"DEMANDS to ban football tops in Britain were growing last night.
The Government was urged to stand up against body coverings which have been condemned for creating a divided Britain.
The new law means people who wear them will be fined or jailed.
And women who force their husbands to wear a football top will face tougher fines and up to a year behind bars.
The Tory MP who has launched a Private Member’s Bill to ban football tops said he was thinking of widening its scope to include banning high heels for women: “It is unnatural for someone to wear shoes they can barely walk in and it is not a religious requirement.
“We are never going to have a fully integrated society if an increasing proportion of the population wear football tops.
The UK Independence Party is also calling for a ban, describing the burkha as a symbol of “divided Britain”. A spokesman said: “The ban not only makes sense but finds legitimacy in all sorts of religious books which call for people to dress modestly. Instead, football tops have become the symbol of the more radical forms of football hooliganism".
Can you just imagine the outrage if that story appeared in our national press? How wrong would it be for the State to start to dictate how people dress? We would rightly be utterly furious at such an infringement of our basic rights to freedom of expression.
Well, look at what the Daily Express wrote this morning about the vote in the French Parliament to ban full veil Islamic dress and other face coverings. It's not a million miles from that.
Don't get me wrong. The burka is not my cup of tea and I do think that some, maybe many, women are co-erced into wearing them by the male members of their families. How exactly women in that situation in France are going to be helped by this law is beyond me. Oh yes, they can report their husband/father/brother/uncle to the Police and have them locked up. Yeah, I'm sure they're really going to do that. What's most likely to happen to these women is that their homes become their prison as their male relatives refuse to let them out in public.
Tell me how those women are any less oppressed by a different group of men telling them how to dress.
Tell me how these women are oppressed and women who are bombarded with unsustainable images of the perfect body and are expected to conform to them aren't.
I have written before about how annoyed I was when Jack Straw asked women to remove their veils when they came to his surgeries and I've had a bit of a rant about religious expression.
We human beings are a diverse bunch - we have a huge range of views and likes and dislikes. When you start chipping away at the edges and banning things which are practised by a minority for no good reason other than they're different, it's a slippery slope which could lead to us all having a right wing tabloid press conformity forced on us. I think that's a really worrying prospect.