Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Stop the cover-up - ban the burqa, the hoodie and the balaclava

As readers of the “Sense” section on the home page of this blog may have noticed, Ian Dale – soon to be an ex-blogger – has suggested that at the next student demonstration (or riot, if you prefer), anyone who turns up with their face covered should be asked to remove the obfuscatory item, or face arrest or “dispersal” – i.e. told to go away with or without the encouragement of batons, tasers, cattle prods, boots up the backside, whatever.

Couldn’t agree more.

In fact, the most useful thing our Home Secretary Theresa May could do (apart from continuing to attack that bloated idiot Ken Clarke’s disgraceful proposals to stop sending criminals to prison) would be to ban all forms of face-covering in the United Kingdom in public places.

Of course, exceptions would be allowed: those who are disfigured or have unduly sensitive skin and have a note from a hospital attesting to the fact, and those who have a psychological problem, who will be required to carry a note from a reputable psychiatrist confirming their story. Anyone covering their face for work-related ‘elf ‘n’ safety reasons would also be exempt. (Prissy twits wearing Japanese-style smog masks while cycling through London wouldn’t, of course - they’re just too annoying.)

There would be no exemption whatsoever for the following groups:

Yes, lots of perfectly innocent young men wear them, and you can’t stop people sporting threatening-looking clothing (think what it would do to Doc Marten) but cowled teenagers loitering in an underpass might as well be wearing stockings over their faces: if I’m to be mugged, I’d like the police to be able to identify the little bastards from their images on the endless CCTV cameras which will track them as they run away (not that the courts would actually punish them, you understand.) Big boots and shaved heads are threatening as well – but they don’t conceal the identity of one’s attacker.

I’m not a liberal, but I find the implication that females are “property” and that all males are sexually incontinent thoroughly offensive. In those Islamic countries where women are offered no protection from rape (from their husbands, his friends, male relatives, neighbours or strangers), burqasmay, I suppose,  be more appropriate - although changing their stone-age laws might provide a more sensible solution. But there is absolutely no excuse for them in Western democracies, where rape is generally not seen as the woman’s fault, and men are treated as rational creatures who are expected to control their baser instincts (well, here in the South, at least). 

When it’s freezing cold, and you work outdoors, there may be a reason for wearing them: and, of course, our military and police can wear them whenever they want. Otherwise, they should be banned. They used to be the preserve of IRA thugs and bank-robbers, but have lately been taken up by violent scumbags masquerading as student demonstrators. As Iain Dale points out, English Defence League knuckle-draggers aren’t allowed to wear them at their demos – what makes anti-democratic left-wing fascist wreckers any different?

If you’re up to no good, I want to be able to see your face.

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