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Thousands sign Downing St petition demanding apology for Alan Turing

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  1. How absurd. Who, exactly, is going to “apologise” to the restless shade of Alan Turing? Certainly, the man was the victim of an unjust law, alongside hundreds of other British men who did not have the distinction of being a mathematical genius. Shouldn’t those ordinary people get an “apology” as well?

    It’s hard to see what effect such a tokenistic gesture would have on anyone alive today, except to confirm smug liberals like Professor Dawkins in their sublime self-righteousness. Fifty-five years after Turing’s dramatic suicide, the society that sent him to prison is as remote to most of us as that of Gladstone or Asquith. Far better instead to look carefully at ways that the law and society conspire to oppress today’s unpopular minorities – that would be a real tribute to Turing’s tragic genius.

  2. Brian Burton 25 Aug 2009, 7:24pm

    rjb,
    I have to agree with you. An apology is an empty gesture as far as I’m concerned. Alan Turing has been dead since 1954. He should be left in peace. We gays know the facts of gay life, Gay Love, Gay anger Gay pride, Gay ins’n outs of most situations.
    I was having Gay sex in 1954, I loved every minute of it but then there was the fear that followed each encounter I had. The fear of the wrong people finding out your having sex with a man (I was fourteen at the time) I thank my lucky stars I do not have that same fear now.

  3. It is an empty gesture. but its a gesture. it reminds the government that they have to take the gay community seriously.

  4. Brian Burton 26 Aug 2009, 8:06am

    Rose,
    We are always reminding the Government to take Gay issues seriously…..It’s still an empty gesture!

  5. This insistence to make present governments apologise for the mistakes of past governments is silly and pointless. I’m surprised that Richard Dawkins agreed to it. What happened to Alan Turing was a sign of the times and although gay rights is still undergoing its own evolution, things are much better these days than back then. Put your efforts into making things better now than focusing on the tragic death of a gay man over 50 years ago who cannot benefit from an apology.

  6. Computers are gay. Tell everyone.

  7. George Broadhead 26 Aug 2009, 1:51pm

    It is great to have such a prominent atheist and humanist as Richard Dawkins add his weight to the campaign.

    As a gay atheist himself, Alan Turing is a humanist hero and an apology for the appalling way he was treated for being gay is long overdue.

  8. I am with rjb and Brian, lean Alan Turing alone. The government know who we are and what we want.
    We should be thanking Brian and the man and women like him who were having gay and lesbian relationships in 1954, without them and their campaigning we wouldn’t have the freedom we have today.

  9. Liquoriceallsort 26 Aug 2009, 9:34pm

    Absolutely right that he should be honoured, but the apology thing is ridiculous and politically useless – thought so about the potato famine nonsense, think so about this.

    What about a nice meaningful gesture like an extra bank holiday – Turing’s day – mindful of the fact that we now do loads of things much faster due to his computer genius, and therefore can afford a bit of a breather. February or September would be good candidates. Or a Turing statue fund so he can educationally pop up all over the place, not just Manchester. Agree re: Dawkins smugorama.

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