Wait, what?

Lots of us have chattered on about the idea of banning the burka. Me, here, Kevin Boatang here, Mr Civil Libertarian here.

Basically, it boils down to this: You cannot support such a ban and be a libertarian.

David Mitchell deals well with the idea in the Graun.

There was also quite a good stab at it on the Moral Maze on Radio 4. (available until 30 July)

Philip Hollobrain’s private members bill, proposed to ‘regulate’ (ban) the wearing of burkas & such like in public places.

He also told The Independent that…

he will refuse to hold meetings with Muslim women wearing full Islamic dress at his constituency surgery unless they lift their face veil.

So there we are. Philip Hollobrain is a douchebag. As is his right. Oh no… wait. It’s not his right.


A Tory MP has been warned he could face legal action if he follows through on a threat to refuse to meet constituents wearing the veil.

Lawyers for Liberty have written to Philip Hollobone insisting that his stance is unlawful and that they "will be happy to represent any of your constituents that you refuse to meet because they are veiled".

The group warns him that the UK’s Equality Act and the European convention on human rights (ECHR) oblige him to avoid discrimination. Because his ban would only affect Muslim women, it would also amount to indirect sex discrimination, the letter says.

Ah yes. A reminder, if it were needed, that Liberty are very choosy about what sort of liberty they defend, and for whom.

And Hattie’s Equality Twister is in full flow now.


And what did I predict when this ghastly legislation was being discussed?

The paradox of Hattie’s little scheme is that the result will be the diametric opposite of equality and the total opposite of tolerance and forbearance. As minority after minority take their grievances of perceived prejudice, disadvantage, offence or discrimination through the courts, a hierarchy of protected minorities will emerge. The result will be an acceleration of the balkanisation of society that is already well established under this Labour government. The very divide-and-rule approach to control that has deprived the British people of their ability to just rub along together, brushing off perceived sleights.

  • Gay rights will trump Christian rights.
  • Muslim rights will trump gay rights and women’s rights.
  • Women’s rights will trump men’s rights (except Muslim men).
  • Pedestrians rights will trump those of cyclists.
  • Cyclists’ rights will trump those of motorists.
  • Mothers with baby buggies will trump the rights of pedestrians, especially if they’re breast-feeding at the time.
  • Children’s rights will trump those of parents, except mothers, who are a protected group.

This way lies madness. Can anyone not see that?

And I had forgotten that Mr Hollobrain had already been in hot water with offence-seeking race loons, who reported him to the police for describing the burka as

"the religious equivalent of going around with a paper bag over your head with two holes for the eyes".

Unwittingly, he may finally be winning me over to his point of view. He’s certainly gaining my sympathy.

Paradoxically, supporting him may have become the libertarian thing to do, if it means defending his right to hold and express crackpot views, then that’s what I must do.



6 thoughts on “Wait, what?

  1. I disagree.
    If you’re a private citizen using your own property, go ahead, be a douchebag. You’ll soon find society doesn’t tolerate such bullshit.

    MP meetings, however, do not constitute private property. It does (in the state’s own terminology, not mine) represent all the people in its jurisdiction, and if it’s going to play by those rules, the real libertarian solution would be to allow all citizens to access their [sic] representatives.

    So, yeah, freedom of association is good and all- but the state “associates” with us, whether we like it or not. That means it’s right that all citizens can return the favour.

  2. Ban them WTF? I think burkas should be compulsory for all ugly fat women; perhaps Greggs and McDonalds etc. could give them away with their junk food products.

  3. Off topic but I do wish the beeb would put moral maze on podcast.

    Didn’t we (libertarians) go through all of this with Jack Straw and come to the same conclusion or have I got de ja vu?

  4. It’s not just minorities. For similar reasons religions shouldn’t have any special rights. Muslims hate Jews. Jews hate Christians. Christians hate Muslims. I nice merry-go-round where only lawyers benefit.

  5. As Mr Civil says above, his constituents are his boss (allegedly). How far do you think someone in the private sector would get if they refused to talk to their boss because of the way they dressed?

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