Thursday, October 06, 2005

The definition of nonsense

This is how AskOxford.com defines it:

nonsense
-
noun 1. words that make no sense 2. foolish or unacceptable behaviour 3. an absurd or unthinkable scheme, situation, etc.

But today, the European Court of Human Rights came up with a new interpretation by decreeing that the UK law that excludes prisoners from voting is, yes, you guessed it: a breach of their human rights.

Now I’m not someone who believes prisoners have it easy, that prison is more like a hotel: cable television in every cell, three course breakfasts, king sized mattresses with Egyptian cotton bedding, etc. I don’t doubt that it’s a dreadful, soul destroying experience where, if you’re not bored out of your mind from being locked in a cell for 23 hours a day, you’re worried about becoming Mr. Big’s new “wife”. But it seems to me that while they are serving their sentence, repaying their debt to society, whatever you want to call it, they should also be excluded from the benefits of being part of that society. Voting is one of those privileges. Why should someone who has committed a crime have a say in how society functions in the meantime? When they’ve been released, yes, absolutely they can have their vote back but while they’re in prison? No. It defies sense. It’s the sort of frilly proposition you’d see raised and carried at a Liberal Democrat convention. “Oh, those poor prisoners, serving their time and they don’t have political representation.” Well, you make your own choices don’t you?

How long before the European Court of Human Rights decides that being kept in prison violates the rights of prisoners, so they should all be released? And what should we do if somebody is in prison for vote-rigging?

Anyway. Enough of this brief Daily Mail-esque interlude.

8 comments:

ph said...

A bigger issue is why we are at the beck and call of collection of people who have nothing to do with Britain. Is it that we as a nation are too stupid to make our own decisions? How is this sort of judgement democratic.

Anonymous said...

Decisions like this are the result of signing up to the European Convention on Human Rights, and demonstrate why it is a complete nonsense.

Say you want to withdraw, though, and you sound heartless.

Human rights - yes. Human wrongs - no. Why should we let the EU decide what consitutes 'human rights' anyway?

Laura said...

*blinks*
Wow, for a second there I though I spotted a blue-top to this blog!

David Essex is a sex case said...

Surely the UK is not the only country in the EU to consider criminals as scum?
Give them the right to vote but only at polling stations, which, they can't get to...
Citizen Sane, are you partaking in a spot of 'Up yours, Delors'???

Joe said...

Whether you support it or not - you must admit that it'll give our dying electoral system one last jolt with a defibrillator.

I mean - the prospective MPs for whichever constituency Parkhurst or Wormwood Scrubs etc. is in now have a whole new electorate and their policies will have to reflect that.

ph said...

Giving prisoners the vote debases the voting sytem even further. Voters ought to feel that their ability to vote is something special, if they do not they will not vote. It makes even less sense than the idea to give 16 year olds the vote. Aren't both these ideas loved by the lib dems?

Citizen Sane said...

Yep. I think they also favour granting the vote to swans. Anything to give them more share.

dw said...

Guys, here to letting felons vote became an issue yet it has not recieved a lot of attention after the initial proposals. dw