Ahab's Axplanations

It is well known that the Public sector, including those of us in the Police Service are expecting significant cuts to our budget to be announced very soon. It would seem, based on the latest update from our friend Capt. Ahab, that the fishery industry is going through the same pain as ourselves. We are told that there is a new head of the Fishery in Grimsby who appears to have started around the same time as our own new Chief Constable. We wish both new leaders the very best of luck in their new posts. We are aware that many Kent officers are now taking an interest in what is happening in Grimsby and so we have once again included the latest update from Capt. Ahab to his members.

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Amalgamated Union of Grimsby Trawler Operatives

Ahab's Axplanations

An occasional column explaining the workings of the Amalgamated Fishery Management in a lighthearted yet informative manner.

Dear Fellow Operatives,

On the decks of the Fishery here at Grimsby there is a palpable electricity in the atmosphere, an aura of trepidation and fear as we see ahead of us a tsunami, a Perfect Wave, a veritable goffer of crushing fiscal cuts which are about to swamp us and our Enterprise here at Grimsby and across the fishing grounds of England.

All this is set to happen, of course, just as a new pilot steps on board to navigate us through the treacherous waters ahead. So what do we know about this new Navigator?

More used to the flat waters of the Wash than the squally seas that surround Grimsby and it's neighbouring Fisheries, he's already publicly stated that he will row himself to his place of work every day, and will not require the services of the two boatmen and twin luxury yachts which were required by the previous incumbent. He sent waves of fear throughout the Industry this week by turning up unannounced at a briefing of Operatives about to be deployed on the early tide, prompting Commanders and Admirals throughout the fleet to send out signals reminding operatives to have their chins shaved, their oilskins hosed down and their parrots buffed to a high sheen at all times.

He's also rumoured to be a traditionalist - one who likes to see his Crews smartly turned out with their sea boots freshly polished and their Sou'westers squarely perched atop their salt-encrusted heads. And this is where hope lies for us all.

Over the last few years a great many extraneous pieces of gear have been bolted, welded and lashed to our craft in the name of efficiency and progress, which have had the effect of slowing our vessel almost to a dead stop. Top-heavy with such additional superstructure, our Fishery Enterprise has come close to capsizing, while the clumsy and costly apparatus has required the attention of ever more operatives whose endeavours were better placed elsewhere.

As this tsunami crashes over our encumbered industry and we wallow in the undertow, there is genuine hope that much of this tackle will have been washed overboard like so much flotsam, never to be seen again, and we will emerge once more as an effective Fishing Enterprise; lean, and fit for the purpose for which most of us signed on - the catching of Fish.

On a lighter note, comments have been invited by the Purser on the quality of the new black smocks issued to seagoing crews. The general opinion appears to be that they are marginally less hardwearing than a 'bounty' kitchen towel, and their lack of proper collar gives the Operative the appearance of vicar enjoying an off-duty moment between particularly tough sermons. One Captain neatly summed them up 'as much use as a solar-powered foghorn'. Operatives suffering from bobbling are advised to report to the sick-bay.

Yours, gripping his rowlocks and braced against the storm,

Capt A. Hab (M.N. Ret'd)

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