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From Bryn
The Battle of Trafalgar
The PC brigade, HSE and HMS Victory
It’s almost 200 years since Lord Nelson’s famous naval victory over the French and Spanish in the Battle of Trafalgar.  To kick-start the anniversary celebrations, an actor dressed as Lord Nelson posed for pictures on the River Thames at Greenwich. But before he was allowed to board an RNLI Lifeboat, safety officials made him wear a lifejacket over his 19th century admiral’s uniform.

We ask the question - How would Nelson have fared if he’d been subject to modern health and safety regulations, and PC twaddle?

You are now on the quarter-deck just off Trafalgar, on the recently renamed British, sorry EU Flagship, HMS Appeasement - and a witness to madness!

Order the signal. Hardy.

Aye, aye, sir.

Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to the signal officer. What’s the meaning of this?

Sorry, sir?

England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability. What gobbledegook rubbish is this Hardy?

Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting “England” past the censors, lest it be considered racist.

Gadzooks, Hardy. I had heard rumours, but this is beyond reason. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.

Sorry, sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments.

You are taking advantage of my humour Hardy!  RIGHT! - in that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace, that we may steel the men before battle.

The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It’s part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking. And may I remind you sir we have three females aboard too, so it's not just men any more.

Good grief man, heavens above, and shiver me timbers Hardy. I will have somebody's insides for this treachery Hardy, but I suppose we’d better get on with it. Full speed ahead!!

I think you’ll find that there’s a 4 mph speed limit in this stretch of water.

You cannot be serious! Dammit man, we are on the eve of the greatest sea fight in history. We must advance with all God's dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest, please.

Please sir, I should be mindful how you address your God, there may be atheists and devil worshipers within earshot, and we are not allowed to offend them. And going aloft to the Crow's Nest is not possible, sir.

Who signed up these people up?  What's this about a devil worshiper? Good grief man have you been ashore too long?

Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No EU Approved harness, and no Risk Assessment report has been published. They say that rope ladder doesn’t meet EU regulations, and the wind speed is above certified limits. They won’t let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected by the special heights team.
The devil worshiper has been approved by the Captain of another ship - apparently made of something called steel; been in all the papers it has.

Enough of this landlubbers bullshine, get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.

He’s a bit busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo’c’sle Admiral.

Wheelchair access, what the devil are you talking about Hardy? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.

Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled. And remember that man you said was deaf as a post, he is suing us for unfair dismissal, and not being a sympathetic employer!

Differently abled? Deaf man who can't hear my orders suing us!  I’ve only one damn arm and one good eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word.  I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.

Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency, not to mention the aurally challenged - so we have had to employ a deaf, one-legged, racial minority person in the signals cabin.

You are taking the waste water Hardy! Whatever next? Give me a full sail. The salt spray beckons.

A couple of problems there, too, sir. Health and safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets. And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt – haven’t you seen the adverts the Food Standards Agency have been pushing?

I’ve never heard such infamy, stupidity and obscene nonsense in my life.  Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.

The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral. Nor do they have ear-defenders.

What is this Hardy? This smells of a mutiny.

It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There’s a couple of legal aid lawyers on board, who have pointed out some MOD approved war zone encounters where our ground forces shot the enemy and now are being held for manslaughter charges. These lawyers are watching everyone like hawks sir.  "No win no fee" or something like that was mentioned in the Consultation Exercise.

So tell me Hardy, how in God's name..... sorry, in anybody's faiths name, are we to sink these Frenchies and the Spanish?

Actually, sir, we’re not.

We’re not?  We are not going to sink the blighters!  WHAT??? 

No, sir. The Frenchies and Spanish are our European partners now. May I draw your attention to the Common Fisheries Policy (CAP), we shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.

But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil....... oops I shouldn't have said that in case I offend that devil-worshiper.

I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator and EU Human Resource Manager hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on a disciplinary, and that would not go down too well with the EU Rapid Reaction Force Commander - Herr Fritz.

You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King, and country, and those who would grasp it from you by sly means.

Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. And of course the 24 other new EU nations are all but one according to some piece of paper - well actually thousands of bits of paper sir - called the EU Constitution or something like that.  Best be putting on your Kevlar vest, it’s the rules - one vest between two.

Don’t tell me Hardy – health and bloody safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?

As I tried to explain sir, rum is off the menu. And there’s a ban on corporal punishment. You cannot even smack the cabin-boy now for being insolent, a thief, and a truant and a liar.

What about sodomy?

I believe it’s to be encouraged sir - some fellow called Handelsome I think.

In that case – kiss me Hardy...... damn the torpedoes.
Bryn  (not all my own work!)