Monday, February 21, 2005

 

You Couldn't Make it up #1

Navy to advertise for homosexual sailors

Britain has a proud naval tradition. From the Elizabethan era (1500s) until 1945, Britain really did 'Rule the Waves'. My favourite period of Royal Naval history is the Napoleonic era where the 'wooden walls' of Nelson's navy protected England from invasion by France, until Nelson's resounding victory Cape Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, established British naval supremacy for the next hundred years.

During that famous battle, Nelson's flagship, the 100-gun Victory, was engaged yardarm to yardarm with the French 74 Redoutable. Chain-shot, bar-shot and cannon balls flew back and forth across the decks of both ships, slicing through rigging and sail, masts and spars, officers and seamen alike. From both ships, high up in the rigging, sharpshooters picked off individuals one by one.

In the midst of this chaos Admiral Nelson and Captain Hardy paced up and down the quarterdeck, sitting ducks in their blue uniforms. Eventually Nelson succumbed to a musket ball fired from the rigging of the Redoutable. His body came back to England preserved in a barrel of rum.

Fast forward 200 years. What is the Royal Navy up to now?

"The Royal Navy is to place advertisements for recruits in the Pink Paper as part of a new campaign to recruit homosexual sailors.

"The move follows its decision to sign up to the Diversity Champions programme run by the equal rights charity Stonewall, the first time a branch of the armed forces has done so.

"Commander Tim Kingsbury, the Royal Navy's diversity and equality policy officer, said the scheme would initially involve providing commanding naval officers with the necessary information to best understand and support homosexual staff."

More here

Well - that's progress for you!
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