Subject: Horatio Nelson at Trafalgar in the 21st century!
Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."
"Aye, aye sir."
Nelson: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to Flags. What's the meaning of this?"
Nelson (reading aloud): "'England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless
of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious
persuasion or disability.' - What gobbledegook is this?"
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."
Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free
Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men
Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."
"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. Report from the crow's nest please."
Hardy: "That won't be possible,
Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness, and they said
that rope ladders don'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."
Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle
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
Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb
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 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."
"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's a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."
how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."
Nelson: "We're not?"
"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 co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be
up on disciplinary report."
Nelson: "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. It could
save your life"
Nelson: "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."
Nelson: "What about sodomy?"
"I believe that is now legal, sir."
Nelson: "In that case...... kiss me, Hardy
REST OF THE WORLD VERSION:
The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building and improving his house and laying up supplies
for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the squirrel
is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
But read on……..
THE BRITISH VERSION:
The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.
A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference
and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like the grasshopper,
are cold and starving. The BBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper; with cuts to a video of the
squirrel in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.
The British Press inform people that they should
be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so, whilst others have plenty. The
Labour Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and the Grasshopper Council of GB demonstrate in front of the squirrel's house. The
BBC, interrupting a cultural festival special from Notting Hill with breaking news, broadcasts a multi cultural choir singing
"We Shall Overcome". Ken Livingstone rants in an interview with Trevor McDonald that the squirrel has become rich off the
backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax levy on the squirrel to make him pay his "fair share" and increases
the charge for squirrels to enter inner London.
In response to pressure from the media, the Government drafts the Economic
Equity and Grasshopper Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel's taxes are reassessed.
He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers, as builders for the work he was doing on his home and an
additional fine for contempt when he told the court the grasshopper did not want to work. The grasshopper is provided with
a council house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile. The
squirrel's food is seized and distributed to the more needy members of society - in this case, the grasshopper.
enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retrospective taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and
start building a new home. The Local Authority takes over his old home and utilises it as a temporary home for asylum-seeking
cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Britain as they had to share their country of origin with mice. On arrival they tried
to blow up the airport because of Britain's apparent love of dogs. The cats had been arrested for the international offences
of hijacking and attempted bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchards instead of salmon whilst
Initial moves to then return them to their own country were abandoned because it was feared they would
face death by the mice. The cats devise and start a scam to obtain money from other peoples credit cards. A Panorama special
shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrels food, though spring is still months away, whilst the council
house he is in crumbles around him because he hasn't bothered to maintain it. He is shown to be taking drugs. Inadequate government
funding is blamed for the grasshopper's drug 'illness'. The cats seek recompense in the British courts for their treatment
since their arrival in UK. The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drugs
habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody for a few weeks. He is placed in the care
of the probation service to monitor and supervise him. Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery.
A Commission of Enquiry that will eventually cost £10 million and state the obvious, is set up. Additional money is put into
funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers and legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased.
The asylum-seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Britain's multicultural diversity and dogs are criticised
by the government for failing to befriend the cats. The grasshopper dies of a drug overdose. The usual sections of the press
blame it on the obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic
experience of prison.
They call for the resignation of a minister. The cats are paid a million pounds each because
their rights were infringed when the government failed to inform them there were mice in the United Kingdom. The squirrel,
the dogs and the victims of the hijacking, the bombing, the burglaries and robberies have to pay an additional percentage
on their credit cards to cover losses.
Their taxes are increased to pay for law and order and they
are told that they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.