STEPHEN GOUGH – A DEAD END STORY

After a few years of watching and commenting on Stephen Gough’s activities, I am going to write this from an utter state of frustration, if you don’t like what I say.. feel free to shoot me down in flames.

If you want to know more about Stephen before reading this.. take a look at

http://www.eastleighnews.co.uk/2014/10/naked-rambler-gets-another-two-years/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/freestephengough/

See recent update on ECHR ruling also

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/naked-rambler-could-face-a-lifetime-of-imprisonments-after-european-court-ruling-9823945.html

Also see this article which is quite concerning

http://theconversation.com/how-the-end-of-the-asbo-could-make-naked-ramblers-of-us-all-33561

You can say what you wish, remember this is a hypothesis and you’re welcome to argue for or against. I am not going to send this to Stephen, I suggest once there are reasonable responses to this and an opinion of wider range of people is known, someone could if they wish send it to him and let him have his say in the matter.

This article discusses my hypothesis that although even the dumbest of animals on this earth soon learn to avoid life threating traps, Stephen Gough (The naked Rambler) has been conditioned by his prison environment so much that he has lost the basic instincts of survival and can no longer protect himself from the legal monster he set out to slay

I despise what is happening to Stephen but it is his own fault for being so single minded and banging his head against the brick prison wall. He wants to tackle this head on in his own way. He thinks he has found the holy grail of personal (Human) freedom and wants to enjoy it no matter what the cost.

Me? I want ‘World Peace’ and every human and animal on this earth to have a wonderful life. That, we all know,  is not going to happen because for example I confess that I  like eating meat (lots) and therefore something has to die, preferably those in the hoofed animal kingdom and birds that can’t fly!.  So I can’t say that EVERYONE is going to have a wonderful life if their destiny is to be put on the chopping block for my survival and pleasure.

As for World peace.. well let’s take a look at the history of the world.. when has there not been a ‘war’ between human kind?  I guess only in the minds of people who believe in heaven and hope to get there.  So will there ever be world peace? In my opinion.. No.. not as long as there is life on earth.  Even the Animals can’t live without eating each other or pushing other Animals out of their territory. This is the way nature is!!

So what this means is that people are ALWAYS going to be different and think different and disagree with each other.  The winner is always the strongest or the smartest.

In order to survive & practice what we believe in we have to do the best we can within the constraints of the environment/society we live in. Those who don’t wish to do that end up being the catalysts of change.  In Stephen’s case, he has nominated himself as the catalyst of what he wants as a massive change to the society’s mind set, he wants everyone to be tolerant of each other, live and let live and if it goes his way, there may very well be world peace.  Is that going to happen?.. NO!

I and few thousand others want Stephen to have a ‘good life’ and not to sacrifice it trying to attain the impossible. I am happy to be proven wrong if there is ANYONE in this world who can give me a counter argument and provide a scenario which could lead to people being tolerant and acceptance of others to exercise their way of life without generating conflict of interests.

Take me for example.. I belong to a group of people who like Stephen believe in personal freedom and the right of us all to live as we please but the big difference is that unlike Stephen, I am not willing to give up my freedom to pursue my beliefs.  If I and 1000s more had the same strength and belief as Stephen, then it would become a movement of freedom and there could be protests in pursuit of what we believe in.  This is not going to happen! We are NOT going to get 1000s of naked people sitting in the streets demanding freedom.  There just is not enough appetite for such action. Even if there were 1000s of people protesting on behalf of naturism, there will be far more who don’t agree and majority will win.

IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN; HE AND OTHER NATURISTS LIKE MYSELF OF THE SAME VIEW ARE NOT GOING TO WIN THE RIGHT TO BE NUDE WHENEVER WHEREVER WE LIKE

So what do we do..

Well we play the game and get what we want in whatever way we can without going to the extremes.  For example there are 1000s of people who visit naturist resorts each year. There are 1000s more who enjoy their freedom at home, semi public places, normal resorts but maybe with a limited scope.

What I mean is, for example.. I was recently in Cyprus, there is no law that says you can be nude there but I saw enough ladies sunbathing topless, others with small thongs. Perhaps  if there was a law that allowed them to be nude, they probably would go nude, but whilst they were willing to take a risk to a certain degree, they did not have the need or courage to break the law all the way.  But they were obviously enjoying themselves as much as they could without causing an issue.  I have enjoyed myself at similar places with smallest of thongs and enjoyed myself just as much.  At times, it is about enjoying a good place and accept a small limitation.  Men will argue that they don’t feel nude unless the last few inches of their manhood is on display.. really? I could suggest things here but it will get boring and go off subject. They need to have more imagination to push barriers. Maybe a subject for another discussion!

On another occasion.. I was in Cap d’Agde where people were totally nude and they were not breaking the law in regards to being in the nude but even there people have to abide by certain rules that protect visitors to the resort.

 

Whilst we consider why we can’t go nude whenever and wherever we like, it is worth considering that there are limitations on activities even at naturists resorts for example some people enjoy sex in the open, but they cannot do that even at Cap d’Agde which is the most advanced naturist resort I know. Those who try are subjected to the full for of the law as they would be anywhere in the world if caught in the act at a public place.  The point being, we all live with certain limitations all the time, no matter where we are or who we are.

However, it is possible to do what you want in most cases if you respect others and have a balance in our life, which allows us to enjoy life and push the barrier a little at a time without declaring all-out war and suffering the consequences.

Naturists need to campaign for more freedom through creating more public places where naturism can be enjoyed, more nude places in parks, more nude leisure venues to enjoy when they want rather than have fixed time of a few hours on a certain day of each week. For example in Germany most saunas are mixed and clothing optional, so people have much greater options to enjoy social nudity whilst engaging in healthy activity. They also have many public places where nudity is accepted. The difference is the society’s mind set.

In the UK, the option of traveling miles to go to a naturist club at the weekend does not fit in with the modern busy life style of most people of working age so we must try and obtain access to as many local facilities as possible.  This is not impossible, it is just a matter of demand and supply.  If the demand is demonstrated, supply will come.

In the case of Stephen, he has declared all-out war against the authorities and he doesn’t have the strength or resources to win it.  He has been outsmarted by the authorities because they knew it would be too much of a risk to put him in front of the jury on nudity charges because he has done no harm and the verdict could have gone in Stephen’s favour. Instead they issued an ASBO and put him in front of the Jury for breaking the ASBO which he is guilty of. Therefore the Jury can only come to the verdict of Guilty each and every time.

Synopsis

I have said time and time again that the only way out of this is through legal challenge supported by a massive amount of money that the legal team will demand.  This can be achieved if there was a will to do it but his supporters or naturists in general do not have the stomach for such a commitment and he or his family are not pleading to the public for help, which would happen if similar injustice happened in any other field than nudity/sex.  People

His future is bleak and it makes me very sad and angry that we as those who believe in the similar values as him are helpless because there is no unity or belief. We are also helpless because he wants to do this his way and anything else in his eyes is demeaning when he says that to give in now would be going against what he believes in.

My advice and thoughts are that the first task is to contest the ASBO, this is not going to be easy because the courts have already taken a decision that it was legal to issue it.  Then if that doesn’t work or there is not enough money to form the legal team necessary, Stephen should play smart and walk on the edge of ASBO ruling without breaking it and frustrate the authorities by exercising his freedom to be nude but with just a little bit of something to avoid falling in the trap set for him.

The question is .. Is he smart enough to follow this advice?  I don’t think so! He will die in Jail, there will be a coroner’s enquiry which will note a natural death and won’t argue the rights or wrongs of him being in prison in the first place.  World will still be the same, he would have achieved nothing other than that he lived (in prison) in the nude and the authorities could do nothing.

I recently lost a naturist friend who thought much of me & I of him, I grieved a little when he was taken away through cancer. I don’t know Stephen, like most people reading this, I will be sad to read of his demise when it eventually occurs probably whilst still in prison, but I will not grieve.  Hard to say this but I am being honest.  Soon after that he will be forgotten having made no difference at all.

The bottom line is that for naturists to enjoy their way of life, there needs to be more place to practice naturism and we should focus on that.  Stephen can help and play an important part in this, but he is too busy on his personal dead end crusade and has lost the ability to think smart. He will not give up and the authorities will not give in, they cannot afford to. The prospects of people walking around naked everywhere is just not going to be acceptable to society so I ask those who know him to help him to regain his sense of logic and act smart.

A POLITE NOTICE…

Please do not post comments under different names. It is possible to find out when this happens in more ways than one and I will not publish any comments which I think are not genuine.

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147 Responses to “STEPHEN GOUGH – A DEAD END STORY”

  1. Richard Dyer Says:

    Reluctantly I have to agree that from a financial POV Steven Gough’s legal battle is somewhat hopeless. While pouring money into the legal fight would no doubt be fruitless, there are other ways Naturists could and should have shown support. For example if every member of BN had sent a letter to their MP protesting at his treatment, perhaps things would have turned out differently. Now we have a situation where a man who admittedly pushed his luck, but is basically only trying to uphold his human right to be a Naturist, has been brutally made an example of. Under different circumstances if authorities and busybodies choose to make trouble for Naturists they will now feel more confident than ever that they can abuse the anti-social behaviour laws to uphold prejudice to Naturists with impunity. Confident that even those that claim to be Naturists will not raise any objections. cial POV. The tragedy is that the majority of people in the Naturist community have failed to rally to support him. In fact some have openly criticised him using the same arguments as anti-Naturists. With friends like that who needs enemies?

  2. Thomas Says:

    Just a quote borrowed to comment on Steven Gough’s treatment in the courts:

    All in all I’d rather have been a judge than a miner. And what’s more, being a miner, as soon as you are too old and tired and sick and stupid to do the job properly, you have to go. Well, the very opposite applies with judges. *

    –Peter Cook

    By the way, that was a well thought out, nicely written analysis of Mr Gough’s legal career, Lady (if I can presume to call you by your first name).

  3. Eric @ HikeNaked! Says:

    I share your thoughts closely. Be nude when realistic and play the game by wearing clothes when necessary. Stephen has the world’s attention yet does not do anything to further the positive aspects of social nudity and, seemingly, simply stumbles blindly through his interpretations of “The Cause.” My hope is that he chooses to be a political advocate along the lines of Gypsy Taub in San Francisco and use his voice for awareness when allowed the opportunity. Being a martyr does not seem to helping him do much.

  4. magnus greel Says:

    All very well said, God1va…. a short version might be: Choose your battles. I’d add that since what more public nudity would contribute to the world is a very relaxed, warm, human thing, that we would hope will extend to all areas of society and politics, the approaches people make toward trying to make all this happen ought to be in that same spirit. Absolutism, martyrism, taking on great pain against oppression for your beliefs, that not only gets the opposition’s backs up, so to speak, but it creates an unnecessarily harsh and counter-productive atmosphere. The whole nudity thing is, well… nice. It’s not a matter to be framed with tragic oppression like political prisoners. We see what’s making inroads in changing things… framing the issue as a kind, nice, liberating thing, which is ridiculous to stand in the way of. WNBR shows this. When I was a kid, such a thing seemed impossible, as if some unalterable law of physics prevented it. It’s only a few dozen people one day a year, but it’s undeniably progress. It’s not something to self-flaggelate or suffer over. Mr. Gough deserves better, and should not let prison make his outlook so harsh. I want him out and enjoying life.

    A student at U of California named Martinez went through a similar downward spiral leading to personal disintegration and death at the hands of authority. He was walking around nude, in town, in his classes. His absolutism was admirable, it has a sort of fragile innocence to it. That was the problem. We won’t make things right by going down in flames personally… and no one individual’s effort or example will do it. Martyrdom is a desperate last resort, for an utterly degraded and oppressive system.

  5. rajat Says:

    Hi.. first of all I will appreciate your opinion.. I think nudism shoud be something like belief or a personal choice.. its like there r so many religions in world, some people are athiest as well but its personal choice to follow all the things, it cant be imposed.
    I will take nudism in the same way but I will also say that people can join / form some groups where they practice this, it can be club / society. I personally feel very relaxed when I remain nude but its my choice & I practice it.

