I suggest a campaign about ...

Free Naked Rambler Stephen Gough now- 10 yrs in prison for refusing to put clothes on is a travesty

A campaign to free this man who has been held in prison, in solitary confinement, almost continuously since 2006. The Police arrest for "Breach of Peace"- he is taken to Court and he states it is his right to be nude (there is no law that states you cannot be nude)- the Court say he is in contempt of Court and sentence him to maximum penalty. He is released, he comes out naked and the police wait outside to arrest him, he goes back to Court, who find him in contempt etc etc....This madness needs to be stopped. At £40,000 a year plus it is complete a waste of tax payers money. But most importantly there is no law that says he can't be nude.

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    Rachael KingRachael King shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    308 comments

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      • Torchwood BudeTorchwood Bude commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I support Stephen Gough 100% it should be a matter of personal choice if you put clothes on or not, the people who have a problem with the human body are the ones who need to change their attitude.

      • Amber HumphreysAmber Humphreys commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm offended by girls walking drunk and being sick all over the place, and I'm offended by the constant waste of our public money on crackpot schemes that waste billions, like the most recent computer system debacle. I am NOT offended by a man going about his life in the nude. their are only two sexes on the planet, so roughly half already can't be offended, the other half can look the other way if they have a problem

      • paul stokespaul stokes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I fully support Stephen Gough in exercising his rights to not put clothes on, other animals don't have to wear clothes so if a human chooses to not wear clothes the rest of us need to get over it. Whats next, will it soon be illegal to whistle on tuesdays?

      • Paul GubbingsPaul Gubbings commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Should we all, each donate a couple of barrels of oil to get this man released? It seems to have worked in Scotland before. Perhaps not this time. After all, campaigning for civil liberty and human rights is far more of a threat to government than murder of it's people. It's my opinion, the law in this case is an ass, and should be prosecuted for wasting public money.

      • Jack JonesJack Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm offended by some tee-shirts, dogs pooing in public, people using the streets as their dustbin, and throwing-up drunk. But more than anything else, I'm offended that you can throw someone in prison because you are intolerant, and they offend your sensibilities. Never in the history of mankind has the sight of nudity harmed anyone.

      • David CooperDavid Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Expat - computational morality is our only hope of sorting out all the mess that we monkeys have made of running everything, driven as we are by all the prejudices that have been programmed into us and which keep overriding our ability to reason properly. It's in development in labs now and will inevitably take over law and politics everywhere for the simple reason that it's able to prove that it's right.

        You keep talking about nakedness causing "alarm and distress", but you've got that completely wrong - it triggers alarm and distress in those people who have been programmed to become alarmed and distressed by harmless triggers, but the actual alarm and distress is caused by the programming which has set them up to be so ridiculously delicate. The way to undo all that alarm and distress is to expose those damaged people repeatedly to the things which trigger the alarm and distress in them until they realise that the trigger is not the cause and that it is actually completely harmless. There are countries where people are genuinely disgusted and offended at the glimpse of a woman's hair, but the real cause of that disgust and offence is the act of programming them to be offended by something which is completely inoffensive. People with such hangups absolutely do need psychological counselling, however happy they may feel about having them (until they are triggered, at which point they get upset and wrongly blame the trigger instead of the cause).

        Again you push the unpopularity argument, but it is not valid because it's hypocritical - people want to allow something far more disgusting than something they ban, and that's just selfish, bullying behaviour. That kind of hypocrisy is precisely why the world is accelerating towards a cliff edge - the weight of prejudice always wins out and reason is sidelined. The reality is that the sight of naked people in a society where people haven't been programmed to take unnatural offense to it generates little more than a "so what" reaction in the heads of those who witness such things. You have allowed some ancient story about naked people covering their private parts with fig leaves to turn a mole hill into a mountain in your mind, and you are deeply damaged as a result. I am not a naturist and dislike the sight of people who so much as take their shirts off, but I just look away and think no more about it, so it isn't a problem. Going about naked should not be a crime, but programming someone to think that it is offensive to the point where it alarms and disgusts them certainly ought to be.

      • ExpatExpat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        David Cooper - your posts are getting a bit strange - and disturbing - especially with your weird prescient prediction about "all existing laws" being "replaced by new ones generated through computational morality. Let me put it another way to you. Public spaces are there for us all to enjoy. We have no choice but to use these, and to pay for their maintenance, and so we are entitled to have a say in how they are regulated. The approach in that respect has to be mainly utilitarian, combined with some pragmatism. The idea is that it should be possible for as many people as possible to get as much safety and comfort from public places as possible. That's why we don't allow any behaviour which we know is likely to cause "harassment, alarm or distress" or is "disorderly". These terms are defined by the prevailing values and sensibilities of the society as a whole - that includes people of all ages, all religions and so on. Whether you agree with it or not, a substantial proportion of the UK population are not comfortable around certain things and they don't want them permitted in public places where they are likely to engender serious discomfort. Examples include obscene language, racist language, pornography - and nudity. There might be some exceptions where these are overlooked but, as a general rule, they are not allowed. Rightly so, too. The notion that somebody needs "psychological counselling" because they find public nudity offensive is, in itself, rather offensive and patronising. Most of us are perfectly happy with our set of sensibilities and we function perfectly well with them - and nobody has any right to try to re-engineer them because they think we have some "psychological" issues. I do NOT want to share my public environment with naked strangers - I do NOT want them anywhere within my sight and I do NOT want my children exposed to such people. I am prepared to stay clear of the places they frequent, like nudist beaches, and I appreciate their willingness to stay away from me. There are millions like me. Recently, there have been court cases in which naked people have been successfully prosecuted in the UK, the last was Richard Collins, who was convicted of naked cycling in Bournemouth in June this year.

