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‘Red tape’ – an imagined conversation

January 14, 2021 12:01 AM

SCENE: Two men sit at a table in a local hostelry each drinking a pint.

"Red tape Dud!"

"Yeh, red tape Pete."

They drink.

"What about red tape Pete?"

"I hate red tape. It's red tape that is holding the workingman back from his rightful inheritance Dud."

"Bloody red tape Pete."

"Bloody red tape Dud."

They drink.


"Yes Dud?"

"What red tape is that then?"

"Well THE red tape Dud, THE red tape."

Two pints please.

Two pints please.

They drink.

"What like the red tape that stops you getting an electric shock from electrical appliances Pete?"

"Well, much as I love a life affirming electrical jolt, obviously not that red tape Dud."

"Well like the red tape that stops you getting your arm chopped off at work?"

"Well not that red tape either!"

"Perhaps they could relax it a little? Who really needs all five fingers?"

"A good point Dud. A good point."

They look at their fingers.

"No that's clearly good red tape."

They drink.

"Fred down the caff was complaining about red tape. 'Health and safety gone mad.' he called it. Forced to keep his caff, what was it he said, 'clean enough to do surgery'."

"Have you seen Fred's fingernails Dud?"

"Good point Pete. Good point."

"No Dud, red tape like on meat in sausages."

"Pete I love a bit of gristle and a good helping of oats in my sausage as much as the next man, but I do think there needs to be some meat in them."

"You and your hoity-toity ways Dud."

They drink.

"Bananas Dud. Straight bananas. That red tape from the bloody EU."

"I may need to be corrected here Pete, but I don't think that red tape ever existed except in the wild imaginings of some journalist."

"You sure Dud?"

They drink.

"Here Pete what about this new red tape so we can export things to the EU?"

"Good red tape Dud?"

"How's that?"

"Well Dud it creates thousands of new jobs; creating forms; filling in forms; checking forms; levying charges on forms."

"I'm not sure Pete. Didn't the Government promise to get rid of red tape?"

"Only the bad red tape Dud."

"I'm glad we've got that sorted out Pete."

They drink.

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