Symbolic

This is an image of my mate Chris Packham last spring after he had picked up his CBE for services to nature conservation. He scrubs up pretty well doesn’t he?

Check out the tie with the Extinction Rebellion logo on it. Chris wore that to St James’s Palace (I think it was) where his CBE was awarded to him by Prince Charles.

I rather liked the tie, but was distracted by the CBE, and wondered where a similar one might be obtained. I think Chris must have had it made up specially because, like Wild Justice, Extinction Rebellion doesn’t do merchandise.

A couple of weeks ago I was going to an event in the Palace of Westminster at which both Chris Packham and Hilary Benn (two of my heroes in the same place) were speaking, and my arrival at security coincided with Chris’s. If you’ve never been into Pugin’s and Barry’s wonderful building then you won’t realise that your entrance begins with a stand in the cold (and potentially wet) outside the building and then a security check a bit like that in an airport.

As we chatted in the queue I noticed Chris was wearing a similar tie, but this time the Extinction Rebellion logo was pinkish. It looked very good, again.

But as he passed through security Chris was told that he couldn’t wear that tie, it was too controversial a logo (I don’t know what the actually criterion was – too political, controversial, dodgy, unwelcome, true? – but it couldn’t be displayed, even on a tie, with a suit, and shiny black shoes). Amazing. I’d notch that up as a sign of success if I were ER!

Presumably anything with a union flag on it is banned too? CND logo? Any other nation’s flag? A crucifix? Where does this end? Actually, I don’t know where it begins.

I guess this is the relevant bit in the regulations ‘political or offensive slogan materials including clothing‘ but I wonder what gets caught and what gets through…

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