http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/4640672/Save-Bletchley-Park-Why-Im-ashamed-to-be-British.html Have you heard of Bletchley Park? Itâs just north of London, where more than ten thousand men and women worked during WW2 to decode messages sent between the German forces, most notably by Hitler, and the German high command. The cracking of the codes, the use of the intelligence gained and the subsequent related actions of the Allies is said to have shortened WW2 by two years possibly saving an estimated 22 million lives. Bletchley Park is also the birthplace of the computer. The world's first programmable, digital, electronic computer, Colossus, was invented and built by Tommy Flowers and his team at Bletchley Park and Dollis Hill during World War Two. It automated a critical part of the process of deciphering encrypted German messages. If all that work, carried out by thousands of dedicated people for years on end, had not happened many of us would not be here now. Thousands of us today had relatives working at Bletchley Park: many of us may not know it due to the Official Secrets Act, fortunately some of us do. Bletchley Park needs sustained government funding to preserve it. But then of course weâre in an economic downturn - so how could the government afford it? Well, hereâs a comparison. In the short term Bletchley Park needs Â£10 million, which is a pittance compared to how many millions, or is it billions now, that have recently been given to the banks? And how much more than the original estimate is being spent by us on the Olympics? In Canberra, Australia, there stands the Australian War Memorial which is a place that every Australian citizen visits at least once in their lifetime to get an appreciation of the contribution made by Australians to the war effort. In California stands the Computer History Museum a national museum of great importance that is treasured by US citizens. The UK equivalent of these museums is Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing which is housed there. Bletchley Park is an example of British brains and British thinking at its best. Have we no national pride? Is the UK government ashamed of British achievements? Where is our debt of gratitude for the efforts of so many to achieve so much? In Britain we canât even manage to preserve what we have. This is why Iâm ashamed to be British. I hope you are too. Dr Sue Black is Head of Department of Information and Software Systems at the University of Westminster. She blogs about saving Bletchley Park here.