Thursday, 22 July 2010
The words "good on the Queen" are not ones I would normally utter. They rank alongside "I just can't get enough of the gym" and "I love it when it is cold". But today, I feel I can. Ok the chances are it wasn't QEII herself that issued the decree (but wouldn't have been brilliant if it was) but Buckingham Palace today told the racist Nick Griffin that he was no longer welcome at this afternoon's garden party. Why was he invited in the first place is a good question. The answer apparently is that he is an MEP representing the North East of England and as such gets an automatic invitation. However, Griffin was a bit too cocky about the invitation, he blogged about it, he boasted about it, he invited his racist supporters to suggest topics of conversation he could raise should he meet Her Majesty "over the cucumber sandwiches". This vulgar and unpleasant behaviour gave Palace officials all they needed to uninvite the man, on the grounds that he had abused the invitation, using it for overtly political purposes and thus increasing the security threat and discomfort for other guests. Griffin of course wasted no time in scuttling over to the nearest broadcast studios to attack the Palace and the liberal media for being undemocratic. Quite the reverse, for the first time in a long time I feel my views have been represented. Well done, Liz.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
So the French are moving towards banning the wearing of the burqa in public. last week the French National Assembly passed a bill prohibiting the wearing of full faced veils in public. The legislation will have to be approved by the Senate before becoming law - there is a vote scheduled in September. Apparently there is a large degree of public support for the ban in France where it is being positioned almost as feminist measure, empowering Muslim women to throw off the shackles of their oppressive male relatives. While I am sympathetic to that view, the ban in my view is bonkers. French law makers assume that this form of dress is being adopted as a result of coercion when the evidence would suggest that in France at least the few women who do wear full veils are choosing to do so on their own volition. It may be inexplicable to many of us, but that doesn't stop it being true. The fact is that lots of people wear lots of thigns which we find inexplicable. The pre-pubescent teens wearing micro-minis, the men who are old enough to know better trying to get away with low slung jeans, clogs - I don't get any of these but there is no justification for banning them. Just as there is none for banning the burqa.