There should be no covering-up in court

Barbara Hewson argues that allowing Muslim women to wear the veil in courtrooms is an affront to open justice and (you can hear this coming can’t you?) Enlightenment values:

“A critic of multiculturalism in the UK, Elie Barnavi, argues in the recent best-selling essay Les Religions Meurtrieres (Murderous Religions) that Europe needs to recall its own bitter experiences of religious extremism and religious wars in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in order to counter Islamic fundamentalism effectively today. Europe’s current separation of state and church reflects the triumph of Enlightenment values over religious rule, but it needs to defend those values against political religion vigorously, and not lapse into post-colonial guilt. This is important, if democracies are not to morph back into theocracies again.”

“Post-colonial guilt”, “Islamic fundamentalism” threatening to turn civilised European societies into “theocracies” – what is this, the Telegraph perhaps, or the Daily Mail? Nah, it’s from Spiked, the online journal run by the tendency which used to be the Revolutionary Communist Party but has since morphed into a bunch of right-wing libertarian individualists whose obvious natural home now is the Tory party.

In another Spiked article, Josie Appleton attacks the evil collectivist mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who is intent on suppressing the priceless individual freedom to drive round the capital in one’s 4×4 and destroy the environment in any way one sees fit. Appleton’s proposal that voters should consider removing Livingstone at the next mayoral election does, however, suffer from the small flaw that when they turn up at the polling booth “in two years’ time”, as she recommends, the election will have taken place ten months earlier.