Hair’s apparent

You haven’t been waiting here since Wednesday night to find out who was crowned NFU vice president have you? Oh dear, I should’ve directed you to NayLo’s website – after all, he’s the place for breaking news, hey Kit Papworth?

In case you don’t know, Gwyn Jones got the nod for the job. Gwyn’s a former NFU dairy board chairman and seems like a good chap – whenever I’ve interviewed him I’ve found him clued-up on his subject and passionate about the industry.

While I like him and I think he’ll be great at the job, I was a little surprised he won. He had some stiff competition, and a few farmers I spoke to at the conference had expressed doubts over whether Gwyn would be a good person to stand in front of a camera and promote farming to the public. This wasn’t because he isn’t intelligent or eloquent, but because (and I quote) “his hair quivers in the wind”.

After he’d been voted in, one mean photographer in the press room was overheard lamenting  that he hadn’t brought his wide-angled lens with him to fit the whole of Gwyn’s magnificent mane in shot. Even Gob of the Wash has got in on the act, teasing Gwyn’s peachy ‘do.

It’s got me wondering how important appearances are if you’re trying to get a message across. I think part of Peter Kendall’s success at communicating with the public is because he looks like a normal bloke – he doesn’t really fit the stereotype of a farmer so the public ‘gets’ him. Uncle Meurig always looks dapper in a suit and is quite statesman-like, which gives him an automatic air of authority. There’s nothing about either of them which distracts you when they’re speaking.

Having said that, I like that Gwyn’s got something a bit quirky about him. It’s getting people to talk about him, which can only be a good thing. Would NayLo have blogged about him twice this week if he only had a crew cut? And anyway, if he didn’t have a spectacular hairdo, some meany would only find something else to take the mickey out of…

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