Friday, November 5, 2010

Tory MSP David McLetchie unhappy for prisoners to get human right to vote in his area, he demands Pentlands Constituency vote gerrymandered

Dear All

The right to engage in free and fair elections is a human right.

David Cameron said that he felt “physically sick” that prisoners should have the right to vote while they are in prison.

Does he feel physically sick that prisoners released from prison vote in elections?

I have never heard him say that ex prisoners shouldn’t vote Tory; I have heard him say that he wants to represent everyone in Britain.

So, this leads to the question was he lying when he made statements such as this?

Judging by recent comments, the answer must be yes.

What Cameron is saying is that a section of society is unfit to vote.

The ‘trouble’ with human rights is that either they apply to everyone or they don’t.

Tory MSP David McLetchie has warned that plans to give votes to prisoners must not create a "cell block" vote which could topple individual politicians.

I would wonder what David McLetchie thinks of the Muslim block vote which is used in political parties at present by Muslim members.

What happens in political branches is that Asian members sign up dozens of Asians and pay their membership to try and ensure their candidates are selected.

In theory it is possible to possible to rig a candidate selection in a political branch using this method.

And under the current Holyrood regional list system, they stand a chance of getting returned to Holyrood as a list MSP.

What this simply means is that democracy can be bought, again in theory you could have an Asian member of a political branch who has never done any work in their branch, never done any work days, never attended branch meetings, never attended branch fundraising events or supporting previous candidates getting selected.

The reason for politicians being up in arms about prisoners voting rights is that the UK Government's reluctant acceptance of a European human rights ruling which says prisoners should be allowed to exercise their human right.

Now, Tory David McLetchie, the Edinburgh Pentlands MSP, whose seat includes Saughton jail, has written to Prime Minister David Cameron seeking an assurance that inmates will not vote in the constituency where they happen to be locked up.

For someone who is an MSP and Lawyer, he is showing remarkably poor judgement of the law and human rights.

It is for the prisoner to decide where they want to cast their vote from, not him, the UK Government or David Cameron. This could lead to human rights challenges because elections must be free and fair of political interference.

People doing life in prison without possibility of release have no home and then there is the issue of the homeless to consider.

McLetchie said:

“The outcome of an election in any one constituency should not be influenced by the location of the prison where they happen to be living."

What he is actually saying is that he doesn’t want to represent them as constituents if they raise issues with him.

At election time the Presiding Officer from the local Council says:

‘And so and so has been elected to serve the constituency of’, what he/she doesn’t say is provided that the people are acceptable to the elected official.

Around 850 prisoners in Saughton could be given the right to vote as a result of the ECHR judgement and this is a good thing because this is part of rehabilitation back into society.

Another gem said by McLetchie, who had a 4525 majority at the last election:

"It would add insult to injury if they were all able to vote here rather than at their last home address. Why should a group of prisoners have the right en bloc to influence who the law-abiding people of this community elect as their MP, MSP or councillors?”

Because it is the law!

Finally, if David McLetchie was prosecuted for his taxi expenses and found guilty, he might have been put in a cell.

Luckily for him, if he ever accidentally fiddles his expenses in ‘good faith’ he won’t lose his voting rights.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


The Lone Badger said...

George, I would like to see the look on David McLetchie's face if he had to provide a surgery at Saughton prison. This is a difficult issue because it is so emotional. You appear to be correct, having said that I don't like the idea but I am glad someone like you is speaking out.

Anonymous said...

Well said... half the inmates in Scotland's 'royal Establishments' are fit-ups anyway.

See: Criminal gangs links to Labour Party.