My true love sent to me: two turtle doves. In the original it seems that the turtle doves represent the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Pigeon fanciers were outraged after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) left pigeon racing out of the official list of sports. They asked the Queen, who is patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), to get this ruling reversed, and organized an e-petition to Downing Street. Why so many ruffled feathers about something apparently so trivial?
Well, it’s all about money. Premises used for ‘sports’ are exempt from the rates, a local-authority tax. Under MHRC proposals to introduce rates on sports clubs and village halls, groups can formally apply for dispensation from HMRC for 80% relief and then to their local authority for a 20% reduction. So pigeon fanciers faced paying rates on their sheds, though officially recognized sports such as yoga, arm-wrestling and trampolining are still exempt.
The government told the e-petitioning pigeon fanciers that decisions on which activities count as ‘sports’ were made by agreement of the sports councils, and it would be inappropriate for the government to intervene. Doesn’t it all speak volumes about just how silly and bird-brained all these tax rules are?