If the boat race is anything to go by, I might skip the Olympics

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GIVEN that the length of Chiswick Bridge across the Thames is some 606 feet and just a lick and a spit away from the end of the Boat Race I begin to fear for the rowing skills of both Cambridge and Oxford universities when it comes to judging distances!

When you also take into consideration a broken oar and some bloke ducking in and out of the water I begin to worry about the security for the coming Olympics as well.

Add the type of inane questions asked by sports correspondents and I am considering not bothering with the whole thing during the summer.

Still, as the audiences watch the Games sitting in over priced seats munching cold pasties they can, if they live in this country, gain some confidence with the knowledge that while VAT is charged on new, adult shoes the shoe laces are not chargeable provided they are purchased separately.

This means that in these desperate times it might be worthwhile asking how much your next pair of shoes is without the laces!

Other words of wisdom on the subject can be found on the Inland Revenue web site. For instance the following is of great importance to us all particularly the Chancellor:

Articles of footwear include: boots, shoes, sandals and slippers, even if they are designed for special purposes (such as ballet shoes or studded football boots), and ice-skating or roller-skating boots, with or without skating blades or rollers attached – but not blades or rollers sold on their own, or platform type roller skates for attaching to normal shoes, shoelaces, insoles, heel protectors and stick-on soles sold as separate items.

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of these things the Chancellor wins every time. Who else could be small minded enough to go to such lengths with devious ways to take our money?

I’m off to buy a couple of pairs of platform type skates for normal shoes and a few dozen pairs of shoelaces just for hell of it.