"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."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A Pig's Ear

If ever proof were needed that the political world has gone absolutely mad, we only have to look at this to see the sorry state we're in.  Politics and the judiciary are in conflict.

Essentially, what the lawyers are saying is that if legislation to enable prisoners to vote isn't introduced quickly, the May elections may well be declared null and void.
However, MPs on the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee heard evidence from legal experts suggesting that neither proposal would accord with European law, which states that judges must decide whether to remove voting rights, and how long for, on a case by case basis...
Aidan O’Neill, one of the country’s top barristers specialising in European law, said that while the United Kingdom remained “convention incompatible” by defying the Court over prisoner voting, any elections to a legislature, including the devolved assemblies, would be illegal. 
So, the Lords' vote on Alternative Voting and the Commons debate next week on prisoners' rights to vote are hog-tied together - even  before the people's voice is heard.

It seems to me that it's not only the electorate who should be wary of where they place their vote, MPs should too.  They've been voting for years to be subservient to the EU but they couldn't be bothered, or didn't have the intellect, to read the legislation and now it's just nodded through the House without a vote and without debate.  They won't suffer from it in the short-term so why should they worry?  They're blinkered.

I'm surprised people are still happy to pay taxes to any government which has abdicated its responsibilities.  We need MPs to represent us, not their Party and not their Party Whips as they climb the proverbial greasy party pole.  Where's the voice of the people on prisoners' voting rights?  It's being heard in Constituency Offices across the country but it won't be heard in Parliament - that's a place for the Parties and their Whips.  It's no longer a People's Parliament.

UPDATE:  It looks as though I spoke too soon on this one and may have to eat my words - there's talk of Cameron allowing a free vote  in next week's debate.

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