Thursday, 22 November 2012

Out on a limb

I think I might be in a minority on this one, or at least I disagree with most politicians.  I believe some prisoners should have the vote.

If someone is in prison they are "paying" for their crime.  Once their sentence is served the slate should be considered to be wiped clean, were this not the case then everyone would be given a life sentence.

I think there's a simple way to determine whether a prisoner should have the vote.

If someone has a release date that would fall during the term of the next parliament then they should get the vote because they would be living as a free person during the term of the person/government that won the election.

Sometimes people are released ahead of their initial release date.  If that is known ahead of the election then a vote should be granted.  Where an early release date is anticipated, but not agreed, then it would not be used to determine the right to vote.

This seems fair.  You vote if you will be living as a free person at some point during the term of the election winner.

It's a different approach to the ones that have been put before Parliament.  I understand that those with sentences of either less than four years of less than six months are being considered for voting eligibility and of course retaining the ban on voting is still being maintained as an option.

My solution treats everyone in the same way be they convicted murderers or shoplifters.  If they are due for release during the next term of office (for and MP or Government)), they get a say.

What do you think?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Stop it now

I am sick of people metaphorically falling on their swords.

So George Entwistle has resigned to make it easier for the BBC to get rid of him by sacking him, but either way he gets the same money he would have received had they sacked him.

Do I think his career is over?  Probably not.  He's had a very successful career at the BBC and is resigning because he's come under pressure to make a gesture because somebody made a mistake.  Either way he has a full year at full pay to find a new role and I doubt this will be a challenge.

I've lost track about how many people have "stepped aside" because of the Newsnight debacles.  Why have they stepped aside?

On the Savile issue the problem seems to be not explaining properly why the programme didn't air.  In my experience not everyone in an organisation is always in possession of al of the facts and writing a blog post and getting it a bit wrong is hardly a major misdemeanour.

On the Welsh child abuse issue as I understand it some journalists who didn't work for the BBC spoke to a man who was adamant that he knew who one of his abusers was, and could name him.  He knew this because police showed him a picture and told him that the person in the picture was a senior politician, and named him.  The police got it wrong.  Would you check this?  If you were under pressure to get a story out and you had someone in front of you who was adamant that an abuser was a senior Tory politician because the police had shown him a picture of the politician and you recognised him as an abuser; would you think "I doubt that and need to check that by showing this chap a recent picture of this politician"?

Would it surprise you if senior politicians were child abusers because it wouldn't surprise me at all.  They fiddle their expenses and I'm sure they have many skeletons in various cupboards.  If one or two were guilty of child abuse I would not be at all surprised.  I'd be angry, but not surprised.

Of course it's hideous that an innocent name has been dragged through the dirty internet mire.  This gentleman will, forever, have Google search results attached to his name that are libellous. That is difficult, if not impossible to undo.  Fortunately the story about the inaccuracy of those Google search results will also be there forever.

I do not think that all of this warrants paying a man £450,000 for not doing his job.  I'd like to see George Entwistle earn that money by doing his job and I'd like everyone who has stepped aside to step right up, back to where they were.

Mistakes should teach people to get it right next time.  These people won't make this mistake again, which makes them perfectly qualified for their jobs.