Theresa May pledged a 10% reduction in Henley Regatta hospitality packages and greater tax relief on Wimbledon debentures today, in an attempt to widen access to a range of upper-class rutting and posturing events. Seen by many as a cynical response to Jeremy Corbyn’s promise of more resources for community football, the policies will entail the biggest overhaul of the UK’s Society Season since the decision in 1958 to allow gentlemen to take off their top hat at Ascot when in private function suites.
‘Its time to invest in the beautiful game – grouse’, announced May. ‘Grouse shooting has for too long been the game for the few, not the many. Our two-for-one ticket policy will allow more riff-raff to enjoy the frisson of the glorious twelfth. Itâ€™s a return to the grass roots…particularly for all the grouse that will be shot’.
‘Rising waiting times for grandstand tickets at the Badminton horse trials, long-term underinvestment in upmarket caviar and Krug refreshment tents’, listed May mechanically. ‘We need more resources trickling down to the second tier of the aristocracy. I’m pleased therefore to announce that the number of character references needed to get a ticket for the Cartier Queen’s Cup polo event will be reduced from 12 to 10 next year’.
In a further change, more flexible first-class air tickets will be available, giving the landed gentry more choice over when they leave their country mansions for the London season. ‘This year’s Queen Charlotte’s Debutante ball changed dates with less than 18 months’ notice, leaving us in a frightful mess with our Spring yacht charter round the Med, and an unfortunate clash with Glyndebourne’, noted one toff. ‘The costs to our social status were considerable – we were virtually ostracised at the Trooping of the Colour’.
‘We’re also trialling some double-header events to encourage participation from the masses’ concluded May. ‘Horse riding galas combined with summer exhibitions, sailing regattas alongside traditional country pursuits, that sort of thing’. ‘Indeed, I’ve asked Boris Johnson to be the ambassador for one of them – the Cowes Week Hunt.’
Conservative Party insiders have speculate the initiative to be worth ‘tens of votes.’