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 gobbledegook 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 working environments.'
Nelson: 'In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle.'
Hardy: 'The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its 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. Report from the crow's nest please.'
Hardy: 'That won't be possible, sir.'
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.'
Nelson: 'Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy.'
Hardy: 'He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck 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 under represented 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 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's 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 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.'
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.'