WE recoil in horror when TV bulletins report atrocities by rampaging Islamic militants against gay men, half the world away.

But our society is not as far removed as we might like to think from the prejudice that underlies their barbarism.

Well within living memory our ‘civilised’ nation found it perfectly acceptable to imprison members of this particular minority or subject them to chemical castration.

And one of our great heroes, Alan Turing, died tragically early at 41 from cyanide poisoning, having been prosecuted and persecuted for living as what was then termed a queer, thereby breaking the hypocritical behavioural code of the day.

He may have been officially ‘rehabilitated’ since, and his face will even adorn our banknotes soon, but a fat lot of good that does a dead man, or his mum.

These days Britain is extending its famed ‘tolerance’ towards another minority, European citizens who had the temerity to take us at our word and come over here to live and work. Along with the ageing survivors of the Windrush generation and their children.

For me, the Home Office cruelty we’ve seen lately gives an added resonance and relevance to the Playhouse’s new production, Breaking The Code, juxtaposing Turing’s wartime exploits at Bletchley Park with his subsequent ordeal at the hands of our judicial system.

I thought Edward Bennett as Turing was quite simply wonderful.

His was a huge role, with a script of awe-inspiring complexity that must have been a nightmare to memorise, and he pitched the character of this intense but gently humorous genius just right, never overplaying his hand.

In this he received excellent support from the other cast members, among them stars of the theatre’s previous production, Relatively Speaking. But this was one man’s tour de force.

And staying with our ‘Cultural Quarter’...

Around the corner in Fisherton Street, it’s fingers crossed for some lovely light shows to attract tourists, according to the city’s bid for cash from the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Despite the slightly strange official illustration gracing the front page of this newspaper last week, there are some good ideas in there.

An interactive app to provide information to visitors, live-work spaces for craftspeople (something I’ve long championed), better road and pedestrian access … though once you start on that one, where do you stop, given the state of our infrastructure?

I think it’ll take a bit more than the Fund has at its disposal to fulfil the aspiration of transforming the “arrival experience” at our railway station, but hey ho, let’s give it a go.

A decent double-decker car park for train travellers instead of a dismal moonscape of cracked concrete and Tarmac would be a start.

Still, good luck to all involved. The real test will be giving Fisherton Street a bit of a facelift without destroying its character and making it unaffordable for independent traders.