Sunday, June 14, 2009

Posh Men in Tights - Black Rod and the Old Boy Network

Yesterday's Politics Show contained a quite fascinating interview with the man who used to be Black Rod - you know, the man in tights who traditionally has the door to the House of Commons shut in his face when he comes to summon MPs to listen to the Queen at the annual State Opening of Parliament.

Black Rod is appointed to the Lord Chamberlain and earns a significant salary. When the appointment of the man interviewed on the show was made, it was the first time that the post had been advertised to the general public.

Traditionally the role was given to a senior military man - and the opening up of the selection procedure made no difference to that - Lt Gen Sir Michael Willcocks was the appointee that time, and his successor is in fact an old army mate of his, Lt Gen Sir Freddie Viggers.

I'm not quite so bothered by the traditional costume of tights, breeches, patent buckled shoes and a jacket with a wig bag to protect the pony tail on the back as I am by the fact that it just seems that the old boy network is alive and well.

I'd be fascinated to see the range of applications they got and what they did to try and encourage non male, posh, white people to apply.

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