    Rajat/ bangalore/India

  6. Matt (@t3dus) Says:

    I don’t believe that somebody should be arrested and placed in prison merely for being nude in public. The whole thing about having to wear clothing is dumb anyways and we should be allowed to decide if we want to wear clothes or not.

  7. Stephen Toms Says:

    What an extraordinary powerful story. It is sad that Steve’s Wife left him over him being nude in front of his Parents. Think of the hundreds of thousands of pounds, $, of tax payers money wasted by the government? And some parents worried about their children seeing him in the nude. Do these same people worry about taking their children to the local art gallery, where there are nude paintings of the Male genitalia hung on the wall? Give me a break. The worlds gone fucking mad. Stephen Gough is a true leader, and one of my heroes. he has the courage of his convictions, and I applaud him for that! Cheers: Stephen Toms.

  8. Prudence Chastedress Says:

    Exhibitionists. That is what all of you are. If we all went naked we would still all be sinners.

    • Kenneth B Says:

      We are all sinners, clothed or not, and it is only the grace of God, in the person of Jesus Christ, which can save us.

  9. Willpost Anything (@AllMyOwnViews) Says:

    I love your article LadyGod1va and knowing quite a bit about the Steven Gough story (incidentally he lived up the road from me), I totally agree with your conclusions.

    Can you suggest, then, how the naturist movement in the UK can be promoted? I, as a male naturist, love being naked as often as possible but am limited to where and when. When at home, I can get naked and I often have the occassional naked office day but we need the freedom to be able to walk through the countryside without fear of being arrested. We need to change attitudes and that comes from the top down and we also need to start educating people that naturism is NOT about sex!

    Where do we go from here?

  10. Karl Prendergast Says:

    Thank you Lady Godiva for your compassionate writing. Well constructed for anyone to determine the difference between a Cause and a Lost Cause through self martyrdom.
    You’re right everyone should make an effort to balance personal freedom, and social order, as long as the social order does not impinge too much on our personal freedoms, and our personal freedoms are not sticking it in someone elses face that don’t want to endure. Well balanced thought. I am in favour of nudism, but not public sex on the beach.
    As you said the demand for more places of personal freedom will supply the means eventually.
    Thanks

  11. PaulH Says:

    Just found this discussion, read the first part and skimmed most of the rest, so apologies if this repeats what someone else has said.

    I think it is absurd that Stephen is locked up in this way. The law needs to be changed: the question is – how?

    One strategy would be for a campaign of civil disobedience. Push the boundaries. This would not need a lot of people to be involved, but it would take some commitment.

    If a few people follow Stephen’s example and go naked in public places, taking care to do nothing to offend people other than being naked, they will be asked eventually by the Police to cover up. Do so.

    Then, the next day, or the next week, go naked again. And cover up again.

    Eventually, they will take out an ASBO to prevent you going naked in public. Obey the terms of the ASBO, and you will stay out of prison. Just go naked where you are allowed.

    The point is that getting an ASBO costs a lot of time and money for the courts and various other public servants. They have limited resources.

    Our legal system can cope with one person doing this. If ten people did it, that would cause problems. If 100 people did it, the system could not cope. The absurdity of locking people up for causing no harm to anyone would not be sustainable, and the law would have to be changed.

    • brian johnson Says:

      Hi Paul
      I don’t think you fully understand the depths to which the police and ‘Justice’ system has sunk. (Was it ever any better?).
      If you go naked (non-aggressive, non-sexual) in public it is a total lottery whether you will be arrested and charged.

      A sensible policeman will probably ask you to cover-up, (incorrectly) assuming your actions are unlawful, and if you do so will take no further action. Another policeman will arrest you on suspicion of the non-existent offence of “indecent exposure”. When they discover you haven’t committed any offence they will then charge you under Section 5 Public Order Act which can be summarised “If you do something they don’t like and can persuade one member of the public to say they were ‘alarmed or distressed’ then you have committed a criminal offence.

      Taking care that no-one will be offended, as you suggest is impossible since the police will search for witnesses until they find someone who can be persuaded that they were offended. In the case of Nigel K this witness was an untraceable (and probably non-existent) lady dog-walker, not spoken to by the police officer whom he claimed looked distressed! Yes, this was a real case and Mr K was convicted on this evidence!

      Once you are in the system common-sense, the law, the evidence, rationality and proportionality go out the window. Conviction won’t depend on the law or the evidence but on the prejudices of the police, CPS, Magistrates and Judges. If you are lucky someone in the system will be honest, but don’t count on it.

      You may think the police are should of resources, but its just not true. They have huge resources, the problem is how they apportion those resources. You probably heard that it is costing the police £11,000/day waiting outside the Ecuador Embassy waiting for Julian Assange to step outside so he can be extradited to Sweden. If these figures are to be believed that will have cost about £10 million so far!

      The ASBO system is changing, but remember Steve was prohibited from going naked anywhere in England and Wales (except for official Naturist beaches!).

      A few people do go naked, World Naked Bike Ride events, don’t see this any indication that the public aren’t “alarmed and distressed” by public nudity.

      The problem with your arguments are that they are rational and you assume you are dealing with a rational Justice system. Unfortunately the Justice system is full of prejudice and has little to do with Justice!

      The Government are giving more and more powers to the police to deal with terrorism, civil disorder, child pornography etc without the safeguards to stop those powers being abused and we are drifting into a “Police State”

      brian

      • bradfilippone Says:

        This sort of shows just how absurd the situation is. What if someone were to be alarmed or distressed by someone wearing a red hat? Shouldn’t the police also arrest anyone this person happens to see who is wearing a red hat?
        I don’t know the laws in Britain, but what about swastikas? That is something that many people, especially those old enough to remember World War 2, might have a legitimate reason to be upset by–but is there a law against displaying them? There is more reason to be upset by that than there is to be upset by a nude human body. And yet if you have two men standing side by side in public, one nude, and one fully clothed but showing a swastika, which one is more likely to be arrested?

      • Paul Hazelden Says:

        Brian,

        I think I have enough experience of the UK naturist scene and also the activities of our Police and legal system. I know there are problems of many kinds, but I also know there are a great many good people involved in the system as well as the closed minded bigots and worse.

        Your summary is not entirely accurate, but I don’t think this blog is the place for a detailed analysis of legal niceties and strategies.

        The strategy I propose can be used in as vigorous as way as the individual wishes. Some few brave people might wish to walk naked down the local high street, others would be much happier going skinny dipping in the local river, or sunbathing naked on a quiet part of a textile beach where nobody might notice or care about it. The two important things are: go naked in more places, and cover up when asked to do so.

        Contrary to what you think, our Police and courts are horribly short of money. If they find people are repeatedly wasting their time and money by wrongfully or unnecessarily bringing cases of simple non-sexual nudity to court, they will take steps to stop the time wasting.

        If nobody ever goes naked in public, then when somebody does, it is not unreasonable for a member of the public to claim they have been alarmed or distressed by this. But the more people are exposed to simple nudity and are obviously un-harmed and un-traumatised by it, the harder it is for anyone to claim distress.

        It is up to us to normalise nudity. Nobody else is going to do this for us. Our legal system allows us to do it in two ways: through top-down legislative change, or through bottom-up changes of social attitudes. The good news is that we don’t need to change the attitudes of the whole population to make this happen.

    • Wayne Adams Says:

      In Massachusetts U.S.A. go naked in public, you will get arrested for “indecent exposer” male or female sexual or not. Nudist colony or certain beaches. I have never seen a female topless on a public beach here.

      • Lee Farrow Says:

        Here in the UK, although Scotland is different, it isn’t illegal to be naked in public, although there are laws the police, incorrectly, apply to make people get dressed or they threaten them with arrest.

        As for topless sunbathing, that is perectly legal although I think it is true to say its popularity is somewhat declining from, say, 20 years ago.

    • diane tomkins Says:

      hi my name is Diane ,,,i have enjoyed nudism since i was seventeen,i took a walk at at smiths point beach and came across nude men lol and at first was taken back by it ,,,but really wanted to try it so i did,,i have gone to this nude beach sincei was seventeen ,,,but now new york state makes it a crime,,,,i was stop last summer and came near a fine,,,,i have experienced nudism in many place in nyc i did nude body paint which is ok as art lol,,,,but next summer i cant be nude on a beach any where on long island any more,,,,that is un fair,,,i go to nude festivals fl, and many states,all legal,, the have to go to jail to enjoy this,,,i live now on long island,,,its like the pot laws //////,some states are fine //some not,,,,i need a state where you can enjoy life ,,,dont break the laws,,you can do both ,’and still be respect full to the people around you,,,,when i am nude on the beach i stay with in the signs ,,,signs say nude past this point ,,,,you dont want to see nude dont go,,,,police many times drive by over the years ,,,,and stop to talk from there car ,,,in a friendly way,,,over the years you get to know them,,,a nice one told me even that he didnt want to give me a ticket he would have to,,,,and for me to cover up,,,,and i did,,,,,,so much hate in the world,,,,,i am 39 and enjoy nudism am i so bad,,,,i even feed the birds in the winter lol peace

  12. Paul Says:

    Wars are never won they just linger on with both sides becoming more entrenched no matter how bloodied and battered.

    Generally minds of the masses can be changed through understanding and the removal of perceived threat. This takes time and effort and a lot of both.

    However, people are also driven by greed and if the powerful believe that there is money to be made from naturism which is sustainable and without longer term threat, then we could see facilities expanding. This comes back to your comment of supply and demand. Is there really the demand among the wider population? Are British people prepared to use local facilities where the may be “found out” by neighbours and colleagues? I am not sure that that culturally we are there yet. Not enough British people have the courage to put their head above the parapet. So without the demand there will be no supply.

    The answer therefore lies in generating the demand.

  13. markcecil Says:

    I to feel for him but it is of his own making. Our guys in California have yet to learn this lesson also. I for one support general public nudity but until the world becomes enlightened and the laws are changed we have to live in society.

  14. Highwaychile Says:

    I would completely agree with arguments put forward in the main article. I think all people who enjoy naturism and wish to help promote it should focus on encouraging the creation of facilities and events that all can enjoy if they so wish.

    It would be far more positive to encourage the kinds of facilities and clothing optional areas as seen on mainland Europe. If naturists are willing to pay for continental clothing optional spas, then the market will provide for it. If their is a strong demand for safe clothing optional beaches, then the local authorities will allocate more beaches for that.

  15. zydecobill Says:

    A late entry. I have listened, watched and read commentary on the unusual but compelling case of Stephen Gough.I have corresponded with him for over two years on a constant basis. He is a deeply introspective, kind and humorous man. He is but searching for his own sense of equilibrium and right to express his understanding of truth as he perceives it. He presently keeps himself well by exercising up to four hours in his cell, reading, listening to the radio and chatting with the Chaplin on his infrequent visits.He is not a naturist or indeed anti authority (his words). He is beyond disappointment of court judgement “so what?; I’ll be breathing afterwards. The pied wagtails will still be gathering on the roof at sundown. In a larger sense it matters not”. Some people live in open prisons, bound in by the conventions of others and never feel free. Stephen lives presently in a physical prison but reaches for an expression of his own freedom and at times feels completely free. We have a right to our own feelings on the matter of Stephen Gough but I suggest must interrogate these feelings to understand what they say of ourselves and pursue the growth that understanding offers us. He has offered me much opportunity for reflection and action in my own life. He is a friend I have not yet met.

    Best wishes with the summary Lady G.

    • bayrok Says:

      In some respects, Steven is the only free man I have heard of. He chooses to live his life the way he does, uncompromising. I would rather he called it a day, but it is his call.

      • zydecobill Says:

        Agree.

