"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 11 February 2011

The Backlash Begins

It hasn't taken too long for the considered response from the CE to yesterday's backbench debate on prisoners voting rights to be aired.

"You've let us down."   The Council of Europe spokesman Christos Pourgourides  (who he?) said:
"I am deeply disappointed by last night's vote, in defiance of the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on prisoner voting.
I had hoped that the parliament of one of Europe's oldest democracies - regarded as playing a leading role in protecting human rights - would have encouraged the United Kingdom to honour its international obligations, as our assembly urged only last month.
Every member state must implement the judgments of the court.  The UK Government has said that it intends to implement this judgment, and I encourage it to find a way to do so that is consistent with its international legal obligations."
The UK - a defiant union of four defiant countries?  Well, I never.  Why don't you just f£ck off Mr CE spokesman and never darken our doorstep again and I bloody well hope it's snowing where you are - really, really bitterly cold - and that you don't have as much as a lighted match to keep you warm.

Unfortunately, yesterday's vote was just a pyrrhic victory and an expression of the will of the people so Mr Pourgourides will probably have the last laugh.  Cameron must/should have known about the relationship between the ECHR and the EU - if not he doesn't deserve to have the confidence of the people.  I seem to remember that during the GE campaign he also pledged to do something about the EU's own Charter of Fundamental Rights.  Well, it's all coming together in a rather nasty mess.

If Cameron is truly intending to run with this then we can expect explosives, greater than any he's 'pledged' before, to rock the EU.  Even greater, dare I say it, than an in/out referendum which leaves much to chance and at the PR mercy of billions of pounds (look at how the BBC was subverted during the '72 EEC referendum).

Looking at his track record I'm not holding my breath on this one - if it comes then it's a bonus and if it doesn't, well, then he's always the placeman we thought he was.  Something's going on and it's worth keeping half an eye on.  Cameron's playing games but we've yet to find out who is real opponent is.

In case you're wondering about the impartiality of the press, I couldn't find a reference to this anywhere in the Guardian, the Telegraph or the Independent at the time I wrote this post and it's also worth noting that there's nothing as yet from the EU or the ECHR itself.

The Hansard record of the debate.

PS "One of Europe's oldest democracies" my @rse and while they're at it they can stop misquoting Churchill for their own ends.

UPDATEHow MPs voted and who abstained 

2 comments:

  1. A pyrric victory indeed, it allowed Cameron to look tough on Europe but over an issue that was not of any real importance.

    "European bureaucrats have hit back at MPs' rebellion" says the Daily Fail, just how can a Sovereign Parliament be 'in rebellion'?

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  2. Everything seems to be back-to-front these days, Banned. I'm not sure why I bother trying to make sense of it all. No doubt there'll be some sweet-sounding compromise by Cameron designed to let him emerge looking like one of the good guys and the press and unthinking part of the electorate will lap it up.

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