Union FlagRecent events concerning a naked man in Hampshire do little to dispel the myth about Britons and their ‘eccentric’ ways (and I’m not talking about that teacher), but the events are quirky and a bit odd, so I’m willing to play along this once. This is especially for all the Americans out there who think Britons are most likely to resemble Mary Poppins or Prince William.

Stephen Gough, a 54-year-old former Royal Marine, more commonly known as the ‘Naked Rambler’ following two treks from Lands End to John o’Groats, has yet again been jailed for refusing to wear clothes in public. The 11-month sentence was handed down after Gough repeatedly ignored warnings from police and the courts about his ‘behavior’, which included walking out of one court appearance completely naked and being arrested outside the court building for refusing to put clothes on. Sounds like a stitch up to me.

After the sentence was handed down, the senior district crown persecutor prosecutor said he hoped it would reassure the public that this behavior wouldn’t be tolerated (Gough was banned from appearing at his trial because he refused to wear clothes). To me, the prosecutor’s statement makes the accused sound more like a mass-murderer than a guy who doesn’t like to get dressed in the morning. Maybe the authorities thought he’d scare the children (a lot like that teacher).

Incidentally, the sentence is more the double that handed down to a couple of other famous criminals from Hampshire, the right honourable MP for Eastleigh Chris Huhne and his former other half, for an offense I’d deem a lot less serious, whilst containing more than double the lol-factor.

Whether he ends up a martyr in the Tony Martin sense remains to be seen, and there is yet word as to whether he intends, or is allowed, to serve out his sentence in the buff. At least the local authorities haven’t made him sign the sex offenders register (unlike that teacher). The uptight nature of Britons when it comes to nudity and sex is astonishing at times, unless you’re out drinking in Newcastle on a Friday or Saturday night. You’d witness a whole different form of eccentricity then. Maybe Mr Gough could move up there when he’s released. At the very least he’d have the double-standard defense at his disposal.