If you’re a Brit with a conscience, sign the Turing petition! – UPDATED
Thousands of people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to World War II code breaker Alan Turing…
In 1952 Turing was prosecuted under the gross indecency act after admitting to a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself.
The petition was the idea of computer scientist John Graham-Cumming. He is seeking an apology for the way the young mathematician was treated after his conviction. He has also written to the Queen to ask for a posthumous knighthood to be awarded to the British mathematician.
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.
“This added insult and humiliation ultimately drove him to suicide,” said gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who also backs the campaign. “With Turing’s death, Britain and the world lost one of its finest intellectual minds. A government apology and posthumous pardon are long overdue.”
No one expects bumbling Brown to follow the thoughtful requests of folk – ranging from geeks to civil libertarians – for an apology. He doesn’t seem to get the quality of humanity that distinguishes genuine political leaders. Still, the petition campaign has managed official status on the Downing Street website and the Blimps can’t avoid seeing what people feel on the issue.
Only British citizens – including ex-pats – can sign on. Another reason I’m pleased at the number of readers this blog has in the U.K..
Hopefully, we can move a few more people of conscience to act. You can sign here.
UPDATE: PM Gordon Brown has apologized on behalf of the British government.