Editorial: Ties or cravats?
Some say they were first introduced to hide the buttons on shirts. Others claim they came into fashion because they are the only clothing item men can have fun with adding colour to the usually drab and dull suits we wear. There are those who claim they were invented to protect the shirt from everyday detritus.
There is also the argument that the tie is a sort of male virility thing, and not just because of its shape; it also forms a neat arrow pointing downwards.
The real motive for the tie is not clear in my mind but the reason for Arriva drivers to be instructed by the GWU not to wear a tie is ridiculous verging on farcical. The drivers are claiming it is too hot to wear a tie. Hot in Malta, in summer! Now this is news. Did they not realise this before?
Everyone must agree that if there is one thing the Arriva public transport reform brought about was the decency of its drivers especially in their appearance and behaviour.
Their image in green and white uniforms by far succeeded in erasing the sight we had been accustomed to when the yellow vintage buses roamed our streets driven by pot-bellied drivers in open blue shirts or white vests revealing their hairy nipples and a dirty dripping white towel around their nape.
So please, please, don’t give in to this too. The directive issued by the GWU should be retracted, and in these times of economic and political crises, I’m sure the GWU should be concentrating its efforts elsewhere.
Regrettably, if it takes a tie, even in the 40˚Celsius-plus temperatures we had recently, to keep these drivers from keeping their shirt buttons closed to the top, sparing passengers the sight of hairy tattooed chests, then a tie it must be.
We cannot revert to the shabbiness of before. It’s not the tie that makes them look neat. It’s the fact that not wearing a tie will lead to a slow degradation of standards with shirts untucked, uniform trousers rolled up and drivers wearing sandals or flip-flops. We cannot go back to that.
If, on the other hand, Arriva buses are not air-conditioned then the GWU should insist that Transport Malta gets its act together and realise that air-conditioned public transport is a must in this country.
Tie or no tie, the focus of the discussion must be on the drivers’ image.
Perhaps a fashionable green polka spotted cravat in towel material may be a solution, combining old habits with new requirements.
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TimesofMaltamotoring