I was a bit cross earlier this week when I heard that yet again the EU was going to be sticking its nose into UK business by considering whether the UK should be forced to allow prisoners to vote in elections.
My views on this issue are well known. Firstly if you do the crime, you do the time and if you want to vote the answer is simple – don’t get yourself banged up in the first place. Secondly, the ECJ should fuck the fuck off and mind its own business. Whether we allow prisoners to vote in our elections is down to us and bugger all to do with them.
I was expecting to write this piece on the basis of telling Cameron and May to grow a pair and stand up for our country for a change, but surprisingly the ECJ has decided that we are allowed to do what we want after all. Big of them, isn’t it?
But nothing lasts. The ruling is being challenged on the grounds that the French allow prisoners to vote if their sentences are less than five years on the grounds that it is ‘proportionate to the offence’. This means that prisoners could challenge the ruling as the UK has a blanket ban. There is a challenge being mounted on the basis that under the ECHR prisoners should be allowed to vote in European elections.
UKIP summed it up nicely – Diane James said: “A blanket ban on votes for prisoners is the expressed will of the British Parliament. Why are we being subject to this European court at all?” Quite so.
A decade ago the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) declared the UK’s ban on prisoner votes unlawful – a ruling which the UK has ignored ever since. And it ruled again in February that the rights of UK prisoners were breached when they were prevented from voting in elections.
Frankly, I couldn’t care less what the EU thinks because I would rather we left altogether. However, my position remains unchanged on a blanket voting ban. If you want to vote, behave yourself and don’t get banged up.