Belfast Telegraph

Brown’s banana fad is putting the wind up all of us

By Robert McNeil

The news that Gordon Brown is eating up to nine bananas a day has rocked the power elites in many major western cities.

Even in rural areas, dismay has been expressed, particularly at shock medical news that the PM could suffer horrendous flatulence as a result of his fruity excesses.

Sources blame his wife, Meretricia, for the fad, saying she confiscated his beloved Kit Kats and substituted the controversial yellow comestible as part of some faddy diet normally associated with Madonna and that sort of person.

Worse still, Mrs Brown has poked him out the door with a brush and made him go jogging. Pictures show him looking stupid as he shuffles along with all the athletic prowess of a haemorrhoidal chimp. Critics say he has demeaned the office of Prime Minister, as if his economic policies weren't bad enough.

Jogging, as everyone knows, is bad for the morale of the nation. Like cyclists, joggers ruin street scenes for normal citizens. Puffing grimly, they display a naked fear of death, something most of us manage to confine to the privacy of our own homes. Every jogger reminds us that we were not put on this earth to enjoy ourselves. They give off depressing subliminal messages reminding us that life is about the survival of the fittest, that it is a race in which letting up and eating a donut could be fatal.

But back to the bananas. Typically, Brown tried to turn his wind-inducing eccentricity into a PR message for “the nation”, urging voters to emulate his simian-style lunacy. Mr Brown has a spokesman and he said: “Right, listen up. The Prime Minister has always taken the view that a balanced diet is very important. So this is what I want you to print in your ghastly rags: Portions of fruit and veg taken on a daily basis can only lead to good health and radiance. Got it?”

Radiance? What's he on about? Brown looks as radiant as a potato. Is it really the job of the Prime Minister to eat bananas and moralise to the rest of us about how our skin should shine?

Soon, according to some sources, billboards will appear showing ruddy-cheeked blond persons carrying scythes and eating bananas as they stride heroically into the sunset. It will be up to decent citizens everywhere to resist this totalitarian attempt to tell us what to eat, with its added encouragement to go into the countryside, stride about and whatnot.

I accept that we cannot eat what we want, otherwise most of us would be dead by now, lying bloated in the gutter with a half-masticated chip sticking out of our mouth. As things stand, we struggle to meet this five-a-day malarkey, pretending hopefully that the strawberry bits in a Haagen-Dazs count as one portion.

At the time of going to press, it isn't clear how the world's banana barons have reacted to Brown's initiative. They're as obsessed with PR as he is, and they wield far more power. They may not want their product associated with someone like him — a loser — and could attempt to destabilise his government.

It has happened before. Not here, obviously, but in that Guatemala, where in 1954 the CIA orchestrated a political coup against a democratically elected government, which the the US-owned United Fruit Company deemed “Communist”. In Colombia in 1928, thousands of banana industry strikers were massacred, leading to the formation of armed opposition, which continues to this day. I'm not making this up. You can read it on Wikipedia, as I have done.

It's my contention that Brown doesn't know what he's getting into with his bananas. He should beware he doesn't become a victim of the wind of political change.

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