At any rate, whilst I'm no fan of our prison system (it doesn't bloody work for starters), the whole idea is that in and of itself the sentence is sufficient punishment. Leaving aside the issue of the government blocking the European Court of Human Rights' ruling that prisoners should get the vote (which I'll get to in a minute), there remains a couple of worrying attacks in the past few days on the rights of ex-prisoners.
The first came yesterday, where it was revealed that there were plans (to be released next month) under which "convicted criminals are to be banned from claiming compensation for injuries sustained in attacks, in prison or after release" (emphasis mine). This is presumably the government wanting to win Daily Mail merit points for being tough on criminals, but even leaving the issue of it basically meaning prison guards don't have to bother with looking after the inmates (or possibly even it giving them the ability to beat up prisoners themselves (NB: I might be reading too much into this with that one)), the bar on suing after release, after the justice system has ostensibly done punishing you, after you could very well have reformed, then we have a major issue. Every human being should generally have the right not to be assaulted, so to see the government deciding to lift that ban, be it for populism (or wanting to apply the presented will of the people) or other purposes, is rather alarming. I don't really like the whole government thing, but if it absolutely has to be here it should at the very least offer some protection to all its citizens.
Now, I made mention of The Daily
At any rate, this brings me to the voting thing. The vote is, basically, a placebo button, but the disenfranchisement of prisoners is more broadly symbolic. It's a way of showing that the opinions of prisoners aren't meant to be considered. That criminals are, well, criminals and thus don't deserve consideration. So, all in all, it's a good thing that at least this government isn't prone to arbritary deterrent sentencing and arresting (e.g. of protestors) or anything like that, right?...right?...right?
... Okay, where do you reckon will be easier to mover to: Finland, Norway or Iceland?