Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Friday 21/11/2003Let it not be said that our beloved leaders are a po-faced bunch of over-officious nannying non-entities with nothing to do except create endless red tape and wind it round our ankles. I won't hear it.

Friday 21/11/2003
Let it not be said that our beloved leaders are a po-faced bunch of over-officious nannying non-entities with nothing to do except create endless red tape and wind it round our ankles. I won't hear it. In fact, I've long seen the more bureaucratic part of my life as a piece of performance art -- a bunch of random activities to be acted out with style, precision and flair but by no means to be taken seriously. Only by seeing the entire local, national, European and international web of rules and regulation as a very superior piece of Situationalist -- nay, Pythonesque -- set of events can sanity be retained.

Now we have proof that this is indeed the case. When the Gov isn't shuffling Orders through the back door that let the local sanitation inspector peer into your inbox, it's doing things like PRIMO -- the Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) (Interim Measures) (England) (No.2) Order 2002. This covers how to shift your pig from farm to farm, auction, slaughterhouse and so on: due to swine fever, foot and mouth and doubtless a high incidence of ingrowing toenails, you must mark your pig and log its movements.

OK, I hear you ask, but what if I have a pet pig? It must be exempt, surely? An Englishman (or Scotswoman, for that matter) must have the basic right to walk out with their personal swine. Aha! Glad you brought that up. This possibility had slipped the great minds at DEFRA, the Department for Enraging Farmers and Ruining Agriculture. And so it has come to pass that before you embark with your porker on a lead for your morning constitutional, you must obtain and fill out the Pet Pig Walking Licence.  It details the route you will take -- previously certified by a DEFRA official -- and must be shown on demand to a police officer, inspector, and quite possibly someone from your local ISP.

Rule Britannia!

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