Saturday, January 16, 2010

"It's the judges that need to be psychologically examined."

Very good article on the trials and tribulations of the UK's "Naked Rambler".
Since the 1920s, British culture has had ample opportunity to get used to naked people in public. From the bouncy exuberance of streaker Erica Roe in the 80s, to the artfully nude "calendar girls" of the Women's Institute in the 90s to the barrage of scantily clad bodies on TV and online, we now have endless opportunities to see the naked human form...And what of the stance taken by Scottish police? Does the relatively hard line they have taken with Gough speak of Scottish repression? Not so, say police in Scotland, who claim to be protecting the public. Not everyone agrees. Mark Stephens, of law firm Finers Stephens Innocent in London, says the Scottish police and law courts are overreacting.

"In England we've taken the view that Stephen Gough is not a danger to society but is a harmless eccentric, part of life's rich tapestry and we won't waste police time and money on him. In Scotland, a more prudish approach has been taken."

On thing is certain, going naked isn't cheap. Gough's latest bid to remain naked has cost the public purse more than £200,000. Psychologist Alexander Wedderburn said: "I can't believe the law should spend public money in such a way. I don't think we should be looking for psychological explanations for Gough's behaviour. It's the judges that need to be psychologically examined."

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