      • Ian Beveridge Says:

        Very eloquently expressed and a very admirable view. However it just neglects one little detail – reality! He’s literally rotting away in solitary confinement and even being denied dental care and basic medical attention. That’s not freedom no matter how high minded you want to get about it. If anyone has anything clever to say then let it be about changing that – not about accepting it in any shape manner or form. He is the victim of criminal behaviour of the legal system. No rational people would ever lock up a non-violent human being and nobody has the right to do so.

        Even his “truth” is not freedom because there are no absolutes, there is no perfection – even the word “truth” in this context is nonsense. If anything his “truth” is a prison he cannot escape. His views have been forged in the context of a social world – his actions are social – he doesn’t even want to be naked because that’s irrelevant. This social world is not the world he appears to imagine. It is not a world based upon high minded values and principles. The horrible irony of this fact is that those “principles” have for over 3000 years been exploited specifically as primary tools of deciet and manipulation – not by those who value them – but by those who value money. Unfortunately Stephen Gough is a million miles away from understanding the reality of his own situation and the prison he has built for himself through a very faulty peception of the society he lives in.

        If you want to see just how perverse this society is becoming then read the following http://theconversation.com/how-the-end-of-the-asbo-could-make-naked-ramblers-of-us-all-33561

        Why doesn’t this surprise me?

      • ladygod1va Says:

        I couldn’t agree more! but that is only my view, but most people tend to resign to the fact that they are helpless in this and try to hang onto something that works for them.

        For me it also works the other way. If someone is crazy enough to murder someone, whether through mental breakdown or psychological imbalance, I don’t see any reason why that person should continue to live their life, having taken someone else’s.

        Potentially Stephen has a major case of injustice against the legal system/state. If he had the same amount of funds as certain SA athlete, Stephen could probably claim millions off the state and walk a free man. But he wants to do it his way, which appears to be the only way for him.

        I am trying to figure out how to summarise this situation but lacking time at the moment.
        Let’s say for now.. “the truth is out there somewhere”!

      • Ian Beveridge Says:

        It’s really incredibly simple. You come face to face with a Burmese Naga head hunter. You are peace loving naked and unarmed. You are also rapidly dead and with your head on a post. Much more efficient than the European justice system. That’s Naga “truth” for you.

        (In contrast during WW2 my father spent two years amongst those very people living in a mudhut and flying Hurricanes from a mud landing strip. He wisely paid them good money (escape money) to bring him Japanese heads instead.)

        Same happens with big snakes, big cats, crocodiles, some sharks and bears. They all have their own “truth” – which implies that you are probably their idea of dinner. The Nagas just have a different social “truth” – like the Saudis and Afghans do. Put Stephen’s principles to the test in any of those situations and he’s fried faster than a McDonald’s hamburger.

        Sound principles are built upon a foundation of reality – they don’t fly aloft independent and fully detached from reality. Stephen has to face the fact that the society he is in – and the “truth” he is dealing with (not his own “truth”) – is not a whole lot better than the Naga one. Perhaps he expected more but that’s the reality and it’s not going to change for the better – in fact it’s rapidly getting worse.

        So our screwed up society gives in to him and he’s satisfied. What does he do? He puts his clothes on. He’s made the point that he was not getting his “rights” – the right to avoid persecution from the state in matters of freedom of expression. Correct in principle? Not built upon reality anywhere on this planet. (remember the tigers)

        Are changes possible – of course they are – anything is possible. But when the probability is “certain” that your head is going on that post you pay the Naga.

      • bayrok Says:

        I suppose freedom in certain cases includes the right to rot in jail at public expense, for the sake of a principle. The recent European Judgement is one everyone will have to accept as the final word on uninhibited public nudity , and if Steve has any sense he will read it carefully and campaign clothed from the date of his release. It would save us all a fortune, and nobody wants to see him in jail – apart from, it seems – Steven himself. He has certainly made his point, a wise man knows when he is beaten and moves on.

      • brian johnson Says:

        Batrok says: “The recent European Judgement is one everyone will have to accept as the final word on uninhibited public nudity”
        perhaps you should read the analysis of the verdict on the BN website, which also has a useful listing of media and legal reports on the case: http://www.bn.org.uk/articles.php/_/news/stephen-gough-recent-developments-r310
        BN is not an organisation which supports Steve Gough, but it is starting to become very concerned about the way he has been treated.

        There has been no consideration of the evidence (or rather total lack of evidence) and of the wider issues of harm and benefit. It has just been assumed that there is harm done by nudity. This is just prejudice, not Justice.

        Most of the case was decided on legal technicalities, such as time limits and technicalities concerning the law in Scotland.

        The more I learn about Courts of Appeal the more I believe that there only purpose is to provide a lucrative income for lawyers and judges and all they ever do is rubber stamp decisions of earlier court decisions. Courts never like to admit they made a mistake because they see it as undermining the justice system.

        This ruling has nothing to do with justice.

      • bayrok Says:

        I’m actually very tolerant personally, but clearly there are limits beyond which public nudity is socially undesirable and probably offensive. I would include shared confined spaces such as shops, buses, airplanes, and private property as no-go areas, others might have other criteria. Some single females might find encountering a naked man on a lonely footpath rather intimidating too. And there are issues around children being naked in public too, which need careful consideration. I think on reflection I’m coming round to the idea that there needs to be some discussion about what kind of scenarios are acceptable, and what aren’t, and there need to be more designated areas where nudity is acceptable or not acceptable, with improved guidelines for magistrates. But as for penalties, these are currently very trivial, the problem with Steve isn’t public nudity, it is his continued and unreasonable defiance of any form of social restraint.

      • Ian Beveridge Says:

        Explain to me the social limits where you would find it offensive to have Lady Godiva sitting naked next to you. I can’t think of any.

      • bayrok Says:

        Lets imagine, Ian, that Lady God1va popped round to my garden for strawberries and cream, and my wife unexpectedly came home early from work … !!!!

      • ladygod1va Says:

        I would hope that you have enough for 3?

      • bayrok Says:

        Well quite, imagine we had scoffed the lot: that would make it even worse, wouldn’t it!

      • Antandrian Says:

        I agree with you and British Naturism, Brian. The judgement is reactionary and deliberately unconsidered. Philosophically, legislating to prevent passive offence (where someone claims to be offended merely by the sight of someone who is not doing anything to intentionally offend them or anyone else) is on dodgy ground.

        However I wonder whether the fear of making any concession to nude walkers in Britain is grounded in part from the significant cultural difference between Britain and the continent regarding social disinhibition about casual public sex and exhibitionism. Britain seems to be almost unique with its (mainly heterosexual) dogging culture; even now in Australia it is virtually unheard of, and its not something that the Germans go in for much at all either, for instance. Regrettably I think there is a real risk that if the right to be nude in public open spaces were entrenched in law in Britain that you would see dirty old men loitering nude at dogging car parks and laybys hoping for casual sex encounters. It was an issue at Quy Fen north of Cambridge when I lived nearby in the 90s.

      • themanfromtheblacklodge Says:

        Like anything, judging your surroundings and respecting others has to come in to this, so there would be some “shops, buses, airplanes” where it would be perfectly okay to be naked and where other people would not be bothered, and others where it would be insensitive and cause alarm or offence. The same could be said for singing, talking about religion, politics or sport or even reading certain newspapers or magazines. If progress is to be made, it should be done without alienating the general population and using common sense.

      • Ian Beveridge Says:

        Once again the reality is very simple:

        In the UK there are no indigenous “human rights” in existence to protect people from the state.

        Where there is no law against something then there is simply no problem as far as the state is concerned.

        There is no law against public nudity – full stop. Such a law would threaten every living person and it would be complete nonsense.

        If no law is being broken in the first instance then the issue is completely elsewhere – it is not a matter of public nudity.

        Do you get it?

        Assuming that none of this reality is respected then…

        If there is no law the issue of public nudity directly becomes one of self-expression – which is under the umbrella of European Human Rights (…agreed to by the UK). Stephen Gough should be completely protected from the state – regardless of how “offensive” anybody chooses to find him.

        Salman Rushdie stated a very salient point regarding Human Rights around the world – the fact being that “Nobody has the right to not be offended!” Human Rights do not exist to spare people “offence”. This is why you will never see the likes in any declaration of Human Rights.

        Tolerance is the skill of peacefully leaving space for things that do offend us and that we really do not like – provided that there is no physical threat of danger involved.

        Boundaries are already perfectly clear as set out by the law. Sex in public is breaking the law.

        The real question here is “Why are UK law and European Human Rights being completely ignored?”

        The answer here now is very complex (historically) at route but can be condensed. What we see in general is Social Engineering towards a Police State. In all matters of Education, Justice and Politics there is a current drive towards a Hegelian Dialectic. What this means in simple terms is that “rationality” is replaced by “consensus”. Stephen’s incredible loss at the ECHR was a pure example of this where the judge was not respecting the human rights of the individual – but the “consensus” that a minority might be offended. Even many of Stephen’s supporters are unwittingly sucked into this consensus- oblivious to the perverted nature of it all.

        It would be bad enough if this rot was confined only to the treatment of Stephen Gough – but unfortunately it isn’t. Even mainstream science is firmly throttled by this process. I’ll cut it (very, very) short here and all I’ll say is that Hegel was a great influence on Karl Marx. Consensus – represents the collective – not the individual. Rationality is thrown out of the window. Try defending yourself against a burglar in your own home and you end up being jailed! Confusing? It’s meant to be.

        Stephen is innocent, naive and pure – but he doesn’t understand his enemy – by a very long way. I admire his fortitude endlessly but it’s time he had another “epiphany” concerning the reality about what he is up against – and that not all people choose to be good.

      • themanfromtheblacklodge Says:

        I know about that – the circumstances I was explaining (or trying to!) would come under the ‘public disorder’ umbrella. Avoiding that would make people less likely to treat nudists as criminals/weirdos and just people who are more comfortable when not wearing clothes, something you rightly said is protected by law.

      • Ian Beveridge Says:

        It’s an understandable viewpoint however all it’s doing is reinforcing and paying homage to the knee-jerk “consensus”.

        Cause and effect need to be attributed correctly. Stephen Gough is not the cause of any problem. My only concern here is that Stephen Gough does not continue to suffer personally for a cause that is clearly lost.

        People who consider their subjective “offense” (while within the parameters of accepted law) as being attributed to the “public disorder” of others – are passing the buck for their own lack of personal responsibility. That is understandable – but that the state authorities condone and actively support this is absolutely not acceptable. Unfortunately it is a sad reality we have to live with. The trouble is that condoning this process only makes it worse. Stephen Gough is only exposing the situation – he is not the cause of any of it and he is not worsening the situation. The compliers are actually worsening the situation because their compliance is part of the problem – the “consensus”.

      • themanfromtheblacklodge Says:

        I completely agree with every point you made. Well put.

      • jimella Says:

        bayrok said: Lets imagine, Ian, that Lady God1va popped round to my garden for strawberries and cream, and my wife unexpectedly came home early from work … !!!!

        Are you saying your wife needs educating about nudity, or about harmless relationships?

      • jimella Says:

        Yes, themanfromtheblacklodge, but the general public also need educating that nudity does no harm to anyone wherever it is, and so should be allowed anywhere, at any time. I’m not at all sure that Mr. Gough’s campaign is any longer (if it ever did) helping with that though.

        PS Lady God1va is very welcome to visit my home any time, whether my wife is here or not, but I’m not likely to be able to offer strawberries and cream (unless given plenty of notice of course).

      • themanfromtheblacklodge Says:

        Yes, I know, but that will take time and will be difficult to accomplish without alienating people, particularly if the Daily Mail continues its vitriolic hatred of non-sexualised public nudity.

    • bradfilippone Says:

      Are all of Lady God1va’s followers going to be invited to this strawberry party?

      • ladygod1va Says:

        sure as long as you bring your own strawberries & cream!

