What? Two weeks into a new government and things are definitely slipping. First of all the new sports minister Tony Banks turned up for his photo call wearing a very nice jacket - but blue jeans beneath. Then the same minister went and crossed his fingers while swearing the pledge of allegiance to the Crown. Now there are a couple of uses of the English custom of crossing the fingers so far as I know. Firstly, they may mean that whatever you are saying at the time you do not really intend. Secondly, and rather in contradiction to that, it may be taken to mean that you are hoping for good luck for whatever venture you are talking of at the time. Fortunately for his own sake Mr Banks decided that the 'hoping for good fortune' version was what he really meant. Sadly for this most popular of MPs, the cameras picked him up and asked him to do some explaining about the fingers. Was this a snub to Her Majesty? No, he was just delighted he had got the job, he countered. But then nobody could really care less anyway. Mr Banks turned up at his new Ministry of Sport still wearing the jeans. Who was to worry about a small hand gesture? After all Winston Churchill made part of his appeal out of a two-fingered salute which could very easily be misconstrued, couldn't it? But if you are the worrying kind there are lots of things to get possessed about. OK, Tony Blair, Tony as we must learn to call him, that's the Prime Minister, is seriously into being informal. If he turns up for the handover, beware: he may very well swap a sharp suit for something much cooler. Tony has already decreed that Cabinet ministers shall use, within Cabinet, first names other than the formal title of 'Secretary of State', for instance, when addressing each other. This has met with some resistance among ministers who charge that it took 18 years for Britain to elect a Labour Prime Minister; they might as well treat him with respect now. Members of Parliament are close to dropping the title 'Honourable Member' in their addresses across the floor of the chamber too. Forget the fact that there might not be a great deal of honour anyway, but at least referring to someone as the 'Honourable member for XXX' serves to remind an MP that they do actually have to serve a section of the community. Nobody minds the change as long as the new informality does not become a cover for familiarity breeding corruption. Using the Honourable Member title also helps an MP who cannot remember a name. Meanwhile Tony has started attending church in open-necked shirt and let himself be pictured in jeans. Next month his Chancellor Gordon Brown will make his annual speech to the City not in the normal morning suit but in what he calls 'working clothes'. That is usual business suits to you and me. There are inherent dangers. Prince Charles has taken to wearing a djellaba, the north African version of the kaftan, to receive guests at his west of England home, we are told. He donned the garb when Al Pacino and a group of his American friends turned up recently. The problem was that someone leaked the fact that the next in line to the throne is supposed to be the defender of the Anglican faith. Reverse the situation though, and didn't the Japanese court start to wear Western dress in the 19th century? The new clothes could be a sign of being relaxed at home - or a conversion to Islam. I'll leave it to you.