THE FORMATION OF THE FUTURE A SHORT STORY Imagine a far away battlefield a few years from now. In the frontline are elements of the newly formed British 1(PC) Division. PC for politically correct, an initiative of the government which uses the forces in such a way as to set an example for society to follow. In command of the Division is Lt Gen Dame Betsy Nadabadinge, appointed in order to redress the under-representation of black, female, single parents in senior command appointments. Her chief of staff is Brigadier Baz Formby, a Scouse ex-Comprehensive School pupil and recently graduated second class Bachelor of Media Studies who, aged 22, is the lucky recipient of a Downing St sponsored, year long job swop. (a regular army Brigadier is knocking up a big Mac, fries and Coke in Bootle as we speak) This scheme was started about the same time as saluting was branded elitist and replaced with a more modern and acceptable approximation. Now soldiers simply say Respec which is met with an Officers response of Rockin. Suddenly, a flash signal arrives at the Command Post which spells out trouble. Errr Boss ., Drawls Baz as he reads the signal, It seems dat deres a gap in the front line where Bradford & Mosside Highlanders used to be, What do you mean, used to be replies Betsy, worriedly. Errrr .dey were accidentally bombed by Harriers of 12(VI) Squadron of d RAF and deyve all run away, V.I.? Asks Betsy, obviously puzzled. Errr 'Visually Impaired' Genral. Deyre d most expensive Squadron in d RAF, due to the amount of crashes dey 'ave. Dey can take off and fly to d target but deres a bit of a problem getting dem to drop their bombs accurately or even land safely. Dey just tend to eject just before dey run out of fuel and hope dat the planes dont crash anywhere populated. Well, replies Betsy, Get the Bradfords to return to the trenches, immediately. Errrr .d problem is dat none of dem speak english dey were all conscripted from d Immigration Detention Centres as per government asylum policy. The General thinks carefully of her alternatives and comes up with an idea. Never mind Baz, well send in the R.W.F. instead. Theyre in reserve. Errr .. d Royal Wheelchair Fusiliers have refused to fight, Boss. Apparently deres no ramp access to the battlefield. Just at that moment, a loud artillery explosion outside takes everyone by surprise. As white hot pieces of jagged shrapnel pierce the flimsy fabric of the Command Post, the General screams and clutches her chest in obvious agony. Errrr Genral, are you wounded? Cries Baz, frantically. The General looks up at her despondent second in command. No Baz, its baby Olivers feeding time and these cracked nipples are killing me. The conversation returns once more to the front line. Errr we could fill d gap with the R.C.T. Boss A good idea Baz, says Betsy smiling. Tell the CO of the Royal Corps of Transvestites to move forward. Errr nice one right away Boss Just before Baz leaves the Command Post, Betsy remembers something important. Do the RCT have the latest rules of engagement card ? She enquires. Errr..yeah .Ive got one here. Baz pulls a card from his pocket and begins to read out loud. Halt or I will send a strong protest via the chain of command to your embassy which will encourage a negotiated settlement through non-violent means Outside, another artillery shell explodes sends everyone diving for cover. Shortly afterwards, a Lance Corporal wearing a white armband rushes into the Command Post. Respec Rockin Im afraid that you must move this division back 35 miles General. Pants the NCO. On whose authority? Demands the General. Mine, He replies. Sub-section 4b, clause 6, Article 1 of the Health & Safety Act 2003 (Foreign Battlefields) gives me, the Divisional Health & Safety NCO, absolute authority in life threatening situations as theres already been 100% more explosions than legally permitted. Come on mate, protests Baz, Dats only one more explosion then the law allows, Think yourselves lucky, Replies the NCO, I could have done this last week when it rained in excess of 20 minutes. Very well, replies Betsy. Come on Baz, lets go to the All Ranks Mess and get drunk as an appointed member of the upper house. Just before they leave the Command Post, Betsy turns to her Radio Op. Signalman Clarke! She snaps, Get me the Field Marshal and inform him were withdrawing to Grid Reference Apha Tango 433 675. Pardon? Replies Nobby, turning up his hearing aid.