      • Ian Beveridge Says:

        Strawberries and cream is a pretty healthy option. We are in a degenerate society where over 50% of people get cancer. Most people die from heart disease. About 30% suffer from obesity and 11% from diabetes. Yet rather than putting energy into dealing with this utterly ridiculous situation it seems more iportant to permanently protect society from one perfectly harmless man – who is actually doing something in the right direction. Perhaps the corporations, pharmaceutics and medical people who have led society to this horrible situation should be the ones locked up.

        Stephen’s naked walk out of Scotland over the hills in the autumn cold and frost is a salutory lesson to everyone. Enveloping the body in constant warmth and feeding on rich carbohydrates all year round is the actual cause of all of the physical issues mentioned in the first paragraph. (My usual criticism is of the incredible stupidity of lawyers but doctors are not far behind on my list.)

        I think the best thing that could be done for Stephen is to organise an annual naked walk from Edinburgh – in the autumn – to commemorate his “Walk to Freedom” out of Scotland. This would have the merit of showing that it’s not just a moral issue – it’s a fundamental health issue necessary for survival. Stephen was actually engaging in an amazing health experiment that went completely over the heads of almost everyone. Our optimum metabolic processes are actually governed by temperature (not circadian cycles) and the body’s ability to adapt to the cold. Over 90% of life on earth is “cold adapted”.

  16. martnwwinwarrillow Says:

    I said three years ago that Steve was on a pointless quest. As I put it then, he ‘wants the right to shop naked in Tesco’s” which isn’t going to happen any time in the next 50 years. Rather, I believe that naturists should be campaigning, as is said above, for more public places where naturism can be enjoyed, more nude places in parks, more nude leisure venues to enjoy when we want rather than for a few hours each week if the venue will allow us in. The public reaction to British Naturism’s former PR Officer recently being convicted of child pornography offences suggests that this battle is going to be difficult enough. Steve Gough’s antics are merely a needless distraction.

  17. mike Says:

    Stephen is right.

    He has morals and standards that shame us all.

    He is standing by his principle no matter what. I applaud him.

    The hypocrisy of this society is sickening. It allows/ turns a blind eye / fails to deal with child sex abuse in public / private homes and institutions and recently on the streets of our cities, and yet pays attention to the puerile complaints of a few small minded individuals and uses them to imprison a harmless good man.

  18. augustusnds Says:

    I believe you are right on many of your points.
    When I walked with him he talked about bringing enlightenment to people and I hoped that he could do that somehow without getting arrested. But he has made up his mind that to be naked anywhere is his way.
    I don’t think we have to be sad for him though. He chooses to be in prison. I think, in a sense, he is free even though he is locked up. He has a strong mind. And being in that cell he can be naked without interference. He is like a monk who chooses to live by the strict conditions of his order even though that prevents him from doing things we consider essential for a happy life.
    What I do think is sad is that society is denied his presence. While he was on the outside he was a strong force for public nudity and he possibly could be a strong force to improve the enlightenment of people in other ways. I believe he is a wise man and we could learn a lot from him – but he has chosen to retreat from the world instead and so it is we who have lost something, but he is content.

  19. Ian Beveridge Says:

    Well, now he has lost his human rights case in the European Court it is utterly pointelss for him to continue. His rights have been denied at the highest level he can go.

    The BBC has printed quotations from the judgement and they are a repetition of exaclty the same incoherent, stupid nonsense that he has always had to contend with. There are constant references to “breaking the law” despite the fact that he never broke any law in the first instance. The emphasis is once again on being “offensive” with no respect whatsoever given to the reality of “freedom of expression” being the right to be perceived as morally offensive (in the absence of specific laws) – without legal interference by the state. Acording to this pea-brained judge we have no human rights.

    Judges are promoted to their position precisely because of their ass-licking abilities and lack or moral fibre. Unfortunatley those are the idiots who falsely pretend to be the guardians of human rights.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      In case anyone has not see this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29800016
      The problem is that Stephen is quoted as saying, “Why should it be any different for me? I have no choice but to continue.”
      so he is not going to change his mind! This ruling is going to make the English law enforcement even more confident that right is on their side and the title of this blog is looking more and more of a reality.

      • Stuart Says:

        Stephen has a long way to go to reach this level but he’s getting there…

        Diogenes taught by living example. He tried to demonstrate that wisdom and happiness belong to the man who is independent of society and that civilization is regressive. He scorned not only family and political social organization, but also property rights and reputation. He even rejected normal ideas about human decency. Diogenes is said to have eaten in the marketplace, urinated on some people who insulted him, defecated in the theatre, and masturbated in public. When asked about his eating in public he said, “If taking breakfast is nothing out of place, then it is nothing out of place in the marketplace. But taking breakfast is nothing out of place, therefore it is nothing out of place to take breakfast in the marketplace.” On the indecency of him masturbating in public he would say, “If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly.”

        From Life of Diogenes: “Someone took him [Diogenes] into a magnificent house and warned him not to spit, whereupon, having cleared his throat, he spat into the man’s face, being unable, he said, to find a meaner receptacle.”

    • Antandrian Says:

      I agree with you Ian. I do wish there was a popular groundswell of opinion supporting Mr Gough’s stance even though he himself is locked in this self defeating cycle of incarceration. Law in this area is subject to public sentiment.

  20. ladygod1va Says:

    Thanks, Can you explain why posts from 3 different accounts would be submitted from the same IP address?
    do you share internet access with KIMSONTRECORRA and GEORGE?

  21. gill Says:

    Much as it pains me to consider his ongoing incarceration I have recently come to the conclusion that Stephen wants to be in prison more than he wants to wander naked. If what he really wanted was to enlighten the public then I feel that there are more effective methods than those he has so consistently employed. He is bravely , naively, optimistically whistling into the wind and likely will continue to do so. Perhaps he has become institutionalised through all these long years and enjoys the ‘liberty’ of unlimited time to think and write and be himself. When I consider years in prison I find the prospect distressing, but perhaps the opposite is true for Stephen and the unfamiliarity of liberty is distressing for him, though he may well not be prepared to admit it. For his self respect it’s much easier to state his deeply held beliefs are the reason that he arranges his re arrest within yards of the prison gate upon release and the repeated sentencing to prison . It is such a simple thing to do – removing clothes. I do believe if he were really unhappy where he is then he would have make changes . . . so rather than despair when I think of him I now try to consider that he is where he most wants to be . . . living as a hermit or a monk in his cell. I wish Stephen well and there is no criticism here. However, perhaps involving other people in this ‘scam’ is unfair ?

    • gill Says:

      I wrote this almost a year ago. Since that time I have had quite a few conversations with Steve in letters and on the telephone. I wish to comment on the last line though I feel okay about the rest. I think that other people involve themselves in Steve’s affairs – if any thing he is the chess piece rather than the player when it comes to the media. He has explained to me that he is still free when he is in a prison cell because he is continuing to live according to his beliefs and that for him is freedom, rather than the physical liberty we tend to think of as freedom even if it involves the compromising of deeply held ideals.

  22. themanfromtheblacklodge Says:

    I’m not a nudist, but would have absolutely no problem with areas in parks and other public places being designated clothing optional. It seems countries and societies with more relaxed attitudes towards public nudity, even just “topfree” places like Toronto, are generally more accepting and undoubtedly have less people with bloody dysmorphia. It would be great if more leisure centres had clothing optional times (or permitted topless bathing) as I have no doubt this would help combat an unhealthy obsession with unobtainable ‘perfect’ bodies and perhaps encourage non-nudists to give it a go.

    Because Stephen Gough is not in the public eye, his stance and one-man campaign is unlikely to change anything and, because he is kept in solitary confinement, I imagine he is largely unaware of the public ambivalence to/ignorance of what is happening to him and the complete injustice of his situation.

  23. David W Robinson (@RedRobbo20) Says:

    well said ..you certainly stirred up a hornets nest ..thanks ..you are and were right

  24. bayrok Says:

    I think it is wrong to suggest that Steve hasn’t achieved anything. He has forced the State to show its’ own intolerance of peaceful civil dissent through the use of this transparent farce of an ASBO, and as such done us all a great service by reminding us where the true power lies. It is not a lesson we want to hear, but nevertheless it is a brutal and cruel reminder of the nature of power itself in our so-called ‘free society’. We are all in one sense, in prison, and by a strange twist of irony, Steve is the only person who is free, knowing that he could walk out of prison pretty much anytime we chooses to conform. I salute his bravery and moral courage!

    • George Says:

      Ian Beveridge wrote a declaration for Stephen Gough in 2012. It was supposed to be read by Stephen on camera when he was released from prison but the BBC documentary crew got in the way. Stephen raised his own objections to the declaration and it was sent back to Ian for revision. Stephen never got round to seeing to finished article.

      ———————————————————
      The Naked Declaration of Human Rights
      Written by Ian Beveridge, for and on behalf of…
      …. Mr Stephen Peter Gough ….
      “The New 7th Sanquhar Declaration”

      No person has the “right” not to be offended by my body. If they choose to be offended, it is their problem.

      No person has the “right” not to be offended by my thought, spoken, written or artistically non-violently expressed opinions and beliefs. If they choose to be offended and thus dis-empower themselves, it is their problem.

      All children have the “right” to sexual organs free from systematic mutilation in the name of perverted superstitions, traditions, religious rituals and stupid doctors.

      All people have the right to ongoing development of their consciousness to higher levels of awareness. This being the highest and most valued of all goals. “Consciousness” has no mystical or esoteric implications, being a simple feedback process permitting self-modification of unconscious behaviour.

      No person or institution has the right to indoctrinate the unformed and unprotected minds of children with religion or any dishonest delusions – prior to the child reaching the age of reason. Children have the right to be free from shame, guilt, fear, torture, slavery and adult sexual activity. The doctrine of “original sin” belongs to the man made “Hells” of fools and the perversions of priests – and it is their problem.

      All people have the right to know that they are fundamentally good both inside and outside, mentally and physically – right now. Love is always the answer.

      Evolution is factual. All children have the right to be made aware of the basic facts to help them protect themselves and develop as natural free thinkers open to curiosity, wonder and the full scope and beauty of nature through rational questioning and empirical evidence.

      Religion has the right to be tolerated when practiced among adults only when it itself is tolerant toward all other people and religions and remains free from all political, legal and authoritarian ambition. Religion has no automatic right to respect. All people have the right to be free from belief and any compulsion to believe.

      Unrestricted pursuit of education under all circumstances is the bedrock of progress and the right of all people of all ages.
      —————————————————————————————————————-
      Freedom from police, political, judicial and social harassment, clothing and all material possessions is the absolute right of all non-violent people living in a free civilization.

      All people have the right to breathe clean and fresh air at all times, to drink pure water and to eat only food proven to be free from damaging chemical or biological contamination and unnatural genetic alteration.

      All people have the right to place their naked feet on the earth and naked skin in the air, water and sunlight, wherever they be.

      All people have the right to effective sanitation, hygiene, medical care and legal process without unreasonable financial cost or hardship.

      All people have the right to full creative expression and personal development. This includes access to all common modern communications systems, publicly available information and the freedom to receive visitors under all circumstances.

      All people have the right to live life according to the highest order of values possible. The hierarchy of values corresponds to fundamental independent emergent levels connected to each other by rules – each level subsumed by the one above but supported by the one below. Principles are the highest level. Social values are immediately below this with law enforcement acting between Social and Organic/Physical levels. This reduces further to basic matter/energy/information values. Those relationships enable Consciousness based Morality to develop and for Computational Legality to be exercised with respect to rationality and empirical evidence.

      All people have the right to benefit from Computational Legality replacing inherently corrupt, expensive, self-serving and parasitic Criminal Justice Systems with a free, just and intelligent system, fully accountable directly to the people. No more terrorizing tyrannies of obsolete and profiteering priests, lawyers, judges, dictators or monarchs.

      All people have the absolute right to identify with no country, race, tribe, family, group, gender or religion. Naked, we are all fundamentally the same. We are also all very different, but those differences are all superficial. Clothing is an idea, not a material thing.

