Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | December 18, 2008

Fear of Nakedness Could Cause UK Tax Payers Loss of 100 Million Pounds

From the BBC Website:

A man known as the naked rambler has been jailed for 12 months after being convicted of a breach of the peace. Stephen Gough, 49, was brought into the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday wearing no clothes or shoes. He was arrested at the same court last month after attempting to leave the building naked, following an acquittal for breach of the peace. The former marine, from Eastleigh in Hampshire, has twice walked naked from Land’s End to John O’Groats. During his appearance, Gough told the court that if members of the public were offended by his nakedness then the problem was with them and not with him.

He has spent most of the past two-and-a-half years in prison at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of more than £200,000.

Isn’t this just absurd? That in the 21st century the UK government would rather spend nearly a quarter of a million pounds than have us see a naked man?! I’d like to propose a new campaign to house the homeless. Let five homeless men (or indeed women) remove their clothes in public and as a result be given a warm bed and three meals a day at the cost to the taxpayer of a million pounds. But why not think bigger? If 500 people did this we’d have to spend 100 million pounds! I’ll start printing some leaflets now…


Responses

  1. It is quite absurd to tie so much of the legal system in something that would appear to be a trivial thing. However, I think there are a number of cultural and legal issues that have to be considered also – and to some extent there is a need to enforce the law, no matter how silly it would seem to be – otherwise we could end up with a lawlessness country.

    I don’t believe that this story gives the whole picture – I believe Mr Gough has been “known” to the police for some time – so perhaps there was a need for this man to consider others and not just take the defence that the problem wasn’t his – but perhaps a shared consideration?

  2. Disgusting is that people fear nakedness where they cheer two men beating each other silly in a pit.

  3. Interesting that nobody has ever bothered to ask Mr Gough WHY he walks around naked, instead preferring to throw him in jail. I suppose in today’s “modern” society his actions are equivalent to indecent exposure – however I find it sad that nakedness is immediately seen as sexual and indecent.

  4. I agree with Philip here – it is absurd. A man is walking down the street, he is not bothering anyone, he is not kicking anyone’s dog, he is not flying racist banners or in any other way denigrating or harming anything. He is harrassed and arrested. Why. He’s not wearing any clothes. It’s madness and a sign of a very sick society.

  5. I once saw a documentary that followed Gough and his girlfriend walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats naked. Most people they encountered were fine about it; in fact, it seemed to cheer people up! I might be misremembering this, but some folks at a wake in a pub had their picture taken with them, saying that the person that had died (their Mum I think) would have been delighted to see two naked back packers! Gough was eventually arrested and the journey had to be done in stages. I find it baffling. Judging by the members of the public in the documentary, most people would agree how ridiculous the enforcing of a prison sentence is in this case. It is an incredible waste of money. The indecency laws seem rather confused to me and need to be reviewed. We have a very sad and neurotic attitude to nakedness it seems.


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