        Britain is now lagging behind the rest of Europe to some extent. Nudity in Scandinavia, for example, has declined hugely and is now considered rude, if not downright illegal, in places not set aside for it. Many German nudist beaches have reverted to being textile beaches and nudity is no longer a common sight in German parks. Britain will catch up in due course as nudity falls out of fashion and, as that begins to happen, Mr Gough will become further disconnected from society and his goals will be seen as more and more unreal - and insane. I actually think he has now become so accustomed to being in prison, he fears being released into the world, so maybe some counselling would help him - if he is receptive, which I doubt. If he isn't, then let him remain in prison, where he wants to be, and where he serves as a warning to others.

      • David CooperDavid Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Expat - forgot to say, your argument would also make it right for a future muslim majority in this country to force all women into burqas if they interpreted their religion in an extreme way (and this could theoretically happen if enough people were to convert to that faith). People taking irrational offence at things due to the influence of viral belief systems should never be allowed to dictate law.

      • David CooperDavid Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Expat - I suspect most people don't find a naked man at all offensive (and that's why Billy Connolly has been encouraged to dance naked in the street to raise money for charity), but the many that do have been programmed to respond to it in a completely unnatural way and it would be far better if they'd just grow up and be sensible about it. You say you find nudity highly offensive, and yet you don't apply that to naked dogs or any other species of animal - that is a weird contradiction which suggests that you don't have a full grasp of reality. There are millions of muslims in India who don't bat an eye if a naked holy man walks past them - it's only an issue in certain societies where many people have been programmed to find it offensive for absolutely no good reason. You are not protecting your children at all by hiding naked people from them - you're only protecting yourself from having them see what you probably look like under your clothes. My analogy about an ethnic minority being eradicated was to illustrate one single thing - that a majority is not right simply by being a majority: your arguments about large numbers of people not liking something are not sufficient to justify banning it, so you need to come up with proper rational reasons as to why the thing you dislike should be banned, and those reasons will fall completely flat if they don't apply universally across all issues without contradiction. You say one thing should be banned and another thing allowed even though the one you want to be allowed is worse - that's a recipe for very bad law. People who claim to be offended or distressed by seeing nakedness need to be given psychological help - it is an artificial problem created by people who have been programmed into believing that something normal is abnormal. Mr Gough does need "protecting from himself - he appears to be mentally incapable of getting out of this loop, so society needs to help get him out of it, and it's dead easy: just let him go and everyone will quickly forget about him.

        There's something else you might want to think about - within the next five to ten years, all existing laws will be replaced by new ones generated through computational morality, and that means there will be absolutely no more room for weight of prejudice in any of them. These new laws will be backdated as far as they can be into the past, and all past wrongs will be put right wherever it is possible to do so, all the compensation being paid where possible by the people who carried out and who supported those wrongs. Mr Gough will inevitably be paid millions of pounds in compensation for the appalling amount of imprisonment that's been inflicted upon him, so if you want to go on making him richer and richer at your own expense, just keep on doing what you're doing.

      • ExpatExpat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        David Cooper - I don't accept that "half the population find the sight of a dog defecating to be offensive" - it's not the most enchanting of sights, but I have yet to meet anyone who is seriously offended by it, so long as it is followed by a clean-up by the owner. I quite simply don't want to live in a society in which it is "an everyday event to see naked people going about the streets" - I find nudity highly offensive and I want the streets to remain nudity free. There are three million Muslims in Britain and, for them, the notion that their women folk and children are subject to the sight of naked adult men is a grave affront to them: they did not come to Britain knowing that such sights were commonplace - and I would wager there are far more Muslims than people who want to walk around naked. Those of us who find nudity grossly offensive, want to protect our children etc are not "bullies". Just as Mr Gough is insisting that he is fighting for his rights, so we are entitled to fight for ours. Gough is, in effect, trying to coerce the Scots to change their laws for no better reason than he thinks they should. Your analogy of eradicating an ethnic minority is does not correlate for several reasons. Firstly, the very act of ethnic cleansing is an affront to civilised behaviour everywhere on the planet - it does not even begin to compare with requiring a man to wear a pair of shorts in order to prevent other people's distress, so scale is the first difference. The second is that ethnicity is not a choice - it is an immutable characteristic - if one is born black, one is black throughout one's entire life and will die black and there is nothing that can be done to change that. But limiting nakedness in public for everyone - regardless of their immutable characteristics, is simply pragmatic - the offence and distress is immediately dispelled by the simple act of covering the genitals - like everyone else is doing.

