Eastney Naturists

Campaigning to Save the Beach

There is a controversial Article & supportive Editorial in today’s (28 May 2008) Portsmouth News.  I strongly suggest you contact the News to let them know just what you  think of QinetiQ’s tactics in trying to smear the naturists. There are 2 articles is online at the News site, asking for comments – http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/Battle-for-the-beach-hots.4125448.jp & http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/portsmouth/Nudists-concerned-at-39dirty-tactics39.4127054.jp

The “charges” laid against us are laughable

1. “Militant threats towards QinetiQ” – a bit rich coming from an arms manufacturer!  I’ve had trouble finding anything that seriously matches this description.  Mind you, I’d hate to think that someone’s posted something on our forum that so frightens a multi-million pound arms maker – please let me know (info@eastneybeach.org.uk) which discussions are so troubling & I’ll look into whether there’s any basis for this complaint and whether any of the posts need moderating.

2. “Offensive graffiti” – graffiti (offensive or not) is not just confined to the beach and is not something condoned by us – I think you’ll find plenty of offensive graffitti around any city.

3. “discussion on the naturists’ forum about sexual activity on the beach” – now this I find offensive – the only discussions I can find that comes close to fitting this description were soundly condemning any such activity – ie the exact opposite to what QinetiQ are complaining about!

4. “a naked individual offending a member of staff with his ‘posturing & positioning'”  One person’s ‘posturing & positioning’ may well be no more than another person’s sitting down and trying to get comfortable on the pebbles.  Causing offense is not the same as committing an offence – I find myself offended by ignorance – it’s not an offence though!  It was made quite clear, at a meeting in January with QinetiQ & others, that at least one of QinetiQ’s employees was determined to be offended no matter what and was very confused about the difference between being offended and an offence being committed.

5,6,7. The naturists have always taken a pride in cleaning up the beach after themselves.  How often has anyone from QinetiQ taken part in beach-cleaning days?  This “extra litter”, if it exists, is more likely to be coming from the after-dark crowd that use any beach.

Rather perversely QinetiQ then go on to say that they are “not blaming the nudists for the problems” – so why send out this sort of letter that, at the very least, implicitly smears the naturists?  Are these sorts of tactics typical of QinetiQ’s business ethics?  If not, can we expect an apology and be reassured that the letter writer will be disciplined?

I note that QinetiQ “urge the naturists to work with us” – again this is a bit rich!  We attended a meeting in mid-January, called by Cllr Vernon-Jackson, with QinetiQ, Councillors, environmentalists, lots of lawyers & others.  At that meeting QinetiQ promised to keep the lines of communication open between us.  Of course, this never happened – QinetiQ haven’t troubled themselves with talking to us since then.  Instead, most likely after that meeting, they wrote a letter, detailing these allegations, to each member of the Council’s Executive.  I wonder if arrogant communications of this nature played any part in the Council’s refusal to let QinetiQ appropriate environmentally sensitive public land in order to build a wider access road?

Do I think that QinetiQ would like to work with the naturists?  Ha!  I’d like to be proved wrong though – over to you QinetiQ!  You can contact us on info@eastneybeach.org.ukwe’re ready & willing to talk to anyone about finding a way for naturism to continue at Eastney.

I note that, at the end of the article, “The naturists may face police action for public order offences if other members of the public complain”.  I fail to see how this applies – the Public Order Act is supposed to be only for use if there is an imminent threat of violence – not something you would normally associate with naturists sun-bathing on a beach. 

© Eastney Naturist Beach Liaison Group- Eastney Naturists