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The naked rambler


Graham*

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See BBC. What has he got in that large back-pack, I wonder? No clothes to bother with. Soap and towel? And is that a solar panel?

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Forum Editor

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How easy it is to glibly dismiss the action taken against this clearly rather confused man as the over-stuffy reaction by a group of fuddy duddies who just 'don't understand'.

What I think they understand only too well, and what I would understand, if I was in their position, is that the vast majority of ordinary people don't want a naked, fully grown man wandering freely amongst them. People are offended by it, and I share their view. If one man is allowed to do it there will soon be someone who exposes himself, and seeks to justify it by citing this individual.

There's nothing to be ashamed of in finding this behaviour offensive. What irritates me are those people who infer that there is something unsophisticated about anyone who 'doesn't understand'. I understand perfectly - this Man's behaviour is unacceptable, and society has pointed that out to him.

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finerty

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why doesn't he just stick to a nudist colony or a nudist sauna instead of offending the majority.

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Graham*

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If he tried it in Texas they would whoop his ass.

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WhiteTruckMan

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Would this thread have taken place if the rambler was a woman? People on the whole seem far more offended by a naked man than a naked woman.

WTM

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morddwyd

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Bit of a misnomer to call him a rambler.

They tend to be out in the countryside among the brambles and nettles!

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morddwyd

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Because the one is not against the law, and the other is.

It's as simple as that.

If society decides that certain behaviour is unacceptable, whether it be wearing no clothes, or having a birthday party (or even mentioning certain festivals too early in the year!) that is a matter for society to protest against, not the individual.

If you don't like a law you campaign to get it changed, not ignore it.

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Forum Editor

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The law in Scotland is different to that in England and wales. In Scotland the offence of 'public indecency' was primarily designed to protect children under the age of puberty (12 years for girls and 14 for boys). It was considered necessary to protect these children from various crimes of indecency, one of which is indecent exposure.

The whole subject of what is considered to constitute indecent exposure is a tricky one, and not only in Scotland - the laws in England and Wales are fairly vague about it as well. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 doesn't specifically mention nudity, but it does apply to genital exposure with intent to shock those who do not want to see it. That in itself is horribly vague - how do you determine whether you are about to expose yourself to people who don't want to see your private parts?

The answer of course, is that the law - or those who enforce it - make an assumption, which is that people in general will be shocked by the sight of someone exposing their genitals in a public place. It is considered to be - at least by the majority - unacceptable behaviour. Most people know that, and they don't go around exposing themselves. Those who do may expect to be fined at least, although the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.

Ourn society's tolerance of nudity comes and goes. In the 1970s it was common for girls to wear skirts that were so short they often exposed their underwear when they sat down. I don't think the courts were crammed with indecent exposure cases as a consequence. What worries people most of course is men who expose themselves, and I'm sure I don't have to provide a graphic explanation as to why that is the case.

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Forum Editor

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"Gough hasn't been convicted of being naked because there is no law in Scotland that makes that an offence."

That's correct - nudity, as I said earlier, is not specifically an offence, unless......

By its mature, said nudity is combined with conduct severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community. Then it becomes an offence under Scottish law.

The Police and/or the courts make a judgement when considering cases like this, and presumably they do it by examining the evidence that people are alarmed by the behaviour of the person concerned. A man walking along streets stark naked might well alarm people, I imagine, and in particular it might alarm female children. I would have thought it's a risk not worth taking, and for that reason I believe it's right to put a stop to the behaviour.

Individuals who do this kind of thing are so obsessed with their own ideas of what is acceptable, or of what they have a 'right' to do that they couldn't care less about the effect it might have on others. They are oblivious to the possible consequences to others, as long as they can get on with gratifying their own selfish needs.

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Bing.alau

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I've never followed any of the stories of this man. But if he chooses to wander around the country in the nude, then he should be put in the looney bin. Who in their right senses wants to battle the elements in this country or Scotland. He must be a complete nutter.

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lotvic

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If Gough succeeds in being allowed to walk around naked, that means that everyone else that wants to can. It means that at any time in any public place a person (or large group of people) can strip naked. I hope UK society will not allow that.

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