      Freedom is built upon the exercising of human rights. Tyranny comes as the automatic result of failure to exercise and defend those rights in the same way that disease comes to the unexercised and malnourished body.

      All the above principles are universal, coherent and consistent with the phenomenological universe.
      ————————————————————————————————————–

  25. Joe Boxer Says:

    Naked men are sick perverts. Naked women are sexy and their nudity is tolerated. This is how most societies view nudity.

    • Joe Boxer Says:

      Gough is going to become a penal implant.

    • bayrok Says:

      I take it this ‘society’ of which you speak consists entirely of middle aged misogynists like you? In which case, you have totally missed the point, and your views are unworthy of a serious conversation between adults.

      • bradfilippone Says:

        I suspect that Mr. Boxer’s point in his post was that is exactly how the majority of society views the human body. He did not say that is what he himself believes.
        Female nudity is usually considered more acceptable than male nudity. This point of view is certainly not right, but unfortunately that is how it is, whether we like it or not. I wish it were not true. As a male, I am so tired of hearing otherwise intelligent males revert to schoolboy-type “humor” when confronted with the subject. One past co-worker of mine, upon learning that I frequent a nude beach, immediately asked, “So what are the women like there?” and the lasciviousness in the tone of his voice spoke volumes about why he wanted to know. I told him the truth, that most of the beach population was male. He immediately lost interest, saying “That’s no good, then.” This is a man who otherwise is as intelligent as anyone else of his age. But the perception, at least among males, is that a nude man is a horrible sight, while a nude female (as long as she’s not elderly, I would assume) is just the opposite.
        And no, I repeat, this mindset is just wrong on so many levels.

  26. Antandrian Says:

    If I were still resident in the UK I would be looking around for people to team together to make a legal challenge to the way that section 5 of the POA 1986 has been broadened in practice. The Sexual Offences Act makes it pretty clear there has to be intent to offend on the part of the unclothed person, while the Public Order Act uses claimed offence on the part of an onlooker as a basis for legal action, so the two are incompatible in scope and they need to be brought into concordance with one another. Since the SOA is more recent than the POA one would hope that the former would take precedence, the reasoning being that the SOA was worded as it was to reflect recent evolution in community expectations and standards in the United Kingdom.

    Portuguese law does it far better, by saying its ok to be nude except within specific distances of schools, churches etc. Much more clearcut, and less open to abuse by reactionary police and and vengeful magistrates. But the British love their discretionary Grey Areas.

    I too have thought, since Mr Gough’s recent re-imprisonment, that he is wasting his life. He could have spent these years campaigning instead of sitting in a locked cell doing SFA.

    Personally I like to skirt the edges of legality – public nudity is still expressly illegal in the part of Australia where I live now. I wash the car and work on my front garden in a suburban close, and walk on the beaches in attire that only just fulfils the legal minimum requirement, which isn’t much. There is no point in pushing for acceptance of full nudity here because the number of people that desire it is vanishingly tiny. Brisbane is a city of two million; seven people turned up for its World “Nude” (i.e g-string) Bike Ride last year. But in Britain the established World Nude Bike Rides and similar events can be used as empirical leverage against un-contested over-zealous application of the Public Order Act.

  27. bayrok Says:

    Stephen needs to take a sabbatical from jail by finding a compromise. I love his fabulous attitude to life, but Britain is not going to strip off to support him until and unless he is willing to take advantage of his celebrity and wear a thong or whatever in order to campaign as a free man.
    I reckon he is simply ahead of his time, but true leadership involves strategy and tactics, and so far, Steven has shown himself to lack these skills.

  28. Korky Says:

    I liked this Facebook post by Karl. Not related to Stephen Gough in any way but it reminded me of him when it was said Stephen was having trouble reading with his “wonky eye” in Winchester court.
    So, we have subject matter here like, blindness, Snakes & Ladders, commitment, manuscripts, repeating the same thing again and again and again. How apt. Where’s Stephen’s break going to come from, I wonder?

    Karl Houghton
    October 19 at 12:24pm · Loughborough

    Snakes and Ladders…

    Isn’t it strange how people who want their “big break” are constantly ignored by people as they try to find recognition. The demo tapes that are not responded to, the manuscripts which are never read…so many approaches….and yet, often, these very same people ignore those who are trying to give them the very break and opportunity they seek.
    It is all good and well leaving University and wanting to be the big writer, actor, musician, the radio presenter. As they picture the millions, the wealth and success, they know their starting point…..and they know their goal, but they forget the bit in the middle. The hard work and commitment, repeating the same thing again and again and again.
    We are often blind to the voices along that “middle journey”, those giving us advice, those holding a helping hand out, as we only picture our goals. The irony is, these goals never come without the bit in the middle and those helping us along the way.
    Failure becomes a well trodden path, as they go back to the beginning once again, finding those little opportunities becomes ever more familiar, as does throwing them away without realizing, but then becoming stuck when the path forks off into new territory. This is when the blindness starts to set in and they get dropped, are left out in the dark and are forced to say, once again, “I want my break”

  29. Smoothalx Says:

    Great blog! Fully agree with all that you have said and share your frustration. I stopped tweeting or re blogging about Steve some time ago since I believe that his position, far from helping us naturists, is doing exactly the opposite.

  30. Jamie Fred Says:

    Being naked in public is fine providing that the intention is for healthy lifestyle reasons and not for sexual thrills. there is more males than females on this subject on this board because there are more males at nudist clubs and events !

    • Rory Says:

      Hi
      In the UK in my experience of a naturist establishment is that the clientele is mainly male. Same if I go to a pub….

      However where I live in central Europe if you go to a spa the gender balance is equal. Makes me think it’s culture, not that men are more naturist than women.
      Mind ya pubs are still more male dominated here…not sure what conclusions to draw about UK v central Europe culture…

    • Antandrian Says:

      I think it is fair to say males have greater inclination to make a face-on challenge to a status quo.

  31. bradfilippone Says:

    Interesting how things differ in different parts of the world. In Canada, for example, it is legal for a woman to go topless in public. And how did that happen? Because one woman wanted the right to cut her lawn on a hot summer day, without the discomfort of a shirt. She won her case for herself, and for the rest of the province. That was about twenty years ago, and now all the provinces have followed suit (still illegal here in Nova Scotia, for example). I suppose the difference between this woman and Mr. Gough is that she merely wanted outdoor comfort for herself, while Gough appeared to forcing the issue on everyone. I would not mind meeting him on a hike, but then I am a naturist, and if he were to win, I would be winning as well.
    But anyway, does the general public of the U.K. seriously believe that if he won his case, there will be hoards of nude people roaming everywhere? I doubt that would happen. As I said, the law changed for Ontario women twenty years ago. Since then I have had three week-long trips to that province–mostly Ottawa, Peterborough, and Toronto–all in hot summer weather, and I have yet to see a topless woman. Just making it legal would not be making it mainstream, and I suspect the same would hold true in your country.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Interesting point. Here in the UK, there are some people, VERY few who take advantage of legal events to do things that would be illegal otherwise. The general view tends to be that if there is one person who does it or there is a threat of someone doing it, then the law will not be changed because being able to walk around in the nude is not regarded as a necessity. Stephen has walked in the countryside and people have passed him by with no complaints but as soon as he walked by a School he was arrested because one woman complained. I agree, like in other cities/countries where nudity is not illegal there will not be 100s of people walking around naked, but having just one nude person walk into a shopping centre will become national news! Sad but true.

  32. naturistsholiday Says:

    Reblogged this on Naturist Holidays in Europe.

  33. ladygod1va Says:

    This is very deep, i am not as well read as you are so I can only stand on the sideline and admire your knowledge.
    To me the issue of whether the naked rambler stays in jail or not needs to be very simple and the answer should be NO, he should be let free. I hope.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      I admit I am not as knowledgeable about the philosophers as you, nor am I as concerned about what those who are dead and gone thought about the societies of their future. All we can say at the most is that ‘yes they saw it coming’ or ‘yes they were right’ so what? It is our future that concerns me, we don’t have to be John Stuart Mill or Einstein to assess whether in our own mind something is right or wrong, everyone makes those decisions day in day out.
      To me and many others, even though they may not speak out too loud, it is worrying that the law of the land we live in is being misused to punish someone so severely for something that is so minor when you look at it without the spectacles of prejudice, certainly not serious enough for life imprisonment.
      We need to hold to account those law enforcement people who misuse the law and those who made the law in the first place. This would be my first option but it is not possible without either dedicating my whole life to the task or asking for financial support from all those who feel the same.
      I am not willing to dedicate my life to this and I have no confidence (from general understanding based on previous discussions) in being able to raise the amount of funds needed.
      So the conclusion I come to again and again is that this is a dead end story, unless Stephen acts as smart as you seem to believe he is and side steps the monster that is keeping him in prison rather than continuing with the fight that has little or no chance of success.
      What is wrong with that?
      Your view is to let him rot in prison; it is his fight and not yours.
      You are obviously an intelligent person so please tell me IS THAT THE WAY HUMANITY WORKS?

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Thanks for listing all that has already been seen by myself and others. But it doesn’t answer my question. Is this Humanity? Do we not care? Do we clap those about to jump off a building? If so many people say Stephen should take a different approach, should he not give it due consideration?

    • ladygod1va Says:

      I’m curious.. IF you believe that best way to help Stephen is NOT to talk about him.. WHY do you seem to be so interested and diligent about criticising him so much?

    • kimsontrecorra Says:

      Just curious, like you I guess, that’s all.
      I’ll look forward to reading your conclusions this weekend.

      I had something else to say to finish off with which I wrote today in the car while at work but that can wait until next time.

      It’s about Stephen Gough’s internet nemesis and arch rival, the troll Stuart, who goes by several usernames including, bison_strangler, brutus, nusverige, lingostu, stu2630 and has been commenting on the Naked Rambler articles for over 12 years. I’m surprised he hasn’t felt the urge to post here.

  34. ladygod1va Says:

    It’s an interesting idea that once you have done so much in life that you can live on your past, yet Stephen is worried about achieving his objectives for the future, meaning that going forward he wants to be free to be allowed to do what he wants. So it’s difficult to understand how his past is enough, otherwise he could say that he has been there, done it all, has nothing more to prove and no body can stop him from enjoying his past. If he was thinking like this, he would have his feed up at home in stead of trying to walk around the country naked and being put in jail indefinitely, with no sign of remission that even murders and repasts can look forward to. So interesting comment but i wonder how much of this is true.

  35. Ian Beveridge Says:

    Correct Squadron Leader George – Stephen Gough is self-educated in the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Mill was a freemason and was filling a role in the well orchestrated Luciferian enlightenment.

    Perhaps if someone could get Stephen to see this and realise that the paymasters (mostly international bankers) of the enlightenment were only exploiting libertarianism to break established power so that they could take it for themselves – and that the “useful idiots” would eventually include Stephen Gough in their numbers – then he might just get dressed and get free. His real prison is not physical.

    How many people cried “freedom” in Russia as Wall St financed the Bolshevik revolution – and where did their freedom go after the bankers were paid with the Tzar’s gold? The Bolshevik Jews killed over 60 million Christians (according to Alexander Solzhenitsyn) so I guess Stephen Gough is getting off very lightly!

    I left the Gough support page because it’s clear that most of his supporters are far more concerned about flapping their stupid dicks in the air than using their brain cells.

