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Comment: Time is right to pardon Alan Turing

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  1. Robert Brown 15 Nov 2012, 3:52pm

    Here we go again . . .

    Labour party members taking on board campaigns first championed by the Liberal Democrats . . .

    If they want to keep nicking Liberal Democrat policies, then why not go the full hog and actually join the Liberal Democrats . . . rather than a washed up version of them? . . .

    I suppose copying is the highest form of flattery . . .

    1. Don Harrison 15 Nov 2012, 11:03pm

      Robert you are right. John Leech a Manchester MP has been working on getting a pardon for Alan Turing.
      Yes join LGBT+ Lib Dems via

    2. One can only presume that the Lib Dems were as spineless as ever when they raised the issue of Alan Turing. They really should leave it to proper politicians to do the hard work!

  2. OK Pardon Alan Turing; that would please me. Then you have to pardon every one else prosecuted or cautioned under the pre 1967 act. That would please me even more. Pity you cannot bring back all those who committed suicide as a result of being Gay back then.

    1. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 4:46pm

      Why not pardon everybody that ever broke a law that has since been rescinded? I got a speeding ticket on a road doing 40 in a 30, but it’s now been changed to a 40mph zone. Can I have my fine back and the points taken off my licence?

      1. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 8:53pm

        You are an @rse arent you.

        1. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 11:32pm

          Rather than hurling insults, try answering my question.
          It is a perfectly logical and viable one.

          Why should one person be given a pardon when thousands of others are ignored? (and please don’t come up with “Turing was a hero” – the law does not recognise celebrity, as we have just discovered with Jimmy Savile)

          1. The speed limit being 30 didn’t contribute to discrimination, desperate unhappiness or suicide, did it?

            This is to do with a specific and unique change in the law which unfairly affected millions of innocent people. It’s not comparable to speeding fines.

            Sometimes trying to compare things in the way you have is unhelpful and inappropriate, once you think about it a bit more…

  3. Staircase2 15 Nov 2012, 4:04pm

    What I don’t get is how the article claims that the current government says they can’t ‘turn back history’ but they can.

    Recent legislation already allows historic convictions based on sexuality to be overturned and wiped from records if they involve behaviour which would now no longer be deemed to be illegal.

    1. Yes, but that’s only of use to people who’re still alive or whose descendants are conscious of the historic disgrace, isn’t it?

    2. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 4:44pm

      Maybe, but he still committed a crime, and he still got nicked for it.
      A piece of paper is not going to make a jot of difference.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 15 Nov 2012, 7:03pm

        No, you’re absolutely right.

        You probably got a piece of paper saying you’d passed exams when you left school, and you still post stupid comments on here, so as you say a piece of paper doesn’t make a jot of difference

      2. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 8:56pm

        It’s not the piece of paper. It is the principle.

        I have a piece of paper that says I am legally in a Civil Partnership.

        I hate it.

        It states in black and white that I am not GOOD ENOUGH to be legally considered civil married.

        But it’s only a piece of paper in your eyes.

        Think again.

        1. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 11:25pm

          “I hate it.”
          Then why did you bother?

  4. I so don’t agree with this: as Turing has been dead for nearly 60 years, it’s not going to make the slightest difference to him. Much better to leave things as they are and acknowledge the terrible injustice he suffered.

  5. I would only agree with this if everyone prosecuted under the same laws as Turing were also pardoned. Otherwise his conviction should remain as a permanent, shaming reminder of the consequences to society as whole, as well as to individuals, of the consequences of ignorant bigotry

  6. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 4:42pm

    Pardons are pointless.
    the man did what he did knowingly, and broke the law at the time. A pardon is not going to change the facts, and Turing himself is far too long gone to benefit from it.

    OK, the law may well have been wrong, but one cannot turn back the clock. Better to recognise the man for his incalculable contribution to society, rather than keep digging up this rather grubby little indiscretion.

    1. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 9:00pm

      He operated as his homosexual nature defined.

      Left-Handed people used to be castigated for being “Left Handed”

      Did the State cut off their hands. NO.

      This man did as nature intended, it was the state that was out of alignment with him , and all conjured up as usual by bloody religion.

  7. I would only agree if Alan Turing was still alive, or if his descendents would suffer from his conviction.
    Now it is part of history along with all the other nasty things we did in the past. It should be a lesson and be part of his life for ever, so we keep reminding ourselves of the unjust things we did.

    Don’t clean up the records, they serve historical evidence for future generations.

    1. I completely agree.

  8. The trouble is that if Turing is pardoned then everyone who fell foul of the anti-gay laws will have to be pardoned.

    Many are still alive.

    And if they are pardoned then I foresee lawsuits for loss of income; and damage to reputation by those people who were negatively effected.

    Like it or not homosexuality was a crime in the 1940’s so his conviction was valid at the time.

    1. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 11:27pm

      For once, I totally concur with you.
      This serves no purpose to anyone except for political expediency.

  9. A posthumous pardon doesn’t require a time machine or turning back time, it would be entirely symbolic in honour of a great hero and genius who helped to end WWII .
    Just do it.

    1. Spanner1960 15 Nov 2012, 11:28pm

      Yes, but symbolic for who? Certainly no for Turing.
      The only people that stand to benefit are the government saying “Look how understanding and sympathetic we are now.”

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Nov 2012, 6:29pm

    People are awarded posthumous medals and other accolades for service to their country. Granting Alan Turing a pardon of course won’t mean anything because of the laws which were in place at the time of his death. What we should do is make sure what happened to him will never be forgotten, never happen again, to be over vigilant that bigotry, prejudice, discrimination against a minority is unacceptable and will never be tolerated.

    Equal marriage opponents take note.

    1. Spanner1960 16 Nov 2012, 1:25pm

      I think you are confusing the two.
      Granting the man an accolade, knighthood, medal or gong is one thing.
      Attempting to rescind a criminal charge is entirely another.

      Like I said, the man should be recognised for his talents, not his flaws.

  11. Police homophobia, simply buried 15 Nov 2012, 8:04pm

    “Alan Turing was just one of many thousands of gay men who was wronged by prejudice and homophobic laws that have rightly been wiped off the statute book”

    …wiped off in theory, but it has’nt stop anti-gay witchhunts by likes of Devon & Cornwall Police!

    1. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 9:03pm

      If you have an issue with that then take it up with the new police commissioner that nobody actually turned up to vote in.

  12. No no no…

    I can see your heart is in the right place but
    A) pardon him for what? A pardon implies you’ve done something wrong but we forgive you… He did nothing wrong.
    B) if you don’t also pardon everyone else convicted under the same law the implication is that Turing somehow earned the right to forgiveness, and the others didn’t

    It’s just a way of showing how ‘down with the gays’ you are and whitewashing the past. He was convicted at the time and treated appallingly because all gay people were treated appallingly back then. Let his conviction stand as a reminder of that… don’t be so offensive as to ‘forgive’ him for being gay.

    1. Spanner1960 18 Nov 2012, 4:22pm

      Sorry, but he did do something that was considered wrong at the time.
      There are many laws today that I think should be rescinded, but that isn’t the point, the law is the law at the time you contravene the act, irrespective of if it is considered a bad law in retrospect.

      I agree though that the conviction should stand as a monument to less forgiving and more intolerant times.

  13. ...Paddyswurds 17 Nov 2012, 9:50pm

    Pardoned infers that he is being pardoned for wrong doing which is totally false. he should be posthumously exonerated rather as he did nothing wrong.

    1. Spanner1960 18 Nov 2012, 4:22pm

      Read my comment above.

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