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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Preacher of hate David Campbell Bannerman, MEP

Preacher of hate David Campbell Bannerman, MEP

DCB slams plans to give prisoners the vote

Friday, 18th June 2010

In a hard-hitting speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, East of England MEP, David Campbell Bannerman has strongly condemned plans to give prisoners in jail the opportunity to vote in elections.

He said that the human rights agenda had been "hijacked by greedy lawyers and political opportunists".

Mr Campbell Bannerman, who is UKIP's joint Deputy Leader said that human rights should be to: "protect decent, law-abiding citizens, not terrorists, hijackers, murderers and law-breakers".

He went on to condemn the idea of giving the right to vote to paedophiles, like Soham murderer Ian Huntley or serial killer Rose West.

"They forfeited their right to participate in the political process when they took other people’s lives, other people’s rights and other people’s property."

DCB lambasts Human Rights legislation for putting prisoners before decent people

Preacher of hate David Campbell Bannerman, MEP

I am surprised, given that the Second World War was fought to put an end to fascism, that the European Parliament let a fascist like David Campbell Bannerman invade it.

All he did was to give vent to his spleen with a rabid rant attacking a vulnerable group with the social status of prisoners; the European Court of Human rights; and the Committee of Ministers.

David Campbell Bannerman exposed himself to be a hypocrite and a liar. For example, he said, “I’ve no doubt that all of us here are in favour of human rights”. However his whole speech was about his support for the abuse of human rights of prisoners.

What a shame that before Bannerman opened his big mouth that he did not take the time to read the European Convention of Human Rights. For example, Article 1 states that “The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section 1 of the Convention”. It does not state everyone except prisoners. Prisoners are human beings. There is a similarity between Hitler’s dehumanisation of Jews, gypsies (Roma), homosexuals, and the mentally ill, to justify the Final Solution, and Bannerman’s hate speech attempting to dehumanise prisoners. Why did he not go all the way and call for a re-introduction of the gas chambers for prisoners?

Bannerman does not say who “seems” that the “worthy agenda of human rights has now been hijacked by greedy lawyers and political opportunists”. Could he possibly be referring to the British National Party? Is it a co-incidence that nearly every lawyer I have ever met is Jewish, and Bannerman’s calling lawyers greedy? When the Human Rights Act 1998 incorporated the Convention into domestic law, it provided me with the opportunity to raise prisoners’ rights up the political agenda.

Fancy, Bannerman being a MEP and thinking that the Committee of Ministers is part of the independent European Court of Human Rights! Furthermore, that he mistakenly believes that the CoM has made the ruling when that is the jurisdiction of the Court! “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”, and Bannerman’s ignorance is in abundance. The CoM’s task is to supervise the execution of the Court’s judgments. In this instance it is Hirst v UK (No2), and the UK has recently escalated its human rights violation from one prisoner to up to 75,000 prisoners. The Court ruled that the UK was guilty of the human rights violation, in that s.3 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, depriving prisoners of the vote, is not compatible with Article 3 of the First Protocol guaranteeing free elections; it went against the principle of universal suffrage, that is, one person one vote. The UK is not a Democracy, has broken the Rule of Law, and has abused Human Rights.

Bannerman asked “aren’t human rights meant to protect decent, law abiding citizens?”. The Convention list human rights which it is the legal responsibility of the Secretary of State for Justice to ensure are granted to all citizens in the UK, including terrorists, murderers and other law breakers.

Bannerman asked, “Is it any court’s job to ask us politicians to seek votes from the likes of Ian Huntley, the paedophile who murdered two little girls in my constituency?”. Yes, it was the job of the ECtHR because the UK’s Executive, Judiciary and Parliament failed to do their jobs properly. He then asked, “Is it justice to seek his approval?”. Every citizen counts; and every vote counts in an election, so it would be a foolish politician who did not take into account the views of voters whoever they may be. It is justice when a court makes a decision, a denial of justice when a state fails to honour the Court’s judgment.

In a similar vein, Bannerman asks “Is it right to knock on the cell door of Rosie West, a serial killer, securing her support?”. I did say at the outset that I thought politicians should go knocking on cell doors, then they could see the conditions for themselves rather than believe the rubbish written about prisoners and prisons by the likes of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express. And, that politicians should take a keener interest in what happens to the people behind high walls and locked doors. Then they could legislate for the much needed penal reforms. Why he asked who Abu Qatada might vote for I don’t know because as an asylum seeker he is not eligible for a vote.

It is incredible that Bannerman should say that human rights are nonsense. I trust that he will be suitably chastised for his unparliamentary conduct?

There is a difference between a skewed vote and prisoner’s votes swinging a key marginal. It is precisely because of this that politicians need to start changing their negative views and bad attitudes about criminals and prisoners’; because their voice will be heard in Parliament and some politicians may have to depend on prisoners’ votes and those of their families and friends.

