A pederast in every port

A very worthy charity offered recently to take me out on one of their sailing boats to show me what they do for troubled youngsters. As it was over a weekend I asked if I could bring my 12-year-old son along and endeavour to witness the doing of good through his eyes.

The nice lady went away to ask a higher authority and several days later came back to say that such a request was impossible as other members of the press on the trip had not been CRB-checked.

Hang on, I’m the boy’s father and I’m going to be there to prevent any floggings while lashed to a grating, walkings of the plank or pederasty on the poop. But Health & Safety officers do not think I’m capable of protecting my own offspring.

Our own John Goode was running a tall ship rig at this year’s London Boat Show in which youths were able to climb up and down the ratlines and go out on the yard-arm. But he was ordered to halt the activities immediately as the old shellbacks he had assisting had not been checked for any recidivistic traits.

So Mr Goode, a master mariner, ordered his team to the deck and made them say out loud, in front of the astonished boat show onlookers, and the H&S team: “Say after me: ‘I promise I will not put my fingers in any inappropriate places at least while parents are looking away'”

The H&S team evaporated and were not seen again.