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The right to see the face of anyone in a public place.

Comment 18th July 2010

Communication with – and recognition of  – all people in a public place should be a right of all British subjects. Just as citizens can know the identity of a police officer from their number, so all people in public should be able to see anyone else's face – the principal means of recognition for humans. Any law protecting or sanctioning the covering of a person's face in public, by the wearing of a full face helmet, balaclava, mask or other concealment should be removed unless there are overwhelming reasons for it – such as the health of a person wearing breathing apparatus. 

Why does this matter?

Open-ness builds trust, confidence and cohesion. Ease of communication and recognition of our fellows is fundamental to a society without barriers. We need to remove those barriers where they exist in our culture and replace them with freedoms – one of which is to be able to know those others around us.

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