Presumably to relieve the boredom induced by the MPs' expenses claims saga, yawn, the news this am had a story about school ties.
I teach in a boys' school where there are lots of different ties ranging through bog standard, sixth form, head boy, junior colours, half colours and full colours and a few more, prefect and senior prefect, I think.
Suffice to say, they matter a great deal to the boys. We've had boys in tears when we didn't award them junior colours for Music at the end of term. 'There, there, one more big concert for Second Orchestra and you can be differently striped.' Only the little boys, you understand. The big ones are more stoic in the face of such adversity. I tell you it's a great thing to have over them, when they don't show for a rehearsal. It's never actually articulated, but they know and we know what's at stake. A hand shake from HM and, a tie.
To me, a mere person of the female persuasion, however, it's all very masculine and I don't register any difference. They are all stripy. The boys meantime must be moving round the school clocking what to me is an invisible pecking order...