In interesting exploration of views on the EU, by Natalie Nougayrede. Her cosmopolitan friend brings up prison policy as her exemplar of an issue that might be best taken by member states. The challenge to campaigners and parties is that during a General Election, the pro-EU case is not being made, but it provoked me on prison policy. The CJEU rarely rules against the British State, but has ruled that life imprisonment without review is contrary to prisoner’s human rights, and that taking the vote away from all prisoners is also contrary to their human rights. Prison is meant to do three things, protect the public, punish the guilty and offer a chance for rehabilitation. It’s exceptionally difficult to do all three, which is why prison systems vary from Thailand & the USA to Sweden and Norway; different people and nations place different priorities on the three goals. The punishment is the loss of liberty, not the brutality of the custody, nor the loss of civic rights. Refusal to review is a denial of any efforts to rehabilitate. I believe we should be happy to take advice from other European cultures and polities even through a shared court system; it’ll make Britain a better fairer place. Finally if it stops some of the stupid pro-business and anti-citizen policies of the Tory party then good!


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