Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Turing's Law: Tokenism

Few reasons to vote Labour at this election could be more tokenistic than their new pledge to introduce "Turing’s Law". This legislation, named after Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing, would allow families to apply for the government to posthumously pardon gay ancestors convicted of “indecency.” It's a touching idea, and not a bad one. But you don’t have to be a genius codebreaker to see that, coming from Labour, this the worst sort of gimmickry, cynically designed to win votes on the cheap.

Elections should be about solid promises to change society today, not historical tinkering. If Labour wanted to offer current victims of injustice anything substantial, it could pledge to repeal this government's cuts to the legal aid budget. But Sadiq Khan ruled that out just this Monday. Unable to think of anything useful to promise to living members of the LBGT community, and beaten to the legalisation of gay marriage by the coalition government, Ed Miliband is – if anything – damaging an otherwise harmless idea, turning it into a precedent of which we ought to be suspicious...

A rare moment where Fagburn colludes with the Daily Telegraph (and someone called Rupert).*

Hurrah for pointless gestures!

* Apart from my near-namesake Rupert Smith, obvs.


  1. Why allow families to apply for a pardon? It sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare and a recipe for more injustice when surviving partners who couldn't marry are turned down on the grounds that they are not family.Typical Labour. If they really believe this tokenism is important, why not just pardon everyone who was convicted. Or is that not complicated enough?

  2. Typical Labour!
    This is why I'm voting Tory.
    I shall also be bashing my own skull in with a claw hammer the day after the election...

    1. There are other choices apart from Cameron's Tory Party and Miliband's "we're a tiny bit nicer than them except when it comes to ignoring habeas corpus" Tory Party.