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MP Votes Against Prisoner Voting

Island Mp votes against prisoners having a vote

This in from Andrew Turner’s office in their own words last night. Ed

Prison barsAndrew Turner, the Island’s MP, yesterday voted against proposals to change the law to give prisoners the right to vote. Under the Forfeiture Act of 1870, a convicted criminal who breaks their contract with society by committing a crime is refused the right to participate in the democratic process.

However, following a decision taken in the European Court of Human Rights, in which a convicted murderer successfully appealed against this law, the Government has been told that refusing prisoners the right to vote is against the European Convention on Human Rights, of which the United Kingdom is a signatory.

In a vote in the House of Commons last night, Mr Turner was among a majority of 212 MPs who voted against the European Court’s decision.

Those who break law should not have extra rights
He hopes that this vote will act as a clear indication to the Government that the British people do not want to see those who break the law given extra rights.

Mr Turner also sponsored an amendment which would deny the compensation to prisoners who were unable to vote, but the amendment was not voted on.

Following the debate, Mr Turner said, “People who have committed a crime serious enough to be deprived of their liberty should not be allowed to vote; I do not believe they should have the same rights as those who respect the rule of law.”

Mr Turner firmly believes that the Parliament of the United Kingdom should be the only body that can make the laws that affect British citizens. He does not believe that a foreign court in Strasbourg and it’s judges should be able to direct that a British law must change and stated,

“The sooner we pull out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, dump the Human Rights Act, and have our own British Human Rights Act the better.”

Image: phill55188 under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 11th February, 2011 12:24pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Politics

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  1. And next lets cut their rights to see their family, or their rights to be clothed and fed…. maybe once a few MP’s end up behind bars for the expenses shannigans they will review this decision and move on with the times……

  2. One of the best things that has come from being in Europe has been the Human Rights Act. For the year between the Criminal Justice Act to come into force and the Human Rights Act to come in, the british state was able to persecute too many groups of people. From Gipsies & Travellers to football supporters, to people from different races to lovers of techno music. Basically anyone that was different from the mainstream ‘british white, 9-5 job 2.2 kids….The Human Rights Act is now instrumental in the Rights for disabled people. This Act will be the only thing that stands between sick & disabled people being treated fairly and to them being thrown to the wolves, which is what is happening to them. Personally I don’t trust the con/dem government to give us something better than what we’ve got. It was they that brought in the Criminal Justice Act, that demonizes people simply because of the type of music they enjoyed and the lifestyles some want to have. it will be a bad day for this country to lose the right to appeal to a court outside of the british old boys network.

    • The problem with people concept of the HRA is that a vasy majority will never need it and couldn’t care less about it..all they see is the gutter press (Mail) highlighting the abuses of the system…what they don’t see are the 100,000 successful cases bought by real victims from this country every year.

  3. Sandown Sally

    11.Feb.2011 1:33pm

    Rubbish! Human rights has nothing to do with this, prisoners do not desrve to vote until release. Those who break the law should not expect to elect those who make it.

    These days you must commit serious offences to be jailed. Incarceration does mean loss of privelege. Our politicians should make our law.

  4. Our politicians aren’t capable of running the country…there could be nothing worse. We must have a written hurman rights law…and Britian doesn’t have one, nor a written constitution

    Prisoners Rights might not be acceptable to large % of the population, but it is no cause to blame all of the HRA.

    Prisoners Rights have been enshrined in law all over Europe for decades…Britain has opted out . No other country in Europe complains about it…wonder what makes us think we are so special

  5. Two things spring to my mind.When I studied law, one of the first things we touched on was the great paradox of any law, in that it protects the freedoms of the majority by, effectively, restricting the rights of the individual. In other words, we have great freedom because we have laws. Those who seek to withdraw from living within the boundaries of lawful behaviour deserve to have certain rights removed from them. Voting is one such right in my opinion. The second point is a quote from Batman: Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s understanding. In other words, they will continue to take the mickey out of us, because we let them. I know from work, of many crims who have NO interest in politics save for claiming a thousand pounds from being “denied” the vote with help from the hundreds of solicitors whose sole purpose is to pursue such unworthy cases at a cost to the hard working taxpayer. Ah well!!

    • Paul Miller

      11.Feb.2011 7:39pm

      “Those who seek to withdraw from living within the boundaries of lawful behaviour deserve to have certain rights removed from them. Voting is one such right in my opinion”

      It doesn’t follow at all that it is appropriate to further punish a prisoner because the ‘sentence’ (and deprivation of liberty) for the crime is the applicable punishment. Furthermore the law of 1870 seeks to further punish all prisoners – even those convicted of least serious crimes. As such it’s something the law calls ‘disproportionate’.

