So it's 2010 and the VICTORIAN ERA is still well and truly in full complete-lack-of-swing here in ye Olde Grande Britannia, as Mr Stephen Gough, aka the Naked Rambler, is released from Prison only to be re-arrested six paces later. Again. Because he's still NUDE!
Apparently he could spend the rest of his LIFE in and out of jail (well, "out-for-a-matter-of-minutes") as this cycle goes on forever!
And it COSTS a bleedin' FORTUNE to keep him (in the buff) in chokey.
Yet the Sherriff has the NAKED CHUTZPAH to accuse HIM of having no concern for the public purse!
Murderers, terrorists, MPs even… we don't send them to the Big House for the whole of their natural lives. And yet this man seems to be a worse criminal than ANY of them! What COULD he have DONE?
Well, Mr Rambler first became famous for his naked hike from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2003.
He was arrested several times over the course of his odyssey.
Nevertheless he completed his journey in 2004 and hailed it as a success!
In 2005, he announced his intention to repeat the epic voyage.
And got arrested again.
In 2006, he flew back to Scotland to appeal against the charge of indecency. Stripping off while on the plane in order to appear in court naked.
He was sent to prison for four months.
The following April, he successfully defended himself against the accusation of breaching the peace on the grounds, get this, that no one had ACTUALLY been alarmed or disturbed.
Yes that's: "naked man in NOT ACTUALLY FRIGHTENING shocker"!
But he remained in jail awaiting further contempt hearing… because he wouldn't get dressed to appear in the dock.
By November 2007, after nineteen months in jail already, he was found guilty of contempt and sentenced to another three months in jail.
January 2008 and – still naked – he is released from prison. He gets SIX PACES before he is re-arrested and banged up again.
December 2008 and it's the same story. He's taken back to court, appears naked – quelle surprise – and is charged with another breach of the peace.
Are our court officials REALLY so easily startled? Goodness knows how they cope with a REAL crime; they must just SWOON a lot.
Six months later and it's not so much déjà vu (with it ALL still on vu of course) as a revolving door policy at the court.
Sherriff Richard McFarlane, presiding, even pathetically claimed he had "no choice" but to send Mr Rambler back into clink. Yeah, because you should ALWAYS go for the Nuremburg Defence when quashing a man's liberties.
And then the good Sherriff starts on about MONEY! As though Mr Rambler had a penny in his pockets. Or even had pockets for that matter.
"Would you like to estimate how much it has cost as a drain on the public purse to keep you in prison?Message for you your worship: YOU are the one pouring the public's money down the toilet by insisting that it be spent on keeping a man in prison when he is NO THREAT to anyone.
"You don't care about the public purse or the public generally."
Keeping him in prison for wearing nothing, that's literally keeping him there for nothing, has cost hundreds of thousands of pounds already.
But never mind THAT because actually there's something more important than JUST wasting public funds because you're scared of his gentleman's area.
SERIOUSLY, what is more offensive: a glimpse of WINKEY or a MAN'S LIFE in CHAINS?
And in fact, we are ALL in chains. Because this farcical law applies to us ALL.
Equating NAKEDNESS with BADNESS harms every single one of us.
We have SERIOUS intimacy issues in this country because we are always being told to cover up, put up barriers between each other. We have SERIOUS body dismorphia hang ups in this country too, with people OBSESSING over being too fat or too thin or too the wrong colour or too airbrushed (er)…
Some even go so far as to assert that a naked people must be a "threat to the children". ("Oh won't somebody think of the children!") Because OBVIOUSLY naked people MUST be exactly the same as PAEDOPHILES. And as soon as you can make THAT connection then WHOAH! anything goes! So long as it STAYS ON, obviously!
That is why it is USUAL at this point to wave a big surrender-flag of disclaimer and say something like "but being naked isn't about the SEX! (shock! horror! cover the fluffy elephant's eyes!)".
But I'm NOT going to say that because I'm not willing to surrender!
I have had a "TALK" with my Daddies.
Sometime being naked IS about being "sexy". Whatever THAT is. And we can't go around saying "the sexy sort of naked is the bad sort", because that just gets us into even MORE of a fuddle. For hundreds of years society and the church used that sort of brainwashing as their best means of CONTROL – 'cos controlling the most INTIMATE aspect of people's lives makes it SOOOO much easier to control the rest.
Sometime being naked IS about being sexy. And that's got to be all right. And sometimes it's NOT. And that's got to be all right too. And sometimes DRESSING UP is about being sexy. Apparently.
(And I'm only TEN so that's as far as "THE TALK" with Daddy has got, so far!)
What I'm saying is that it all seems MUCH TOO COMPLICATED to just say "you've got nothing on so you're BAD!"
The Law is locked up in a PURITAN CHASTITY BELT because it was written by people so SCARED, so AFRAID, so buttoned-up TERRIFIED of their sexuality that they made their PIANOS wear DRESSES! Is it any wonder, this country is SERIOUSLY warped!
So here is the test. If you are a Liberal Democrat, it says on the front of your membership card:
"we exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society… where no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity."This man is enslaved by conformity.
We EXIST to save him.
SO WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE JUST STOP THESE MANIACS SENDING HIM TO PRISON!
PS:In New Zealand, naked bicyclists get off with a safety warning. Isn't that better all round?