I often write about bananas. First and foremost, I like eating them and, secondly, we have a very large banana tree growing and fruiting in our garden, which provides endless entertainment and annoyance for our dog, Bella, who, since she is partially sighted, is obsessed with the banana tree and is convinced that a gentle breeze moving the large, luxurious leaves, is actually a dangerous enemy from which she must protect us. Bananas, and similar crops, have in the past been the lifeblood of the economy of the Canary Islands and the links that these islands have with the UK are symbolised by the creation of Canary Wharf, which was the original recipient of bananas from these islands.
I have always thought that bananas are the real reason behind Brexit. Forget the accusation that “The Brits have never really liked Europe”, it is really bananas that are to blame. Do you remember all the fuss about ‘bendy bananas’ and the myth that was so lovingly nurtured by the right wing press that straight bananas were being insisted upon by the grandees of Europe? Of course, it was nonsense, and most of the population knew it was nonsense. Despite this, it was the banana debate and other examples that became the stuff of nonsense that finally manifested itself into a call for the referendum to take Britain out of the European Union that politicians could not avoid any longer.
Bendy bananas or not, how many children and office workers include a banana as part of their lunchtime snack? The UK supermarket chain, Tesco, has upset many of its lunchtime customers recently by significantly increasing the price it charges for individual bananas. The reason for this outrage is that Tesco are now charging for single bananas instead of its usual practice of charging by weight. This has resulted in the cost of a single banana to have doubled at its Metro and Express stores. Customers were paying around 76 pence per kilogram for their lunchtime banana, which worked out at around 10 to 15 pence depending upon the size of the fruit. The new pricing at 25 pence each is often more than double the original price.
In its defence, the supermarket giant claims that expensive leases on its stores have led to the price increase, which has led to many angry exchanges on social media, leaving Tesco quaking at its very foundations and driving all the customers to Lidl and Aldi, or so we are told.
At the time of writing, Brexit negotiations are in a mess, the Government appears to have lost the plot and the opposition parties appear to be in no position to provide a workable alternative. Of course, the problem will be resolved; they always are, in time. The problem remains of course in how much damage will be done in the interim.
How many banana skins will our leaders slip on before the deal is done? Well, there’s not much that I can do about it, so I’m just off into the garden to pick a nice fresh banana for my lunch. Bananas have a lot to answer for.© Barrie Mahoney ￼