Honeyball’s weekly round-up

Labour Party

I am beginning to feel a little better following a nasty bout of shingles. Thank youto everyone who has sent me good wishes.

Last week the British Government defied the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and rejected its decision to allow prisoners the right to vote.

This was a disappointing result. Most prisoners at some point will be re integrated back into society; this gives them an opportunity to take on the responsibility and of reminding them what it is to contribute to society.

Of course the argument should be about what assistance, support and encouragement prisoners should be given in order to reintegrate them back into society.

Instead, it became a battle of wills for euro skeptic MPs insistent on showing that British sovereignty reigns supreme over and above that of the ECHR.

I wrote a piece on this for the blog earlier last week and suggested various theories as to why the Government has pursued this line over prisoner votes, but whatever else it sends a clear signal to Europe generally and of course to the ECHR that it doesn’t take it seriously.

Is Mr Cameron in someway intimidated by Europe? He continues to convey his anti-Europe rhetoric; but calling on the British Parliament to ignore European judges is not clever and may well have serious long term implications. You can read the full article on the vote here which includes a summary of the debate from the Daily Mail sketch writer Quentin Letts.

I was troubled to learn today that TUC research has revealed that unemployment rates among young women (aged 18-24) has trebled since the recession began in some parts of the country. Specifically of concern are those in the South West where it has risen from 5% to 14% since 2008.

These rates are alarming, the Government has a responsibility to acknowledge and work with groups in problem areas to alleviate the problems.

The crippling long term effects of joblessness will be felt by women especially after local authority budgets are cut where thousands of women are employed.

Yvette Cooper, said that the consequences of an increase in female unemployment will be a devastating blow for Britain’s children and families.

She is right of course, but the government has clearly signaled where its priorities are in terms of equality after it was revealed that the equality offices budget will be slashed from £76m to £47m between 2014-2015. You can read the full story here.

5 thoughts on “Honeyball’s weekly round-up

  1. You say that last week the British Government “defied” the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Most people would have phrased it differently, along the lines that the Government rejected interference in our internal affairs to prevent a deeply unpopular law being enacted.

  2. I think the point about prisoners’ vote and reforming prisoners is a very valid one.

    Unfortunately it is a very big loser. My main concern is that Ken Clarke can get on with his attitude to prisons with the least trouble possible.

  3. Mary,

    You really are missing the point here deliberately or otherwise.

    “calling on the British Parliament to ignore European judges is not clever and may well have serious long term implications”.

    I certainly hope that this will have long term implications – it deserves to.

    It is clearly the will of the Britsh peoples’ elected representatives that prisoners should not be able to vote. Where & why do “European Judges” have any say in the matter? Do we have the right to self determination or not?


  4. Good to have you back Mary.

    Mary’s position regarding prisoner’s rights is entirely consistent. She believes in the right of prisoners to vote and also in the authority of the ECHR. My own view is, I believe, also consistent. I don’t want prisoners to vote and I don’t think that we should continue with the ECHR.

    The Conservative stance is completely absurd. They want the Court of Human Rights but they won’t accept the rulings. Tory MPs belong to a legislature, they make the law but when it does not suit them they want to break it.

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