Im a nudist. Its not something Ive made much of on this blog, though I do mention it from time to time. But I am. If you see me with clothes on, it means Ive made a compromise with either you or the weather today. I have very little liberty, most of the time, to live the way I would prefer. Even in my own house I have to hang net curtains in the windows if I dont want complaints from the neighbours.
At least one other person in this country who shares my preference in this matter is a District Court judge. All I know about him beyond that is that hes male and that he frequents the Pineglades Naturist Club near Christchurch, because those are the only personal details given in this Herald article.
Someone took a photo of this judge at Pineglades. Someone uploaded the photo to Pineglades website, apparently without his knowledge although he had given them written consent to use the photo Im not sure how that works but it isnt the point. Someone else saw the photo and laid a complaint against the judge.
The Herald is keeping quiet about the identity of both the judge and the complainant, but the wording they report is suspiciously close to Rodney Hides opinion piece on the matter. Hide used to be the Parliamentary leader of the Act Party, who present themselves as champions of personal liberty. Of course in practice what they champion is personal liberty for rich white men, but judges tend to be those, so Hides hypocrisy demands further explanation.
Hide opens with the concession that nudists ought to be free to do as we wish as long as we do so in private on our own private property. But if youre a judge, he says, you mustnt appear in photos practising nudism. If you do that, you cant do your job any more.
How... does he sit in judgement on sex cases, public indecency charges, or rule on the acceptability of pornography to minors?
To make a concrete example: how can he preside in judgement over a man accused of exposing himself to children?
Isnt that exactly what he has done?
Um... no. No it isnt. But this is a typical New Zealand attitude. We like to think were easy-going, tolerant, unprejudiced folks who accept peoples differences, who live and let live. Were not.