By Paul Goodman
Jonathan offered an acute summary recently of the anger on the Tory backbenches about the Government, the European Court of Human Rights and the right of prisoners to vote. Early Day Motions are ten a penny, and nothing usually comes of them, but one tabled by Brian Binley may be worth noting. It's number 953, and reads as follows –
"That this House believes that if a crime is serious enough to warrant a term of imprisonment, then the perpetrator must forgo certain civil liberties, including the right to suffrage; and recognises that the right to vote does not aid the rehabilitation of a prisoner and is a privilege that should be exclusively reserved for law-abiding citizens."
I see that of the six original signatories, two are Labour – Jim Cunningham and Alan Meale – and that they've been joined by Andrew George, a Liberal Democrat. I assume, therefore, that they support withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights, which as far as I know is the only means of guaranteeing the objective set out in the motion.