The Green Party has managed a major win over the last 24 hours with the Prisoners and Victims Claims Bill. It sounds like United Future had the Government over the barrel and wanted them to remove the Prisoner part of the bill out. The Government weren’t having a bar of it so they went to the Greens.
This is fantastic news because the Green approach to justice is one of creating a “fair, peaceful and sustainable world.” rather than the lock em up and throw away the key approach taken by the other parties. Yay for having rational 21st century discussions about corrections policy!
You can read Nandor’s releases here and here but the most important point I think is the independent prison inspectorate. I look forward to some heated debate tonight when the House goes into urgency!
This has created a bit of a stir around the blogosphere, see NRT here and here rightly pointing out that wee issue of Habeas Corpus. DPF tries to blame the government for the sunset clause even though it was one of the things the Greens negotiated into the Bill (funny wee discussion in the comments there too).
Carnifex Senatoris has an interesting analaysis asking why all victims shouldn’t be given compensation, not just the victims of offenders who later get mistreated in prisons. It’s a good point and this is one of the main reasons why the Greens didn’t support the Bill in the first place (see Nandor’s Second Reading speech). But I agree, this is a sign that the Greens know realpolitik but I’ll expand that to say it’s a sign of further good relations between the Greens and Labour. Nandor has got the Government through some shitty patches this term in the Justice area, noteably the Supreme Court Bill and the Corrections Bill. He has demonstrated his political maturity, ability to negotiate and his deep knowledge of the issues concerned. Further proof that there isn’t much difference between the Greens and United Future as to who works better with Labour. The difference is what part of Labour do each party work well with. I suggest that those who support Labour for their left traditions know the answer to that one.
And of course the Frog joins in with a rather witty wander off into the definitions of Hell…
I must say though, it’s rather sad to see United Future spack out on this one. Although Alexander did calm down a wee bit and acknowledge that UF doesn’t support abusing prisoners which I thought was rather gracious of them.