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Saturday, 23 January 2010

David Cameron and the prison ships

I do find today's headlines a little strange, David Cameron seems to be lurching even more to the right, first we had confirmation that he is still considering charging patients for operations on the NHS and now, he is looking to ignore members of his cabinet and invest in prison ships!

Despite a lack of real costed policies from Cameron's Conservatives, he is happy to list a raft of pledges, one of which is to introduce "honest" sentencing and to abolish the early release scheme and these are both going to seriously impact on another of Cameron's pledges, which is to reduce prison overcrowding and formally end it by 2016 - how do you formally end it?

I see a play on words here from Cameron - "formally end it", I foresee a change in the counting or recording of prisoners or not including particular sentences etc or the like, I just don't trust people like David Cameron when they play on words like this, why not just be real and honest?

Ah, there is the flaw in my plan, Conservatives and honest, not the most obvious two words in the same sentence, given their record of the last twenty five years.

So, David Cameron's pledge or plan is to introduce prison ships (the last one was decommissioned in 2006 by Labour) and this despite the misgivings of his Justice team and the prison reform group Howard League.

Now over recent weeks David Cameron is already back tracking on his pledge of 5,000 extra prison places above the figure Labour commit to, in fact it is now watered down to the extent that he no longer mentions this figure.

However, these proposals are from the same Conservatives who in the run up to June's European elections were against the European Arrest Warrant. This EAW has slashed extradition times and ensured at least 355 are behind bars - if the Conservatives had had their way these 355 dangerous criminals including murderers and rapists would still have been walking the streets. That is why the Liberal Democrats supported it, despite many claims by other parties, the Liberal Democrats actually believe that life means life.

The Guardian has spoken to a Conservatives spokesman in today's edition; Asked about the prospect of prison ships, Conservative spokesman said today: "This proposal has not been included in our draft crime manifesto.

"But it is something we are considering as a way of ending Labour's early release scheme that has allowed 75,000 offenders to be released early from prison."

Erm, excuse me, but how does one prison ship that holds 6,000 prisoners solve the early release of 75,000 prisoners? It appears once again that these Conservative plans pledges thoughts fag packet idea don't actually add up, so is that why this one doesn't appear in the draft manifesto?

Not only is it a silly idea, prison ships in this century have been proven not to work, so why waste time and money just trying to grab a cheap headline?

Or is that the reason, David Cameron is just grabbing cheap headlines like former Conservative leader William Hague who constantly ran around jumping on bandwagons?

Same old Conservatives.

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