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Monday, October 11, 2010

Salmond opposes crooks’ right to vote

Salmond opposes crooks’ right to vote

Oct 11 2010 by Andy Newport, Paisley Daily Express

PAISLEY-BASED MSP Stewart Maxwell has backed the Scottish Government’s stance on denying convicted criminals the right to vote.

The SNP man welcomed the confirmation given by First Minister Alex Salmond that he is “absolutely opposed” to crooks being given the right to have their say at the ballot box.

The Council of Europe – which is made of the foreign ministers of each EU member country – warned Britain earlier this year that banning prisoners from voting breached their human rights.

It is now feared that lags could flood Scottish courts with compensation claims in a bid to coin in cash off the back of the controversy.

Mr Salmond was quizzed on the issue at the Scottish Parliament and said he agreed that convicted prisoners should not be allowed to vote in elections or profit from time in jail.

Mr Maxwell, who is a list MSP for the West of Scotland, said: “I am totally opposed to rapists, murderers and drug pushers getting the right to vote.”

Comment: In my view, the Scottish government does not have the public power to deny human rights to its citizens. Alex Salmond must abide by the ECtHR decision in Hirst v UK (No2). The Council of Europe is not made up of EU member states, they are separate institutions. However, each of the member states of the EU are also member states of the Council of Europe. The flood gates have opened for compensation claims because of a statement made in the House of Lords by Lord Bach. Damages for loss of the human right to vote is not to be confused with prisoners profitting from their time in prison. The UK lost in Hirst No2 and Maxwell might bang on with his silver tongue all to no avail. He doesn't have to like it but lump it he will.


Charles Cowling said...

Hmn. Clearly doesn't think they'd vote for an unprincipled charlatan.

jailhouselawyer said...

Charles: I have since added my comment...