Site Meter

Friday, November 12, 2010

Forget the soft cell, jail voting rights do matter

Forget the soft cell, jail voting rights do matter

By Charlotte Hofton - Friday, November 12, 2010

"...And, ooh, look, it’s bonus time. You’ve had Nick Clegg (Lib Dem! Ugh!) poking his nose into our IW constituency. You’ve had kids on the pill. And now, in the true spirit of a Daily Mail extra giveaway, we present to you, voting rights for prisoners.

I hope those whose secondary motto is "Lock ’Em Up and Throw Away the Key" will be able to withstand the mammoth excitement of this boost to their fury.

Votes for prisoners? It’s luxury gone mad. They’ve already got tellies and now we’re giving them a stubby pencil and a bit of paper.

Oh, heavens, there’s more. Will this cornucopia of tabloid thundering never cease?
It’s votes for prisoners because, yes, we might have guessed, it’s all to do with the European Court of Human Rights.

I really don’t know how those who write to the Telegraph under the guise of the "voice of common sense" managed before the European Court of Human Rights. Life must have been dreadfully dull.

I can’t imagine why the Tory Party canape set, or indeed any right-wingers, should be against votes for prisoners, particularly on the Island.

I could put my own case for universal suffrage and the fact prisoners should be treated with dignity and as part of society if they are to have any chance of becoming decent citizens but I don’t want you to get dangerously over-excited as your tempers boil up.

But you must agree, it would add spice to the election campaign. There are around 1,500 votes for grabs at HMP IW and it might make all the difference in a tight ballot.

And here’s the really crucial point. Dear reactionaries, you need those votes.
Prisoners have notoriously right-wing tendencies. They love hanging and flogging, so long as it doesn’t apply to them.

Many of them are racists or of the British bulldog persuasion, so there are certainly votes in there for the BNP and UKIP, while the rest are still devoted to Margaret Thatcher.

The Fabian Society has never really caught on in a system which has in its time housed the likes of the Kray gang and hordes of get-rich-quick fraudsters and thugs.

All shades of political opinion on the Island should support votes for prisoners. Libertarians because it’s the right thing to do and reactionaries because it’ll get them votes".

Read the full article here

No comments: