Stephen Gough, a skinny fiftysomething Brit, is known all over the UK as the Naked Rambler, having once walked the entire length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John o’Groats, in his birthday suit, a trip that was delayed several times by unwanted attention from the legal authorities, who claimed that, well, he just couldn’t do that sort of thing; a second attempt was similarly interrupted.
There are a hardy few who think this is a great thing Gough is doing, though they doubt he’ll ever succeed:
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.
And Her Majesty’s Government has been shrewd enough to put Gough under an ASBO: even if he happens not to be breaking local nudity laws, which appear a bit more lax than those in the States, they can always haul him in for violating the terms of the ASBO. So they’ve got him coming and going.
Besides, hardly anyone wants anything goes, 24/7/365:
[T]here 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 force 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.
And let’s face it, this is not on the level of, say, the civil-rights movement in the US in the Fifties and Sixties: I would look silly trying to claim that my freedom is being circumscribed by not being able to traipse through the Men’s Furnishings department at Von Maur wearing only shoes and a smile. It would be nice, though, if the government didn’t spaz out if I went out that way to fetch the newspaper from the driveway.