Honour a hero

EARLIER in the year the Observer reported on the campaign secure a pardon for Alan Turing. Hastings and Rother Rainbow Alliance has also nobly carried the torch on this issue.

To recap, Turing is one of the heroes of the Second World War for his innovations in automating code-breaking, but is almost as well-known for his conviction for homosexuality, linked to his probable suicide at the early age of 41. His amazing mathematical abilities were first spotted at school in Maze Hill.

In February John Leech, the Liberal Democrat MP for Manchester Withington (who was born in Hastings) tabled a Early Day Motion to posthumously pardon Turing, following a public petition that now has more than 36,800 signatures.

He said at the time, “Alan Turing was a national hero. He helped shorten the war and was then persecuted by the state for his sexuality. He should be pardoned and this would be a fitting way of saluting his memory”.

In July the fight went to the House of Lords, with Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey putting forward a Private Member’s Bill that if passed will bring about the long-awaited pardon.

There is, of course Establishment resistance to this, to which end there is an e-petition which I would encourage your readers to sign if they haven’t done so already, and I raise the matter because it closes in a month’s time.

You can sign the petition for Turing’s pardon at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23526

Be quick, the petition closes on November 23.

STEWART RAYMENT

Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrats