Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Prisoner voting rights

By 234 to 22 our MP's have voted to continue breaking the law over prisoner voting rights. Apparently it's a great victory for that paragon of civil liberty David Davis. And the result? - an estimated £200 million in fines for the UK taxpayer. Not the greatest result all round then. Especially since MP's voted against this measure in order to prove their independence from the European Court of Human Rights. Not because they believe prisoners should forego their voting rights whilst being held at her majesty's pleasure. After all, if that were the case, there would surely be concerted efforts to separate out remand prisoners - who are usually presumed innocent until otherwise proven - or perhaps prisoners awaiting immediate release into the community having already served their sentence. Or even prisoners who's sentence was less than the electoral period involved. That would seem to most reasonable people at least an attempt at natural justice.

If you want to change the authority of the ECHR then introduce the legislation to do so. Don't play around with the voting rights of British prisoners.