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Royal Navy presses IT Crowd for nuclear missile 'servers'

'Sometimes I just turn it off then on again'

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Video The Royal Navy has a long history of backfiring recruiting tactics. Back in the days of the press gang, apparently, there were sometimes expensive lawsuits - the impress law only permitted trained sailors to be pressed, not landsmen, and there were other grounds for dispute.

On occasion, too, eighteenth-century naval recruiting parties were driven off by testy mobs, sometimes backed by their local government; there was apparently at least one incident where a warship was compelled to fire into a town in order to cover an embattled pressgang's retreat.

Moving on into modern times, some may recall the TV recruiting ads of the early 1990s. In these, some benighted civvy would be shown, toiling away as a pizza delivery guy or an accountant or something equally horrible. Then the picture would cut to the same person doing something exciting in the navy.

"Missile loader" or "Jump-jet pilot" etc, the voice-over would say - "... IF he'd joined the navy."

This provoked a lot of mirth in the service. The view at sea was that the ads should have shown a civilian - a publican, let's say, a barrister, a fireman - and then cut to a matelot on his knees scrubbing out the heads*.

"Bog cleaner" the more realistic tagline would have run. "... IF he'd joined the navy."

How we'd laugh, as we scrubbed.

Now the service appears to have shot itself in the foot again, with this little gem:

Says it all really, I think. For those interested, the submarine on which our IT expert appears to be serving is a Vanguard-class boat; it carries Trident intercontinental missiles with nuclear warheads. That guy is a Weapons technician, remember.

Enemies of the UK take note: our strategic deterrent probably doesn't work any more. ®

*That's the lavvies, in scurvy landlubber talk

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