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Monday, May 31, 2010

And another thing Tom Harris MP...

And another thing Tom Harris MP...

I like the headline "Government surrenders on prisoners’ votes", because the case is called Hirst v UK(No2) and I am only to happy to accept the white flag. However I am not sure that your headline is actually factually correct, even if that should be the case legally, morally and politically.

I suspect that Jamie Doward's quote unquote was down to his misquoting the MoJ with what somebody else had said. Certainly, the quote was very quickly taken down from the online version without any explanation given. It would have been nice if the Guardian/Observer had clarified the issue.

Whilst it may have started out as Hirst v UK(No2), because Labour in government kicked it into the long grass, it became Europe v UK. And I, for one, am glad that I am European and no longer English or British because I like being on the winning side. The showdown, by the way, is tomorrow 1 June 2010 in Strasbourg.

Therefore Iain Dale, LBC, and Tom Harris MP, totally missed the point by asking the wrong question "whether prisoners should have the vote?". The ECtHR has already answered that question on 30 March 2004, and re-affirmed it on 6 October 2005. And, in case the UK still did not get the message, re-emphasised the Hirst test in Frodl v Austria on 8 April 2010. All that Labour achieved was to burden the taxpayers with a bill of up to £75,000,000 (£75m) for compensation to convicted prisoners denied their human right to the franchise on 6 May 2010. Congratulations!

The problem with kicking the ball into the long grass is that the UK lost sight of the ball. Meanwhile, Europe firmly had its eyes on the ball. For example, Reform of European Court of Human Rights: Protocol No.14 enters into force. The good old Lisbon Treaty comes to the prisoners' rescue.

On behalf of the Association of Prisoners (AoP), part of the international Prisoners Rights Movement, I would be only to happy to now accept the white flag being waved by the UK. Let there be no misunderstanding, any surrender must be unconditional. It only confuses issues when the vanquished starts demanding terms.

Where do we go from here? Well, the Committee of Ministers on 1 June 2010 will decide what sanctions to apply against the UK. I and my supporters have asked that the CoM invokes Rule 11 infringement proceedings, if this happens then my case is referred back to the Court for it to judge whether the UK has failed to comply with the Hirst v UK(No2) judgment. I would say it is an open and shut case. If the Court agrees, then the case is referred back to the CoM to either suspend or expell the UK from both the Council of Europe and European Union.

Have a nice day!

1 comment:

The Boiling Frog said...

For example, Reform of European Court of Human Rights: Protocol No.14 enters into force. The good old Lisbon Treaty comes to the prisoners' rescue.

Er...'fraid not, the UK has an opt out on this where the Lisbon Treaty is concerned

And the neither the Council of Europe nor the EU will throw out the UK under any circumstances (though it would be excellent if they did). We are too important economically for the EU and one of the biggest net contributors.

Removing us would throw the EU into utter turmoil, something they are certainly not going to do during the Euro crisis.

Wishful thinking I'm afraid