Slopping out is regrettable; I do not think that it should happen. However, I disagree with where Patrick Harvie is coming from and sympathise with Margaret Jamieson's position. I think that the amount of compensation
The issue is not simply the amount of money that has been or is going to be awarded to prisoners, but the cost. Despite the amount of money that has been spent on the legal aid bill, women who have been battered as a result of domestic violence suffer from not having access to legal aid. There is something wrong in our society; the situation is simply unacceptable.
Of course Mr Napier has rights; of course in the 21st century we do not want prisoners to slop out. That should not happen, but, having weighed up the situation on the scales of justice, which is what we have to do, I would much rather see the money go towards repairing damp housing in Scotland than into the pockets of Mr Napier. He should perhaps not have had to expect to slop out, but the amount of money that he was awarded, which astounded Lord McCluskey, baffles Margaret Jamieson and confounds me, shows that there is something far wrong.
Yes, we want prisoners to have rights, but we have always to remember that in our society communities also have rights. Frankly, this chamber has got something wrong and out of kilter when the rights of an individual who has transgressed weigh far more than the rights of a community that has to suffer. We have to take action and ensure that the victims have the right to access that money, which, frankly, should not have gone to prisoners in the first place. We must ensure that we end slopping out but we must not reward those who do not merit it, which baffles ordinary people in Scotland.