COMMENT: Commons debate marks birthday of hero Turing

Olympic Torch Relay at Bletchley Park
Olympic Torch Relay at Bletchley Park

MANY people have written to me over the last few months about Alan Turing.

As many readers will know June 23 marked the centenary of this great man’s birth and it was fitting that Parliament marked this occasion with a debate in the House of Commons.

Iain Stewart

Iain Stewart

The achievements of Alan Turing were truly remarkable and it is no exaggeration to say his early work with computers made things we take for granted in the world of technology possible. He is possibly best known for his work at Bletchley Park’s Station X, decrypting and intercepting communications from the German Enigma Machine. The Enigma codes were the backbone of the German military intelligence system. It was thought that they were unbreakable, but Turing managed it. Breaking the code shortened the war by at least two years.

I also attended the Turing Education Day at Bletchley Park. I would encourage readers to visit the excellent Turing Exhibition.

Bletchley Park also played host to the Olympic Torch as it passed through MK. The Games’ opening ceremony is less than two weeks away and I hope everyone will join me in wishing all the best to our athletes. Greg Rutherford, from Woburn Sands, will be competing at his second Olympics in the Long Jump. Chris Adcock, who trains at the National Badminton Centre in MK, will represent the country in the Badminton Mixed Doubles. Handball player Bob White, who lives in Loughton. is the captain of the men’s team and this will be his first Olympics.

Another winner is Oxley Park Academy. The Academy has been announced as the winners of The Award for Outstanding School Team of the Year in the East for the 2012 Pearson Teaching Awards. I regularly hear praise about the very high standards at the school.

This month I continued my series of visits to schools and was pleased to meet teachers and pupils from Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley, as well as those from Priory Rise School.

I have also been continuing my programme of shadowing public sector workers. On Friday, July 6 I spent time with Royal Mail workers. I was able to see the mail sorting process and join in on the delivery rounds, and get an insight into the challenges of delivering mail to every household and business.

The City Breakfast Club invited me to join them as a guest speaker for their meeting. As the oldest breakfast club in the city it was a pleasure to hear the views of a large cross-section of employers.

Finally, I was delighted to attend the MK City Orchestra end of season concert. It is wonderful to have such a cultural asset for the city and I’d encourage readers to attend a concert.


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