>Mr and Mrs

>I think I take after my son Leo. From the day he started school he waged a campaign for the freedom to wear his polo shirt outside his trousers. He triumphed by wearing his trousers round his hips – too low for everyone else’s comfort but his own.
Our school governors put in a not so earth-shattering request that minutes of meetings referred to our Christian names and surnames, rather than our titles. As Chair I see it as a nice process issue to break down stuffiness. Guess what. The clerk’s manager says “you can’t do that because the minutes form a historic record”. Can’t do that – to me that’s a red rag to a bull and a reminder of Dee Hock’s theology of chaordic organisations: “Heaven is purpose, principle and people. Purgatory is paper and procedure. Hell is rules and regulations.”
“Can we challenge that?” I said loosening my metaphorical trousers. “Save it for more important battles” was the advice of the clerk. Reaching for my metaphorical gunbelt I have to say that I suspect that these days most people prefer not to be known just by their clan name, but also the name that marks them out as special and as individual, that we want to have power over our name calling (don’t call me that please …) and that we want to see our-self as part of that historic record. So, I’ll reach for the phone to return fire. Now shall I begin “Hello Ruth” or “Hello Mrs Agnew”? It’s good to take after your children – once in a while isn’t it?
Below – too far below – the hazard of low slung trousers.

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