Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Sad Story - Guest Post

A guest post from Joe Public.

Being aware of Stephen Gough's previous brushes with officialdom, I noticed this item yesterday, and I do feel sorry for the guy.

He's ex-forces and I can only speculate that he has suffered some psychological issue.

With all the salacious nudity in the MSM, TV, and nearly every school kid having a smartphone granting access to the weird and wonderful web, I don't think anyone would really be offended if he was just allowed to wander at will. I'm convinced he'd just wander off, get cold in a few months, then voluntarily cover up.

Instead, he's been locked up for nearly two years at taxpayers considerable expense, his release date flagged up to the local constabulary who station a constable outside the prison upon his release to re-arrest him.

If perhaps he claimed it was his Religious Beliefs that forbade him from wearing clothes, I bet the authorities would pander to his requirements.

Editor's note:  Stephen Gough's official website is here. It would appear the Scottish police and judiciary have a greater problem with nudity than other UK countries.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

All of which just shows the stupidity that our present legal system exhibits.

Let the guy loose - at best he would be subject to ridicule, however I believe most people would just avert their eyes, mutter 'idiot' and pass on their way.

Observer said...

I also feel very sorry for this man, who clearly has issues, but they are not going to be addressed by just putting him through a revolving door of brief liberty followed by imprisonment.

I am not in favour of walking about naked, especially in the Scottish weather, but I find the judicial attitude far more indecent than the naked rambler.

Are they just going to keep locking him up until eventually he dies?

This is shameful.

Observer said...

The other thing that occurs to me, is that if they are stationing a constable at the door to immediately arrest him, they are doing so *without any complaint from a member of the public*.

Perhaps the next time the naked rambler is released some members of the public should be in attendance to demonstrate that their peace has not been breached.

DougtheDug said...

If you do a little reading about his behaviour, such as stripping off in a plane, appearing naked in front of judges and walking naked out of prison which was the offence which got him into prison in the first place then it's quite obvious that he's mentally ill.

Observer said...

There is a letter in tomorrow's Scotsman on this very subject.

The letter writer believes that it is an issue of principle for Mr Gough. I tend to agree with Dougthedug that he is mentally ill.

But more than anybody else I agree with Jo - just let him ramble about naked in the wilds of Scotland if he wants to. There isn't really anything else the authorities can do, apart from jailing him or sectioning him, which would both be wrong.

Joe Public said...

Oh the irony.

The authorities in a certain part of Scotland are relentlessly persecuting an individual for walking around naked.

Simultaneously, airport authorities spend £millions developing scanners to view in that same state, every individual irrespective of age or gender, who want to fly.

subrosa said...

Well said WfW.

subrosa said...

I've no idea Observer, but I too feel sympathy with the man. As far as I know, and I've looked into his behaviour as much as I can, he has never attempted to approach anyone in a threatening manner or be a threat to youngsters.

In any Scottish city on a Friday or Saturday night you can see young women lying on pavement more or less naked, but the police take them to A & E, not arrest them.

The man is an eccentric but he should be allowed to finish his walk round Scotland. Then perhaps someone will ensure he gets any help required.

subrosa said...

Why should a judge be treated any differently than you and me Doug? I remember the days when I 'dressed up' to go shopping. Nowadays I don't bother if I don't feel like it. What is it about male genitalia that offends our judges? They're perfectly happy to allow pictures of naked women to appear in newspapers.

He may not be mentally ill, just 'different'.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the link to the letter Observer. Indeed both would be wrong. Money would be better spent allowing the man to do his walk accompanied by a constable perhaps.

subrosa said...

Irony indeed Joe.

DougtheDug said...

When given the choice of being incarcerated again or wearing y-fronts he chooses incarceration.

He's mentally ill because that is not a rational choice. Even if he wanted to continue his naked walking why doesn't he just put on a pair of pants and head back down to England, pausing only to strip at the border.

RMcGeddon said...

The poor guy looks more gaunt every time he appears in the papers. Maybe he's suffering from PTSD from his time in the Army.
I don't think parents would like to see him wandering naked through Perth though. A scary hary old man with all his bits dangling. Not to mention the lack of hygeine. He had to get some brown paper to sit on in court as he was staining the seats ( according to the BBC article).
Even native Amazonian tribesmen wear a cloth to cover their modesty.
50 years ago he would have been kept in a straightjacket and held in a padded cell. Given regular injections to modify his behaviour. Today his human rights will be paramount and millions will be spent pandering to his every whim.
The prison authorities will have to warn the police that an offence is about to be committed ( naked rambler just leaving custody naked) so the police will have to attend and arrest him. Then the courts will have to deal with him. Then the prison officers will have to look after him. The psychologists and social workers will have to write expensive reports. He'll have to be fed and watered and housed. Then as he finishes his sentence he'll have to be processed all over again.
There's nothing we can do really because his human rights will be paramount. Personal responsibility is no longer required.

subrosa said...

