Prisoners votes will cause Cameron real issues with his backbenchers
January 27, 2011 5 Comments
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.