Tuesday, February 21, 2006

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.


Blogger Dennis Mangan said...

"utterly intent on doing what he wants, when he wants, where he wants without regard for the feelings of or consequences to others": excellent. You've captured in a few words the essence of the modern liberal view, at least as it's lived personally.

21 February, 2006 13:33  
Blogger Martin said...



21 February, 2006 21:40  
Blogger lochaneilein said...

Now hang on here! Without wanting to seem too literal, I say bollocks! Gough has been hounded, imprisoned, charged and fined for letting it all hang out. When you think of the state of criminality in the UK that you point to so often in this blog, the fact that Gough even hits the radar for being naked is criminal in itself. Lighten up!

21 February, 2006 21:46  
Blogger Martin said...


Lighten up, you say, man? Lighten up?

This 40-something monomaniac prat displayed no hesitation in tying up very expensive policing and other public resources that could have been used to fight real crime so that he could do what he wanted, where he wanted, when he waned, in the state of undress he wanted, for the purpose of inflicting the sight of his buttocks on an unsuspecting public and to 'make a statement'.

He cost you and me money neither of us can afford, and got his name in the papers in the process. For what high achievement, what special act of creativity or innovation, has he gained his celebrity?

Er, he roamed the land in the scud. Sort of - notice he was wearing boots? Wasn't really naked, was he?

So what if he was hounded? He's one rung below menace but one rung above pest. He didn't care about being hounded; if he did, the Y's would have been donned before he hit Bristol. Being hounded may very probably have been part of his game plan. 'Naked Rambler arrested' makes such a better headline than 'Exhibitionist prat arrested', don't you think?

And his attitude to the law of the land is appalling. He is to public decency, meaning caring what impact your actions have on other people, what David Irving is to Holocaust denial. Both committed their crimes in the full knowledge that what they were doing was against the law in the places where they chose to commit them. They are kindred spirits.

Gough is not a suitable candidate for sympathy. And one wonders whether there's a book deal already lined up.

22 February, 2006 00:22  

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