I ONCE had three very active Border Terriers. They chanced one day upon my cousin's three-legged cat and thought it was an easy target – in the old chicken joke parlance, a leg each. But what they didn't reckon on was the ferocity of the teeth and the claws. The cat won because of those two attributes – a body with teeth – and the dogs steered clear after that.

Where's he going with this, I hear you say? Well, the appointment of a new body – the Trade and Agriculture Commission – to oversee food standards of potential imports in the wake of the brave new post-Brexit world, has been announced by government. However, it will be 'advisory' only – in other words, no matter what its findings, it will not have the teeth and claws necessary to fight for and enforce any of its recommendations.

What's going to be crucial, though, is who will take a seat at this new body's table. What we need will be a roomful of Rottweilers, dragons and three-legged cats led by the Man from Del Monte – where nothing is allowed unless he say 'Yes'.

However, the fear is that it will be populated by chihuahuas, butterflies and a tim'rous moose or two. The phrases 'lap-dogs' and 'paying lip-service' have already been used. While it would appear that this commission has been set up as a direct result of the industry clamour following the voting down of the Parish Amendment – which would have made comparative food standards a must for any imports – it is incumbent on industry lobbyists to make sure suitable candidates with enough knowledge and beligerence to make themselves heard can be forced on to this commission.

It needs, at least, enough chutzpah to produce a roar or two, rather than rolling over for a belly scratch! I can think of at least a couple of candidates from Scotland who would fit the bill!

A Royal miss

A CHANCE glance at facebook last week highlighted the fact that this week would have been the Royal Show, at Stoneleigh.

While the Royal Highland was lost to the pandemic this year, The Royal – it always deserved the 'The' prefix – was a globally important event and was lost for ever, due to many years of mis-direction, in 2009. We can wonder that, had it been better managed, would the other Royals have flourished as they have done?

However, a trawl through our archives has come up with some great pictures from Stoneleigh and we have them here: https://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/shows/18562203.remembering-show-times-past---royal/. It was nice to relive those glory days of what was once one of the biggest and classiest events in the world.