Thousands call for Turing apology

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Elven6, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Thousands of people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to World War II code breaker Alan Turing.
    Writer Ian McEwan has just backed the campaign, which already has the support of scientist Richard Dawkins.

    In 1952 Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself.

    The petition was the idea of computer scientist John Graham-Cumming.
    <!-- E SF -->He is seeking an apology for the way the mathematician was treated after his conviction. He has also written to the Queen to ask for Turing to be awarded a posthumous knighthood.

    Alan Turing was given experimental chemical castration as a "treatment" and his security privileges were removed, meaning he could not continue work for the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

    BBC NEWS | Technology | Thousands call for Turing apology

    This is the first I'm hearing of castrations being performed on homosexuals as "treatment".

    The petition is here for those who want to take a look,

    World Turing Petition Petition : [ powered by iPetitions.com ]

    I don't see this succeeding, in politics, politicians very rarely look at online petitions. Why? Because they realize only a fraction of those people will be showing up to vote. If you mail in a petition it shows more dedication on your part and the likely need for someone to respond. It's easy to type your name in and click a button, it shows a bit more determination to write out a petition, sign it, and mail it.

    Views on his lifestyle aside, it's hard to deny what he did during the war isn't significant.
     
  2. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Can't say I'm a fan of all these insincere Government apologies for past misdeeds but Turing should be recognised more for his great achievements in Computer Science and cryptology.

    Something like a posthumous knighthood or some lasting honour seems more appropriate.


    Lee
     
  3. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Can't say I'm a fan of all these insincere Government apologies for past misdeeds but Turing should be recognised more for his great achievements in Computer Science and cryptology.

    Something like a posthumous knighthood or some lasting honour seems more appropriate.


    Lee

    Tough territory, the stain will always remain in the history books even if he is "pardoned" by the government. The damage has been done, he took his life because of what the government did to him, a apology of any kind will merely be something fans of his work are able to appreciate.

    Although I do agree, his work should be honored.
     
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I cannot see the Government posthumously pardoning Turing, purely from the viewpoint that he was convicted of an offence under the then law of the land.

    I do however agree that he should have received better recognition for his devotion to cracking the Enigma codes.

    He must have been responsible for a lot of lives saved due to the information from the decoded messages.

    Surely this merits recognition regardlesss of his conviction.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  5. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

    Turing was treated appalingly, and at a time when a blind eye was often turned.

    I don't see this succeeding, in politics, politicians very rarely look at online petitions. Why? Because they realize only a fraction of those people will be showing up to vote. If you mail in a petition it shows more dedication on your part and the likely need for someone to respond. It's easy to type your name in and click a button, it shows a bit more determination to write out a petition, sign it, and mail it.

    Bear in mind the UK petition, available here, is an official site of the Prime Minister and Cabinet designed to allow citizens to petition withpout generating the piles of paperwork you suggest.

    cheers,
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    He got a brief mention tonight on BBC Look North (Yorkshire News). The programme was interviewing a couple from Sheffield that met in Bletchley Park whilst working there during the war and later got married.
     
  7. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Turing was treated appalingly, and at a time when a blind eye was often turned.



    Bear in mind the UK petition, available here, is an official site of the Prime Minister and Cabinet designed to allow citizens to petition withpout generating the piles of paperwork you suggest.

    cheers,

    I don't think that will change things much, a click is still a click afterall.
     
  8. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Was he treated any worse than any other gay at the time? If they apolagise to Turing they should apolagise to all. I dont see how his war time exploits have anything to do with it really??

    Kev
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    On the news at the moment. - Apology for Turing issued from Downing street.
     
  10. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    It is good that an apology was tendered from the Government, but I think that their hands are tied with regards to a Pardon.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I heard the article was going to be covered on BBC News this morning but had to go to work before it came on.....There's a first there that Gonzo Brown has actually said sorry for something. I guess he could always say 'it wasn't on my watch though'.
     
  13. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Saw an item on the news before going to work this morning. Disgusting way to treat anyone.
     
  14. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    An apology long over due , if anyone served their country in WW2 it was Turner - his reward was somewhat less than he deserved.
    Nothing like good old fashioned ignorance......
     
  15. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Senior Member

  16. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Done.
     
  17. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." (LP Hartley)

    Sorry, but I'm not in favour of this mealy-mouthed and politically correct apologising for and pardoning of things which happened 50, 100, 200 or more years ago. We can by all means have individual opinions and views, but these have to be tempered by an understanding of the morals and mores of the time. Only an understanding of history can lend that perspective.
     
  18. REME Lad

    REME Lad Junior Member

    The brilliant Alan Turing slaved tirelessly at Bletchley Park. His efforts probably saved many, many lives, and may have shortened the war. He deserved a Knighthood, not the sentence that he received. A pardon now would reflect todays mores, and not be a reflection on the laws of the 1950's.
    To say that we cannot comment on what happened in the past, or denigrate it, is like saying we cannot criticise slavery, or 9 year olds working in the coal mines.
    Just because such things were accepted in the past does not make them right.
    Good luck with the petition.
     
  19. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Senior Member

    Vitesse, I have some sympathy with that view to a very large extent....but. I think this was a case of one man who stands head and shoulders above many key figures of WW2 who played a more than significant role in victory. That he was treated appallingly, and not so very long ago, is a fact and I think there are some cases where we just have to balance the view you have expressed, Vitesse, with the scenarios presented by REME Lad, for example. We cannot look back at some comparitively recent events in history and say they were right. And even by the standards, values, mores and morals of the day it does seem he was treated unfairly and, frankly, inhumanely.
     
  20. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

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