As if David Cameron doesn't have enough to concern him regarding our relationship with the EU, the UK government was told on Wednesday that it could face sanctions if it fails to give prisoners the right to vote in time for the elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland next May.
A ruling by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers (unelected of course), indicated that it was ready to draw up a resolution for action at its next meeting in September if the UK does not allow some prisoners to vote in next year's elections.
Currently all prisoners are banned from voting under the 1983 Representation of the People Act but legal challenges by Scottish and English inmates made clear that such a blanket ban was incompatible with ECHR. More than 60 Scottish prisoners are taking their cases to the European court in Strasbourg to claim compensation from the UK government. They expect to be awarded €1000 each.
David Cameron has dropped his idea of a British Bill of Rights to replace the current Human Rights Act. Being a criminal appears to be a lucrative vocation for some these days. Such a pity the EU aren't too concerned with the plights of thousands of elderly who died because of the lengthy freezing winter.
Editor's Note: One of the commenters implies I am confusing readers by mentioning the Council of Europe and the EU in this post. I think it is perfectly clear that it is the Council of Europe which is forcing this issue and my mention of the EU was in connection with the plight of thousands of elderly who died of hypothermia related problems this past winter. My reason for mentioning the EU in this connection was that surely elected members could take the subject on board and maybe even one of them could be brave enough to put a case forward to the Council of Europe. If I have confused anyone I apologise.