By Andy Blackmore, Metro UK
So, once more poor old Stephen Gough, AKA the Naked Rambler is doing porridge. This time he’s got 11 months stir, for as always, his refusal to wear clothes. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, rather than waste time locking him up we should make an example of him and give him a knighthood.
Now, I’m not making a mockery out of the honours system. I’m too late for that – they’ve already done it themselves. Recent recipients have gone from bad to worse and such false idols have devalued things to the point of farce.
There’s nothing funny about a comedian getting a gong. That is, unless, he’s actually done something to merit it. So perhaps I’m missing the point.
"In a world that seems to get greyer by the day, I’ve got a lot of respect for someone who refuses to conform."
Now Mr Gough – he has a point. Not only does he believe that it is his human right to be naked in public, he’s quite prepared to defend that right the only way he can – by taking his clothes off.
Come on, is the sight of a middle aged man wearing no cloths that shocking it’s a breach of the peace? I don’t think so. At last, we’d be rewarding someone who actually deserves it – a man with convictions – lots of them. One with the balls, quite literally, to stand by his beliefs and accept imprisonment rather than compromise his principles. That my friend is a true idol and real role model.
So I think he deserves recognition. Arise Sir Gough. Here is a man with a passion, one who does what he believes is right. Right or wrong he’s prepared to make a stand (albeit in the nude).
In a world that seems to get greyer by the day, I’ve got a lot of respect for someone who refuses to conform. In a world that sees nonconformism as vice, rather than a virtue, I salute someone who won’t play by our petty rules.
In fact, by recognising Mr Gough, we’d actually be elevating the honours list in eyes of most people. Here is a chance to save and redeem them. Let’s face it, they couldn’t become more of a joke.
However, if a knighthood is not on the cards then can we please just leave Mr Gough alone? Both he and the law have made their points. So far he has spent much of the last six years behind bars. He’s received 28 convictions for 46 offences – mainly in Scotland – just for being nude.
But, I hear you shout, he has no respect for the law. Easy to say, but it’s a two way street. The law has forgotten it has no automatic right to respect. If it expects any, it needs to earn it. It’s done precious little to do that here – quite frankly, and quite literally, the law is an ass.