Times change : (

26 Nov 2009
Posted by admin

Moments before the Battle of Trafalgar.A conversation takes place
on the poop deck of HMS Victory.
Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."
Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."
Nelson: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to Flags. What's the
meaning of this?"
Hardy: "Sorry sir?"
Nelson (reading aloud): " England expects every person to do his or her
duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious
persuasion
or disability." "What gobbledygook 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."
Nelson: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."
Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free
work environments."
Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main
brace to steel the men before battle."
Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It's part of the
Government's policy on binge drinking."
Nelson: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it -
full speed ahead!"
Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this
stretch of water."
Nelson: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in
history. We must advance with all dispatch. "Give me a report from the
crow's nest please."
Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."
Nelson: "What?"
Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. There's no
harness, and they said that rope ladders don't meet regulations. They
won't let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected."
Nelson: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."
Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle,
Admiral."
Nelson: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."
Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a
barrier-free
environment for the differently abled .."
Nelson: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one 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."
Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is underrepresented in
the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."
Nelson: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."
Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't
let
the crew up the rigging without hard hats and sunscreen. And they
don't
want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"
Nelson: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell
the men to stand by to engage the enemy."
Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."
Nelson: "What? This is mutiny!"
Hardy: "It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being
charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of
legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."
Nelson: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."
Nelson: "We're not?"
Hardy: "No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners
now.
According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this
stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."
Nelson: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."
Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity coordinator hear you saying
that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary report and an ethnicity equality
re-training course"
Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your
King."
Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural
age.
Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules. It could save your life"
Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum,
sodomy and the lash?"
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on
corporal punishment."
Nelson: "What about sodomy?"
Hardy: "I believe that is now legal, sir."
Nelson: "In that case . . . kiss me, Hardy."