Saturday 16 January 2010

Veil of Ignorance: Burka's Is this a step too far.

Aside from the fact that once again a policy announcement has been made without any consultation with the membership, is this call to ban the Burka simply pandering to those who might just vote BNP. This is the question posed in a Times editorial. (click on title link.

I speak as a UKIP member who believes in fairness, tolerance and democracy. As someone who comes from a mixed race back ground, my father was Spanish, it was not easy growing up with the 'w*p', w*g, jibes but one learnt very early on that these reactions were from a base of ignorance. That said more about the adults /parents than of my peers, using the language.

I am British and I am proud to be so, many of us within the party warned that the agenda for UKIP would change were Lord Pearson of Rannoch to be elected Leader, given his somewhat ill thought out comments on Islam and Muslim women.

I do not believe that a total ban is the answer. I believe that anywhere where other forms of facial covering is deemed unacceptable, banks, building society, airports etc then it should only be right that the same applies to burka's.

I think that there is a lot to be said for this policy, were it not to be perceived as a political tool, as the Times article says,

"It is, ( I prefer to ask Is it) therefore, stirring racial discontent, for its own electoral benefit and this is reprehensible. Calling for withdrawal from the EU is respectable, if wrong-headed. Increasing fear and misunderstanding between communities is not."

I think in future we as front line members interacting with our peers will now find it just a touch more difficult to convince the public we are not the BNP in Blazers.

These are personal views as a member of UKIP and are not the necessarily the views of my branch.


BritBloke said...

Well said.

I can't in good faith actively support UKIP, given the events of the last few days.

Come election time, I will have shockingly poor options to vote for. I'll never vote LibLabCon again, but UKIP will only get my vote if there isn't something better on offer in my area now.

The Pub Consultancy Service said...

Matt it is such a shame, it is understandable that those who are paid to be loyal would be, but when others collectively 'gang up' one wonders where this party is going.

Reading the thread about this on the members forum one can't help wondering if the accusations about closet racist still applies to some.

As you know I have 'gone into battle' on many occasions for Nigel Farage against some really hostile attacks. I could not believe the man I had met and admired could be capable of such duplicity, but clearly I was wrong.

Now these articles which again have come out of the blue, are really going to open old wounds.

Anonymous said...

"I think in future we as front line members interacting with our peers will now find it just a touch more difficult to convince the public we are not the BNP in Blazers."

Unless you happen to be campaigning in Islington I somehow doubt that. In fact I rather think you might well find yourself welcomed on the doorstep with open arms by a public who've all but given up that a political party might for once share their own views on this issue.

Senior said...

I wouldn't wear the burka, but if I want to, I should be allowed to as long as I agree to reveal my face if an organisation needs to identify me.

Who are UKIP, or anybody else to tell people what they should wear? There are worse things happening in the UK than people wearing burkas. UKIP should concentrate on more important issues, such as crime, terrorism, health, care and dare I say it after what happened to Nikki Sinclaire, discrimination.

Robert Bonnett said...

It’s a peculiar branch of libertarianism that UKIP are subscribing to if they advocate measures like this. Whether someone covers their face up or not is their own affair, not the State’s. The notion that niqaabi dress the way they do because their oppressive husband’s demand it of them is never backed up by any proof.

I’ve no problem with banning all facial coverings in places like airports, as we should all have to comply with the same laws, but if UKIP continue with the idea of an outright ban that’s specifically aimed at Muslims, then I’m afraid I’ll be voting elsewhere.

Convincing the public that UKIP aren’t the BNP in blazers is one thing, it’s convincing myself that I’m starting to struggle with. I really hope they have a rethink.

Anonymous said...

The Times was bound to attack UKIP on this as it bats for the LibLabCon. But UKIP's problem stems from the fact that both libertarians and authoritarians appear to belong to the same party. Maybe that should be sorted out and the party should decide what direction it's headed. And Bob F-M is right, you can't decide on policy without taking your members with you as they have to convince people on the doorstep. How can they if they're not convinced themselves?
I think the Sinclaire incident exposes deep divisions that need to be healed before the party decides what to tell the public about themselves. Sadly, that means this election has already been written off and maybe UKIP can try for the 2014 Euro elections and the general election a year later.

Blogger said...

Banning clothes is absolute nonsense. If a ban were made law I would buy a burka and wear it all the time in protest (and I'm a bloke!).

But in reality UKIP will never get to implement any of their 'policies' but support for them may persuade others to give us a referendum on restoring the supremacy of parliament.

I am supporting UKIP to make my directly elected MP (or whatever party) part of the supreme soverign power of of this country. Step one of which is leaving the EU - the rest can be discussed afterwards...

Director said...

This was a very good post. The real issue is that who is to say what dehumanises women? It is a matter of personal choice what you wear and this is a civil liberty we cannot afford to lose. I believe that the miniskirt dehumanizes women because it objectifies them and increases their chances of being raped on a Saturday night. However, I believe that Voltaire's ' I detest what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it' applies here too.

