Keep the Momentum
It's a week now since the odious Colonel Ian Standen sneered his way to infamy on BBC News and social media and PR bandwagons started rolling. I have watched with interested and waited to make my contribution. I am local to BP and have given my time and money to what I truly believe is an important and unique site. It's local, national and global importance cannot be understated. The role of Colossus in the development of computing is as crucial to our history as the seed-drill and the Bessemer Steam Engine to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. The part that the tireless dedication and intellectual might of the Codebreakers played in shortening the war is undoubted. How a small, fairly uninteresting Buckinghamshire town absorbed this "army" of near 10,000 and kept the secret for so long is mind-boggling and barely mentioned. The foresight and fighting spirit of those who stopped the bulldozers in the 1990s and the volunteers who have given so selfishly since then is a true testament to all those who served at BP during World War II.
So this is where I have a problem with those stuck in a small, petty-minded struggle to "own" this legacy and dogmatically shape Bletchley Park into their interpretation of a "heritage centre".
* You can't divorce the codebreakers from the tools they used - Colossus and Tunny are key components of the story of BP. To do so is to airbrush history. We need to celebrate the technology and honour the people
* Fences and barriers between BP Trust and TNMOC, either physical or virtual, are an anathema, and damage the integrity of Bletchley Park and its legacy
* The gongs and the recognition should be given to those who selflessly dedicated many, many years of unpaid service to saving Bletchley Park for future generations. They should not be a pre-requisite for a place on a Board of Trustees
* There is no black and white - dogmatic, authoritarian stances will only create further disharmony. Engagement, empathy, generosity and openness are the only way to solve this
* There are many contradictions and unanswered questions e.g.. why does TNMOC need to be fenced off when Bletchley Park Capital Partners sub-lease Block B and part of upstairs in the Mansion and rent this out to other companies as serviced offices? Is the room where the Churchill Collection was going to be used for "heritage" purposes, or as a key individual in BPCP told us as a conference suite for their tenants?
* BP is a national jewel and a local treasure and we are all stakeholders. It is important that we continue to raise questions and hold those who have been entrusted with this legacy to account. No doubt Ian Standen will be waiting for the storm to pass and for people's attention to move onto another cause, Whilst I do not think a Boycott will bring any benefit to BP, it is important to keep these issues in the media, on social networks and alive to funders, contributors, MPs etc. so that the right questions are asked and the right decision for the future of BP are made.
* Next week and the week after, keep talking about this and don't let this crucial issues be locked away and ignored.