Saturday, 12 September 2009

Well call me Susan.

I commented yesterday on Twitter, that if the Derren Brown lottery prediction was achieved by use of collective wishful thinking, then my name is Susan.

My name is not Susan, and no matter how convincing the pyscho-babble which surrounded the 24 people picking numbers, there is no way that they “spotted a pattern in the numbers” and selected the six numbers.  No way at all.

State of mind is important.  Positive thinking can affect many things – including sporting performance, professional performance and even your own physical strength.  But no amount of positive thinking can guess six lottery numbers before they are drawn.

So, here we remain – still in the dark about how the effect was achieved. Oh well.

Talking of things which remain hidden, we went to the Cabinet War Rooms today.  Despite living in London for so many years, it was the first time I’d been.  It is a fantastic museum, and contains so many places where real history took place, that I would recommend any visitor to London go and see it.  The map room, and some of the offices are set up exactly as they were during the war and it doesn’t take much imagination to put yourself back just over sixty years to the time when the British involvement in WWII was being directed from those very rooms.  Definitely worth the entrance fee!

I can’t mention WWII this week without a mention of Alan Turing, can I?  I’m sure everyone knows the tragic story of his suicide after what can only be described as a hideous persecution.

I did sign the petition on the Number 10 website to get the apology from the government – the only such petition I have ever signed.  The current government had no part in what happened to him, of course, and his treatment was merely one case of what happened to so many men not so many years ago.   Everyone else who contributed so much to the war effort was given a knighthood or a peerage and paraded through the streets with honour.  Yet because he was gay, his fate was to be chemically castrated and kill himself with a cyanide-laced apple.

Of course, it’s easy to say that such stories are in the past – but let’s remember that it wasn’t in the distant past that such things happened – it was well-within living memory for many people.  And it wasn’t so many years ago that gay people were barred from serving in the UK military, too.

So let’s not get too wrapped up in the fact that Alan Turing’s treatment was the product of a different time – let’s see this apology from the government as a long-overdue acknowledgement of a great man who – as the letter from Gordon Brown said – really did deserve so much better…

No comments:

Post a Comment