Best of Breed – Llanelwedd 2011

Brushed, prinked and force-fed all kinds of stuff until they were in peak condition, it is their big moment, the Royal Welsh Show.  

Undeterred by dark rumblings from Derek Brockway in the Countryside Council for Wales tent, our political class took their place amongst the tractor salesmen, the cob breeders in their inherited cavalry twill  and the fourteen year old land-hungry girls flashing plump legs in small shorts.

The Labour Party could scarcely have been less popular has they come dressed up as badgers brandishing positive TB tests. Plaid Cymru, in the “lamb your pedigree Speckleface soon as look at you” form of Elin Jones provided Welsh Labour with a veneer of universality now clearly lacking: the chaps up from the West think Carwyn is pandering to the bunny-huggers, typified by Peter Badger-Boy Black.

Safe Labour territory in Quangoland, are feeling the pinch: the Damson Gin Reception at the Weasel Trust was cancelled, due to lack of weasels prepared to turn out in the mud for minimum wage.

BBC passes were rare as hen’s teeth, with none but Royalty and Roy Noble unaffected. It was a good day for new Tory leader, Andrew RT Davies, who was basking in the glow of approbation, though it was spitefully observed  that he always does well in any context where his hair and teeth are regarded as not worthy of particular remark.

Cheryl Gillan, channelling Alistair Sim as Miss Fritton, Headmistress of St Trinians, was enthusiastic and mildly engaged, managing to refrain from observing the obscene slogans on the sweatshirts or Andrew RT Davies’ Autumn Leaf Print novelty Wellingtons. She should, perhaps, tell her staff that at the Royal Welsh, pink shirts are only worn by very familiar faces and unless the roseate garment wearer immediately shouts out “Pedigree Holsteins” to the observer, they will come across as a London ponce.

Vignette of the day was observed at early doors: Kirsty Williams in heated discussion with a former colleague Mick Bates. Perhaps a meeting of minds did occur but Basher appeared as uncomfortable as an unaccompanied paramedic and his favoured get-out line: “My wife’s windfarm is bigger than your wife’s windfarm” was not to his advantage in this context. Other LibDems spent all day not joining organisations they are not allowed to join and William “Hello, I’m the one left unexcluded” Powell was on fine form, though still reticent as to what portfolios he currently holds, not wishing to admit that he is Shadow Spokesman for the Flipping Lot.

Two Plaid Big Beasts emerged from the Gala Lunch of the Welsh Offal Board: Dafydd Wigley blithe and as cheerful as a man can be and Elfyn Llwyd doing his celebrated impression of a walrus with time management issues. Their stall was manned by youths unlikely to be shaving until after the next Assembly elections, foxy-featured young citizens unable to distinguish between a grubby sweater and surfer chic. Their contribution to rebuilding the party appeared confined to flirting with girls named Ffion Meleri and Meleri Ffion, in the hope of breeding Plaid supporters.

And, all the while, the unendurably chirpy demonstration cooks, the earnest micro-brewers, the over-dressed cheese women and the high rollers of the British Charolais Society went about their business and the rivulets of rain streaked the fake-tanned legs.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article may not reflect the views held by the Welsh Icons team but on the other hand….

Photograph: Some cows

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