Clearly Bannerman has not read the Hirst No2 and Frodl v Austria and Kiss v Hungary judgments; otherwise he would have noted that the Court stated it is irrelevant the seriousness of offence or length of sentence to the human right to the vote. And that it is not a case of balancing the rights of offenders against those of victims of crime; rather it is a case about the State’s violation of the citizen’s rights. A human being does not lose a human right because of conduct to others. This would only make the State as bad if not worse than the offender. The Court ruled that prisoners do not lose the human right to the vote simply because they are in prison. There must be a direct link between criminal conduct and the electoral process, before it would be legitimate to remove the vote as a punishment.

Bannerman asks, “And, what about the rights of victims?”. Indeed, what about them? In this case, it is the prisoners who are the victims. He asks, “And, what about human responsibilities?”. Human rights are not dependent upon a citizen’s responsibilities, otherwise this would be like saying Jack Straw is not entitled to his human rights because of his lack of responsibility for ensuring human rights were granted to prisoners.

If anyone is trying to debase the value of human rights, it is the likes of Bannerman. His extremist views do not amount to common sense, rather they defy common sense. All he did was talk nonsense!


Gawain Towler said...

It legitimate to hold a differing opinion. It is allowed to disagree with,
1) The ECHR
2) You

The language that Mr Campbell Bannerman was strong certainly. But believing that whilst a man or women is serving a sentence then they are temporarily deprived of some of their legal rights do not make one a fascist. And to suggest he is, is intemperate and unlike you.

The fact that you suggest that he is an anti-semite by linking the words greedy and lawyer, is in your head alone. It is cheap and wrong.

There is a simple moral difference between Jews, gypsies (Roma), homosexuals, and the mentally ill and convicts, to state it is to make it clear. Crime is a choice.

If what you seem to say is the case, then imprisoning people is in breach of their human rights.

Well so be it, by committing a crime, by being convicted of that crime and whilst serving the punishment meted out by society, certain of the privileges we hold in this country are withheld. One of those is suffrage.

Whilst I agree with you that the European Court and the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe state that prisoners should have the, I know that neither I nor Mr Campbell Bannerman regard the judgments of the ECHR as anything other than advisory. Nor do we regard the transposition of the Convention into British law as legitimate, coming in as it does through the Lisbon Treaty.

I also agree with you that as things stand we are legally bound by those decisions.

But this rant at Mr Campbell Bannerman is wrong headed. He is not in power. He is at least straight forward in his opposition to prisoner’s votes.

It is the weasels of both sides in Westminster where you ire should be directed, those who are so caring and sympathetic to your cause. But fail to deliver knowing that the democratic will of the British people, if consulted on this matter would roundly support Mr Campbell Bannerman.

John, you know this to be true, which h is why you rely on the decisions of judges steeped in a different legal system to attempt to force your position into British law against the will of the people.

Democratic. Don’t make me laugh

jailhouselawyer said...

Gawain: You know as well as I do that freedom of speech is not absolute. Freedom of expression of opinion, likewise is not absolute. I beg to differ that it is legal to disagree with the Convention when the Court decision is final.

People frequently hold different opinions from me, on legal issues that usually means that they are wrong.

Prisoners lose their liberty, not their human rights. He advocated that prisoners were less than human, which is the same as Hitler claimed about the Jews etc.

I have emailed it to my lawyers, we'll just have to see what they make of it tomorrow.

The UK lost the moral argument that your man was trying to argue again, we do not go backwards. The prisoners stand on the high moral ground on this one. And of course, the legal right to human rights. The right to vote is not tied to the crime. Save for, such as electoral fraud.

It is not a breach of human rights to imprison if the crime is genuine and the sentence is passed according to law.

Suffrage is not a privilege, I proved that in my case. It is a human right.

The decisions of the Court are not only final, they are bindng on States.

The Convention did not come in via the Lisbon Treaty, it came in via the HRA. The Lisbon Treaty granted the Court and Council of Europe more powers. And, I would not at all be surprised if Bannerman does not feel some of those very shortly.

His was a rant, mine is a sharp riposte.

I am dealing with the government, they hoist the white flag of surrender or else. Then we'll talk terms. It is not negotiable to not fully comply with the judgment.

Developing prisoners rights involve changes to the law, and I force the changes but it is not against the will of the people. The majority who did the consultation voted for all prisoners to get the vote.

Neither the UK nor their prisons are democratic. They will be when I have finnished.

Billbogg said...

You are a lawyer and utterly fail to see the wood for the trees like so many others . You are of course right on the law : Human Rights are universal and must be accorded to everyone which includes prisoners.The idea of human rights was to offer justice to all independent of the particular legal system of a country.However you have to distinguish between the theory and the practice. Continental Europe over the past century have devised means of dealing with the anomalies thrown up by human rights. One of which is to accord a far greater freedom to judges than is possible under our common law system . So instantly the two systems of justice come into conflict . The thing we have to realise is that this is not a problem for lawyers. A whole new breed of lawyers (human rights lawyers) has come into existence to feed of the complexities brought about by the clash of the two systems.
We have recently seen British citizens dragged off to foreign prisons under the European Arrest Warrant without any evidence having to be presented in defiance of common law principles . Have we heard a squeak from the law society or the judges ? If there has been I haven't heard it . Your profession is an absolute bloody disgrace.
Only UKIP stands up for these victims of injustice.