Well, thank you all for coming tonight…and thanks to Bob for letting us use the back room once again. I’ll just get a round in and we’ll make a start.
Bob? Two Teachers, one Bells, two pints, a dry sherry, a gin and campari and a double rum, if you’d be so good.
Now, as you know, at the AGM it was proposed and passed nem con that Alf should be co opted onto the committee, given his experience in the Cod Wars, to give some persepective on the maritime side of the problem so, Alf, thank you for agreeing to take on the responsibility.
Oh, thank you Bob! And cheese and crackers…that is spoiling us!
Glad to help out, Mr. Chairman – and a nice drop of Pussers that, Bob!
Well, just as well that Alf is with us as the BBC have just said that the Navy won’t be able to keep foreign fishing boats out of our waters after Brexit.
Typical! Look how they’ve run down the Navy….reduced to sharing an aircraft carrier with the French…and that won’t be available when you need it, just you see…their wardroom will have run out of olives and won’t be able to put to sea…
I know, Deidre, but an aircraft carrier wouldn’t be much use in this case…Bob! A double gin and campari, please.
The thing is, there is already abuse as it is….Dave here likes to fish off the beach and, well, you tell them Dave.
Yes, Mr. Chairman. I have to dig for ragworm for bait during the day, of course, keeping an eye out for the council shitehawks now they have those quad bikes that can drive along the beach….
Sheer waste of public money! What was wrong with having a bike to ride along the promenade to spot baitdiggers without a licence the way they used to do? Too idle to shin down the wall and run after them, that’s what!
Yes, Mrs. Bracegirdle, I agree – Bob? Another round, please – but carry on Dave, will you?
Yes, Mr. Chairman. Well, as I was saying, I have to dig for bait during the day, but the fishing is good when the tide comes in at night and I like to get away from the wife’s soaps and cookery programmes anyway. Well, very often you can be down there and when the moon is up these French fishing boats without lights come along as close to the shore as they can get, dredging up everything in their nets….they come by night to avoid the coastguard spotting them, I think, but the point is that if they are doing that now, just imagine what they’ll be doing after Brexit! Hordes of the buggers, that’s what there’ll be, dragging the seas dry!
Sorry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, it slipped out.
And I heard some French minister say that Brexit or no Brexit they’d be fishing our waters, come what may! And what are we to do if the Navy can’t defend us!
Well, you can’t really blame the Andrew, Deidre, it’s not their fault if politicians don’t give them the means to defend our interests….Bob, could you do another double gin and campari, please?
Sold down the river, that’s what we are…and have been ever since they conned us into joining what was then the Common Market!
And don’t forget the Americans! We were winning the Cod Wars when we had to pull out because the Icelanders threatened to leave NATO and shut down the American bases there…
Too much foreign influence! That’s the problem!
Well yes, but we shouldn’t get into politics. We are just trying to help in a situation where official bodies, like the coastguard, are too hard pressed to do a proper job, and it looks as if the Navy will be needing a hand too…
Any ideas, Alf?
Well, round here, the problem is that we don’t really have home based trawlers of a size to do much for themselves….you need to ram the buggers – sorry Mrs. Bracegirdle – and cut their nets and you need to be of a size to do that. Bob, could you do another round please?…need to wet my whistle. So we have to think outside the box.
Where it comes to those trawlers Dave was talking about I have had one idea…and we don’t have to wait until Brexit, either!
Now, you need to confuse them about the depth of water…their sonar won’t be too good close in, with the sands shifting the way they do, so this might work. You’ll need an attractive young lady, though.
What…to lure them inshore?
Sort of. If she stands up, so that only her top is above the waves, always in the same spot, and they get used to seeing her – being Frogs they won’t miss clocking her – and then one night she sits down…still showing her top, they’ll think they have plenty of water but they won’t. They’ll run aground and then we can go for them and give them what for!
She’ll be pretty cold, though, won’t she?
She can wear a wet suit on the bits they can’t see…and she could take a thermos…
The other thing is to ask our local fishermen to harass them…surround them like, so that they can’t shoot their nets. It would be a bit chancy as your Frog is a violent bugger – sorry Mrs. Bracegirdle – but with enough of us we could board them and take over the boat.
But that would be piracy, Alf! Like those Somalis!
Well yes….but I had a think about that.
You know when Sir Francis Drake went after the Spanish, there wasn’t really a navy at all, so what he was doing could have been called piracy…but for one thing. Good Queen Bess gave him a Letter of Marque which authorised him to attack enemy ships and confiscate them and their contents – in return for a cut of the booty for the Queen when he returned.
So what we need is a Letter of Marque….and I reckon we might be able to get one!
How’s that, Alf? Bob, another round, please!
Well, the High Court of Admiralty used to issue them…but, of course, the bug….well, it’s sort of disappeared for years…but they’ve overlooked one thing. There’s still an Admiralty Court of the Cinque Ports, and it has jurisdiction over this area! Now, if we could persuade the judge to revive the Letters of Marque we could protect our boats if they attack the French!
I used to know who it was, introduced to him in the golf club…decent bloke….someone stole his oar years ago and he was very upset.
I’d always thought he was happily married!
No, Deidre, it was the silver oar that was stolen…the oar that has to be in the court when it is in session.
Surely there’s some law against it, though?
Only some treaty with a load of Europeans…and after Brexit we won’t be bothering about any of them, will we!
Well, is it the sense of the meeting that Alf looks into it all and reports to the next meeting?
Carried, nem con. Thank you Alf! Now, Bob, a last round for the road, please…and could you order a taxi for Deidre?