Thursday 20 January 2011


Just a quick question here...

...Without going into the contentious matter of the rights and wrongs of human rights: whether we should have any, whether we should share them with Europeans, whether indeed we should share them with the English, who have a very different view from us on most things.

What on earth makes Jack Straw and the Tory right think that it is unacceptable for a prisoner, inside for a relatively minor crime, to lose his right to vote in an election, when it is perfectly legal UNDER ENGLISH LAW...(nothing forced on us by Europe), for an MP to go to prison and remain an MP, on full salary and benefits?

Is there not an irony that whilst he remains a paid member of the House of Commons, he is unable to vote for its composition?

And what of our dear and much loved Upper House? Of course they don’t vote in London parliamentary elections, but they can be released from the Scrubs, get on the first bus, and go straight back into their Noble Members’ House, pop on their ermine and, after a hearty luncheon subsidised by us, can slip into the House and sleep it off, passing go and collecting £350 as they do.

Are we all mad? Is Jack Straw mad? (OK silly question). Is he well suited to the Tory right? (OK another silly question).

Hello, is there anyone there?


PS: Something else to think about. If the ruling from the ECHR was given in 2005 and Jack Straw sat on it for 5 years, leaving it to the Tories to sort out the mess, then why does Elmer think that he’s got something really clever to say about the fact that the decision on students’ payments, or not, for University, will not be made until after May?

And I looking for an answer more detailed that the simple and plainly obvious fact that he is criminally stupid.

Pics: (1) Jack Straw and an unknown woman. Don't you wish they could swap clothes? (2) A pretty average member of the House of Lords. (3) Do these two still have the right to vote despite killing hundreds of thousands of people?


  1. Good question Tris. Privilege and cover-up spring to mind.

  2. Indeed. They really can get away with...well, very nearly murder!

    Now sit down, and have a glass of water handy...

    I see that they want a bloody pay rise this year!*?*!?*!?***?! Yeah really, they do!

    Nooooo. I'm not joking.

  3. At least if they're in prison they're not going to claim travel expenses. Every cloud has a silver lining.

  4. Laz.... I think that the claims for travel had very little to do with any actual travel (you know, as in going from one place to another) and more to do with overweening greed. There's no guarantee that a spell in the pokey will make any difference to that.

    Every silver lining has a cloud.

  5. Yes CH.

    They will probably put in a claim for running the prison...

  6. Good article.

    Straw sat on this for 5 years. Typical Labour, leave the hard stuff to the Tories; Labour too busy buying votes.

    Equally, you are right to highlight that this is ECHR, too many people have been blaming the EU for this! IT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

    Well done Tris, lets keep nutters like Straw and David Davis where they belong, out in the cold.

  7. Oh Dear, David Davis and Jack Straw are both getting their knickers in a twist because the UK government signed up to a protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights agreeing that free and fair elections based on universal suffrage were a basic human right.

    A not very nice prisoner called John Hirst (who axed his landlady to death and went to jail for 25 years) took the UK to court claiming that if prisoners were excluded then it was hardly universal suffrage and the UK was not fulfilling that protocol and was, therefore, denying said prisoners their human rights. He won, and at the end of the day no matter how unappealing Mr Hirst is with his gloating blog, waving a spliff around, he is also right. How can it be universal suffrage if a large group of people are excluded? Should have taken that into consideration before signing the protocol I would have though and bit late now.

    Jack Straw as Justice Secretary did nothing for years and has landed this one on David Cameron and Ken Clarke. I hate to say it but what Cameron and Clarke are doing is right. Get it dealt with sooner rather than later. There is no stipulation in the ruling about which prisoners get the vote nor that the right to vote cannot (like the right to liberty) be taken away as part of a punishment. So let’s give all prisoners serving four years or less the right to vote and allow judges the discretion to remove that right if they see fit in all cases from now on. I don’t see the problem with that.

    The alternative is that we admit that the right to free and fair elections is not a basic human right and how is that going to stand the UK in good stead when it goes all round the world telling everybody that democracy and free elections are the way things ought to be just like in the UK.....oh err no! We would be an even bigger laughing stock on the international stage if that were possible.

  8. Munguin is right on this one, prisoners with a sentence less than four years should have the right to vote unless otherwise stipulated by the judge at trial.


