This is a cynical attempt to steal BNP's ground and its a sad day when there are two political parties fighting for what is nothing more than the bigoted and intolerant vote.
Where does this fit in with our committment to freedom and democracy? Do we not believe in free speech, freedom of expression and religious freedom? What harm does allowing a Muslim woman to wear a burka, its her choice. Today's Times leader calls it the Veil of Ignorance:
But their new policy of banning people from wearing the burka is a step towards a very dark place indeed, for them and for their followers. They should stop now, before it is too late... The call to ban the burka is deeply cynical, for the political thinking behind their policy is obvious. Very few people share UKIP’s European obsession. Indeed, in a recent poll only 3 per cent named the European Union as an important political issue. Since UKIP’s poll rating hovers at 4 per cent, this suggests that at least a quarter even of the party’s current supporters think it is being a bit of a bore. So the party has decided to change the subject. It will campaign on immigration.
It is, therefore, stirring racial discontent, for its own electoral benefit and this is reprehensible. Calling for withdrawal from the EU is respectable, if wrong-headed. Increasing fear and misunderstanding between communities is not...
The most offensive UKIP assertion is that wearing the burka is inconsistent with British values. Advocates of the policy then point out (without irony) that the French, whose example is rarely cited elsewhere in UKIP literature, are trying to implement a similar policy.
What is inconsistent with British values is picking on people quietly going about their business in religious garb of their own choice and banning it. If UKIP properly understood this country, it would appreciate that. There are Islamists who doubtless wish to ban Eurosceptics wearing tweed jackets over v-neck jumpers and checked shirts. And The Times would defend UKIP against such calls because freedom to worship, and freedom of speech, is the British value that matters above all others.
As Kris Kristofferson would say, "We all hate things we don't understand."