Ecce Homo Britannicus
(In the interests of good taste and decency, please note that a link on this post contains a photograph of the naked yet absolutely unalluring backside of a Bournemouth hairdresser).
Stephen Gough, the exhibitionist known as 'The Naked Rambler', has finished his marathon feat of walking from Land's End to John o'Groats in the nude.
There is something about Gough which appeals to the elemental British character. Whether it is the appearance of eccentricity, a quality which has enabled many psychotics to live amongst us undisturbed, or his defiance of authority, people seem to have warmed to him, when the correct reaction should be anger.
Gough is the patron saint of every British neighbourhood crank who murdered their neighbour over the height of a leylandii bush. He is the patron saint of all those who feel no compunction in marketing complicated equipment like mobile phones to very young children, or lying us into war for their places in history.
He is modern 'homo britannicus', utterly intent on doing what he wants, when he wants, where he wants without regard for the feelings of or consequences to others, a scofflaw quite prepared to endure imprisonment (without regard to the expense that exercise incurs for others) so that he can do his thing. He says that he performed his 'walk' in order to impose his own views on other people -
"I want to show people that nakedness is nothing to be ashamed about and they should not pass their shame on to their kids."
It is not for him to decide what attitudes parents should pass on to their children. His arrogance is stunning, and hopefully he will now sink back into his previous well-merited obscurity. We have too many Stephen Goughs in this country.
And hopefully he'll be receiving a large bill for the bed and board he received at our expense.