      • By the very act of breaking the law, offenders show that they place their own selfish needs above the rights of the rest of us to go about our lawful business. Until they have “repaid their debt” to society, they should NOT have any right to participate in how the country is run.I consider this wholly proportionate (as does the law, still) and should be considered part of every custodial sentence. I am not saying they shouldn’t have any rights at all though, that would not be the actions of a just and tolerant nation.

      • so let me get this straight Paul, you think denying a rapist or a murderer the right to vote for the people who make the laws they have broken is “disproportionate punishment”?

        I can see your point for a shoplifter or some drunken idiot who gets in a fight. But unfortunately it cannot be one rule for some offenders, and another rule for others. Imprisonment is NOT a punishment in itself. Deprival of civil liberties, including the right to move about freely, and the right to vote, should form part of the punishment.

  6. Alan Mansell

    11.Feb.2011 3:06pm

    A British Human Rights Act. Hmm let’s see, that will give the right to those who agree with the Daily Mail to do what they want to those who read The Guardian without fear of prosecution. Or something like that. Basically it will be a tool for Tories to persecute anyone who is manifestly non-Tory. Stand by for the legalised shooting of Anti-hunt protesters, (or any protesters for that matter, to be sure we don’t miss anyone) any one who looks a bit odd and people who ask awkward questions of government officials.

  7. montana sliver

    11.Feb.2011 3:41pm

    No mention that Turner voted to have our forests sold off either
    I wonder how many of the people he represents wrote to him in favour of that?
    I doubt if a single person did

  8. i couldnt agree with turner more on this. Criminals should lose some of their human rights as punishment for their behaviour. They certainly should not be allowed to vote for the people who make the laws that they have broken.

    Turners record on other issues is laughable, but on this, fair play to him

    • Steve & Jane

      11.Feb.2011 7:50pm

      We are wondering what should happen to enobled jailbirds like Archer & Black, other than being noted for commencing an alphabetical list of wealthy criminals in positions of power…

      • mark francis

        12.Feb.2011 10:50am

        I do not have a big problem with prisoner voting on principle – after all prisoners are more affected by government policies than anyone- but what NOBODY – even on VB seems to have picked up on is a glaring practical problem; where would the prisoners constituency be?
        Because if all the inmates of Parkhurst, Camp Hill and Albany get to vote in the Isle of Wight they could in theory determine the outcome of the election.
        My guess is that they would be Tories.

    • “Fair play to him??”

      It was a no-brainer! We want him looking out for his constituents not getting cheap points which could have been earned by having a chimp led through the lobby with a banana on a stick.

      • and he has looked out for his constituents on this issue. He has voted certainly the way I would have expected him to, and clearly the way his conscience has dictated he vote.

        So, yes, on this issue, fair play. On other issues, his record is laughable.

        Ive never seen him lead a chimp through a lobby with a banana on a stick, but then again if I saw or heard that our MP had done that, I wouldnt be best pleased with him wasting his time.

        It comes down to the fact that you cant please everyone all of the time. In this vote, he has done as I would expect. Clearly other people would have expected the opposite from him for this issue. But often in a democracy, people will disagree. Overall, I think turners vote on this issue is a good move, hence why i made my comment.

  9. montana sliver

    12.Feb.2011 12:22pm

    And those few prisoners who aren’t tories will more than likely be bribed by the government to get them to vote Tory by increasing the amount of drugs and alcohol they are allowed to have brought in

  10. Personally i think prisoners who are up for release should get to vote. Presumably they’ve rehabilitated and will go back into the world as productive people benefiting society. It think giving the vote to prisoners would help towards that process. A similar scheme happens in France and Germany, it works, nobody opposes it.
    My main concern in all of this is the long term implications, which is the loss of the European Human Rights Act, which ultimately is what the tories want

  11. if people decide to break the law, that’s that they should pay the price and lose any rights, if they are allowed to continue to vote, obviously voting back in the government that allowed them this pleasure, then the next thing is they will be allowed to approach Deprivation of Liberty safeguards because they are locked up at night!!! where do you stop, they choose to break the law they should pay the price, people often refer to Albany, Parkhurst & Camphill being Butlins camps, how true this will be soon, think i will stop being honest, hardworking & stressed & see how long i can get away with a life of crime at least knowing once i’m caught i can rely on so many people out there shouting for my human rights and once i’m freed on a technicality i will sue the government and live on my taxpayers payout…you’ve got me thinking now, oh yes and i’d still have the pleasure of accessing VB if i’m good as i’m sure they have full internet access on the inside, if not i’m sure my mobile phone will be good enough!

    • mark francis

      13.Feb.2011 10:17am

      From what I understand most prisoners mobile phones have to be small enough to hide up where the monkey is said to keep his nuts which presumably – judging by the lack of comments from potential constituents on the inside of Parkhurst – do not have internet access.


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