It’s been a while since I did school gates, but no-one much turned up in PJs back then. A glimpse of the odd granny in slippers might have caused amusement.
Schools in socially diverse areas like ours serve a rich mix. Middle-class kids of, say, school teachers mingle with the smelly ones who walk to school disheveled, wearing no socks. Their mums and dads might have been up half the night smoking dope or whatever, but if they did manage to get up and get out they’d pull on a shell suit first.
I think the PJ thing that irked headmistress Kate Chisholm is quite recent. These days pyjamas are a fashion statement; nicer than your manky old jogging outfit. I do like a nice pair of baggy PJ bottoms. Tartan or brushed cotton in red with stars on, for example. Slippers are indistinguishable from Ugg boots.
Is this the Bugaboo mums with the 4x4s, too posh to get dressed? I don’t think so, guessing at the demographic around the school in question, which is not in your actual Islington but some godforsaken place in the North East. Let’s be snobs and assume the PJ mums in question were more slummy mummy than yummy mummy, and if so there was probably a lot more to the head’s request (that’s all it was) than meets the eye.
Rachel Johnson came on the Today Programme the other day to dispense her opinion on this matter. She disapproved of PJs but admitted pulling on the odd pair of jogging bottoms when pushed for time. She observed sorrowfully “No-one dresses up any more. Not even for the opera or the theatre.”
Just imagine. Not even bothering to put on evening dress for the opera! Kate Chisholm was right to be worried.
The Jess Phillips thing has caused quite a stir. QT still has the power to enrage. The trouble is, what she said was ambiguous.
Did she actually mean to it was racist to point out the ethnicity of the men in the Cologne fiasco? Or was she making a purely feminist point, that men are going to take liberties given half a chance, wherever and whoever they are?
It’s dangerous to point out that drunken half dressed women are giving out mixed signals as that’s the slippery slope towards blaming the victim. But having seen the state of some of the people thronging city centres late of an evening, I can’t help pointing it out.
I wonder if the feminists would like to make leering illegal. I’m telling ‘im indoors that it is.
I do wish people would stop wingeing on about “Bunch”. Let it lie. I don’t suppose Giles Coren read my ‘Bunch’ piece, but he seems to agree with me.