» prisons ¦ What You Can Get Away With

For those of you bored on a Saturday night:

Prisoners’ voting rights: Britain’s mounting fury over sovereignty – “The ECHR is very far from perfect. But a country lucky enough to enjoy the rule of law, like Britain, should think long and hard before flouting international treaties which offer perhaps the only hope of legal recourse to people in much less lucky climes.”
A Night At The Political Theatre – Excellent post from Flying Rodent on what the whole issue of prisoners voting reveals about the nature of British politics. “What I do know is that a society that makes a virtue of illiberal behaviour will treat its citizens illiberally; a culture that demands injustice in the name of common sense will perpetrate injustices. I know that a citizenry that puts all of its faith in infantile concepts like force and “common sense” will receive plenty of the former and little of the latter.”
Tory Dirty Tricks Department Versus The Kemp Operation – Richard Kemp on what it’s like to suddenly find the media muckraking through your past, which is obviously more important than investigating any of the claims you’ve made in the present.
Monty’s Revenge – Interesting article from Jerry Hayes on how the Tory Right is getting increasingly ideologically puritanical about those it disagrees with within the party.
Whining In Evolutionary Psychology – I missed the original storm that prompted this post, but yet again it seems that evolutionary psychology is yet again proving that there are few depths certain academics won’t go to in an effort to prove it valid. (via)

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Let there be linkage:

A Vision Of Foreign Policy Only Beck Can Provide – That’s Glenn Beck, but reading out the lyrics to Devil’s Haircut might make more sense. Watch the video for something that looks like a dramatic reconstruction of the thought processes of a crazed conspiracy theorist, except it’s for real (via)
A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt – Something worth checking, just to see if you’re guilty of any of them
Soccer clubs central to ending Egypt’s ‘Dictatorship of Fear’ – Something I’ve not seen mentioned anywhere else, and interesting that all football games have been cancelled in Libya following the events in Egypt.
Prisoner votes in Scottish elections again – Are BBC journalists and government ministers bloody stupid? – Since I’ve begun reading legal bloggers like Love and Garbage, I’ve become aware of just how poorly a lot of issues are being reported in the media. Here’s another example.
How Cyclone Yasi compares around the world – An indication of just how huge the storm currently threatening Australia is.

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Job security

From Nick Robinson’s blog on Eric Illsley:

If he is imprisoned for more than a year he will be automatically expelled from Parliament. If he is not, MPs can – and look certain to – move to have him thrown out anyway.

The big question here, of course, is whether there’s any other job that would take a similar view of a prison sentence. How many other positions would let you waltz back into them as if nothing had happened just because you were only imprisoned for ten months? While it does seem likely that Illsley is going to be expelled anyway, why is the bar for automatic expulsion set so high? Again, I’m trying to think of employers that might hesitate for more than half a nanosecond before sacking someone who’d plead guilty to embezzling on the job.

(Of course, it’s still better than the House of Lords)

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Hello world! Here are things to interest you:

Beware those who sneer at ‘human rights imperialism’ – Comment is Free finally publishes a counter-argument to their worst article of 2010. Sohrab Ahmari makes some powerful points explaining just why universal rights are important.
Browne’s Gamble – Probably linked to and seen by a lot of you back in November, but I’ve only just discovered it. A rather depressing look at what the effects of the Browne Review will be on higher education.
The barren weeks, the amnesiac years – Excellent post by Phil Edwards at The Gaping Silence on some of the posturing going on around giving prisoners the right to vote.
Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas Mass, serving as ‘human shields’ – When the world’s feeling pretty crappy, it’s always nice to have some good news of people doing decent things for each other
Tragedy in Tucson (about five miles from my house) – One of Gabrielle Gifford’s constituents talks about her shooting and the social climate in Arizona.

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