Free to be Naked, Free to be a Fruit Cake

It’s not often that the Guardian offers me something of interest, but this is just bizarre

The media call Gough the Naked Rambler. He’s serving 657 days for a breach of the peace and contempt of court. The breach was leaving HMP Perth naked after finishing a previous sentence. He was taken to Perth sheriff court, and represented himself naked. That was the contempt. When he returned to the prison, the cell was just as he’d left it – he hadn’t bothered to pack.

Gough’s latest conviction is his 17th in 10 years. Since May 2006 he has been in a run of short sentences broken by the same fleeting freedom: he’s effectively been in custody for nearly six years for refusing to get dressed. At a recent hearing, it was suggested he could be in prison for the rest of his life. “People often have to go to prison for many years,” he said, “before others see the light.”

Seriously if society can’t cope with a man who is stupid enough to walk around naked in the freezing cold, what can it cope with?

I genuinely believe that if we don’t allow the oddballs and eccentrics of this World the freedom to experiment we’re not going to get very far as a society. Remember Steve Jobs was a complete fruit cake and he built one of the World’s greatest companies.

Give the full post a read and share your thoughts because it’s a very interesting issue from a Libertarian perspective.

  6 comments for “Free to be Naked, Free to be a Fruit Cake

  1. Paul Marks
    Mar 27, 2012 at 11:02 am

    On private property he should be free to show his sexual organs as much as he wishes.

    As for “in public”.

    In Paris there is a famous chap who goes around in the nude (although caked in dirt) – however, I happened to see him last July and I noted that he does not really go about in the nude. He has a blanket draped over his sexual organs.

    If this British person did the same I think he would have no problem with the law – although he might still get frostbite in the winter.

    On the broader “in public” point – the solution is simple.

    Sell the roads – and the streets.

    Then it would be up to the private owners whether or not they wanted to allow naked people on their property.

    • Mar 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      I agree with the private property concept.

      However on the legal side I can’t see that he is causing any harm to anyone. To claim he is causing offence is very subjective.

      Also he is only in jail on very tenuous terms and has been there longer than many hardened criminals.

  2. Mises
    Mar 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    In a free society the worst he could expect would be to be denied access to property.

  3. Mar 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I wonder when he is out next. He could use some support no?

  4. James R
    Mar 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Loving it! “Hardened criminals”, “when is he out next”, “he could use some support”.

    In the same vein (geddit?): We must take the matter firmly in hand, weight it up, and seek a happy ending for this injustice.

  5. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    If only he’d claimed to be a persecuted member of the (long-dead) Adamite heresy, he could have taken it all the way to Strasbourg.

    I must say; persistently wandering around naked does sound like a misdemeanour.

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