Alan Turing was very badly treated by the British state. There is no doubt about that. And he is owed an apology. But the Bill, which looks as if it will find its way onto the statute book, is bad for two reasons.
First as many others have pointed out it is a bad bill because all gay people persecuted for being themselves should be pardoned, or none. See Martin Robbins’s excellent piece here.
Secondly the Bill is a drafting dog’s dinner. The first clause provides that Turing “is to be taken to be pardoned” for the offences. Then it says: “This Act does not affect any conviction or sentence or give rise to any right entitlement or liability.”
In other words, Turing is to regarded as pardoned but the pardon has no legal effect. This is mealy mouthed and silly. The bill should be quietly dropped. And the Government should dive into its (empty) pockets and found something meaningful in Alan Turing’s memory. Ideas, anyone?
(By the way, I wonder how Gerald Howarth will vote when this Bill reaches the Commons. Here are more aggressive homosexuals….)