservative Party leader had plummeted.

Now, I don’t want to throw cold water on likable and funny modants. Her politics are understandably divided, and while her Brexit debate has had some nasty moments, she’s generally considered a good egg. She is also a talented performer on The Commons. She is far from the worst when it comes to being a front-runner for the Conservative leadership. Among fellow Conservatives, she would now be classified as a moderate.

But come on. Dressing well, wearing a headband, and carrying a sword are usually not the primary criteria for choosing a leader.this is not Zena: Senki. Also, for the Conservative Party, it doesn’t make much sense that being able to act without falling down will make you stand out as a leadership talent.

Surely she could have staged the coronation completely wrong, for example spending two hours brandishing a plane ticket to Rwanda instead of Odin’s sword or whatever. Mistakes like this can happen. It’s a logistical nightmare. One moment you think the King is about to ride in a golden chariot, the next you find him heading to Nicola Sturgeon’s camper, which happens to be parked nearby. It’s like keeping planners up late imagining the new monarch climbing the mall in the camper van now under police investigation. Yes Penny had a great day.

But the idea that her performance would put her in the fray again is not a serious country conversation. This is the kind of thing that happens when a political party knows its ability to govern is hopeless, but chooses a leader who tells good jokes. It seemed impossible to find a more trivial reason for a political party to choose a prime minister. But no matter how much she ridicules, the additional positive visibility will help her cause.

It should be noted that history is not filled with stories of victories wearing political hats. I have read many books on Napoleon, but none document how his insistence on wearing a pith helmet in his early campaigns undermined his rise to the top. is not. When he switched to bicorn, there were no incidents of Jacobin leaders tweeting that Napoleon was “dressing like a boss.”

However, as a political journalist, I fear that this will require new capabilities in my craft, and that my fashion sense is too shallow for the nuances of this new age. I’m afraid I’ll be conservative if I do. I can imagine the news report: “Kia Sturmer was caught wearing an Armani tie last night and faced the greatest threat to his leadership. Now political leadership in earnest.” All of them are at Tom Ford, and there is more and more talk among party officials about the possibility of Wes Streeting, who has impressed many in Westminster with his masterful use of pastel shades. It is.” Or maybe it is this way. “The Conservatives released their election manifesto yesterday, highlighting a new policy on waistcoats.”

Even in this new era, Mordant would be well advised not to settle for this one success. If she wants to take on a serious challenge, she’ll need enduring style and possibly vintage jewelry. Where once it was enough for a prospective leader to raise money and install phone lines, now true ambitions need a team of hatters to ensure their continued survival.

That said, modemania will probably pass. And ideally, for reasons other than apparel.

Follow Robert on Twitter @robertshrimsley and email him robert.shrimsley@ft.com

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