Marx on Monday: Starmer

So the Supreme Court have ruled that prisoners are not allowed to vote have they? We’ll see about that!

I find it difficult to understand how any right minded person can think that a convicted murderer like Peter Chester should be denied the right to vote. Although in many ways Peter deserved to go to prison for raping and murdering his seven year old niece at her home when he was supposed to have been babysitting her for his sister – that doesn’t mean he should lose the right to vote.

But apparently the Supreme Court disagree, and have dismissed an application by him and fellow murderer George McGeoch that EU law gave them a right to vote – even though they cannot under British law.

European law has done great things for this country. Since we joined the EU we have reaped the benefit of more than 170,000 new EU laws and regulations. Included in these are laws preventing the sale of overly curved cucumbers and excessively bent bananas and a law banning the dangerous and scandalous practice of children under 8 blowing up balloons without adult supervision. There are also laws based on scientific research. For example European Scientists have found that prunes are not a laxative and it is now illegal under EU law to claim that they are. Another five year  study by European scientists funded by the taxpayer and costing £30 million found no evidence to suggest that drinking water rehydrates you and it is now, under EU law, illegal for companies like Evian, Perrier and Highland Spring to advertise that drinking water is a cure for thirst.

The estimated costs to the British tax-payer of funding all of this European legislation runs into hundreds of millions of pounds, with tens of millions more being paid to lawyers in legal aid who represent those bringing cases based on European law.

Peter Chester and George McGeoch’s challenge to not being allowed to vote cost the taxpayers not far short of a million quid. But the journey is not over for Peter and George. They can now take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Prior to joining the EU Britain’s human rights were only protected by the 1215 Magna Carta and a thousand years of evolved liberal constitutional conventions. Now, thank goodness we have an act drafted by Germany which guarantees human rights to all of our citizens.

In 2004 Britain arrested the Muslim cleric Abu Hamza on behalf of the USA on charges of hostage taking, running an Al Quada training camp and organizing a holy war against Christians. If it weren’t for the European Human Rights Act he would have been extradited to America the next day but, thanks to European human rights legislation it took the British Government eight years and a bill for the UK taxpayer of £2.75 million before he was finally deported.

Another example of the stunning success of the European Human Rights Act is the case of Abu Qatada. Abu Qatada is the spiritual guide of the 9/11 terrorists and is wanted for terrorism and murder in Jordan. He was arrested in the UK in 2002 and ordered to be deported by the UK government in 2012 after a ten year battle costing the UK taxpayers millions of pounds. But the European Court of Human Rights intervened and ruled he could not be deported so, thanks to our being members of the EU, he continued to live with his family on benefits which cost the UK taxpayer, £3 million. He was finally deported in July 2013.

Without the European Human Rights Act these two men, and hundreds like them, would have been deported as soon as it was clear that they intended to murder the citizens of the country which had given them refuge rather than after protracted legal battles costing the British taxpayer millions of pounds, but still there are people out there who would like to see Britain abolish it.

I was having tea at the Ritz last week mulling over the problem. It was very full in the restaurant and a man came over and asked if he could join me. By sheer good fortune it turned out to be the DPP Keir Starmer, one of the few public figures to support the Human Rights Act. Keir is a classic socialist. His parents named him after the famous Labour leader Keir Hardy and instilled into their son socialist principles of fairness and equality. He was raised in that most deprived of all counties, Surrey, and educated at Reigate Grammar School where the fees, at a modest £15,000 a year, are within the budget of even the poorest families.

“So Keir,” I greeted him, “what do you think of all this clamor about repealing the Human Rights Act?”

“It would be a terrible mistake Kevin,” he replied, “the Human Rights Act has brought tremendous benefits to Britain’s criminals and human rights lawyers.”

“What benefits?”

“Since we adopted the Human Rights Act Britain has lost 202 European human rights cases involving murderers, terrorists, paedophiles and rapists and Judges in Strasbourg have awarded the criminal litigants taxpayer-funded payouts of £4.4million – an average of £22,000 a head.”

“In what sort of ways were the prisoners’ human rights breached?” I asked him.

“Take for example Soviet spy George Blake, who was jailed for 42 years, one for each of the MI6 agents he sent to their deaths,” said Keir, “he was awarded £4,700 in 2006 because Britain stopped him profiting from the memoirs he wrote when he fled to Russia. The court ruled that this breached the double agent’s ‘right to free expression’.”

“That seems like a worthy case,” I conceded, “are there any more?”

