Following the landmark decision to give prisoners the vote, representatives of the prison community are now demanding their own members of parliament.
Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris (no relation, he says), says that as elected ‘Daddy’ of B Wing at Wormwood Scrubs he would be an ideal candidate to represent his constituents’ interests. He had been hoping to form a joint constituency with Holloway Prison but they refused to drop their policy of all-women shortlists.
Mr Harris promises a new approach to politics. ‘Not so much a third way as an unlocked side window,’ he says. ‘Not so much a big free society as a small incarcerated one. With our commitment to redistribute the wealth of the rich you can see similarities with Labour, but we’re equally happy to rob the poor like the Conservatives. And I like the idea of being a Con…Laugh, you slag.’
‘With our philosophy of robbing the stupid using a light touch, we align ourselves with free market capitalism,’ he says. ‘Gambling, professional sport, designer labels, X Factor – these are all activities after my own heart. But it doesn’t stop there. Young cons entering the job market are so underprepared these days, so we’ll be offering apprenticeships and free schools. And we offer our own unique insurance package to allow honest citizens to sleep easily at night, in association with our partners in Italy.’
Asked if they would take their seats in Parliament, Harris says, ‘Yeah, there’s no doubting our conviction, unlike some that won’t swear allegiance to Her Majesty, God bless her. In fact we’re so enthusiastic we’d let ourselves in the House before it was formally open for business, and you might find we took more than just the seats.’
Harris also wishes to get involved with voting reform. ‘I mean, a situation where a minority party can form a governing coalition with a bigger party none of its supporters voted for: that’s criminal.’