Codebreaker extraordinaire Alan Turing is set to be featured on the new £50 note from June this year, in an effort by the Bank of England to ‘properly and accurately memorialise’ a man worth a great deal but ultimately rejected by the establishment.
Turing is oft-dubbed the ‘father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence’ and was credited with playing a crucial role in defeating the Nazis in World War Two by cracking coded messages intercepted by Allied forces.
Unfortunately for Turing, no achievement could outweigh being a homosexual in those days, and he was convicted for ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 before committing suicide in 1954.
“Obviously we like every new banknote to pay a proper tribute to a major figure in our history, but I think we’ve really outdone ourselves this time,” said Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.
“What better way to remember a man chemically castrated by our government for his ‘impure’ thoughts than by putting him on a banknote that immediately rouses suspicion of criminal activity in anyone you hand it to?”
Some disgruntled retailers have already spoken out against the new note, including local newsagent Simon Williams.
“No. Not having it. Not in my shop,” said Williams.
“It’s just not natural. I was brought up not to accept them, and I’m certainly not going to start now. £50 notes are an abomination, and they’re not welcome, certainly not in this newsagents anyway.
“You’re free to be as wealthy as you want in your own home. Just don’t come in here, waving it in my face.”