UKIP should not be sacrificing its reputation with the middle and upper classes to try and steal voters whos natural home in this election will be the BNP

Councillor Peter Lucas said...

If you move to another country, you should make efforts to conform with that country's culture and values.

I think it is quite reasonable that the burka should not be worn in this country. People do find it intimidating, and aside from anything else, it is a security risk, especially at places like airports. It creates divisions in society. It causes many people concern about extremism. And you do wonder about whether these women really want to dress like that, or feel pressured, even intimidated, into it.

I would say the policy is courageous. But I back it 100%.

Anonymous said...

From this post it is becoming apparent that Ukip, being "Grouped" with racists, Islamaphobes,etc IS actually having an affect. This sort of policy will have gained much approval from the likes of Lega Nord.. What "Numpty" had the bright idea of joining with them in the first place??

The Pub Consultancy Service said...

Peter wrote: 'People do find it intimidating,'.

With respect hundred's of thousands if not millions of people find 'hoddies' intimidating, is that reason enough to ban them. It is reason enough for pubs, clubs, banks, airports and lots of other places to have a policy that any 'headgear' that obscures the face should be removed when appropriate.

UKIP should have merely made a policy to that effect. This would then meet the needs of security.

The Pub Consultancy Service said...

Sorry miss typed should have been Hoodies of course.

Anonymous said...

>>With respect hundred's of thousands if not millions of people find 'hoddies' intimidating, is that reason enough to ban them.

Of course not. But then the 'hoodie' isn't the most visible cultural symbol of a totalitarian ideology that the West is at war with. Don't you recognise that?

Then there are women's rights which Muslim communities haven't much of a track record in as you probably know, though no doubt like the good liberal you are it makes you queasy admitting as much. So much easier to just keep banging on about how UKIP should leave Europe, eh?

Why should the burka, which is a deeply repressive symbol of a women's powerlessness in Muslim communities, & which even Muslim scholars agree is not required by the Koran (the only injunction is that they should dress modestly NOT cover themselves from head to toe in a tent), why should we allow that in our country? Does 'free speech' & 'tolerance' extend to allowing men to intimidate & dominate women like this? You feel comfortable with that? Is that what you want? Because that's what the other political parties are content to allow. UKIP are doing the right thing here, not the wrong thing.

Then there are the already well publicised security issues in which we've had honour killing suspects evade capture by wearing the burka & goodness only knows how many other criminals/terrorists have evaded capture by exploiting our absurdly liberal principles which come down to a reflexive, gutless, cultural cringe by our masters whenever they're confronted by yet another demand from an immigrant group sensing they can try it on because we're too weak to stand up for our own values.

Greg said...

The Burka is an oppressive garment used to subjugate women. If you, as so called libertarians, are happy with this why not go the whole hog and approve of female circumcision and the the stoning of gays, infidels and adulterers? Being libertarian sometimes means being prepared to stand up against oppressive cultures and religions.
Pearson is right to bring this up.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that Germany was faced with financial ruin in the 30's people were manipulated by political parties into thinking that the "Jews" posed a threat to Germany, it's lifestyle and culture,and that they were taking over the country. Playing to peoples base fears resulted in the "Jewish" problem being dealt with! If we continue to demonize Muslims and Islam then how long I wonder before a "Solution" is found. NEVER AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

".. people were manipulated by political parties into thinking that the "Jews" posed a threat to Germany, it's lifestyle and culture,and that they were taking over the country. Playing to peoples base fears resulted in the "Jewish" problem being dealt with! If we continue to demonize Muslims and Islam then how long I wonder before a "Solution" is found. NEVER AGAIN."

How utterly pathetic. Is this the best you can do?

Animal Magic said...


female circumcision - Causes harm.

stoning of gays, infidels and adulterers - Causes harm.

wearing Burka - Causes no harm.

See Greg. Simples.

Animal Magic said...


Forgot to say.

Forcing a woman to wear a burka. - Harmful so should be unlawful.

Voluntarily wearing one should not be unlawful.

The Pub Consultancy Service said...

Such emotive language again, the life blood of extremism. There is simply not one shred of evidence in the UK that women are wearing Burka's out of fear. That may well be the case in other countries.

As always blatant exaggeration of a 'perceived' problem, as we witnessed from Nigel Farage today, leads to further calls for extreme measures.

There are approximately 800,000 adult Muslim females in the UK, according to Ngel 25% of them wear the Burka (200'000) that is patently absurd. According to the Muslim Council of Britain it's about 2000, 1/4 or 1%.

I am all in favour of a law that specifies that a persons face should not be covered if this impedes security, such a law takes away the very real danger of the sort of 'revolt' libertarians do not wish to see in the UK.

British Citizen said...

