After much soul-searching and reflection, and after reading many column inches in the serious press about the loss of respect for our country in general and our Service in particular by the Iranian hostage situation, I am coming to the opinion that something has been going wrong with the RN for quite a number of years. The emphasis seems to have been on political correctness and equal opportunities; trying to be "modern" instead of effective. The RN has been feminised and emasculated. The 14 male captives would perhaps have been able to offer a more robust response to their captors had not a female been with them. Were they worried about her more than should have been? The First Sea Lord may be making supportive noises in public; I would love to know what he is saying in private. Is it now time to rethink the policy of allowing women to serve at sea in warships, so that men can develop their fighting spirit?