» Friday, October 6, 2006

Jack Straw

Asked if the Prime Minister shared Jack Straw’s personal view on Muslim women wearing veils, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister believed that it was right that people should be able to have a discussion and to express their personal views. When asked if the Prime Minister was going to express his own view, the PMS said just as it was correct that people should be able to express their views, it was correct and right for people not to.

Asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to Jack Straw about the matter the PMS said not that she was aware that he had. When asked if the Prime Minister was glad the matter had come up for discussion the PMS stated that she did not intend to give any further analysis. When asked if anyone in Government was concerned about community tensions being made worse by Jack Straw’s comments the PMS said that it was right that there was chance for a mature and sensible debate on this sort matter.

Asked if there were any plans to enshrine in law the removal of veils in public places, such as MPs surgeries, the PMS replied that though the matter was being publicly debated, it did not make it a matter of future Government policy. When asked if the Prime Minister shared the fear that communities were becoming separate and divided by such issues being raised, the PMS replied that it was all part of the same questions about the views Jack Straw had expressed.

Asked about the comments made by David Cameron on the Cantle Report, and the lack of work being done on community cohesion following the recommendations of the Report, the PMS reminded journalists of the work of Ruth Kelly and her department on social cohesion and the progress that had been made. When asked about the composition of faith schools the PMS said this was an issue being looked at by the DFES.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news


  1. Interesting that he said Straw had a right to debate, but not that women had a right to wear what they wanted.

    Also noticable he refused to rule out legislation banning niqabs.

    Comment by Osama Saeed — 6 Oct 2006 on 4:27 pm | Link
  2. Women do not have the right to wear whatever they want – no more do men. Nudity is not allowed, motorbike helmets have to be removed in many places and the law currently allows the police to insist on removal of eg hoodies & veils for identification purposes. It must be obvious that face coverings conceal identity and that is against the requirements and mutual security of the whole society to allow such coverings in certain circumstances. There are also questions of health and safety where it might be beneficial to wear such coverings for food processing or detrimental to do so, whilst driving, for example. Might it not be an idea to consider banning veils where, for example, wearing stockings over one’s head or IRA style balaclavas might be frowned upon but allowing them everywhere else? Then there are deeper questions of individual freedoms and mutual rights, can one choose freely to be a slave in our society, for example? I think not. Would it be acceptable for Klu Klux Klan members to walk freely on the streets concealed behind white sheets? Obviously not. Would non-whites be right to object? Definitely yes. Should Taliban style Sharia law be allowable here within certain communities? …..

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 9 Oct 2006 on 11:20 am | Link
  3. ….And bringing an end to all connections between church and state – and especially education and faith schools – would be a huge step towards improving cultural harmony. Can’t see Religious Ruth making much progress on that – she’s part of the problem.

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 9 Oct 2006 on 11:40 am | Link
  4. Once striding the globe like a very small colossus Jack Himmler Straw now finds himself in charge of the House of commons stationery cupboard; where once he wore gloves fashioned from the skin of Iraqi children as the BitchQueen Rice stomped him with her spiky black heels he now loafs around Westminster in charge of the timetables. If anybody thinks he gives a fuck about integration they are stupid enough to head the unIntelligence Services. All he is up to is trying to out-manouevre the dwarf Reid in the nasty-enough-to-be-leader stakes; horrible simpering arsehole.

    Comment by tasty macfadden — 12 Oct 2006 on 5:47 pm | Link
  5. Do you not realise that Europe is being silently invaded by Islam? Multiculturalism has not worked because muslims don’t want mult…they want Allah.

    Please read this article to find out from the horses mouth what muslims are really after. Written in the Asian Times.


    Comment by Elizabeth — 16 Oct 2006 on 9:26 pm | Link
  6. Do you not realise that Europe is being silently invaded by Islam? Multiculturalism has not worked because muslims don’t want mult…they want Allah.

    Please read this article to find out from the horses mouth what muslims are really after. Written in the Asian Times.


    Comment by Elizabeth — 16 Oct 2006 on 9:27 pm | Link
  7. A very simplistic analogy written to convey a specific problem facing Britain and other European countries today.

    Half way down Middle Road lived five British people who had lived together amicably despite being different in some ways. One was Jewish, one was Catholic, one was a Sikh, one was Protestant, and the other was an atheist. Disputes arose but were settled upon discussions. One day, there was a knock at the door.

    \x91Who\x92s there?\x92

    \x91Hello, my name is Saleem and I in danger\x85please me live with you?\x92

    Of course, being British, the five friends instantly opened the door and gave Saleem the shelter she needed. All went smoothly as Saleem improved her English and made every attempt to fit in to the way the house was run. She wanted to be accepted and to be treated as an equal. Being British, the friends did accept her after they got used to her. Eventually they celebrated her differences and discovered all about them. They enjoyed the element of variety Saleem gave to the house. In fact, at times they were fascinated. Saleem also enjoyed the elements of British culture she had never experienced before.

    Months passed and there was another knock at the door. \x91Hello, I am Kalim and bad things for me\x92

    The door was opened again and the welcoming arms of the five friends embraced their new arrival. Kalim didn\x92t speak any English other than what he said at the door and therefore found comfort in the realms of Saleem\x92s bedroom. He didn\x92t leave her room very often as he felt he couldn\x92t understand the others and felt they were too different to communicate with. Every effort was made by the five friends to make Kalim feel at home. All instructions for operating the domestic appliances were translated and printed into Kalim\x92s language, at huge cost to the house. The house believed it would help Kalim to fit in due to feeling comfortable.

    Saleem and Kalim became close friends and talked a lot in Saleem\x92s bedroom. They decided that they didn\x92t want to learn English anymore, nor change their lifelong beliefs or ways of thinking, living and dressing. Little things around the house annoyed them and so they announced that every week they wanted to have a house meeting to discuss them.

    Although the five friends didn\x92t want to change, they also didn\x92t want to offend their new guests. Bit by bit, they removed articles from the house which Kalim and Saleem had pointed out caused offence. On Christmas Day there was no Christmas tree in the living room, despite it being a much loved feature of the friends\x92 year. One of the friends had to remove her crucifix which had been above her bed for ten years. She was upset but thought it best to create harmony in the house. The dog had to go into a shelter and alcohol was banned from the house.

    One day a gay man, a friend of the five friends, came to visit but Kalim and Saleem didn\x92t want him to be associated with the house they now called home so the gay man had to leave.

    In the privacy of their bedrooms, the five friends silently reflected on their lives with their new guests. They were saddened at the loss of the things which were important to them. They felt their unique identities had been eroded. Discussing the issue of how they had had to accommodate the various dislikes of their new guests was difficult as each believed the others would retaliate. Little did they know that four out of the five friends felt the same.

    Rather than raise the issue and establish some sensibility, and maybe encourage the new guests to adapt their limits of tolerance in order to fit into their new home without taking away its traditional specialities, they buried their heads in the sand and hoped the problem would go away.

    The problem never went away but four out of the five friends did and were replaced by friends of Kalim and Saleem.

    One day much later, there was another knock at the door.

    \x91Hello. My name is Geoffrey Thistlewait and I am in terrible danger old chaps. Do you mind awfully if I could kip here the night? I won’t get in your way\x92

    The door was not opened that time.

    Comment by Elizabeth — 16 Oct 2006 on 9:30 pm | Link

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


October 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Sep   Nov »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh