So in a future distopean world
if kiddie fondling was legalised, Sir Jimmy would be pardoned? It's a dangerous road to go down.
The government is set to extend the posthumous pardon given to Alan Turing for gross indecency to all of those men who were convicted for homosexual acts under legislation which has since been repealed. Back in 2009, Gordon Brown, as Prime Minister, apologised for the appalling persecution of Alan Turing, which involved a …
> Sir Jimmy would be pardoned?
Was he was convicted of something?
A pardon implies an offence was committed and forgiven rather than an irrational law. Apology should suffice. Will they start pardoning hanged slaves for running away, burnt heretics for being Protestants?
Apology should suffice. Will they start pardoning hanged slaves for running away, burnt heretics for being Protestants?
Protestants, Catholics, Waldensians, Witches, all were roasted at one time or another, depending on Monarch.
Now people are just lightly braised before a beak in court and scorched if the red-tops get incensed with unrighteous indignation and any scars for life are more often mental rather than physical - I believe Turing was chemically sterilised*. The punishments and nature of offenses people find offensive has changed, but the nature of people hasn't one iota (see also *).
* I'm sure there a plenty would suggest it for todays scapegoat deviants.
>The runaway slaves and burnt Protestants (*cough, and burnt Catholics)
Burnt Catholics? Most were drawn and hung - a few more killed by mobs etc through more elaborate means - crushing, beheading etc. Struggling to thing of one who was burnt at the stake by official sanction though. Mary torched close to 300 Protestants in contrast - burning at the stake was a more Catholic taste :/
So in a future distopean world
if kiddie fondling was legalised, Sir Jimmy would be pardoned? It's a dangerous road to go down.
On the things-to-worry-about scale, these two aren't exactly comparable.
It's a bit like criticising Mohamed Atta for failing to file a flight plan.
"if kiddie fondling was legalised, Sir Jimmy would be pardoned? It's a dangerous road to go down."
If murder was legalised, Shipman would be pardoned? If zombies existed, would brains be served at McDonalds? If Santa existed, would breaking and entry through the chimney be legal? If death by stupid internet suppositions was possible, would this question be criminal?
Children still can't give consent and paedophilia will never be acceptable enough to legalise.
This is a problem today because people getting a criminal record check for a job could be refused for having a criminal record, or have their employer know they're gay while interviewing, which could harm their chances of recruitment as it's still seen negatively by a portion of the population.
Also the dangerous/slippery road argument is pretty much always a ridiculous hypothetical
"Children still can't give consent and paedophilia will never be acceptable enough to legalise."
How do you define what is a child though? What would be considered paedophilia in this country is perfectly legal in many jurisdictions, including many EU countries.
>How do you define what is a child though? What would be considered paedophilia in this country is perfectly legal in many jurisdictions, including many EU countries.
In the EU child sexual abuse (where there's coercion, abuse of trust, prostitution etc) is anyone under 18 years of age - even in EU countries where the age of consent is 14 or 16. (see Lanzarote Convention)
> What would be considered paedophilia in this country is perfectly legal in many jurisdictions
Well, it's getting to the point where pretty much all sex is illegal in the UK.
Luckily I now live in a place where I can tell people they have nice hair or congratulate them on their smart looks¹ without risking having Mr Plod called on me.
¹ Not that there is much opportunity for that in "let's all dress to look like a bag of potatoes" Blighty.
What is a child?
I had parents - I am their child so I am a child.
I believe that someone is classsed as a child in comparison to someone else if they are aged less than half of the elder's age +7.
I now believe that a child is someone under the age of 16 becase I'm in the UK.
I now believe that a child is someone under the age of 18 because I moved to the USA.
Now I think that a child is someone under the age of 14 because I moved somewhere else.
But now I think someone is a child when they are less than 18 because they are nude and in a photograph.
Changing of definitions happens all ready and it is terrifying. The other edge of pardons like this is retroactive laws. Now THAT is the dangerous road.
And let's remember that it's not just kiddy fiddlers that are targeted by anti sex laws. Yet anyone who falls foul will be labelled as such.
The whole thing is a mess.
Semaj, a child can be thought of as someone who cannot give consent, because they don't have the same mentality as the other person and do not have the same power. They don't understand what they are consenting to, they don't have the power to refuse consent (especially if they are too you to be able to talk). The age at which any society thinks the two participants are of equal standing to make their understanding and consent meaningful differs, but I think the intent is always the same.
Will people now also be convicted posthumously for what was once not illegal but is now illegal?
Precedent - Oliver Cromwell after his death was tried, convicted, and executed (again) for the execution of the rightful monarch.
...cue the Monty 'Oliver Cromwell Song'
Retrospective laws are generally considered a bad thing (although the UK can't get enough of them).
Retrospective pardons are also a bad thing - they will now be used to make the 1950s and 1960s "alright" for future generations.
Just wait until slavery is revised, along with womens rights.
How about the one where you were required to grow hemp if you were a landowner? Any news on revisions to that one?
Not sure about this posthumous pardon...In one sense it's good that his name is cleared; on the other hand it does fuck-all good now. Massive apologies and compensation for the living, sure, but it smacks of legal onanism. Making sure it doesn't happen again and sorting out injustices we have right now would be a better plan IMHO
this was a (Tudor) English law, and - England being England - you could choose not to grow hemp and pay a fine (cf church attendance in Tudor times)
Many farmers preferred the fine, as hemp is a smelly business when done for fibre ("retting"). Also hemp seed makes eggs taste funny.
Even in the 1500s, England (the UK being a way off) needed to import hemp to keep the navy going.
It is hugely significant that the State acknowledges that it's previous policy was wrong, unjust and caused huge problems for those affected by it. Governments being held accountable for their actions (or inactions) should be the main cornerstone of a democratic, civilised society.
On the other hand....
Pardon: Granted by someone with the power to do so.
Apology: Given by someone who did wrong or feels guilt for something.
Personally I feel no guilt for something done by someone else, especially by dead people even if they are direct ancestors. "Sins of the father" is a silly concept. An "apology" given by the State out of the mouths of people who were not in charge, not responsible and may not even have been born at the time is a pretty empty concept and is is only done for reasons of current political correctness and points scoring.
Still waiting for the apology from Italy for all those slaves taken from Greater Britannia...
TBH I can't really see the point of this and the cost justification. Lots of things used to be illegal which are now legal, for example abortion, gambling, heresy etc but no posthumous pardons for that.
Attempted suicide also used to be illegal and that opens up all sorts avenues about posthumous pardons.
Just be glad we moved on to more enlightened times.
> Just be glad we moved on to more enlightened times.
I'm not so sure we have - there are plenty of loosely framed laws now to entrap the perhaps misguided and offensive but basically harmless who come to the attention of the Authorities (extreme pornography, material preparatory to terrorism etc), and if the law can't oblige, social media has plenty of lynch mob potential.
I think a modern day Turing could be destroyed in much the same way as A.M.T. was in the 50's.
>there are plenty of loosely framed laws.........plenty of lynch mob potential.
As long as you have lawyers you will always get stupid laws, it's probably a conspiracy by the Inns of Court to keep the fees flowing by first making them then arguing against them.
Lynch mobs are old as mankind, we do it on line now instead of using a rope and tree.
..god there are some fucking dickheads on this forum.
Comparing being homosexual to pedophilia, murder, running away as a slave, witchcraft and all the to other shit being spouted here, are missing the massive fucking point.
One is between two consenting adults harming no one else.
All the others, I'm pretty sure, are not.
>>Comparing being homosexual.............
I think you are missing the point, homosexuality was once considered being comparable to some of the things you mention and was thus illegal.
You were burned at the stake for witchcraft and heresy at one time which is a more considerable punishment than a fine or prison for importuning.
These days we know better and are more enlightened, you can thank Science for that.
These days we know better and are more enlightened, you can thank Science for that.
I think you put science on too much of a pedestal. At least, it was more the failures of 'corrective' treatments devised and applied by psychiatrists, Stonewall riots and gay rights lobbying, a combination of changing societal attitudes, that homosexual acts are no longer illegal.
>I think you put science on too much of a pedestal
Science is a tool merely for the seeking of knowledge and truth through discovery of the world around us. It is the dark side of mankind that chooses to pervert a thing for ill or malevolent use. Science gives you a sharp stainless blade which you may either use to repair a diseased human brain or slice the healthy carotid artery of another. You could argue it was the advancement in our scientific understanding that brought about the huge socio-economic changes which gave people the freedom to think.
I'll take science & philosophy over religious orthodoxy any day.
Disclosure, I'm both an atheist and a humanist.
Witches were protected under crown law and you couldn't kill them by burning - you had to drown and behead them, then you could burn the body. I believe that witch burning was more an american thing.
Witch trials during the English Civil wars were an anomyly, encouraged by Parliament against royalist supporters and so were political. Those killed as a result were pardonned by the King (Charles II) when he ascended to the throne (Post Cromwell). Not that it did them any good.
Erm references ?
The last person in the British isles to be executed for witchcraft in 1727, burned at the stake.
>These days we know better and are more enlightened, you can thank Science for that.
>Historians have since estimated that the witch-hunt hysteria that peaked between the 15th and 18th centuries saw some 50,000 people executed as witches in Europe.
400 Years, 50,000 people.
In WW1, we were killing up to 75,000 people *per day*
This advance was thanks to Science and definitely during the Modern (benefiting from the Enlightenment) period.
Each year, almost 43,000 people kill themselves in the US. Perhaps Enlightenment doesn't bring happiness after all.
Are these really better days? More efficient tech, certainly - I'll reserve judgement on the rest.
I'm not saying we didn't have some bad laws in the past, but it appears that much of the modern entertainment industry, the media, many politicians and much of the modern society general is obsessed with homosexuality (as far as I can tell) as a proxy for convincing themselves and others that they are good people. I wonder why they are so insecure about that?
A rainbow filter on your facebook photos is so much easier than dealing with the big problems of the pain we cause: the gossip, slander, lack of charity that we see both in the leaders we choose through politics and in ourselves, towards those abroad and around us.
But only by one definition of consenting adult and these other things.
If you'd told me 50 years ago that in 2016 we'd have gay marriage, no restrictions on homosexual behaviour and all the rest of it, plus the radically different definitions of rape and sexual assault, *and* also told me the female age of consent would be unchanged I wouldn't have believed you. Back then, in many circles at least, the age of consent for girls at 16 was considered just as outdated and repressive as the restrictions on homosexuals.
Amongst Saville's peers in the early 70s I doubt sex with physically mature 15 year old girls was considered any worse than sex with 16 year old boys, but now one is legal and the other not, and we're issuing pardons for one not the other. Its all about what is currently PC. Ridiculous.
Nobody has said that being homosexual is comparable to those things.
They were comparing the fact of it being illegal once, but not now, with the fact of other things being illegal now.
The actual things being compared are irrelevant to the arguments made, they were points about things being illegal and then not. Nobody equated practices of paedophilia with practices of homosexuality or the other things.
Anyway, did you just equate murder, paedophilia, running away as a slave, and witchcraft? As if they are all equally bad?
He has a point, there's no way slave would get permission to run away (if they did, it wouldn't be running away) so it can never be consensual, therefore its bad.
A village would never give consent to have his livestock afllicted with dry udder by a witch therefore also not consensual and bad.
A fifteen year old starstruck popsy might give her consent to a dodgy DJ, but it's not legally valid, therefore any further activities with her are non-consenual and bad.
All consent really comes from the government saying what is allowed and what is not, so you could argue the government did not give consent for two men to pleasure eachother they had might have eachothers consent, but that consent was not recognised by law....bad again.
See, there's a problem there - as far as the law is concerned anyone under the age of 16 cannot agree to sexual activity, which means that she is also unable by law to refuse, since under the law anyone under the age of 16 is not mentally capable to make that decision either one way or the other.
Since rape relies on consent and your teenage celeb fodder can neither consent or refuse.. She therefore cannot be raped in a legal sense, since BY THE LAW she is incapable of making that decision.
That's child abuse law right up the pictures for a start..
Now do you begin to see why even senior judges are having brain wibbles over this pointless damaging crap?
> murder, paedophilia, running away as a slave, and witchcraft?
> As if they are all equally bad?
Who says they are or are not? Its possible to list human societies where all of those were perfectly acceptable, and others where all of those were immoral or illegal. Probably not all at the same time in any of them though, which perhaps says something about human nature...
Unless you genuinely believe in divine revelation about what's right or wrong who are any of us to say that the liberal consensus in Britain in 2016 is actually better than 5th century Athens, 12th century Italy, 15th century Mali or any other culture you care to list. I don't know about you, but I don't look around me and think I'm in a perfect society.
Oh so it's OK to criminalise a consenting 14 year old couples is it? Or put a 15 year old girl on the sex offender registry because she has nude pics of HERSELF on her OWN phone? Despite the fact that a 10 year old can choose to end their own life under UK law? Quick someone call the paedo-finder general! *¹
Here's a thought, since sexualities are fixed between 5 and 8 years old (bar interference by celebrities in womble suits) let's teach kids at the right age about consent, safety and that "no doesn't mean yes especially when the prospective partner is too drunk to stand up", and let them get on with it. In stead let's charge the dried up old bat or godbothering prodnose* who gets involved when it's nothing to do with them. And for fusks sake stop INTERFERING WITH PEOPLE'S SEXUALITIES. If some teenager wants to be disembowelled by her boyfriend during a birthday shag its no business of anyone else's, if that's her decision, then that's her choice, and no one else's.
And we'd have a whole lot less sexual screw ups if we got rid of school counsellors who role play as Irish Catholic nun/religious nutcases and those lovely sex ed videos that were last in copyright somewhere around the time the internal combustion engine was invented.. Its amazing that any one manages to have kids if you ever watched those, you'd need a puncture repair kit and a swimming costume according to one I was subjected to! And that's just for foreplay...
Turing was a naive in-duh-vidual if he thought being a sweeper of the chocolate chimney would be fine while in charge of government secrets. As for a retrospective pardon is as pink and fluffy as it is pointless. And think on this, as the inventor of the computer he's directly responsible for facebook and the legions of kiddie porn fanatics the world over. What price the Legacy now? #
*¹ to quote "she's 35, works in accounts, she looks like 12 and that's what counts... "
* One of the multitude of reasons why missionaries should be shot on sight, preferably with a Vulcan cannon, just to be sure, you understand.
# £21,895 from all Subaru dealers..
No. It is not wonderful. The man was harassed, treated like shit, and that's how he died. What the hell is the point of pardoning him NOW? To try to make yourselves feel better? It doesn't help him or the many others who died as "criminals".
Saying anything to a woman that you would not say to a man is now a criminal offence in Nottingham, so it only needs police to act on that law and you will have your conviction.
That's sounds like a good think to me. there are loads of things you might say to a man that you wouldn't say to a woman - eg that's a terrible haircut, you've put on a fair bit of weight, that's a helluva shirt you're wearing, look at the t*ts on her etc. Feel free to add your own....
This is nothing more than the government pretending they are progressive when they are nothing of the sort. It's very easy to pardon offenses of 50 years ago when no one who made any of the judgements is still alive, it's quite another to look at the laws of today and admit that they are even more insane.
They criminalize young adults over the age of consent who dare to send a nude pictures to their partners. They cause men, accused of rape to have their names smeared accross the media even when not guilty (and the woman can never be named even when it's proved she was a liar). And drawings of perfectly legal acts to perform, or even one to one discussions about them (if done over the Internet) can be illegal.
We in the UK have some of the most authoritarian and regressive anti-sex laws in the western world and no amount of gay marriage or pointless apologies will fix that. The whole lot need scrapping and writing for the modern world, rather than for Mumsnet,The Daily Mail and the NSPCC.
That's a thought, a mumsnet Doom level.. The spineys and grunts can be single mother daily fail readers and the end of level baddies can be rich trophy wives and celebs that only find their own kids in a line up by listening out for their nannies distinctive accent.
You start of with either fists or a bottle that shoots baby formula, then, via the pram mounted nappy launcher all the way up to the AFN9000 (Anti FemiNazi) that shoots corrosive streams of reality...
And right now there is a special place in my heart, and on one of those background ambience impaling spikes, for Olivia "poor little My Career/Ethiopians" Colman. Like a humanitarian version of Honey Boo Boo.
Societies change , what is law today may not be law in a few years . Thats a healthy thing . But to then retrospectivly issue apologies to people prosecuted by the old law is surely a waste of parliaments time ? And how do we decide which reverted law should get an apology and which should not ? There is talk of somtheing similar for people shot for 'cowardice' in the first world war . We all know that just as in the cases of Gross indecency these people were wrongly treated by todays standards , and in retrospect the law appears wrong . But is helps no one to apologise for our great grandparents society .
Perhaps the logic is that if you issue meaningless apologies for the actions of governments in history it will distract people from the failures of government in the present? Issuing a pointless apology is easy, but fixing today's problems is difficult. Its just more of the old panem et circenses.
Clearly not, they haven't been allowed to make any decisions since May took No. 10.
This is just more press manipulation so they can point to it as an example of not being afraid to admit past mistake etc. safe in the knowledge those mistakes are some one elses while sweeping their own well under the carpet when noone is looking...
Did Turing ever get a gong in recognition for his wartime work? I suspect not, given society's views on "his type" back then.
Now that pardoning has been extended to everyone else who was similarly persecuted/prosecuted, there is less to set Turing apart from others. Is it time for a posthumous award?
These men were convicted, so a pardon makes sense -- as does an apology.
What about all the people locked up for life without parole with no trial and no conviction? We did the right thing and released all the ones who weren't dangerous (which was almost all of them), but I think most of them could have done with a proper official apology from the government too.
You know what the most common reason for a woman to be in an asylum was? "Moral turpitude" -- i.e. having a baby out of wedlock. It wasn't a crime, but was evidence of insanity, so you got locked up for longer than if it had been a crime. Also evidence of insanity was denying your guilt when accused of a crime by your betters -- which was a real risk for people in service to masters or mistresses who mislaid things. Stealing was criminal, but denying you'd stolen was criminally insane, so up you were locked, forever, no trial or conviction necessary.
About time we apologized to these people too. A lot of them are still alive.
So I saw the Turing movie and from memory they convicted him of being gay after his important work of cracking the Enigma Code. I find it hard to believe that no background checks were conducted on the person running the most secretive cryptographic research at the time ... just to find out he's gay at a later stage? In my opinion the British government needed to shut Turing up, so he wouldn't give away the secrets he worked on. The government could have turned a blind eye, but Turing being gay was the perfect excuse.
Apparently the U.S. only found out that Werner von Braun was a Nazi - only after he built the Saturn V rocket.... Hmmmm.
Apologies are nice, and pardons are certainly called for. But unless the government of the United Kingdom has perfected the technology of time travel and not told anyone, and can go back in time to "undo" what has been done, apologies and pardons accomplish nothing.
They do not undo the often brutal damage done to the thousands of victims and since they cost nothing, they leave no educative imprint on the ones doing the apologizing.
Under the circumstances, if the government were anything like sincere, reparations would be offered proportionate to the suffering these inhuman, monstrous laws created, and their framers and enforcers would be named and (at a minimum) shamed. This is what we call "justice."
It is not the Government's place to pardon Dr. Turing, which has a feel about it rather like the German government pardoning the internees at Auschwitz. Rather, it would have been Dr. Turing's place to pardon the Government.
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