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Friday, 19 July 2013

Alan Turing Pardon


Alan Turing (1912 - 1954)

In January last year  I posted "Alan Turing's stamp of approval and petition for a pardon". The petition closed in December 2012 with 37,402 signatures.

It is hard to believe that a government that was to push through unwanted gay marriage legislation dismissed calls for a posthumous pardon in 2012 arguing that one was "not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence". 

Latest reports suggest that attitudes have changed and that justice may at last be done. Thanks to all who signed the petition. A relative of mine worked with Alan Turing in Bletchley Park but such was the secrecy then and for a long time afterwards that nobody in the family knew of the connection.

The Lords debate here.

7 comments:

  1. Whilst agreeing with you on the Alan Turning issue, you are reminded of double standards practised within the Church in Wales, where I presume, you are licensed to officiate.

    To mention but two,I refer to the historical clergy disciplinary cases of:

    1) The non judicial proceedings against the Rector of Benllech in 1997 compared to the

    2)The Cottaging Archdeacon. Found guilty at Llandaf Magistrates Court 1995 to mention but two.

    Your usual astute observations on these matters would prove an interesting comparison. Unless of course, there be a conflict of interest?

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    Replies
    1. The only conflict is in your presumption Enforcer.

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    2. It is unusual to find you sitting on the fence Ancient Briton? The conflict is one of evident gross double standards,not presumption.

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    3. The presumption I referred to was in regard to 'licensed to officiate' which I am not.
      I am not in a position to comment otherwise because I am not familiar with the cases apart from what I have read in press reports after 'Googling on the Rector of Benllech case.
      Sorry to have disappointed you Enforcer.

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    4. The Archdeacon, despite his indecency conviction, was promoted by his bishop because he proved to be 'an outstanding parish priest'.

      'Love suffers all things', 1 Cor:13. It just depends how 'exceptional' and 'grovelling' one happens to be in the eyes of a beholder who literally assumes 'divine permission'.

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  2. For anybody who thinks that a pardon for Alan Turing would perpetuate an injustice and be the wrong way to honour this great man, I have started a petition here
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-parliament-don-t-insult-alan-turing-with-a-pardon

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    Replies
    1. Chris, I have published your comment in the interests of free speech but in doing so I urge readers NOT to sign your petition. In the small print you write:
      "This would be a dreadful move because it says that only exceptional people can be "let off" from convictions under unjust and oppressive laws. Instead the UK government should apologise to every person, living or dead, who has suffered from this law and take steps to see that Turing is properly honoured for his great achievements, perhaps by some lasting monument like a "Turing Law" to deal with future injustices."

      We do not know the circumstances of every case and to introduce other factors may impede the clear run promised by the Government if there are no amendments to the Bill.

      I note also that Ben Summerskill of Stonewall says that "Pardoning Alan Turing is a pointless exercise" and that instead "Alan Turing's achievements and his treatment by the nation should be in every school curriculum".

      We do not want to get into another round of political point scoring. Alan Turing was a truly exceptional man who should have been pardoned after his conviction, regardless of the law, in gratitude for exceptional service to this country in our greatest need and to humanity in general.

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