When I'm World Dictator, the first thing I shall do is institute a rigorous programme of marine conservation. The new code will reflect my experiences of 20 years as a sport diver. They will be enforced by a corps of Special Services commandos, armed with explosive harpoons and authorised to shoot, on sight, anyone contravening the regulations.
Only British residents will be allowed to dive. At first sight, this might seem unfashionably jingoistic - racist, even. But I have dived with enough foreigners to know that only by stopping them entering the water will we avert the risk of ecological disaster on a global scale.
For instance, there simply isn't enough room in the world's oceans for Americans. It has been scientifically proved that the British diver displaces only one-third of the water displaced by an independent financial advisor from Jacksonville.
When a party of South Carolina dentists entered the water recently in the Dutch Antilles, the Caribbean rose by six inches, completely submerging several low-lying atolls. Still, it's an ill wind: the resulting tidal wave completely destroyed Disney World, not to mention the Cayman Islands and the entire money-laundering machine of the American cocaine industry.
The diminutive stature of the Japanese (Sumo wrestlers excepted) creates less of a problem from a purely Archimedean point of view. But their tendency to practise the martial arts under water means that, in real terms, they occupy at least as much space as their bloated Caucasian counterparts from the other side of the Pacific.
The Dutch fascination with the bicycle seems to have produced in them a distinctive finning action which spells doom for any living organism within a 10-metre radius. However, this must be preferable to the Germans, who conduct every dive as if it were the invasion of the Sudetenland. There is something of the juggernaut in your German - a sort of unstoppable obstinacy, a rigid determination to conduct the dive precisely according to the pre-planned profile.
If this means swimming through, rather than over, the reef, then so be it - just as long as he isn't distracted by the trivial, inferior lifeforms that clutter up the seabed.
The Italians are dangerous on two counts. Firstly, gazing at their diving equipment, even under water, without protective eyewear can result in permanent visual impairment. Secondly, no self-respecting Italian goes within 100 miles of the sea without a powerful speargun. During the Open Hunting Season (1 Feb - 23 Jan) his quarry can include turtles, dolphins, lighthouse-keepers and small birds.
Indonesian and Filipino divers are more dangerous still: their basic equipment includes four sticks of dynamite. This once represented an important tool in the ancient and traditional art of reef fishing. But since the last fish was blown to pieces in 1987, the explosives have performed a ceremonial role only in the annual ritual of extorting foreign aid from Western governments.
All divers who pass the Nationality Test must undergo radical surgery. Their limbs will be shortened by removing large sections of the major bones, limiting their capacity to kick and maul delicate corals. Goody bags will be welded shut and all free-hanging gauges and alternative air sources stapled to loose folds of skin on the diver's torso. Wetsuits not fitted with holding tanks must carry full effluent filtration and purification equipment.
For further information, please write to me c/o Redpeace, the Provisional Wing of the Marine Conservation Society.
For more in a similar vein the book Blackford's Diving Life and Times can be ordered from Underwater World Publications, price £7.50 (tel. 0181 943 4288).