...are apparently in North Korea, according to the nice chap I met on the train this morning. There were no free seats so we both had to sit on our butts on the floor - pretty undignified, but I'm pretty sure that 7am knows no dignity full stop. Anyway, turns out I was chatting to the editor of the Bill (ITV's police drama).
There's someone I didn't expect to meet this morning.
My favourite news story of the day (thanks to Toby):
All hail the Knicker Vicker!
Also interesting to see that the 'Veil Row' seems to be continuing in the press. There's an interesting letter in the Independent today by a Muslim woman who comments that the veil as helps to preserve the life of the family and quash promiscuity.
I only have a very limited understanding of Islam, but it seems to me that by placing the responsibility of this solely on the woman, the implication is either that she is the one who would initiate such advances, or that the poor men just wouldn't be able to help themselves if they happened to see her face. Surely this is degrading to both sexes? Read the article and make up your own mind. Radio four also did a very good documentary on this issue, which is probably still available on the Listen again feature:
All this said, it's clear that the current public debate is not about women's rights, but the fear of something different and the fear of segregation, and in many ways this certainly doesn't seem helpful, especially to those women who choose to wear the veil and are not given the respect that they deserve.
I think that a debate about the wearing of the veil and its implications for the role of women in Islam is to be welcomed, although I guess it should take place predominantly within the faith and the community of those who understand the issues involved.