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Alan Turing or Margaret Thatcher: One deserves recognition and commemoration and the other doesn’t. Which is which?

One was a war hero; the other started a war to keep herself in power.

Now both are in contention to be the face on the back of the new £50 note.

Who would you prefer to see there – Alan Turing or Margaret Thatcher?

How about some information to help you decide?

Alan Turing, often hailed as the grandfather of modern computing, was a mathematical genius who cracked the German Enigma coding machine while working at Bletchley Park during World War II.

He is widely believed to have been responsible for ending the war years earlier than would otherwise have been the case and it would be right, therefore, to consider him one of that conflict’s greatest heroes.

But he was gay in a time when homosexuality was outlawed. Convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952, he was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and driven to suicide.

It wasn’t until December 2013 – nearly 60 years since his death – that the UK government saw fit to pardon him for the injustice he suffered under the primitive and barbaric regime that was the UK in the 1950s.

If Turing was famous for helping end a war, Margaret Thatcher is best known for starting them.

It is widely believed that she stoked hostilities with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in order to start a conflict that might boost her popularity with the voting public and earn her a second term as prime minister.

During that term, she persecuted mine workers into a year-long strike, in which she used police as weapons against defenceless people who were standing up for their livelihoods against an uncaring and barbaric regime:

In her spare time she used the threat of AIDS to persecute lesbians and gay people.

Oh, but wait! She was a scientist too! Apparently the Bank of England has decided that a scientist will go on the back of the £50 note, and the late Baroness Thatcher qualifies.

Want to know what her contribution was?

Typical Tory – she used science to create a commercial cheat that would induce people to pay more for less.

So the choice is between a member of a persecuted minority who created modern computing while trying to end a war, and a principle persecutor of that minority who perverted science to make money and started wars for her own selfish reasons.

Who do you think will get the gig?

The choice will speak volumes about the priorities of the country’s leaders.

Of course, there’s still a chance that a random choice will win…

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