Prisoners votes will cause Cameron real issues with his backbenchers


I have made no secret of the fact that I am a ‘lock em up’ kind of person when it comes to criminals. Lets  just say I am of the Michael Howard school of thought when it comes to putting people behind bars. It will come as no surprise that I am therefore no fan of giving prisoners the vote. I do however recognise the difference between what I’d like and what in actual fact seems to be the legal situation.

If you ask many backbenchers about the issue of prisoners votes they will be quite adamant that they aren’t in favour. In his local paper Andrew Percy has essentially said he would allow prisoners the vote when Hell freezes over.

Andrew Bridgen the MP for NW Leicestershire is sceptical of the merits of giving prisoners the vote in this excusive podcast.   In another exclusive podcast Prit Patel the MP for the Essex seat of Witham raises the issue of how the UK is being forced to do this, even though it does not want to by Europe.

Indeed for me the interesting issue is the fact that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe met to discuss this issue yesterday. Attendees including the likes of Brian Binley, Christopher Chope and Claire Perry went out there with two voting for a report which essentially confirms that if prisoners votes are not implemented sanctions against the UK can be taken, with Claire Perry abstaining.  Surely I have misunderstood. These three Conservatives would vote no to such a thing? Please say it is my misunderstanding as to what happened yesterday. A parliamentarian wouldnt take the 260ish Euros they get for attending (plus business class travel) speak against and then abstain would they? I must be wrong? Correct me someone!

You may not expect a convicted killer to be an expert on prisoners votes, but I’m afraid you may be mistaken. Tory Radio took the opportunity to speak to John Hirst, known as jailhouselawyer to many online. I think it safe to say that he knows this issue inside out. If anyone can take on the establishment and win then he should certainly not be underestimated, no matter what you think of him.

In five years I have done sone interesing interviews, but if you listen to anything on Tory Radio, listen to the 50 minute interview I did with John Hirst yesterday, where he explains that talk of only offering votes to prisoner serving less than 4 years (let alone less then 12 months) will just not wash, and that the UK, in spite of comments from the likes of Jack Straw and even David Cameron, will be forced to give all prisoners the vote.

For Eurosceptics such as myself it gives added reasons to tell the ECHR and the EU where to go, and certainly underlines who governs this country.


5 Responses to Prisoners votes will cause Cameron real issues with his backbenchers

  1. h3xperiment says:

    Very interesting.

    The solution is simple though, we should pay the fines that are imposed on us, and subtract the difference from our EU contributions.

    He has no sense of democratic and economic reality though (no surprise being a lefty), just because we would not be in the EU does not mean that they would stop trading with us (Clue: EU has trade SURPLUS with the UK).

  2. Ed the Shred says:

    Jonathan, I started listening to the interview with great interest. However I had to stop quite near the begining. You quite reasonably asked Mr Hirst if he understood how people might feel regarding human rights (putting aside the law etc) and the response you got was all about people's 'ignorance, prejudice and fear'.

    Pity, as whatever arguements Mr Hirst may have had, for me he lost it right there. I was looking forward to understanding more about the actual voting topic.


  3. John Hirst says:

    Ed the Shred: You have proved my point with your comment. Ignorance, prejudice and fear reign supreme. It takes time to learn…

  4. Tim says:

    Mr Sheppard, may I ask if there a a transcript of this interview, please? Deaf people can't follow radio.

    Anyway, you say here '[l]ets just say I am of the Michael Howard school of thought when it comes to putting people behind bars.' Is this because they have broken the law? Doesn't the UK also break the law by failing to implement the second Hirst judgement? We sometimes don't like laws, but that is not a valid reason to disobey them.

    Another point that I would like to bring up, if I may, is that some people try to put distance between the UK and European Human Rights law. Yet, as John 'Ben' Gunn argued, it was 'our lawyers [who] drafted an international Convention that set out the limits on Government power – the European Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. We wrote it, we signed up to it, we supply part of the funding and one of the Judges on the Court. We have been happy to support this mechanism in holding other nations to account for the way it treats its citizens.This has held for two generations.'

  5. John Hirst says:

    Andrew Bridgen the MP for NW Leicestershire is mistaken in trying to dimiss the ECtHR decision in my case by relying upon the false issue of sovereignty of Parliament. The reality is that when the UK signs up to go along with the Council of Europe and European Union for the greater good of Europe rather than national interests, then the price the UK pays to be part of these schemes is to sacrifice some sovereignty.

    Andrew Bridgen the MP for NW Leicestershire is mistaken in trying to argue that his constituents are against the idea of prisoners votes. In effect, he is trying to rely upon the concept of the court of public opinion having the authority to decide the issue. However, the whole purpose of the state prosecuting criminal offences in the UK and not allowing the baying mob to rule is to introduce impartial and blind justice. By the same token, it is a breach of natural justice for anyone to be a judge in his own cause and this is why all Member States agreed to be bound by the decisions of the ECtHR when a Member State is taken to the Court for an alleged breach of human rights.

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