“Hundreds,” Keir nodded, “such as that of Kirk Dickson, who kicked to death a man who refused to give him a cigarette. He won £18,000 from the court, which said he had been denied the right to father a child by artificial insemination.”

“That’s a terrible breach of human rights,” I gasped, “you can’t deny someone the right to be a father.”

“Absolutely,” Keir agreed, “thanks to the European Court of Human Rights not only does Kirk have £18,000 of taxpayer’s money in his pocket he has won the right to pass on his valuable genes to the next generation.”

“They are all worthy cases,” I was forced to agree, “but the sums of money won seem quite small. I just wonder if it was all worth it.”

“Worth it?” Keir scoffed. “The settlements might be small, an average of only £22,000 each, but the legal fees dwarf that. And as all of the prisoners qualified for legal aid the costs to the taxpayer of legal fees ran to tens of millions of pounds.”

“For 202 cases?” I expressed some surprise.

“The 202 cases were just the winning ones,” Keir explained, “but let’s not forget the thousands that even the European Court of Human Rights balked at. The prisoners might have lost their cases but the lawyers certainly didn’t. For them it was a prize every time.”

“So the lawyers brought unwinnable cases just to earn their fees?”

“There’s no such thing as an unwinnable case in the European Court of Human Rights,” said Keir, “take the case of Rupert Massey for example. He was jailed for six years for the sexual abuse of three little boys over a 14-year period. But he won £5,496 of taxpayers’ money from the European Court of Human Rights because he was ‘stressed’ after he waited too long for his trial to reach court.”

“There seem to be quite a lot of paedophiles going to the European Court of Human Rights,” I suggested.

“Absolutely,” Keir agreed, “people like Somali paedophile Mustafa Abdi. The government knew he was a paedophile and were certain he was a danger to the public, so they locked him up for two and a half years whilst trying to deport him. The European Court of Human Rights banned the government from deporting him as a breach of his human rights, ordered his immediate release and awarded him £7,237 of British taxpayers money for being wrongfully detained during the failed deportation process as well as legal fees of £30,000.”

“And what happened then?” I asked.

“He raped a child and got an eight year jail sentence.”

“So he’s in prison?”

“Of course not,” Keir explained, “he only had to serve four out of his eight years and, with the two and a half he’d already been detained for he was released after eighteen months.”

“So what now,” I asked, “is he going to be deported?”

“No,” Keir shook his head, “the European Court have said it would breach his human rights.”

“You’re standing down as DPP shortly Keir, what are you going to do then?”

“I’m going back into private practice Kevin,” he replied, “to carry on fighting for prisoner’s human rights.”

“What about the right to vote,” I asked, “does the Supreme Court ruling settle the issue?”

“Absolutely not,” he put me right, “a convicted rapist called Robert Green took his case to the European Court of Human Rights and they ordered the British  government to pay Green’s costs of £4,230 and to give all convicts the vote. The Supreme Court might have ruled against votes for murderers and paedophiles like Peter Chester and George McGeoch, but human rights lawyers are queuing around the block to sign them up for legal aid and take their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.”

“And do you think it’s right that the British taxpayer should stump up millions of pounds to pay the legal fees and compensation to convicted murderers and paedophiles who claim their human rights have been breached? I played Devil’s advocate.

“As I said in a recent interview on the Andrew Marr Show,” Keir replied, “the Human Rights Act is a really important constitutional document and I don’t think it’s an Act that should be amended in any way.”


7 comments on “Marx on Monday: Starmer

  1. Lord Lunatic
    October 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    After reading through this, what can any right thinking person say other than ‘to hell with EU law and bring back hanging’.

  2. tomas
    October 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Sorry to spoil your fun but ECHR has nothing to do with EU. I know that it is so easy to associate them together for purposes of EU bashing but please read before you write incorrect stuff:

    • Anthem
      October 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks for that. So we can tell this lot to feck off without having to wait for a referendum on EU membership?

      • tomas
        October 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

        Yes, definitely

  3. lastbritstanding
    October 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Not strictly correct to link EU regs to ECHR decisions, of course – they are separate and our accession to them is controlled by different pieces of legislation, so we will have to revoke both.

  4. jdseanjd
    October 22, 2013 at 5:37 am #

    The need to vote UKIP, throw out the LibLabCon conspiracy, revoke our membership of both the bankrupt EU & the murderous ECHR is now blindingly obvious & screamingly urgent.

    Our most basic need is to abolish central banks & our fiat currency & get back to the 1913 Bradbury £ based on Gold or a solid alternative. See

    Sincere thanks to Kevin Marx.
    Keep it up.

    • silverminer
      October 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Hear, hear!

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