Saturday, 18 June 2011

Radical dandyism

While it’s hardly a secret that Lord Bassington-Bassington has sympathies with what could broadly be termed the political Right (in its more moderate forms, he eschews extremism). But His Lordship has always steadfastly refuses to let squabbles about such inconsequentialities as politics or religion stand in the way of enjoying life.

So His Lordship was most enlivened by stumbling across one of the most entertaining left-wing blogs he has ever seen. Dear readers of the Chronicles, meet the Worker-Dandyist International. This excellent blog provides a left-wing analysis of current society that is surprisingly similar to Lord Bassington-Bassington’s own views, something which only strengthens His Lordship’s opinion that sensible people come in all political and religious persuasions.

While the Worker-Dandyist International has a consistently high quality in its post, Lord Bassington-Bassington, being a hound after manifestoes of all sorts, was especially taken with its Worker-Dandyist Manifesto.

Some of its highlights:
“4. We define our Dandyism, in essence, as simply making as much of an effort as possible with the limited resources availab An effort in sartorial flair and individuality, an effort in civility, social responsibility and courtesy, and an effort in communal culture, welfare and hedonism. Our definition of Dandyism will most certainly conflict with the pompous elitists’ definition of Dandyism. Of course, we embrace and encourage popinjays, peacocks and coxcombs but we shall dispense with the conceitedness associated with such terms in favour of community and kindness.”

“5. The Worker-Dandy opposes sweatshop labour, child labour and forced labour. If you paid £5 for a new skirt then someone, somewhere has been paid, at most, pennies to manufacture it. The Worker-Dandy will never knowingly contribute to such exploitation.There are many ways and means of dressing well. Slavery is not one of them.”

And as a long-time skeptic, Lord Bassington-Bassington simply loved this point:
“9. Worker-Dandyism is rational and therefore vehemently opposed to quackery. Pseudo-science is a leech that feeds on humanity both economically and physically. Reflexology, homeopathy, magnet therapy, etc., are all bunk. Snake-oil salesmen have always exploited the gullibility and desperation of the sick for financial ends and, while people are free to dispose of their earnings as they please, when people are discouraged from seeking proven medical treatment in favour of junk remedies we regard this as tantamount to criminal assault.”

Ladies and gentlemen, whatever your own politics, you are cordially invited to enjoy the Left, possibly at its best, but certainly at its best dressed.

Now, why does this it seem that this superb slice of socialist soul-pop should be playing in the background while looking at the website?


  1. I can't imagine a position more in opposition to Dandyism than Communism. Celebrating the drab jump-suited "working classes". Hell, you needn't get to the second half of that at all, as promoting "working" seems dreadfully anti-dandy.
    But they do, and so I will be a bit boorish and suggest that anyone who promotes "class warfare" is promoting warfare against Dandies.

  2. Kristian Grønseth18 June 2011 at 15:27

    I will just have to point out here that respectfully, Mr. Slaughter is wrong. For one there is a certain... political distance... between those adherent to state funded medical and educational services funded through progressive taxes, and those considering McDonald's a Fascist corporation warranting firebombing.

    Secondly, for an ideology that gave us the Mao suit actual communism is historically packed with dandies? Those communist leaders in the early 20th century eschewed neckties symbolically, but it was more a fashion statement than anything else (how many Russian serfs are oppressed by a Four in Hand being knotted?). Mr. Berthold Brecht probably had more pairs of designer eyeglasses than the His Lordship's secretary has shoes, and apart from Stalin's insistence on uniforms the Soviet leadership in pictures after WWII show a propensity for Italian style suits (which really tells us more about Soviet style leadership than they'd like letting on I bet).

    Yes, you can be on the far Left and wear tattered jeans and "Fight the Power" hoodies with paint stains for street cred, but Socialists can be snappy dressers too. After all, most of us come from the Upper Crust sociologically...

  3. This is nonsense.

    Worker-Dandies are nothing more than bitter egalitarians, jealous of the rich and beautiful.

    Dandyism is by its very nature opposed to egalitarianism.

    I am suspicious of any organisation that takes a stand against forced labour.

  4. I thank you for taking the time to write about us, Sir.
    If, by any chance, you make it over for the Chap Olympics I should like to say hello.

  5. Mr. Slaughter, Laguna Beach Fogey: As I made it clear I do not support the Worker-Dandies political position, but I see much sense in their manifesto. The sort of Conservatism I find myself more and more attracted to has a lot in common with the old-fashioned left. I’d say I agree word-for-word with about two-thirds of what’s in this manifesto, and that’s more than reason enough to recommend it. It’s rare that I read something I even halfway agree with (even if agreement is hardly the point, the fun is to read things that force you to think).

    There are forms of egalitarianism I support, just as there are forms of elitism I find sensible. But there are varieties of both that I have very little time for. But ultimately, I find discussing egalitarianism about as irrelevant as discussing racial differences between humans, as humans are subservient to Basset Hounds anyway.

    Mr. Grønseth: Yes, and you’re putting your finger on what has long been a driving force in my scepticism towards utopian ideologies like Communism. It usually ends up with even worse people in power than the lot we have now. If only people would listen more to us Hounds.

    WDI: It was my pleasure, I really enjoyed your website. And yes, it is an ambition of mine to attend the Chap Olympics, but even if I am in London regularly I’m afraid I won’t make it this year. Our travel plans are more Germanic this summer.