Dear desparate Dan,
You once asked the question whether Parliament dare defy me over prisoners votes.
Now you have the answer and it's a resounding "No".
The Torygraph puts spin on it, equivalent to ball tampering, with this headline
Voting ban for prisoners "to stay" as ministers get tough with European courtEr? Actually, the ECtHR got tough with the UK.
I won't insult your inteligence, like the Torygraph does with its readers. As you are aware under the Ministerial Code ministers must abide by the UK's international obligations, and a failure to do so is a resigning matter. This includes David Cameron, Chris Grayling and William Hague.
You don't get tough by throwing a dry foam bath sponge.
The Torygraph subheading
Ministers will publish plans for new laws aimed at ensuring prisoners remain unable to vote in elections - in defiance of a ruling by European judges.Er? The existing law ensures prisoners remain unable to vote.
We know politicians lie, and that political editors publish them without stopping to think. Personally, I would be more trusting of a lawyer. It is after all a legal problem and not a political one. Politicians are only good at fiddling expenses and flipping mortgages. In other words, snouts in the trough.
"The Ministry of Justice will publish a draft Bill on Thursday which will outline a “series of options” for MPs to vote on to bring an end to the long-running saga, The Sunday Telegraph has learned".
The public are right there is no dfference between the 3 main parties. LibDems have jumped into bed with the Tories, and the Tories have just dusted off Labour's consultation exercise on prisoners votes. It was a legally flawed process. The UK has no option but to fully comply with Hrst v UK (No2). It will hurt the Tory backbenchers to learn they are but pawns in my game. The Torygraph has not learned anything. It's pubic knowledge that the ECtHR set a deadline of 22 November 2012. Er? That's Thursday. Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.
"The other two options in the draft bill - which might not become law for years - will be to give the vote to prisoners serving sentences under six months, and to extend the franchise to inmates with jail terms of less than four years".
Nonsense. In Hirst No2, it rules out arbitrary disenfranchisement.
"Last night Conservative MPs hailed the move. However, the risk remains that the decision can spark a fresh clash with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)".
The only thing hailed will be a taxi for Mr Cameron. Under UK law there is an Order of Mandamus which forces public authorities to do their duty. My lawyers were just waiting for this announcement to pounce. A lot will get mauled in the legal process. I don't care if David Cameron blows his nose and/or dries his eyes on The White Flag of Surrender, but wave it and hand it to me he will. Mark my words. I am even prepared to wipe up his sick with it.
"In a legal marathon going back to 2004, the Strasbourg-based court has court has repeatedly ruled that a general disenfranchisement of all serving prisoners was incompatible with European law. In May this year, ministers were given six months to amend British law to take this into account, a deadline which is reached on Friday".
The UK courts have no option but to provide a remedy. I took the Judiciary hostage as well as Parliament and the Executive. Like Theresa May the Torygraph cannot tell time. Turdsday!
"The issue has sparked intense rows within the coalition. David Cameron has said the thought of prisoners voting makes him “physically ill” while Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, has warned Britain must comply with the court’s ruling after various appeals failed".
I cannot for the life of me understand why someone with such a weak stomach is Prime Minister. There was only one appeal which the UK lost to me.
"It was technically possible that the UK could be thrown out of the Council of Europe, the court’s ruling body, if it defied the ruling, Mr Grieve added".
Nothing technically about it. For example, Greece during the Colonel's Coup in the 1960s, and more recently Belarus. Nice bedmates for the Coalition, I dont think!
"The Liberal Democrats strongly support the ECHR but are thought in recent months to have shifted their position because they do not want to be seen to be in the vanguard of an extremely unpopular policy".
For a political editor this chap is ignorant. The shift came when Vince Cable and Nick Clegg politically assassinated Charles Kennedy. It's not unpopular, except in certain right wing papers and extreme right wing MPs and Lords. (Cough! Expenses! Cough, cough).
"Most Labour MPs strongly oppose extending the franchise to prisoners with Ed Miliband telling this newspaper in an interview today that he understands people’s frustration with the court’s ruling on the issue"
Pawns the lot of them. Mister Ed is out of touch with what the people are frustrated about and it is not the Court's ruling on the issue. The Court excluded public opinion from the equation, stating that the Cou's job was to protect human rights and not pander to public opinion. In any event, Labour dropped the consultation exercise because public opinion voted in favour of the full franchise for all convicted prisoners.