  36. Rory Says:

    Dear Lady Godiva

    I have read your post. With no disrespect to those who have responded I have not had time to read all answers , apologies to anyone’s thoughts who I repeat

    I am a UK national, living in Germany, …hope I can add to your post, no apolologies if I seem pretentious , I am doing my best to discuss a fairly profound Q

    1) Your initial paragraph referred to a deep world issue, that of eternal conflict, change . Can Steven do anything alone , not on his own. And why …well in part due to human (male ego?). And I can never solve that, but one small contribution that naturism can make is at least an acceptance of the body , if not the mind. .anyway, that’s a deep issue

    2) In my opinion lobbying UK Mps or Steven campaigning is useless at this moment. Firstly, becuse there are world and election issues . A guy walking naked in the street will , sorry to say, not be seen as a modern day Mandela or Ghandi, as said in one post ( though I agree with these sentiments), he will be seen as an idiot.Sorry but this is not the moment o lobby

    3) How to make naturism a more attractive propostion. Again, no magic answers, but I would argue attraction, not promotion ( I didn’t invent this phrase but it is a good one). I llve in Germany….and why is it OK to have mixe, spas here. I live in a city of 500 000 people where more than 20 such nice, relxlaxing spas with huge facilities exist. In London , 9 million people I know one small spa with great respect to Elixir to those who created it) that I would trust to go to.
    German people are not born naturist, it is simply a question of removing certain juvenile attitudes as well as an awareness of spa etiquette.. eg towel on all parts of the wood, and that going nude isn’t a kinky thing, but an understanding that a sauna is a body treatment.
    The only way, in my view to remove this view in the UK is to start bit by bit. Eg German style, that German norms are healthy and that abnormal staring will not be tolerated. eg that a beach is a healthy place to be naked( if proper behaviour observed). Lobbying UK MPs or attempting to British public attitudes will be useless otherwise, and sorry to say to say it but walking naked in the sstreet won’t change it.

    Steven, whilst well intentioned, is imposing his views. Human nature does not welcome this…. ASBO’s lobbying etc at this moment will not either. Changing public opinion will.. and I all I can suggest is that we behave well and for the moment keep our behaviour to contexts where we may just be understood.. ie beach and sauna. To do anything else is too extreme and to be honest I would not not to make a non-naturist person feel unceomfortable. But if people see we behave ourselves in such contexts maybe we can aid Steven in his long-term plan

    Hope this helps Lady Godiva

  37. Enrique Estrada Says:

    Hi Lady G. How are you doin,? I love the story It’s a bit narrative and allegorical, Yes it is kind of sad that some animals in the food chain below us have to be killed for our own consumption . I don’t see any problem with that cause animals do it to in the wild to survive..What I don’t agree with us human do, is we kill animals for sports or fun, as in hunting,recreational hunting..And we also imprisoned them for life even though they have not done any crime,, well they can’t I know ,But we put them on cages till they get old sick and die , all for our amusement, You know, the zoo, sea world,the circus..etc .. I hope in the future we will jus hav life size HOLOGRAPHIC ZOO, it won’t stink, safer for kids, low maintenance, And,, we can bring back and show extinct animal like the Dinosaur .And more importantly no innocent animals will be imprisoned for life.For if we really understand the true value of freedom, I believe we humans should understand and be compassionate to animals and realize their freedom as well, most specially those that science think that are smart enough, have a personality and capable of emotions, those that are wild we have to respect and give them space those that we eat, at least be humane to them and make them suffer the least.i believe freedom comes with responsibility as a highly pondering species, we should maintain that, nudity is natural since we’re all born naked, society has rendered it taboo and connected it to sexual perversion,I myself to be honest love seeing various beautiful types of women it’s within me , you can say its biological, but personally as sensitive, emotional person that I am , I believe , sex, whether its done casually, should be with someone you love or like or fond of or at least someone you know,thus,I think it gives the experience a true and more profound meaning which makes it more mutually pleasurable ..with this you could be yourself and let lose your inhibitions ..hence it’s one way of experiencing higher star of emotional freedom, That’s why I don’t get excited watching strippers, well,, maybe cause It sort of turns me off knowing they’re just doing it (dancing naked spread eagled) cause its their job.. With all do respect for these women, I don’t want to go there and be disingenuous pretending I’m having fun,, maybe that’s just me,, Anyway I hope we can exchange ideas,some thought stimulating chat in the near future by the way ..which one are you among the so many good looking pictures Are you the one on the bike , in white clothes.. Anyway thanks ttyl have a nice day..

  38. kantver Says:

    All Human has freedom and wants to enjoy it no matter what the cost, .But think no hurt by others freedom by you, All people have freedom to walk in public park but you have not right to block park street by your morning exercise in center of park street
    I have right to eat every thing who want to it, but it’s do not mean that you eat by hurting others animal or life.
    I want to all live with peace, follow the rule ” Live and Let live “

  39. Lee Farrow Says:

    I think the problem Steven Gough has is that one voice against the “establishment” is only ever going to result in one winner, although in truth there are no “winners” here.

    For various reasons the “right” to be naked in public whereever and whenever an individual wants to be simply isn’t going to happen, that is an immovable fact, but that doesn’t mean things cannot change. After all it is only 35 years since the first official naturist beach opened in the UK and, whilst there aren’t huge numbers of “official” beaches there are many well-used unofficial beaches all around the country now. 30 years ago it was pretty much inconceivable that ladies would ever sunbathe topless on any UK beach and now that is also pretty much universally accepted, although it is a fashion that seems to be declining.

    What is more achievable, as you have stated, is to persuade local authorities to be more “naturist friendly”, designating areas in public parks for example

  40. graham Says:

    When i said i don’t have the time to pen a letter to Steves MP yes of course i could codger a letter together but a poor written letter would do more harm than good, any communication will need to use legal terminology, therefore any such letter would need to be drafted by someone with legal knowledge.

    MPs have a habit of dodging questions so any letter sent would need to be termed in such a way that any reply from the MP would not allow them to be fence sitting, they would need to be for or against helping the release of Steve Gough.

    I doubt if Steve will accept any release with conditions attached, but then why should he if he hasn’t actually committed an offence.

    The last time i saw Steve was at the 2005 LNBR since then he has spent most of his time in prison and i doubt if he is aware of all of the naked bike rides that have sprung up throughout the UK since then, maybe this should be brought to his notice as it’s part of the naked freedom that he has been campaigning for.

    The protest last winter outside of the law courts was organised by Will Golden to coincide with the documentary about the Naked Rambler which was broadcast by the BBC the following evening, that was nine months ago and since then nothing has happened, it cannot be right to keep a person locked up indefinitely for merely breaching an ASBO which in itself is very dubious in legal terms.

    All that i am saying is let’s get the ball rolling again that Will Golden started who then became to ill to see it through.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      You make a good point about the quality and legal terms of any correspondence with the authorities. Whilst I too am not legal expert either, I would be willing to provide financial support for this. I know you’re a loyal supported of these activities and to use you as a guide of what others might be able to do.
      How much would you be willing to contribute, to make any significant legal challenge there would need to be significant budget. I believe about £250,000. I understand everyone one has limit of what they would be willing to give up to help others, so the question is quite personal and you obviously don’t have to answer it. But I hope you can help, I will be asking similar question to a selective bunch of people interested in this. Thank.

      • graham Says:

        I am not thinking of making any actual legal challenge as that would only serve to benefit the legal profession, MPs are obliged to reply to letters and as i recall Stephens home is in Eastleigh Hampshire who’s current MP is Mike Thornton Liberal Democrat, I was hoping that someone with some legal knowledge could draft a letter which could then be sent on behalf of a group of people who are concerned about Stephens treatment, this letter would need to be polite but worded in such a way so any reply clearly states the MPs position on this issue,ie: Stephen should be released without conditions or he should remain in prison.

        Once we get a reply which hopefully will state wether he thinks Stephen should be in prison or should be released we can then use the media and social media to get a campaign going, [example: uncaring MP thinks it’s right for people who havn’t broken the law to remain in prison.] or depending on his views it could read the other way, ie: caring MP gets behind campaign to get constituent released from prison…

        As stated previous with a forthcoming election next year no party will want to be seen as to uncaring and we may be able to get a review of Stephens case without spending any money.

        If Ukip win the forthcoming Rochester by-election then all parties will be in turmoil and MPs will be out kissing babies to try and gain votes, and those in power may consider releasing prisoners who have not broken the law on compassionate grounds in an attemt to make themselves look caring.

      • ladygod1va Says:

        Letters have been sent before. They won’t reply in the way you want no matter what type of letter you write because they are not allowed to overrule the judges. The answer will simply be to refer the legal/home office department unless you’re acting on behalf of Stephen or his family. But let’s see if there is anyone able to do what you suggest without hiring a legal representative.

      • jimella Says:

        I think it would be more productive to draw his attention to Mr. Gough’s case as part of an argument to campaign for the law to be changed to restrict ASBOs to cases where the law has been broken. As it stands an ASBO is a breach of natural justice in punishing someone who has not broken the law. The letter does not need to be in legal terms, just factual and logical.

        I will happily add my name to any sensible letter being sent if that would help.

      • graham Says:

        That was exactly what i meant, any letter should be about the misuse of the ASBO and not about the right to be naked which we already have as such..

  41. STEPHEN GOUGH – A DEAD END STORY | Nomadic Nudist Says:

    […] STEPHEN GOUGH – A DEAD END STORY: The bottom line is that for naturists to enjoy their way of life, there needs to be more place to practice naturism and we should focus on that.  Stephen can help and play an important part in this, but he is too busy on his personal dead end crusade and has lost the ability to think smart. He will not give up and the authorities will not give in, they cannot afford to. The prospects of people walking around naked everywhere is just not going to be acceptable to society so I ask those who know him to help him to regain his sense of logic and act smart. […]

  42. James Says:

    I think you’re spot on. I admire Stephen Gough’s principles, but I think his stubborn adherence to forcing his beliefs on a legal system that isn’t interested gets him and us no where. He could have spent as much time and effort doing some of the things you suggest and made much more progress in furthering the rights he wishes us all to have if he were just willing to compromise sometimes.

    While Gough makes himself into a martyr for the cause, I think we can all make an impact by simply making more noise about nudism, and nudity in general. I feel too many nudists are too discrete and shy about the lifestyle we choose to live. We all see the merits of living our lives naked, but many are only willing to voice them within the community. I think Gough is crazy to sacrifice his freedom for nudity, but I think it’s wholly sensible to risk awkward conversations, and potentially offending people with ideas, if it eventually chips away at negative attitudes and perceptions of nudity. In a world that isn’t comfortable with nudity, you don’t need to expose your body to everyone to expose the idea of your body to everyone.

  43. Ian Beveridge Says:

    I’m ahead of you on this one! “Frustrating” doesn’t even come close to describing it. I dropped it completely ages ago because it’s impossible and will never be resolved.

    The supporters just don’t get it. It’s not a “naturist” issue it’s an issue of principles. At first appearances Gough is 100% right. He can’t back down because he stands for all that is worth living for.

    Therein lies the problem! He is living in the realm of not just “principles” but “ideals” and the real world is not ideal – in fact nothing is. In Plato’s “ideal” heaven – everything was defined as geometry – the geometry of a circle is supposedly perfect. But it isn’t- Pi is an irrational number that can never be rounded off. The perfect circle is literally impossible. Stephen is trying to draw that impossible circle.

    Plato however was a Gnostic. His division of the world into domains of Ideal heaven and degenerated Earth served a purpose. The purpose was to justify divine rule – by monarchs or totalitarian elite. Divinity and perfection is the domain of rulers – not individuals! The false Idealism of Plato is simply social engineering. It was specifically designed to control people, not to free them. The world we live in today is ruled by this system.

    Unfortunately Stephen has bought into a false paradigm of “freedom” that doesn’t exist. It’s a throwback in history to the revolutions – when the Gnostic Freemasonry used their motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to fool an entire population and incite it into a war of utter terror and chaos. Stephen’s revolution is built on an illusion that was specifically designed to contain and control him 200 years before he was even born.

    One of my ancestors rose to the call of freedom in Scotland in 1820. “Scotland Free or a Desert” was their slogan. He was captured and executed along with the other leaders. Many were transported to Australia. 11 years later the truth came out that it was all orchestrated by the British government and they were all pardoned.

    Unfortunately Stephen can’t access the vast amount of information now available on the internet and his thinking is unlikely to ever change. If we can’t change then we can’t learn.

