Thursday, 12 April 2007

Today's modern Navy - Some fun

The Navy is not what it used to be.

If Nelson’s navy had been subject to today’s regulatory environment, would the Battle of Trafalgar have proceeded more like this?

“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 their duty – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability. What sort of gobbledygook is this?”

“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! Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”

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

“In that case break open the rum rations. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle.”

“The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It’s part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

“Good heavens Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it. Full speed ahead.”

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

“Damn it man! We’re on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest please.”

“That won’t be possible sir,”


”Health and safety have closed the crow’s nest sir. No harness. And they say the rope ladder doesn’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected.”

”Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.”

”He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo’castle Admiral.”

“Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”

“Health and safety again sir. We have to provide a barrier free environment for the differently-abled.”

”Differently-abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse to have the word mentioned. 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.”

”Whatever next? Give me 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?”

”I’ve never heard such infamy. 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.”

“What? This is mutiny.”

”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.”

“Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”

”Actually sir, we’re not.”

“We’re not?”

”No sir. The Frenchies and the Spaniards 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 for a claim for compensation.”

”But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”

“I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on a disciplinary.”

“You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King.”

”Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest. It’s the rules.”

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

“As I explained sir, rum is off the menu and there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”

“What about sodomy?”

“I believe it’s to be encouraged sir.”

“In that case, kiss me Hardy.”

God bless and good luck to all those serving in today's modern Navy - you need it.
I wish I could say I wrote this but I didn't. It was in an email going around a couple of years ago and I thought it was quite topical.


MuseinMeltdown said...

My husband is currently building a poop deck in the front garden for our differently abled son !!

Was there any mention of the media contract and photo opportunities at the death-bed scene?

Best wishes

Daily Referendum said...


"Was there any mention of the media contract and photo opportunities at the death-bed scene?"

What, all those microphone cables running along the deck and flash photography, you must be joking, H&S would have a field day!

Cheers Shipmate

PETER SHAW said...

Why when I read this could I hear in my mind Monty Python's Graham Chapman as Nelson and John Cleese as Hardy? Classic piece of satire, well done!

Daily Referendum said...


I wish I could say I wrote this but I didn't. It was in an email going around a couple of years ago and I thought it was quite topical.

When I read it, I give the part of Nelson to Stephen Fry and the part of Hardy to Rowan Atkinson.

I got your email and will be adding you to my blogroll.



Liz said...

Very good!

Last year our regular circuits instructor broke his collarbone and we had a replacement who'd recently been invalided out of the Navy (makes them both sound really fit doesn't it?) Anyway the Navy man was grumbling about the recruits he'd had to get fit most recently. They were liable - and had the right - to complain if they thought he was being too hard on them.

It's just got plain silly.

Daily Referendum said...

Hi Liz,

Your circuit instructor is quite correct I'm afraid. I taught new recruits engineering before I left. If they repeatedly failed exams it was not their fault it was the fault of poor instruction.

People expect their sailors to be a cut above the rest but the PC and the H&S teams have removed any chance of that. People are going to have realise that their armed forces can no longer be toughened up during training in case they get hurt.

You can no longer put new recruits under physical and mental strain to see if they are fit to go into combat.

Recruitment levels are so poor now that the only people who fail basic training are the ones who walk away, very few are pushed for being unsuitable.

When I joined up there was a large waiting list to get in. My instructor's job was to try to get me to leave. Sadly now the instructor's job is to try and keep them in.

Unfortunately some of those who have called our sailors cowards for their behaviour in Iran, are also the same people who are disgusted when they see reports of “bullying” in the forces, you can’t win.

You're right it is plain silly.