Whose face do you want on the back of the £50 note: Alan Turing? Or Margaret Thatcher?

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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24 thoughts on “Whose face do you want on the back of the £50 note: Alan Turing? Or Margaret Thatcher?

  1. joanna

    Meh who cares can’t use them where i live anyway? If I had one I wouldn’t be able to get rid of it. Anyway the decision has probably already been made

  2. Chris Bergin

    There is good reason to ask if we really need a £50 note at all. It appears to be useful only for Money laundering and the type who burn money in front of the homeless and dispossessed. I know I would get some very strange looks if I tried to spend one in my local shops.

  3. John

    Your assertion that Thatcher “stoked” up hostilities with Argentina to start the Falklands war runs counter to the facts! The facts are Thatcher and her defence secretary, John Nott, were scaling down the military and had already agreed to sell the Navy’s aircraft carriers to Australia, prior to April 1982. Aircraft carriers that would and were imperative to any attempt to recover the Islands. Hardly the actions of a someone wishing to start a war 8000 miles away is it? Yet on the other hand Argentina’s military dictator Galtieri was doing exactly the opposite in preparation to invade the Falklands. He had asked his generals to prepare invasion plans at least 1 year prior to April 1982, and he had been busy buying munitions and increasing his military strength in anticipation for war, that he was planning…not Thatcher! And he was doing it for precisely the reasons you accuse Thatcher of. He and his Junta had killed at least 30,000 students and academics who threatened the Junta’s dictatorship, that was ruling over a country racked with chronic economic problems. Galtieri knew he could win over the hearts of a nation if he successfully invaded the Falklands. Of course he was right, because for the short time those Islands were in Argentine hands he was lionised by his people. It was only when Thatcher decided to assemble an aging fleet to successfully retake the Islands, and with the complete backing of Michael Foot’s very Socialist Labour Party, those same people turned against him. In short, Galtieri had planned what you accuse Thatcher of doing.

    And to accuse her of persecuting gays is hyperbolic and misleading! She happened to be PM when the AIDS epidemic hit in the 80s. She and other leaders were being lobbied and pressured by the gay community to do something. Please be more specific in your accusation. Please back up your claim that she persecuted the gay and lesbian community.

    1. tresmegistus

      wrong john. that is what the government and press wanted you to believe. look closer. which uk person visited argentine and indicated that uk would not be amiss to handing the islands to argentine? same as happened to ian smith and southern Rhodesia. it is the old Hegelian dialectic – create the problem, cause the reaction and provide the solution

    2. Carol Fraser

      She removed the Royal Navy monthly visit against advice. Argentina invaded and Carrington took the fall

    3. rotzeichen

      Have you forgotten how she lied in parliament three times over the position of the Belgrano when it was sunk under her orders. Reagan also had an agreement ready and waiting to be signed before any shots were fired in anger, but she ploughed ahead and ensured the conflict would happen by sinking the Belgrano.

      Did you also forget how unpopular she was in the country before the conflict, but to our eternal shame the country played this war out like a football match and people went along with it, turning her actions into hero worship, Blair no doubt thought he would reap the same rewards by invading Iraq, thankfully the country had woken up by then.

      The other small factor relating to the Falklands war was the research vessel that was sent away from the Falklands – that was in fact known by all sides to be stationed to keep watch over the Island, sending it away was tantamount to inviting the Argentinians to stake their claim on it.

  4. kateuk

    No politician should go on the new note. On the other hand the people who hate Thatcher the most are probably the least likely to see one of these notes.

    1. SteveH

      Whether that holds true in the future depends on what happens with Brexit and how much our currency devalues.

  5. RH.

    Why hasn’t anybody thought of Princess Diana the peoples princess who did more good in the short time she was here than Thatcher did in her lifetime.

  6. Yosserian Hughes.

    I’m NO fan of thatcher – I detested her alive and equally dead.

    But you’ve obviously forgotten than Galtieri was turning his junta’s dissidents (Left-wing dissidents, no less) into corned beef during his tyranny. That regime was no better than thatcher’s mate – pinochet’s.

    Those were (ARE) British citizens on the Falklands. That fate could well have befallen them as well. While thatcher was wrong on just about everything else; it got that particular one dead right.

    Also, IIRC, thatcher was part of a team that discovered an insecticide (piperonyl butoxide, from memory) doubled as a preservative(?) for ice-cream. The ‘air’ is an urban myth.

    Anyway, my choice for the £50 would be James Clerk Maxwell.

    *Google him

  7. rotzeichen

    Thatcher has already devalued our currency, the last thing we want is to see her face on it rubbing salt into our wounds.

  8. blackghost55

    Yep she was a wicked evil as-they-come megalomaniac as was Blaire/Cameron . . . does it give them a rush of power?
    Now this Alan Turing . . is the sort of person who would deserve a knighthood, but no just give them out to their so-called friends (as bungs)
    & hairdressers of course ..

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