Monday, September 20, 2010

Pros and Cons (2)

I blogged a long time ago about the ECHR ruling that serving prisoners should no longer be deprived of their vote.
The issue has resurfaced (typically, the last government quietly ignored the issue for years)and Nick Clegg is apparently going to speak about it at the LibDem conference.
As I said five years ago, it's hard to get too excited about prisoners' votes. The simple solution would be to allow a postal vote in the prisoner's usual constituency, I imagine. I have a suspicion that a large proportion of the criminal underclass neither registers nor votes, and that the remaining number of inmates would have a negligible effect on election outcomes.
I also suspect that such influence as there might be would veer towards the conservative. Prisoners are notoriously hard-line on law and order, especially on such transgressions as grassing, and want to see harsh measures against nonces. Legalisation of drugs would put many hard working dealers out of business, and the black market in mobile phones drugs and tobacco on the inside is a classic example of everyday free-enterprise.
Here's the Mail's take on it. For the umpteenth time lads, the ECHR is quite separate from the EU. And the court decision that binds the UK government was made years before Clegg was anywhere near office.

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