        No, I don't want my kids to see nakedness. I choose to raise them not to see adult nakedness in any context for several reasons which, while you may not agree, are mine by right as a parent. As such, I am pretty much in step with many billions of other parents in western European cultures. Lastly, Mr Gough does not need "protecting from himself". Every time he walks out of the prison gates naked, he makes a choice. Every time he defies the police's request to cover himself, he makes a choice. Every time he tells a Scottish sheriff that he will not wear clothes in court, he makes a choice. We all have to pay the price for the choices we make.

        Steve Rogers

        One option would be to persuade a prison psychiatrist to section him and then forcibly medicate him. A quick injection of a nice, powerful anti-psychotic in his bare arse would make all those nasty thoughts of flashing his privates at all and sundry go away.

      • David CooperDavid Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Expat - half the population find the sight of a dog defecating to be offensive, but they don't complain about it (beyond swearing) because it's such a common sight that there's no hope of doing anything about it. If it's common and popular, apparently it's acceptable regardless of how disgusting it is. If it was an everyday event to see naked people going about the streets, no one would make a fuss about that either, even if they don't like the sight of it, but because people who don't want to wear clothes are a tiny minority they are bullied into covering up, even though they are far less disgusting a sight than other sights that are common. Should society really judge such matters on the basis of weight of prejudice and allow bullies to have their way? If a majority of people in a country want to eradicate an ethnic minority which they have been conditioned to find disgusting, are they then right to do just that on the basis that their numbers are greater? Clearly not, and that is precisely why proper law must always be based on reason rather than prejudice. You need to define why a naked man in the street is more disgusting than a defecating dog, but you can't. You also say you don't want your kids to see naked people out in the street, but do you seriously think they'd be offended, or would they actually just find it hilarious like normal children? I wonder what it is that goes wrong as people grow up that suddenly makes them start taking offence at things that do them absolutely no harm? You say that there is no "rationality" in feeling any "offence" and that all manner of other things would have to be legalised, but that is not the case: it is perfectly logical to apply a hierarchy of offence to things to put them in a proper order so that you can ban everything beyond a certain point without any contradictions - it may still mean banning some things that perhaps shouldn't be banned, but at least there would be no hypocrisy in it, and that would force a better balance between different groups such that the dog-emptiers would have to accept that if they are to be allowed to go on emptying their dogs in public, people should also be allowed to go naked in public because it's massively less disgusting, or alternatively they would have to accept that in order to keep naked people off the streets they must lose the right to empty their dogs in public.

      • Steve RogersSteve Rogers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm just as sympathetic to him if not more. Anyone who won't wear clothes even to keep warm is being a bit crazy, and Mr Gough obviously isn't crazy in that way. Good for him.

      • David CooperDavid Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I got something wrong earlier - I've just read a letter by the naked rambler in which he sais this: "I am not a naturist either! I'm not even that into going without clothes. In fact, given the weather situation in the UK, mostly, 99.9% of the time, choose to go around wearing garments, like most people. So why am I naked in a cell? It's about freedom, and making a stand to further push back the boundaries that threaten to stifle it." So, I'm now rather less sympathetic towards him, but clearly society needs to protect him from himself, and that means letting him go and just ignoring him. No one's going to want to follow down the same path, so he will have won precisely nothing. Keeping him in prison is simply giving him the publicity he seeks as it's way out of proportion to his "crime".

      • GCarlos HendersonGCarlos Henderson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is perposterous. The man has committed no heinous crimes which endanger any lives of others. Ther are many obvios crimes that take place on a daily basis and they throw this man in his natural state into prison like an animal is unjust.

      • Carl NudiCarl Nudi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The courts need to through out the original contempt order. This is ridiculous.

      • Steve RogersSteve Rogers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Can we stop arguing about the big issue here and try to concentrate on what would be a proportional punishment for the offence, with Scottish law as it stands? The Internet is already rife with endless philosophical arguments while this bloke gets put back in jail every 12 months although he has not stolen anything or injured anyone. Please let's not try to solve the ethical problem by endlessly defining the fact that we disagree about it. What's the solution? Can we haggle, perhaps?

      • ExpatExpat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I really coulddn't care less what people wear, or don't wear, in the remotest reaches of the Amazon Basin because i don't have to see them. I can't get my head around your "Witch Trial" analogy - I am not advocating Mr Gough should be put on trial for anything he hasn't actually done, nor that he should be strung up or burned at the stake. Actually, I don't go to galleries to look at nude paintings, but there is a massive difference between voluntarily going to see a depiction of something and involuntarily seeing it in the flesh. I saw the painting of the execution of Lady Jane Grey, but that doesn't mean I would be comfortable witnessing actual beheadings, does it?

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