If a government minister came in to your house in the morning and told you that you should not wear whatever clothes you had set out for the day, it is quite likely that at the least, you would tell the minister to get out of your house.
What people choose to wear- whether it is a mohican and safety pins, a worsted suit, jeans or anything else is not a matter for the government.
Why should a government minister tell Muslim women what to wear? Once you start down that road where do you stop? Now, apparently the Jewish yarmulke or Sikh turban or visible crosses on necklaces are no longer acceptable.
The minister's lack of tolerance reduces freedom for everyone.
I do not feel entirely comfortable with heavily veiled Muslim women, but then I did not feel that comfortable with punks- or the kaftans that Mr. Straw himself famously used to wear.
It is not up to the government to tell anyone what to wear- that way lies towards intolerance and a lack of respect that will alienate Muslims in our society.
If people choose- and I use the word advisedly- to wear the veil, then the government has nothing to say on the matter.
As we used to say: its a free country.