We were shocked to learn this morning that, even though Parliament has been dissolved leading up to the election in May, emergency debates have been held in secret at the Palace of Westminster to bring into force new laws banning the wearing of cocktail dresses whilst driving.
A junior government minister, who has been asked to be referred to as John to protect his identity, said “instances of people getting behind the wheel whilst fabulously dressed have increased 5-fold during the current coalition government.” John cited research by renowned think tank Rent-A-Tank who concluded that “far more people are inclined to speed, drive carelessly, or even commit taxi touting offences when in their glad rags.” John went on to say that “our job is to ensure law and order is maintained in our country and that needs to start with a shakeup of how people dress themselves.”
The secret debates are expected to continue for the next couple of weeks, with final legislation that could be on the statute books as soon as the end of April. While a final decision is yet to be made as to the penalty to be imposed for infringing the prospective “Driving Whilst Sharply Dressed” law, suggestions on how violations should be dealt with include being forced to wear nothing but knitwear for up to 6 months, imposing a life ban on pearl necklaces and recording a charity single with Katie Price.
A possible challenge to this legislation on human rights grounds has already been proposed by several law firms. One top motoring lawyer has called these new proposed laws “sexist” because the proposals as drafted only apply to women. This criticism has not fallen on deaf ears, and there is talk of amending the draft bill to include references to the wearing of “bowties, cummerbunds and the like.” This would extend the laws to mean that all those snazzily dressed could be a target.
A spokesman from the Association of Fashion Designers has also condemned the proposals as “an absolute travesty for our industry; it’s ‘fur is murder’ all over again!” Fortunately, these is to be a statutory defence to this new offence of ‘good taste’. A committee has been set up to draft further guidance on what could constitute ‘good taste’ but as we understand it this defence will need to be supported by expert evidence and we would always suggest consulting with specialist lawyers if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Fortunately, these laws are completely fictitious so you do not need to worry about being found on the wrong side of the law! Having said that, eavesdropping was a common law offence in England until 1967, so who knows what the future holds…