Red Tape

"On my first visit to the Members' Entrance of the House of Commons," Cyril Smith once recalled, "I was solemnly given a single coat hook, my name written beside it, and it was there I saw my first piece of parliamentary red tape, an actual piece of the stuff, hanging below the hook. The attendant explained that I should hang my sword from the tape, should I ever decide to attend the House of Commons wearing a sword. My disbelieving guffaw of laughter was met with doleful eyes; it was, sir, a tradition."
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