Sovereignty and who’s wear­ing the trousers

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

AP­PAR­ENTLY ‘Yes-men’ – and pre­sum­ably ‘Yes-women’ – are usu­ally ly­ing when they agree with us. They are try­ing to make us feel good, be­cause they find dis­agree­ing too stress­ful.

But there are times when we need to know, ei­ther that peo­ple gen­uinely like what we do, or if not, ex­plain where they think we have gone wrong, or could im­prove*.

Did we re­ally need a study by sci­en­tists at Monash Univer­sity in Aus­tralia to tell us that the toad­ies, who con­sis­tently tell us what we want to hear, are not al­ways pur­vey­ors of the truth?

The re­port con­cluded that never be­ing able to dis­agree with oth­ers can ‘lead to poor de­ci­sion-mak­ing, anx­i­ety, or dif­fi­cul­ties in in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships.’

Mr Cameron had no trou­ble dis­agree­ing with Euro­pean lead­ers while try­ing to strike a deal to pro­tect our in­ter­ests, but now some of his for­mer ‘yes-men’ ap­pear to be back­ing the other side, and will be cam­paign­ing to get out.

Our PM has re-writ­ten the rules (a bit) and now we only have un­til June to make up our minds if we want to pull up the draw­bridge. Be­fore then, we des­per­ately need some hon­est de­bate to help us choose whether to make a go of our Euro mar­riage, or agree an am­i­ca­ble sep­a­ra­tion. What we don’t want is a nasty di­vorce.

Please, MPs – and that in­cludes our own Boris John­son – let’s have no hissy fits, in-fight­ing, party di­vide or political pos­tur­ing.

This is too im­por­tant to get wrong and we want to know when we put our crosses on the ref­er­en­dum bal­lot pa­per, that – when we are long gone – we have done the right thing for fu­ture in­hab­i­tants of this green and (hope­fully still-pleas­ant) land.

MY EYE was also caught by a study in the Jour­nal of So­cial Psy­chol­ogy which re­vealed that fe­male col­leagues are re­garded as pro­fes­sion­ally com­pe­tent if they wear trousers.

When I was a teacher, the op­po­site view was the case and trousers were re­garded as very in­ap­pro­pri­ate for fe­male staff.

I was amused re­cently to find a photo of me, taken in a 1970s staffroom in Green­ford, wear­ing a mini skirt, paired with knee-high boots. How on earth was that deemed more re­spectable than a gar­ment that com­pletely cov­ered ev­ery inch of flesh? *Note to Mr F: the whole truth may not be de­sir­able where opin­ions of hair and clothes are con­cerned.

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