Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prisoner vote law 'covers Scotland and Welsh elections', Scotland’s Nelson Mandela, Tommy Sheridan can hit the campaign trail, albeit a small one!

Dear All

Should prisoners currently serving sentences in prison be given the right to vote?

The answer to this question is yes.

There are a number of reasons why society should given prisoners the right to vote.

One of the reasons is the rehabilitation aspect; it reminds people that they are part of society.

The most fundamental point is that the right to take part in free and fair elections is a human right.

Unfortunately in a corrupt country like Scotland, this has been denied previously.

Prisoners could now be eligible to vote in Westminster, Holyrood, European and Council elections.

This is good news for Scotland’s Nelson Mandela, Tommy Sheridan who is a guest of the Queen at Barlinnie Prison.

So, it seems that Tommy Sheridan can get back on the campaign trial and he has a unique selling point to get the vote.

He is banged up with them.

I expect a higher vote for Solidarity since Sheridan can do unlimited canvassing.

Although the UK government agreed to give the vote to prisoners serving less than four years in jail, Ministers are now considering reducing that to one year in jail.

They had planned to bring forward legislation by August but Aidan O'Neill QC, a barrister expert in prisoners' rights, told the Commons political and constitutional reform committee that the elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly on 5 May would be covered by the court's judgement.

Nice one Aidan, that boy has real potential.

Aidan O'Neill QC said:

"There are elections in May in Scotland and Wales. Those elections under the current franchise will be incompatible (with the European Convention on Human Rights) again. There is an urgency about this. Elections to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments are covered not only by human rights law but also EU law. There could be a whole new raft of arguments about the legality of those elections, and the possibility of compensation claims. In order to avoid that, something has to be done very quickly."

He added:

"This is reaching crunch point now."

In a funny side note, the plan to allow prisoners to vote has faced strong opposition from MPs.
Some of whom should be in the clink as well.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently said giving inmates the vote made him feel "physically ill."

Cameron is a former member of the Bullingdon Club which smash up restaurants and then pay off the owners to avoid criminal charges.

The currently Scottish government "strongly opposes" prisoners being allowed to vote.

A mistake on their part, the rule of law is either for everyone or applies to no one.

Scottish Prisoners may or not vote in the Holyrood 2011 but will certainly vote in future.

Anyone not supporting this isn’t interested in democracy.

Scotland should be a forward thinking and progressive society.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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