    Unfortunately we have to move on.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      This I think is the most mature discussion I have seen on the subject so far. So there is some hope that we can summarise the general feeling and someone will send all this to Stephen to read and reflect or ignore.

  44. ozcloggie Says:

    Well put. Greetings from Sydney. Luckily I can drive to Cobblers Beach or River Island Nature Retreat. Yes. They’re long drives but that fits in with what the majority wants. I now live around the corner from the water. Yes. It would be great if it was legal there and I’m sure that some fellows grab a little all-over sunlight while trying to stay out of public view. If it WAS legal here, it would be so nice. Sadly it isn’t. Some things have to be accepted. I do not believe he’s helping the “cause” any more.

  45. Rich Pasco Says:

    I agree. You have to choose the battles you can win and not waste yourself in the battles you can not.

  46. The Activist Says:

    It’s a constant power struggle between the two sides…personally I don’t see a problem with public nudity I don’t think it wrong and I don’t think its sexual .However I can’t ever see a time where it will be accepted by the masses.

  47. NICK ALIMONOS (@AlimonosNick) Says:

    Sorry, but I do not agree with you. While Stephen Gough cannot change the world by himself, he is part of a much larger social movement. When people like Gough stand for their beliefs, it forces the rest of us to reevaluate our beliefs and prejudices, and it is not surprising that many people are coming to the conclusion that there is no need to be offended by the human body. For the past few hundred years, society has been shifting liberal. Sexual mores have changed, gay marriage is more and more accepted, and clothing has become skimpier and skimpier. It is only a matter of time before naked shame becomes a thing of the past, but such changes come about very gradually; we may not even see them in our lifetimes. On the other hand, while setting aside land to practice nudism is a nice idea, it does nothing to change views on social nudity. In America, nudist resorts have been around since the 1940’s, resulting in the false perception that nudists are sexual deviants, with something to be ashamed of, or at best, part of an aging counter-culture. To truly gain acceptance, we must take a page from the gay community and show our pride in who we are and what we believe. Through the World Naked Bike Ride and similar events, people like yourself and Stephen Gough are paving the road for change, change that can only come from the inside out. First, we must change minds and hearts, and then government will follow.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Thank you for your view on the matter. But just to clarify couple of points. I support the German style where every day places have nudists facilities/options. For example in Munich they have now re-authorised certain park areas to be clothing optional. Local lakes have naturists swimming areas without barriers or control. This gives the public an option to either go nude or not to go nude. But theses are specific leisure areas. It is still the done thing to go shopping in any city in the nude.
      I agree we must push barriers but in Stephen’s case he has pushed as hard as he is going to and has now come up against a brick wall, where he either needs to be supported by us by launching a massive legal challenge to the issue of ASBO or he has to side step the law. I don’t believe there is hunger for a legal challenge which could require around £250K+ so my conclusion is for him to get smart & side step the trap that has been set for him, each time he is released from Jail.
      So are you suggesting that he should spend rest of his life in Jail? and Die so that future generations might benefit? If so are you willing to do the same or something similar?

      • graham Says:

        Maybe we should hold a clothes optional walk/protest not just in support of Steve Gough but to also protest against the way ASBOS have been twisted to apply laws even when you are not committing an offence.

        By going clothes optional you will get support from non naturist who are also appalled at the misuse of the law, with nudity involved it will get the attention of the media and hopefully highlight Steves case.

        As you have stated a legal challenge would cost a fortune so if you want to do something about Steves plight the only other option is to protest, otherwise what is the point in talking about it..

      • ladygod1va Says:

        This was said at the time the ASBO was issued that it is a bad thing for naturism. Someone tried to get online support for campaigns against it and got nowhere. BN identified that it was a bad thing but was not able to do anything about it without getting into the legal argument whether Stephen should be doing what he does. So whilst you may get support of the ‘usual suspects’ of half a dozen or so people who turn up to these kind or protests… the chance of getting a big enough protest together is very unlikely, unless I believe it is done by the Naturist community, but then those who are not naturists are likely to stay away. So I guess I too have no idea how to tackle this injustice, other than what I have already said in the main article.

      • graham Says:

        Numbers taking part doesn’t really matter but making public awareness of an injustice does, it need not happen in a populated area you could make it a clothes optional countryside walk if you so wished, the point being to make sure it gets full media attention as this is not about public nudity it’s about an injustice and as soon as you mention the word nude the media ears will prick up.

        I was at the protest last winter outside of the Law Courts which was hastily organized by the late Will Golden who as we know was very ill at the time, Will couldn’t make it as he was having treatment on the day of the protest but i do think we should continue with what Will started.

        And don’t forget there is an election coming next year and no government want to be seen in the run up to an election to be taking away the rights of the people, which in truth of course is exactly what they do want to do..

      • ladygod1va Says:

        I accept your comments and thank you but I don’t know what benefit your protest had in terms of publicity of 3 (I think) people nude outside law courts, even if you get media attention, for elections it’s the numbers that count. I have said time and time again that those who want freedom of nudity are not willing to fight for it as for most it is no big thing, they can take or leave it. There are others like us who value it and are willing to take steps but unfortunately not enough, not even the regular naturists come out in force. Even if you organised the protest without nudity involved, there will not be enough numbers supporting Stephen because the issues is not personal to them. I say this having tried to organise things in the past and seen others try also. We can try again and see how it goes.

      • graham Says:

        Maybe a good start would be to pen a letter to Steve Goughs MP whoever they are and ask their views as to wether they think it right to keep a person locked up who hasn’t committed any crimes, and then the next course of action would depend on their response [and wouldn’t it be nice if Steve could be back with his family for Christmas].

        Like i said previous with an election coming this could be a good time to get a protest going as all MPs try to look human when they want votes.

        All i do know is that if no one does nothing then nothing will happen.

      • ladygod1va Says:

        Would you have the time and knowledge to do what you suggest? if so Why not go ahead and do it, at least you will prove whether your theory works or not.

      • graham Says:

        No i don’t have the time or knowledge…

      • ladygod1va Says:

        OK Let’s see if anyone else can help to progress this idea.

    • All-Nudist.com Says:

      The Stephen Gough issue is similar to the abortion debate or gun control; people are polarized and no amount of ‘reasoning’ on either side will change opinions.

      In fact, Mr. Gough dies not inspire many folks to follow his lead. Actually, none. Lots of talk by a minority of naturists often repeating the same arguments that have been deflated in the past.

      As the Lady says, it’s time to give up this particular futile one-man attempt to defy the government and find another way that works. It’s childish to continue to to insist that since he’s in the ‘right’, he should be let go. That’s not going to happen and it serves no purpose for him to rot in jail when he could easily go home. If he had a home and family, that is. He gave them up too. For what?

      There’s a fine line between idealistic beliefs and self-delusion. That line may have been crossed. He says he LIKES prison because it gives him time to think!

      ‘Principle’ is a wonderful thing, especially if someone else suffers for it. That’s the case here. Mr. Gough’s supporters cheer him on yet do not care to risk their own comfort for the sake of his cause.

      And remember that his cause is not naturism or the right to be publicly nude; that is merely the route he took to arouse attention and arrest! His cause is absolute personal freedom, not the right to be nude.

      There were some other folks in the past who disagreed with Britain’s oppression of personal freedom, and they DID do something about it. It started with the American Revolution and continued around the world. The British Empire is no more.

      Those folks were willing to put everything on the line for their beliefs, and tens of thousands suffered for it. But they won!

      Few in Britain are even willing to publicly protest or contribute money, let alone risk what Mr. Gough has risked and already paid. A few noisy blog commenters is not a movement, and it’s time that someone tells him that he is the leader of a movement that doesn’t exist.

      Lady God!va has just done that.

  48. centauri4 Says:

    I just read about ASBO and those seem quiet similar in purpose Disturbance of the Peace, or Disturbance of Public Order laws here in the U.S. However, the ability for the ASBO to be “customized” in order to address certain specific behaviors. In terms of usefulness and utility, this seems great, but I can also imagine situations where the ASBO process could be abused. Lady G., your article depicts an instance of instruction on how NOT to achieve social change peacefully and in cooperation with local communities, and in that regards perhaps Mr. Gough will indeed be remembered. It is far better to approach our neighbors and ask whether they would object to nudity that MAY occassionally be visible, than to just show up nude on their property one day! Public spaces are “owned” together for the benefit of all those capable of accessing them, and to commandeer a space for one person’s specific use seems rude and anti-social indeed.

    Question for all readers: Are people more or less tolerant of “unusual” behaviors than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

    • ladygod1va Says:

      In general we all tolerate a lot of things everyday.. however there is very little tolerance shown by general public where they see a threat to their way of life or their family. I agree it is polite to ask, but when you go for a walk in the countryside on a hot day in the nude, it is difficult to ask everyone you meet if it is OK for you to be nude on the hills.

  49. George Says:

    Every day I clap my hands, the Naked Rambler Stephen Gough spends another night in solitary confinement. Isn’t it about time we all stopped clapping our hands then and let him go free.

  50. regb1957 Says:

    I came to a similar conclusion some time ago Kiran. As you said, it is not easy and it isn’t nice but I’m firmly of the belief that we do not need a naturist martyr.

    Where you and I differ is that I don’t think we should be allowed to be naked wherever or whenever the fancy takes us (If I understood you correctly). I think limitations mean we can enjoy the places and occasions we are nude more.

    Having said that, we in Naturist Action Group are campaigning for more places to enjoy naturism, like the large open spaces in London and we would like to see every beach in the UK clothes optional.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Like Stephen I too believe that there is nothing wrong with pure nudity and those who choose to should be allowed to go their way. You can do this as much as nudity goes & wear just a pair of very short shorts or something similar that covers no more than a couple of inches of shriveled manhood in the cold if you wish. But remove that cover of few inches and your’re in trouble. This is what I disagree with, we should be more intelligent than that and consider the individual’s intentions rather than simple state of clothing to decide their character. However in reality I accept that this is not going to happen, even in places where some eccentrics were allowed to go their way, are being blocked, rules are being changed because people with less than pure intentions are making use of the relaxed approach (Barcelona, San Francisco) to get cheap thrills. We who run the WNBR worry about the same. So the trick is to play smart. As far as Naturist Action Group Goes.. You suffer the same lack of support and have not marked up any success as far as my knowledge goes and you are unlikely to win anything unless the Masses turn up to support the right to be nude. This too I’m afraid not going to happen, as much as I would like to see you succeed in all that you wish.

  51. jochanaan1 Says:

    I have seen some of Stephen Gough’s letters from prison. They reveal an extraordinarily sane and wise man with no illusions about his ultimate chances of victory, but whose honor and dedication will allow him no other course of action. That so few march nude in support of him says more about us than about him or his desire to see a clothing-optional world in his lifetime.

    As for the ASBO, it was obviously crafted to avoid both the chance of Mr Gough being found innocent and a major change in the law to criminalize simple nudity, and thus to avoid the deep examination of our laws and customs that Mr Gough is challenging us to make. By the simple expedient of refusing to obey this ASBO, Mr Gough has exposed it for the legal fiction it is.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      That’s fine but what is your advice to him? Carry on and hope that the authorities will give in and open up the door for those with less innocent intentions to roam the country naked? Because this is what the authorities are afraid of. Which makes them so scared that simple nudity itself becomes a threat. So what do you suggest?

      • jochanaan1 Says:

        My suggestions are not for Stephen Gough, who seems to have committed himself to this course. My suggestions are for his supporters (myself included). If we truly believe in naturism’s healing power, let us step up our activities in support of him.

  52. jimella Says:

    In most respects I am sure you are right – Mr. Gough is not taking an approach which stands any chance of winning. However, I think you are unduly pessimistic in saying total freedom to be naked anywhere will never be achieved. To achieve it, however, requires organisation and commitment from many people (the suffragettes are a good example of how unlikely-looking goals can be achieved). In this case, as in others which have been successful in the past, we have logic on our side – no one has ever suffered any harm whatsoever from seeing someone else’s body, and therefore there should be no such restrictions.

