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What to wear when you go like the clappers


WE are still in the early stages of Covid Culture. Is this a temporary phenomenon or have we entered a new chapter we can’t turn back from? Will we ever escape from Lockdown Life?

I’m b*ggered if I know. Modern living is all about ‘building your brand’ with adaptive affiliations, flexible emoting and moral grandstanding on the move. This doesn’t come easily to small-c conservatives. Like you, I could do with some guidance.

So we’ve asked imaginary branding expert Zara Zeitgeist to enlighten us. Like all media-trained experts, she will answer the questions she wanted to be asked.

Question: The Thursday Night NHS Clapathon is like a US High School Prom Night for me, as it’s my debut Piety Parade. What should I wear? How do I explain my absence from previous parades?

Zeitgeist: You are quite right to be nervous, Nick. People will have noticed the gap on your doorstep when everyone else on your street was showing their allegiance to The Envy of the World.

Whispers will have gone around. Be afraid.

Use that fear to your advantage. Now that clapping has given way to percussion you’ve got to clang that saucepan like your reputation rests on it.

Meanwhile, be proactive. Keep your eyes out for someone else you can throw under the bus at a later stage. ‘Has Mr Jones been ill? Only I notice he didn’t pledge allegiance to on Thursday Night . . .’ – that sort of thing.

I feel massively indebted to the NHS staff who’ve dealt with my complex medical history for 18 months. But can’t I pay tribute to them in my own way?

So, be in no doubt, there is no room for individuality in this nation. We’re not an island any more: we’re connected, we’re GB Global!

If you don’t ‘Like’ that zany ‘dancing procurement managers’ video that’s doing the rounds, Big Browser will notice.

Yes, fashions are ridiculous but we all conform in the end. The trouble with you small-c conservatives is that you’re late adopters and by the time you join any clothing culture the pecking order has already been decided. If you think Orwell’s Two Minutes of Hate was brutal, wait until you experience Couture’s Ten Minutes of Haute.

I’m lucky because I’ve got a whole range of accessories for my debut prom outfit, from aspirators to zimmer frames. But what about my friend who doesn’t have these virtue visuals to parade on Thursday Night?

You’re lucky enough to have a complicated medical history so there are endless accessories that could contribute to a fabulous Covid costume.

As for your ‘friend’ – how dispensable are they? If you don’t mind me asking, why are you protecting them? Only fashion is ‘to die for’! Have you thought of turning them in?

If you don’t have any NHS accessories, why not try raiding your local council tip? They may be open by Thursday and they are full of abandoned wheelchairs, walking sticks and other NHS equipment that nobody returns.

This question comes from Named’n’Shamed: Where I live there are clapping patrols and Facebook vigilantes taking notes. One missed meeting and it soon becomes a Pitchfork Prom and a Lockdown Lynch mob.

Oh, will you stop being so negative? Everyone in my Facebook group thinks far-Right extremists deserve everything that’s coming to them.

OK, ostracism and bullying people who are just socially conservative is unfair. Still, if you have extreme views, exploit them.

Why not keep a diary? 

Or you could even write a play if you’re talented like Jane Robins.

Both Hitler and Marx had a eureka moment amidst their ranting, when they thought, ‘Blimey, there’s gotta be a book in this!’

The book will be a loss leader, but it gives you instant branding. Once you learn to wave your hands around you’ll be accepted as a TV expert – and that’s where you really start making money. 

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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