The thing with tradition is that it has to start somewhere. The problem with rattling on about old and established routines to the point of preservation means that there's less room for modernisation and the chance to start a new tradition from scratch. Take for example the Guards regiment's bear skin head gear. Many feel that in this day and age wandering around with a great big lump of dead animal on your head is more than old fashioned, it’s immoral. Traditionalists though point to the fact that these bearskins have sat atop the heads of underachievers since 1815. Some would take that very point to say it was time for a change.
The cuddly MOD, bless them, have been doing their best to find a less provocative replacement but so far all the faux bear skin trials have failed:
Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram said an "unsatisfactory performance" in wet weather conditions were among problems... Another problem has been they appear out of shape and as they are mainly used on parade it would be unacceptable for a guardsman to appear in shapeless head gear.
Because the last thing you want to do while standing like a lemon next to an American family having their picture taken is look like a bit of a dick who can't even keep his animal skin erect.
We have two possible solutions. One would be a pubic hair drive. The military love their hazing rituals so why not make use of them and collect enough pubic hair to make a new series of very fetching hats. It's the kind of thing The Sun could get behind and perhaps even the occasional celebrity like Jade Goody. An even more traditional route would be to mimic our current enemies:
The towering black hats were first worn in 1815 in recognition of the defeat at Waterloo of Napoleon's French Imperial Guard, who also wore bearskins.
So the next time our soldiers are beating the crap out of a bunch of Iraqi teenagers it'd be a simple job to nick a few baseball caps and then taunt them about it for the next 200 years. Probably make a bear or two happy too.