"Tory MPs campaigning to keep the status quo had held out little hope that Kenneth Clarke, the previous justice secretary, would do anything to defy the ECHR on prisoner voting but Chris Grayling, his more hardline replacement, last month said he was “thinking very carefully” about how to act".
Might I suggest Chris Grayling resigns and goes instead to drama school? Another bad judgement of Cameron's appointing a non-lawyer to a legal job.
"He added: “I am thinking very carefully about how we do the right thing for the UK. Parliament has, in clear case law, the right to say to the European Court of Human Rights 'We do not agree with you’.”
The right thing is obviously to abide by the Court decision. Er? Chris, Parliament does not make caselaw the courts do. Duh! Parliament, being guilty of human rights violations does not have the right to disagree. The Court's decision is final. The referee has blown the whistle. They think it's all over. It is now.
A senior Government source last night said: “The Prime Minister has already made it very clear that under this government prisoners are not going to get the vote.”
Anonymong! We heard Cameron loud and clear. He's either wrong or will have to call a general election to be right. Then the next government will have no option but to comply. There's no escaping from this prisoner turned guard who now guards the guards.
"Tracey Crouch, the Conservative MP, said: “With both hands previously tied behind his back, Chris Grayling has managed to free one and parliament will free the other. I’ve no doubt that parliament will continue unequivocally to support no votes for prisoners"..”
Tracey who? A crouch potato. Er? Cameron put in a non-lawyer with the intent to break the law. Prisoners are in jail for just that. Hitler's Germany also had a Ministry of Justice. Parliament has lost the moral and legal authority to govern, when it breaks the law. Parliament chopped off Charles the First's head when he proclaimed he was above the law. We have the right to remove lawbreakers from Parliament and replace them all with law abiding representatives. Parlment will do as the Court ordered or else.
"Dominic Raab, another Tory backbencher, who has led a campaign on the issue, said: “Strasbourg has set up a constitutional clash with British democracy that these unaccountable judges cannot win. Ultimately, parliament must and will have the last say on re-writing the law of the land.”".
Anonymong Raab is harly a senior Tory source being a mere backbencher. Er? Raab was at the Foreign Office under Labour when it lost the prisoners votes case. An unsuccessful international lawyer who continues incompetence in Parliament and in the media. The constitutional clash was my idea. There is no democracy in British prisons, a flaw which means Britain's not democratic. I am holding Parliament to account.I won before the judges, the UK lost. The judges said I was right and the UK was wrong. Parliament must change the law, but the Court will have the final say whether it go far enough.
"In February 2011 MPs overwhelmingly backed a motion supporting “the current situation in which no sentenced prisoner is able to vote except those imprisoned for contempt, default or reprimand”. The vote, which was passed by 234 to 22, was not binding on the government, however, whereas the latest move would be".
No it won't be. Even if the UK withdraws from Europe my case will still be there if and when UK comes to its senses.
"Containing the plans in a draft Bill also has the advantage of buying time for ministers as the Bill will require widespread and lengthy consultation and would be likely to be able to be amended by a committee of both MPs and peers".
Er? The UK has until December to change the law. The UK has had 7 years of delay and consultations. Time now for action.
"In the likely event that the voting ban on prisoners remains, it would represent a boost for the Sunday Telegraph’s End The Human Rights Farce campaign, which highlights the effects of controversial rulings, including cases in which foreign criminals have escaped deportation"
Unlikely it will. It won't boost your profits when I have finished with you.ur paper is a farce out of the Brian Rix stable.
"During the debate on prisoners’ voting rights last year, Jack Straw, the former Labour home secretary, accused the ECHR of trying to set itself up as “the supreme court of Europe”.".
Jack Straw the war criminal you mean? It is the supreme court in Europe in relation to human rights.
"David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, told the same debate: “If you break the law, you can’t make the law.”".
Precisely, lawbreakers cannot be law-makers. That's why Parliament must abide by the rule of law or get out of public office or be thrown out.
John Hirst (Jailhouselawyer)