    On the subject of ASBOs, I am waiting for someone to take a case to the European Court. In every case we have someone being punished by the state (by having restrictions imposed on them) when they have not broken the law – that cannot be right.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      In all the examples people give they ignore that nudity is seen as a step very close to sex, if you think that we are ever going to reach a point in time within the next few life times (never mind our own life time) then you are far more optimistic than me. History of mankind shows us that people are protective of their families and those they love and nude men walking around schools, shopping areas, parks is just not going to get the thumbs up. Events such as WNBR do not represent a threat because it is mass of people doing something they believe in. Their intentions are clear (in most cases!).

  53. dadge Says:

    I’m not a naturist but I wish the authorities would leave the man alone. I don’t subscribe to the slippery-slope argument that if we let him do it, everyone will do it. And imo a bit of public naturism is a good thing for society.

  54. northlondoner Says:

    A well written article.

    My overwhelming feelings about Stephen Gough are that naturism is harmed by his refusal to compromise such as when he appears in court, and that were he to do so, he could then campaign for change far more effectively (if he wanted to).

  55. graham Says:

    I can remember a time when there were no official naturist beaches in the UK and it was illegal to be naked in public, things have moved on we do now have naturist beaches and naked bike rides up and down the country and yes we do need more places where people can be naked..

    I was outside the Royal Courts of Justice last January for a naked protest on behalf of Steve Gough http://vimeo.com/84608143 people were naked for quite some time despite it being winter and there were no arrest and in fact there were no police in sight throughout the duration of the protest.

    Steve should be out enjoying these freedoms that we have not rotting away in a prison cell, but he holds the key to his cell door he only needs to comply, maybe he should reflect on what he is missing out on and come and join us on the many naked activities where he won’t be arrested..

  56. brian johnson Says:

    Mike is right in that there is not a law making it unlawful to be naked in a public place (except for Steve Gough as a result of his ASBO) and that when the Sexual Offences (2003) went through Parliament it was made clear that it was not intended to criminalise Naturism or Streaking.
    Effectively the law under which Steven was eventually found guilty, Section 5 Public Order Act (1986), has been so broadened by the police and some Magistrates/ Crown Court Judges that it can be read as “If you do anything that the police disapprove of and they can persuade a witness to say they were alarmed and distressed then you are guilty of a criminal offence”.
    This is effectively law enacted by the police and the Magistrates, not Parliament.

    I fully agree that Steve’s tactics are counter-productive and unlikely to be successful and that he has not got the right personality to be successful in his crusade.

    However events such as the World Naked Bike Ride events do show that the public are much more accepting of public nudity than is believed by the police and authorities.

    Don’t give up on Steve’s ideas, when I was a youngster homosexuality was both illegal and morally reprehensible, but things have changed. It is possible to change both public opinion and the law, but it happens very slowly and their are casualties on the way. Steve is one of those casualties.

  57. Colin H Says:

    The Gough case is probably a dead end, as you so rightly say, for the cause of nudism, but it also highlights a very worrying development in how the ASBO is being applied to make legal activities illegal on the whim of the local authorities.

    • brian johnson Says:

      There are many types of Democracy with a Free Democracy at one end of the spectrum and an Elected Dictatorship at the other end.
      In a Free Democracy the rights and customs of minorities are respected, while in an Elected Dictatorship, minorities are expected to conform to the will of the majority.

      There seems to be a tendancy for Governments to move towards the Elected Dictatorship end of the spectrum.

      In the UK politicians always talk about a Free Democracy as in Mrs May’s impressive speech on Freedom to the Conservative Party Conference, but their actions show that ‘Freedom’ means you are free to do what you like as long as we agree with it.

      Mrs May made a big point in saying that in Britain you are Free to wear what you like but we assume she just meant you are free to wear a Burka (a symbol of male domination), but not free to dress as nature intended.

  58. Tom Says:

    the issue can be explained in two ways.
    Firstly, he won’t win as the legal system is just applying their view of the law. As has been said, there’s no legal fund to help the system understand the subtleties of the law. Secondly, in a wider context, as it is with politics , the general public are by and large sheep. They believe what they’re told by the media and the politicians. So the answer is to get the politicians and media to present a naturist friendly message. Then , the idea will gain traction. Otherwise , we are all wasting our time.

  59. centauri4 Says:

    A couple of people I can think of who stuck to their beliefs regardless of what it cost them personally are Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The goals may differ in principle, but fully predicting how a person’s actions will be interpreted by future magistrates or courts is “guessy” (to me). There may yet be others who will join Stephen en masse; a 1,000, maybe not, but even 10 or 20 would be difficult for courts to “outsmart”. I believe non-lewd nudity should be legal, but I do not know upon what grounds humanity may achieve that goal. It just seems to be what we started with, long ago, and only made illegal out of frustration with human behavior and our ancestors unwillingness to spell-out more detailed (lesser) behaviors as legal. To accept the broad definitions of laws from the past is to admit those things are the best we could ever do, and I doubt that is true in anyone’s mind.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      I have considered this comparison & seen others think on the same line, however the BIG difference between Stephen and those giants of history you compare is that they had a MASSIVE public support. Stephen has not sought public support and doesn’t have any significant support even from the Naturists communities.

      The point I have made is that if he pleads for help from the public he may very well get some support but he doesn’t believe in that and says that it is for everyone to decide for themselves.

      The courts are only going to address the charges put in front of them. No single judge is going to go out of his/her way and grant Stephen what he wants. As I said happy for someone to explain in what scenario could the ruling go in favour of Stephen.

  60. George Says:

    Lady G, I believe you are right. Especially when you said there needs to be more places to be nude. This is very true. There are not enough naturist resorts and public lands where nudism is legal. We also feel that a robust nudist business community is critical to generating greater awareness and enthusiasm for naturism.

  61. All-Nudist.com (@All_Nudist) Says:

    What an great article, though the topic is distressing. You are to be applauded for taking a stand which may cause some serious disagreement from some factions.

    We have made many of these same points over the years and have been often attacked by those who would prefer their fantasy to the reality of the situation.

    It’s sad but true that Mr. Gough took on more than he could handle, then went out of his way to make the situation worse. His intention was to use public nudity to challenge perceived injustices and limitations to freedom, not to promote public nudity. It worked very well, perhaps too well in the wrong way.

    He is best known as that guy who wants to be nude everywhere, not as that guy who stands up for personal freedom. Now he’s that guy who’s being unfairly persecuted. The ASBO laws mock everything he was trying to accomplish and diminish personal freedoms even further.

    How ironic that he’s been nabbed by that which didn’t exist when he began his crusade to prevent such a thing from happening!

    Unfortunately for him, and as you say, he’s wasted years of his life without accomplishing anything meaningful, and will be forgotten as soon as he’s gone. As it is, he’s already largely forgotten between court appearances when he finally gets a little backpage press.

    No mass demonstrations, no defence fundraisers, no Kickstarter campaigns, no pickets outside his jail, nada. No one cares.

    Don Quixote comes to mind; tilting at windmills believing all the time that they’re dragons. Mr. Gough attacked a system which allows much of what he demands, if only he’d bend a little and accept a few reasonable limitations. But that’s not his goal nor has it ever been.

    He wants a level of personal freedom that society simply cannot tolerate; it would lead to chaos. That’s the reality of the situation, unpleasant though it may be.

    We’ll be sharing this article at Community News (http://www.all-nudist.com/all-nudist-community-news#.VERNZfk7v0t} and elsewhere.

    Again, excellent article! Well done!

  62. Wayne Adams Says:

    Correct on all accounts, Lady G. when in human history did nudity come obscene is anybody’s guess. Ancient Greeks, Egyptian, Minoans etc. could be in public different stages of nudity. Like you said this guy will just rot in prison with nothing to show for it.

  63. Stan W. Baker Says:

    Mr. Gough along with American activists such as the late Andrew Martinez, Katherine Chronos and Jennifer Moss do much harm to those of us interested in decriminalizing casual, social nudity. Their antics, perhaps a manifestation of a kind of madness, compel the masses to see nudists, naturists or nudies as a group of troublemakers.

    In the last decade several jurisdictions in the US have actually re-criminalized simple nudity, the State of Vermont, North Carolina has criminalized topfreedom, the city of Austin Texas now has de facto topfreedom zones and most shockingly the City of San Francisco of all places where simple nudity was fully legal in certain districts as recently as 2012 will now get you on the sex-offender registry.

    Mr. Gough and his like are not the way forward. I am grateful for you, and similarly more rational nudists, to enlighten the unwashed, yet well clad, masses.

    and before I hit the button marked “post” realize I, my humble self, should be doing more.

    • Chet Kresiak Says:

      Stan, you provide some erroneous information.

      Nudity is not illegal in Vermont, there are no state laws which prohibit being nude in public. Perhaps you are thinking of Brattleboro where they just passed an ordinance against public nudity a few years ago.

      Topfreedom is still legal in North Carolina. A bill prohibiting women from baring their breasts was sent back to committee on the eve of the vote. Some jurisdictions prohibit women from baring their breasts, but in Asheville, where topless protests are held each year, women can still take off their tops in public legally.

      You also mention Texas, which is one of 36 states where there are no specific laws prohibiting female toplessness in public. I am not aware of any “zones” in Austin set up for this, so this appears to be a fabrication. Certainly police can make up reasons for arrest, such as disturbing the peace, but it’s technically legal for women to bare their breasts in Texas.

      And finally, in the case of San Francisco, public nudity is still allowed at certain events such as Bare to Breakers and the Folsom Street Fair. I am completely unaware of anything in San Francisco’s anti-nudity ordinance which puts people on sex offender lists, but there are fines and the potential for jail time if you are arrested for being nude a third time. Women have the same right as men to be topless in San Francisco, that hasn’t changed.

      It’s important to get the facts straight about these issues because people who read posts like yours often don’t do any fact-checking and tend to believe anything they read.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Please see comments from Chet Kresiak above as reply to this post.

  64. iliff Says:

    This feels sadly on-the-money to me

  65. mike Says:

    Stephen was exercising his legal right to walk / be naked in public in the UK. It is not against the law to be naked in public. The plebs we have entrusted with enforcing the law have got it wrong.

    He is willing to pay the price for his cause. I applaud him.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      I have applauded him but your statement is not correct. The law has many limitations and the authorities know how to apply them. I have said what I have said for the reasons explained.

      • mike Says:

        I bow to your greater knowledge / experience. However, I repeat, AFAIK it is not illegal to be naked in public in the UK. Yes the powers that be twist the laws to suit their own ends. Stephen has finally been caught under the public order / ASBO umbrella. Just as you can be charged with carrying an offensive weapon ( e.g. a pencil ) the laws can be twisted to imprison anyone who is not breaking the law. You have to show / prove intent!? Simple nudity is simply not illegal?

      • ladygod1va Says:

        Simple nudity is not illegal as long as it does not distress anyone else. All it takes is for one person to complain and you are on the wrong end of the law. There is no rights of nudists to be nude over the rights of others not to be distressed over seeing a nude person. People have been arrested for the same whilst in their back gardens but the law has to let them go unless they were doing something else that they can be charged with.

    • CGHill Says:

      They’re not busting Gough for being naked in public; they’re busting him for his failure to follow the terms of the existing ASBO.

    • Lee Farrow Says:

      I believe the law in Scotland, where Stephen has had most of his problems, is very different to the law in England and Wales when it comes to being naked in public.

      • brian johnson Says:

        The law in Scotland on public nudity is exactly the same as in England. There isn’t one!
        In England the police abuse Section 5 Public Order Act when they discover that no offence has been committed.
        In Scotland the police abuse ‘behaviour liable to produce a breach of the peace’. This is the most prosecuted law in Scotland and is used by the police whenever they want to prosecute someone who’s actions are not unlawful

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