Doug, somewhere I read that he insists he finishes his planned route round Scotland before going back to England.

It's crossed my mind that he's not mentally ill - just showing the system for what it is and let's face it, he has his every need seen to within the systems we have - at no expense to himself.

subrosa said...

It wouldn't worry me RM, seen one seen them all and his appearance may well be a deterrent to some. Apart from my flippancy, I see what you mean. As I said to Doug, he may not be so stupid after all.

There are plenty of us who would be willing to stroll down the streets of Perth if we had our food and utilities paid for. I believe they have a gym and things in Perth prison too.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Give the man a square meal, hot drink an umbrella and a muff and send him on his way.

I he doesn't force his appendages or twisted intentions on anybody he's less of a threat than many in their designer clothes.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. He'll not be very popular in the prison gym if he leaves skid marks on the bench press ;)
Joking apart I think the case is just the logical conclusion to 50 years of social engineering. In the past he would have been sorted out by the local community long before the case ever saw a court. He would have been known as 'the daftie' or 'dighted' if you're fae Dundee. Kids would have run after him in the street throwing stones at him and laughing. Father's would have come out to see what all the noise was about. He'd have got a good hiding and a warning to get some clothes on. If that failed he'd get the jail where the local daddy would chase him around the showers until he started wearing a padlocked jockstrap.
But now we're controlled by 'ology' experts and human rights lawyers on football player salaries who will go to the nth degree to protect his human rights. While the population tries to juggle in their minds whether it's good or bad that an old man can't walk around the streets naked. How did it come to this ?

subrosa said...

Exactly Crinkly.

subrosa said...

Surely each user disinfects equipment after use RM. They do in Bannatyne's gyms. :)

I wouldn't know what used to go on in jails RM, not being a frequenter. :)

You gave the answer yourself. Social engineering.

Observer said...

''human rights lawyers on football player salaries who will go to the nth degree to protect his human rights.''

That is just such a bizarre comment.

No one is protecting his human rights, that is probably because you don't have a human right to walk about naked.

However I do think the state is being overly heavy handed here.

The state being heavy handed with the rights the ECHR does give us, like the right to a fair trial for example, is why human rights lawyers exist.

That appears to be a bad thing in some people's view. Maybe you trust the state. I don't.

subrosa said...

I don't have a clue what the law is on nudity Observer, although specific areas are used for naturists I know.

Nobody with any common sense would trust the state, but unfortunately few question it.

RMcGeddon said...


I got the human rights angle from the link in the post to the BBC which said..

"He claimed that arresting him for walking around naked was a breach of his human rights and his right to freedom of expression

If you had taken the time to read the post fully you wouldn't have called my comments bizarre. Although I must admit I do sometimes say bizarre things. Especially after a few pints :)

I think the country was safer before the ECHR was set up. We can no longer deport murderers, fraudsters and rapists back to their hell holes. We can't do or say anything that might go against thousands of rights that have been written by unelected goons in Europe. We've got no control over our prisons or judiciary. It's all subservient to to the ECHR.

Observer said...

I don't particularly agree with the idea that we can't deport people because of their human rights. Perhaps we can't deport them back to their place of origin, but as they usually came here via a number of other countries, we could perhaps deport them there.

People don't have thousands of rights under the ECHR, for example you don't have the right to walk about naked.

Some cases have made headline news, & some of them have been bad cases which have been milked for all they are worth by the tabloids. But if you actually read the ECHR & consider how it came to be in existence, then you must surely see that it is a necessary protection.

The Herald put it well in its editorial today ''If the state is empowered to take away the rights of any one of us, we are all at risk.''

Even if we might not like some of the people that human right law protects such as prisoners, I don't think we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

RMcGeddon said...

We'll have to agree to disagree Observer. I'd prefer our human rights to be sovereign and not written by countries and people who have no allegiance to us and by some countries who give lip service to human rights in their own countries.

Related Posts with Thumbnails