It's about time that UKIP came out on the side of the ordinary British Citizen... those of us at street level who are affected by the massive increase in immigration.
The Burka (or whatever it's called) is insignificant in itself, but as a symbol of dissent and rejection of the British culture and way of life after we have allowed them into our country... it has become very significant.
Let's look again at this immigration 'benefit' and 'enrichment' of our culture and society:

helend498 said...

I'm afraid that this move does not have my backing.

Could someone please advise what banning the burkha is supposed to actually do?

Personally, I despise the burkha. However, if some women choose to wear them, then so be it. That is the way they wish to be and the way they wish to live their life. I have no quarm with that as long as they do not expect me to wear one, which they do not. So what is the problem?

There are many women (and men) suffering from oppression in this country. Wearing a burkha isn't a sign of it.

I am a recipient of an unwanted ban - the smoking ban. This was imposed mainly to denormalise smokers and to reduce the smoking prevalence (see government and lords debates). It had nothing to do with passive smoking, which as any informed person now realises does not exist.

If banning the burkha means that the spread of Sharia law will halt in this country, then I'll see pigs flying.

A ban for the wrong reasons has disastrous effects and equate to social engineering and exploit hate.

My membership of UKIP is in serious doubt after this move. There was no need for it.

Blogger said...

The idea is complete nonsense - it is stupid, ignorant and misguided OR it devious...

So it was either...

1) A desparate bid for BNP votes
2) An attempt to discredit UKIP (and so lose mainstream votes)

I hate the EU, it is the only issue that matters to the UK, so UKIP is the only option open to me...

But I really doubt the overall sincerity and credibility of people who can spout this kind of nonsense.

Anonymous said...

On radio phone ins and general discussions amongst us ordinary plebs, this move is VERY popular. A few UKIP members in the shires appear a bit precious about their party's attempts to speak up for the ordinary long suffering British citizen and resident. It's nice to have a party that can tackle these controversial issues which doesn't have the racial hatred of a certain party that shall go unmentioned.
And no, voters aren't going to think UKIP has turned into the BNP. The media would and the LibLabCon would, but you guys need to be with the masses on this one.
And if the policies of UKIP become too indefensible from your point of view, then renaming this site might be a good idea so voters don't get confused about what UKIP stands for. The leadership also needs to get the troops to fall in line for the upcoming elections.
Discipline wins elections. You all don't have to agree on everything 100% but if you belong to a party, please don't trash it in public as this election in 2010 is important in terms of national and international events - Nigeria being just one example.

Anonymous said...

I dont have a problem with this!

British Christians have been attacked in the past, leading to people being banned from wearing Jewelery to work with a cross on it, in case it offends someone. Schools avoid the Christmas nativity in case it offends someone.

It is time we made it clear that this country welcomes all, but there are rules to be followed, and a native way of life to respect in the process!

The three main parties will not make such a move for fear of loosing votes to each other!

UKIP have everything to gain in this coming election, and i dont think this move will be damaging to UKIP at all! And anyone who thinks its a racist move couldnt be more wrong!

helend498 said...

"British Christians have been attacked in the past, leading to people being banned from wearing Jewelery to work with a cross on it, in case it offends someone. Schools avoid the Christmas nativity in case it offends someone."

I can't see how 2 wrongs make a right. The above situation that we have at the moment is wrong and should be addressed. I don't however think it's right to address these issues by banning something else.

G. Scott of Swindon said...

I joined the UK Independence Party simply because it was just that - a party fighting for the INDEPENDENCE of the UNITED KINGDOM from the EU. I did not join to raise racial or relgious tensions.
Even Nigel Farage looked (unusually) very uncomfortable on TV on Sunday when discussing the policy, as if he was talking about it but didn't believe a word of it.
The new leader is taking the party to places where I, and I suspect many other hard core UKIP supporters, are none too happy to see it being taken.
UKIP is often called, by our detractors, "the BNP in blazers" (which has never been true) but this "policy" is beginning to make me, an anti EU activist for nearly 40 years, wonder if I want to stay on board before we do indeed deserve that title.
I hope commonsense reasserts itself at the top before all the hard work of years in putting the party in a position to finally win seats at Westminster is undone in weeks, or even days.

Pat Nurse MA said...

Well said Robert. I am for CHOICE and that is what brought me to UKIP. Choice should also extend to the Burka. Banning almost anything is wrong. Come on UKIP, sort your issues out. You have the chance to draw in millions of new disaffetced voters from the three main parties. Do you really want to risk losing this over a BNP vote winning scam which will, I believe, lose you the new rational support you have begun to enjoy since some of the 12 million smokers joined your cause. We need the new and real hope you offer us. Please don't let us down.

Blogger said...

Pearson was walked over by a young muslim woman from oxford uni on newsnight last night...

Maybe he will rethink his own views, and then consider whether they are even relevant to UKIP getting us out of the EU and putting parliament back in control.