    .... GOD! CONSENSUS HAS ERUPTED!! Where is Niko?

  9. Convicted to another 4.5 years out of office.

  10. I can barely believe it Dean.... :)

    I wonder what the situation is in Scotland.

    This is a matter pertaining to law, courts and prisons, all of which are devolved. But you can never get any angle on what's happening here. The big English papers only take the English perspective and the Scottish papers talk pap.

    Do we have to take our own stand on this or do the English do it for us because it involves international bodies?

    Anyone know?

  11. Oh... I suspect Niko will be along soon with a staunchly supportive comment for his lad Jack.

    Nah, to be fair Niko can be very critical of Labour on occasions... and this may be one of those.

  12. Mumguin,

    Dean says you're right, so I guess that's all that needs to be said..... :)

  13. Ahhhh CH, but I see they have Balls in charge of the money thing now. Bet George is quaking in his Guccis.

  14. Jack straw puts a hand grenande into a closed box marked 'DANGER DO NOT OPEN' Cameron and scum open get head blown right off........

    well who is to blame Cameron aand scum chose to open the box even after being warned........

    so jolly hard luck on them scum(and Deano)

  15. anyway me personal position is a persons vote should never be taken away unless proven 'MAD'

    voting for the conservatives would be considered proof enough

  16. Dean said..

    " prisoners with a sentence less than four years should have the right to vote"

    So the people imprisoned for election fraud ( average sentence 12 months in Lancashire) should be allowed to vote while in prison ? That can't be right.
    But like the attempt to set a minimum price for alcohol the whole debate is nonsense. We'll have to follow the ECHR ruling which is in the prisoners favour. Even murderers who deny their victim the right to vote will be allowed to vote. It's their human rights innit.

  17. As a liberal, I think that all prisoners should be in solitary confinement with a daily copy of the Scotsman as they should not be allowed out to use the toilet. I wonder who they would vote for?

  18. John said..

    " with a daily copy of the Scotsman"

    Cruel and unusual punishment is illegal under the Geneva Convention.

  19. Of course they should ALL be allowed to vote! Jeez come on people its their right innit, an its our right to lose all their votes before they get counted as well!

  20. Oh Niko... does that mean you don't think it's mad to vote for the SNP?

  21. CH Labour in Scotland?

    Iain , erm Thingy? Ha ha ha... That should be a criminal offence. Putting your country in danger.

  22. Niko: I still say it's jack Straw, but maybe that's because I hate him.

    I see your glorious ex-ex-leader is headed off to the Iraq inquiry today to answer why he lied through his teeth the last time he was there.

    He was banging on about human rights in Iraq. It's a pity he forgot about the 2 or 3 hundred thousand who were denied human right in order to achieve even fewer human rights than they had before for the rest of the population. Still he got the congressional medal from his mate ... so that's all right.

    Just thought I'd mention him as you brought up the subject of scum.

  23. Monty.

    I think the judge or whatever, should be able to specify that the crime deamnds the removal of voting rights.

    It is against the human rights of someone to confine them to "solitary", but it can be ordered.

  24. John, I'm in agreement with Monty here. No one, no matter how awful the crime should ever be forced fed the Scotsman.

  25. Nomine: I don't think that's a universal right. It's only Labour that are allowed to do that.

  26. Tris,

    Rubbish! If it were not for the Scotsman how would we ever get an impartial, unbiased and balanced view of Scottish politices?

  27. Ah John... you have me stumped there. I should have known better than to pit my wits against your superior knowledge of the wisdom of the Scotsman!!

  28. John said..

    " Rubbish! If it were not for the Scotsman how would we ever get an impartial, unbiased and balanced view of Scottish politices? "

    Well said ! I agree wholeheartedly until 5 pm when I hand over to backshift.

  29. tris,

    Apologies for my spelling in my last comment. I spelt politics rong and stuck in an "im" and an "un" as well. Having gone to the same skool as Iain Gray - not at the same time - I really should no betterer.

  30. Grahamski... Crikey mate, are you still turning a shift in there? What's the money like? I heard they were pretty broke!!!

  31. Hum John... it's OK. If you've been round to Sophia's place and she's been heavy handed with the sherry...well, it happens, hic.

  32. Indeed nomine. Others may do it, but Labour is allowed!