11 September 2009

Gordon Brown does something right

Apologies for how Alan Turing was treated by the state.

About time. It is in an article in the Daily Telegraph by Brown himself:

"Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of the Second World War could have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely.

In 1952, he was convicted of "gross indecency" – in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence – and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison – was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later"


Though, unfortunately, Brown's article makes one glaring error "For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind's darkest hour". Sorry Gordon, half of Europe was under totalitarian dictatorship, and it took another 45 years to liberate most of the other half. Even now, some remains under authoritarianism (Belarus and Russia most notably).

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