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Ethical Dress Code

Mick+Wallace1I posted the other day about ethics being a set of rules that are more subject to change and renegotiation, more culturally constructed, than morals. They are beliefs about what is good and bad and mutually agreed upon, that help groups to determine a suitable set of rules to guide behaviour (like in developing a professional code of ethics).

One of our Wexford representatives in parliament shocks many when he sits in the house in a yellow t-shirt and wears long unkempt hair and is, behind it all, a tax cheat.

Yesterday he again raised eyebrows when he arrived into the chamber wearing an Italian soccer jersey (Torino) including a large logo of a sausage manufacturer!

Does he really expect a government minister to take a deputy seriously when dressed in a football jersey? Surely one would expect an elected deputy to follow some sort of ethical dress code. Would any adult applying for a job attend for interview dressed in a football jersey? Would he not dress like a professional going about his business?

Of course all this backfired, because all the news today is about his attire and nothing about what he had to contribute to debate.


I hate politics, so I want the people who do it to be subjected to dress codes.
A part of me wants to say more power to him for being one of the people, but I doubt that is really his goal.
The better part of me wants to say, what an insult to Parliment and even to the people. Ugh.......
Hugs, Jon
I'm afraid he's no Pope Francis.
I don't think Pope Francis is Pope Francis. I just don't trust that dude. :p
If you wear a suit, are you an unperson?
Heavens no, I am just not a suit kind of person. :p
He'll never live that one down.
Continuing the debate about ethical versus moral... The way I would define the words, his outfit could be perfectly ethical whilst being totally unsuitable for the situation and also unprofessional. "Ethical" (in my view) in terms of clothing would relate to things like not wearing fur, not wearing clothes made in sweat shops or by slave labour etc.

I would say that his outfit was unsuitable and unprofessional, but wouldn't call it unethical unless, for example, I knew that the football jersey was an illegal rip off made by children in a factory in a third world country.
Interesting approach re. furs, etc.
I would think it unethical because, while there is no 'strict' mode of dress demanded, it is an insult to the electorate to ignore common acceptable modes of dress.
Being an AC Siena fan I would be more inclined to question his taste in Italian football teams, but let that pass :o)

I suspect it would matter less what he wore or how he looked if he was any good at the job and at least honest.
He does not appear to be any good at that either considering he could not manage his private business affairs.
I would consider his choice of clothing to be a question of taste and professionalism, rather than ethics.

If the man cheats on his taxes, he's not ethical, and that would hold whether he wears a football jersey to parliament or is nicely groomed and professionally dressed.

His choice in clothing communicates his attitude toward his job. Most likely (and this is probably the way most view it) he's communicating, "I don't take this job seriously".

That same attitude may be informing his ethics as well, but I'd still see the two issues as separate, though possibly linked.

If he were a younger man, I'd be more ready to believe that his choice in clothing might be communicating, "What I do here is more important than what I wear while I'm doing it." I personally like that attitude. But I also recognize that in many work situations, the value of visual first impressions is high enough that it's worth conforming to professional dress codes, so that one doesn't create more obstacles to getting the job done. I'm very glad that my work situation is not one of those. *G*
I like your analysis of the situation.
perhaps he's dressing oddly to take attention away from his tax cheating.

in our town, local elected officials often wear t-shirts, as do their constituents and fellow citizens. i have seen some people attend town meetings in "business wear" but i presume that is required by their jobs and they didn't take the time to change for the democratic process. but i don't expect our alder board to dress like anything except the community they represent.
But this is our National Parliament.
Pupils in school and college are expected to conform,
football and cricket teams tog out in relevant 'gear', etc.
*nods* if there is a dress code, one does expect people to conform to it. we had one when i attended yeshiva, for instance, though i sometimes got in trouble for noncompliance (i hated having to wear skirts in winter; my legs got cold! :) does your national parliament have a dress code or uniform? do you think it should?
It does not have a 'code' as such but has always used business suits for men. Women use what is recognised as business gear. Maybe Angela is an exception!
"always"?? even in my young country, fashions have changed tremendously since our government has been in operation... :)
I wouldn't be describing his attire as unethical, rather unprofessional. He didn't steal the shirt, and he didn't do an act of civil disobedience or other unethical act. He exercised his right to make poor choices of clothing and he'll be remembered and will have received a great deal of free advertising and promotion because of it. The man may be a genius in his own way.

- Erulisse (one L)
I doubt he'll make it at the next election. :o)
Here in America some of us wish that our Congressmen would dress like NASCAR drivers, you know, the guys with the flameproof driving suits. The NASCAR drivers put the corporate insignia of their sponsors on their suits - we wish Congress did that because that way we would know who is paying them!

Edited at 2014-02-01 05:29 (UTC)
Interesting take. :-)