Friday 23 September 2011

Well Burka Me

Burka, hijab, nijab, niqab... whatever you call it, the flouting of the French ban on wearing it in public places is mere provocation. And it's working, stirring up sentiment on both sides of the debate, for no other purpose than to create conflict.

Fortunately, here in the UK there is no such prohibition, so I am free to go about my daily business in the dress of my choice, even though my religion does not require it. Because it is my choice, I choose a black-and-white hooped sweater, gloves and a burglar mask, the ensemble topped off by the traditional over-shoulder black bag bearing the holy inscriptions 'swag' or 'loot'. I'm just nipping down the local Post Office.

At the same time the exposure of 'medium' (more a large, if you ask me) Sally Morgan as - shock, horror, who saw it coming? - a fraud, is promulgated as news. Well, here's some news for you: there is no afterlife, nobody can read minds, magic is a fiction and, yes, there is no god. Really.

You see, once the abolition of all false gods - except my state-enforced keep-Sunday-quiet deity, Jonesy, is complete, nobody will have any unhinged religious or other reason to do anything that does not meet the approval of the majority. So, if you do decide to wear a black sack and peer out at the world through a slit, we'll all know you're only doing it by your own choice. Because you are mental.

We dismiss 'yoots' wearing jailhouse-chic half-mast trousers as daft, don't we? Fat birds in mini-skirts are deluded, old geezers in open-topped sports cars are a joke and anybody buying a Power Balance bracelet is fair game for a bit of exploitation. None of them are to be feared, only ridiculed.

So, under the new rules you can wear what you like, where you like, subject to certain common-sense rules: You can't drive in any headwear which restricts your vision. You must not cover your face anywhere where your identity needs to be revealed; banks, shops, schools, in the street... oh, in fact, anywhere where other people are present. This applies equally to helmets, hoodies, stocking-masks and even some hairstyles. There will be no concealment in company.

If you still want to clothe yourself in the religious equivalent of a gimp mask in the privacy of your own home you are more than welcome to do so - you're only hiding from yourself.

And that is the reasonable stance in this matter. Vive La France


  1. Sir, I would be most obliged if you could also decree the public display of 'comb-overs' to be outlawed.

  2. Oh no, Ken m'boy. Comb-overs are one of the few things we are legally able to have a chuckle about, as things stand!