I am thankful of very few things but one of them is that I was not alive or at least political engaged when my beloved party brought in section 28. Yes a Tory talking about section 28, shocking ain’t it. I am not well read enough about section 28 and its good and bad to make a comment on the section itself but I am to comment on its effect.
Section 28 became a byword for Tory intolerance, it earmarked the parties moral parentalisum and the parties server discomfort with (I would argue sex in general) and homosexual in particular. It made use look horrible old fashion at best and bigoted at worse. It lost us a generation of progressive supporters and still stigmatise the party to this very day.
So what you may ask does this have to do with are dear Philip Hollobone and his moves to ban all face covering and the burka or niqab in particular?
They are the continuation of the same conservative need to parentalist moral policies. We have or Mr. Holobone has come to believe that to cover one face is immoral and anti social act. That merely to cover one lips is to seen as an act akin to revolution. He of course whittlers on about women’s rights and about the importance of lips in communications but really this is a moral crusade.
The burka or niqab is the most obvious mark of religious difference of belief in Islam and in an un-western way of behaving (well its not that un-western, we had dress laws for before). Some see the un-western as a rejection of our moral order and our social norms and thus there moral duty to forbid and ban it. The support of the ban is forcing the immoral actor to act moral, just as we tried to do with section 28.
Just as was the case with section 28 all this will achieved is outward hostility toward the party from that section of the population whose actions we have controlled and eventually the party looking outdated and bigoted. The Islamic community offer great potential to the conservative party, they are entrepreneurial, individualist, law abiding and social conservative and with some engagement probably Tory voters.
Why upset them with a policy that goes against Britain’s hard taught lesion on the state interfering with religion and which will in the end backfire on us and do irreparable harm. Why support a policy which is just anti-iambic dressed in security and women rights (a very odd combination). Why have another section 28 moment when we could ignore the call from those who want the state to act as God and bring the party truly into the modern era.