• What is a political uniform. That is the question.

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    Two events of note have happened recently. On one level they are unconnected. On another level however they are linked.

    The first event will come as no great surprise. This is that a certain Paul Anthony Golding (above left) has found himself in a confrontation with the forces of law and order – again – having been convicted for the second time of wearing a political uniform contrary to Section 1 of the Public Order Act 1936.

    The Act bans the wearing of political uniforms in any public place or public meeting. The first conviction under the Act was of William Henry Wood, by Leeds Magistrates’ Court on 27th January 1937. The act also requires police consent for political marches to go ahead, a matter now covered by the Public Order Act 1986. It was passed to control extremist political movements in the 1930s such as the British Union of Fascists. In January 2015, Mr Golding was convicted for the first time. Herewith a report about Mr Golding’s second prosecution: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/britain-first-leader-paul-golding-convicted-wearing-intimidating-fleece-1573621
    The second event has been the statement by UKIP leadership candidate Lisa Duffy about banning the full face veil in public.
    GOTO: http://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Ban-the-veil-in-public-says-Christian-Ukip-leadership-contender?utm_source=Premier%20Christian%20Media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7411010_daily%20news%209%20aug&utm_content=ukip&dm_i=16DQ,4EUDE,M9A8UA,G8H2Q,1
    There were two comments made to this report on Premier’s website, which have been reproduced below – after they were corrected for incorrect grammar and spelling:

    “What we need first and foremost is full and open debate on the rights and wrongs of Islam. Just banning something without people understanding why is the wrong approach. When Islam has been properly exposed as the nasty evil violent sex mad religion that it is then we can talk about what we ban. Christian Peoples Alliance policy is full and open debate on Islam in our schools, universities, on the airwaves with no holes barred. Everything thoroughly examined.
    Shall I tell you something? Muslims absolutely don’t want this. They are demanding blasphemy laws to make people frightened of talking about their religion and in Muslim countries that’s what they have, bans on anyone criticising the religion. Why? Because it cannot stand up to criticism. The only hope for Islam is that people remain ignorant of what it really stands for.”

    AND:

    “Islam is not a religion in the truest sense, as it is politically motivated its objective is to eradicate man made laws (democracy) in favour of Allah’s aka the Sharia, which is a discriminatory, intolerant oppressive set of rules, that seeks to obliterate freedom of conscience and execute those who it deems unfit to live, e.g. homosexuals, adulterers, apostates, polytheists,a theists.
    The women who wear this piece of voluntary concealment garment are making a statement, they are saying; “I fully endorse the Sharia, and I want to live by it.”
    An outright ban is not going to work, but outlawing any other part of Sharia principles at every given opportunity must be applied, as to let any part of this 7th century Arabian set of draconian rules have any leeway in Britain and elsewhere, is foolish in the extreme.”

    Before commenting on these two specifics, let us state a general FACT: What a human being wears is socially important. Wearing clothes is one thing that separates us from all the other lifeforms on this planet. And by clothes we mean manufactured coverings even when the “manufacturing” in question is the killing of a fury animal and using its skin – not unused sea shells reoccupied by small sea creatures.

    Let us cite a recent example: On Sunday 26th June 2016, your Editor made good on his wager to attend Sunday morning service in black tie (diner jacket). This was of course in relation to the Brexit vote. This diversion from my usual dress – sports jacket, contrasting trousers, shirt and tie did not place me too far outside my comfort zone. Unlike a certain unfortunate Mr Gary Lineker who had undertaken to present “Match of the Day” wearing only his underpants. Now let us consider the graceful Darcey Bussell (Mrs Forbes) pictured left performing in 1999.

    Let us suppose your Editor had undertaken to risk stepping very, very far outside his comfort zone and had wagered that were the Brexit campaign to succeed, he would attend Sunday morning service attired like Mrs Forbes!

    This comical point makes the point that what a human being wears matters and matters a lot. Clothes make a statement. This is a FACT. It is of course a FACT that the authorities have always chosen to treat selectively.

    There are many British Gazette readers who if asked the question: “Have you done “a Paul Golding” and worn a political uniform of late? Would emphatically answer, “No!”

    Many however would be wrong. They would not be liars because they genuinely believe what they state. They are however mistaken. This is because many readers will have taken an active part in the referendum campaign and will have donned “tee-shirts” with political statements on them and if you examine them they should have the “published by” details printed on them. The DUP’s “tee shirt” does as does the Grassroots out “tee-shirt”. Leave.eu’s however does not.

    It could therefore be argued wearing Leave.eu’s “tee-shirt” could constitute and offence under more recent legislation that the POA, 1936. However wearing ANY of the three “tee-shirts” constitutes and offence under Section 1 of the POA, 1936.

    The ONLY legal difference between the thousands of instances during the campaign of “political uniforms” being worn – by BOTH sides – and the trouble prone Mr Golding is that of political will of the prosecuting authorities. The police forces across the UK and the Crown Prosecution Service had taken a decision NOT to enforce the POA 1936 in respect of the political uniforms worn on both sides during the referendum campaign.

    Thus in one sense the second of the above Premier reader comments is correct, women wearing the “voluntary concealment garment” are making a political statement every bit as much as many women (and men) did during the campaign wearing the aforementioned “tee-shirts”.
    This of course gets to the very root of the growing problem we have in the UK today. That of the selective application of the law. Not only will this continue. It will get worse.