Banana Split: The Great Banana War Rages – Is No Tropical Fruit Safe?

3_Bananas with size reduced from 1563 x 1321 to 640 x 541 px

Above: 3 bananas on a yellow background. 19 February 2007. Originally posted to Flickr as [][2]. Uploaded using F2ComButton. Author Rick Harris. Republished under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Modifications: File size changed from 1563 x 1321 px to 640 x 541 px. Source: Licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Yanks, a curious group, when they’re not dropping bombs on our lads in the Gulf (friendly fire, etc.) they’re starting a trade war with us!

Well, what are allies for, if you can’t piss them off what can you do with you time[?]

In late 1998, as our bombers were being deployed to back up our American cousins in their quarrel with Saddam, a far more serious and heinous plot was being hatched against the Euro-banana.

What I call the Euro banana, is the fruit produced in former British and French colonies, which is distinguished from its American multinational-produced counterpart by its size, it’s a bit smaller (well, size isn’t everything!).

The problem of course, as with many Euro-American disputes, is that we give a trade preference to bananas produced in countries with wish we have historical links and responsibilities.

Naturally the greedy American companies which produced those bendy yellow pieces of fruit, are a bit upset that they can’t monopolise yet another market, that of the EU.

Oh, what a shame how will the American economy ever survive[!]

We have strong cultural and economic links with our former colonies (America included), and some are very poor countries.

When will the US come to realise that some countries take their international responsibilities seriously?

Sometimes we put historical commitment before stuffing our pockets full of cash and claiming to be the most moral and the most correct country in the world.

How many countries does the United States want to offend with its overbearing economic presence, its swaggering attitude, and its imposition of sanctions on countries [whose] leaders or policies it does not like[?]

Well, what do you expect, history has ended, Uncle Sam’s the only remaining superpower, and everyone else has to tow the line.

As Europe moves towards political unification, we might be able to actually have a truly independent foreign policy, a policy that allows a more benign social market capitalism to assert itself on the American version.

Perhaps the real reason behind the dispute is that Europe’s social market capitalism, with its welfare states and social safety nets, is too much of a diversion from the true faith that produces the deprivation and social malaise that is apparent in the US.

At a time when Europe is asserting its independence with a new currency that is a threat to the pre-eminance of the Dollar, the Americans have to come to terms with their decline. The American Century is all but over, and they are beginning to worry about what the future holds. American leaders may ultimately come to realise that the American way may not necessarily be the ultimate destiny of humanity, and that alternatives do in fact exist. The future is a very uncertain place indeed, and as America’s power wanes it will needs its European friends more than ever.

If America continues its aggressive economic posturing, Europe and America could suffer a banana split with serious implications for both. AMERICA BE WARNED!

By Chris Knowles

Originally published in the REaction! the political magazine of Wakefield District Young Labour, ISSN 1464-8105, Vol.2 no.1 April 1999.


Call to Abolish European Commission

Banderas_europeas_en_la_Comisión_Europea 640 x 438

Above: EU flags in front of the Berlaymont building, head office of the European Commission. Date:
26 October 2007. Original file ‎(2,405 × 1,647 pixels, file size: 2.2 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg) reduced in size to 640 x 438 pixels. Source:
Author: Amio Cajander. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

We’ve seen in the new recently, allegations of corruption at the highest levels of decision making in the European Union. Commentary has centred on the fact that in order to get rid of a couple of allegedly rotten apples, the only option for the European Parliament is to get rid of the whole Commission. Naturally this provokes a sense of injustice from other Commissioners, but the more serious wider issue, of the lack of power for the European Parliament, appears to have been ignored.

The European Parliament is much like the parliaments of the Middle Ages, a talking shop where those privileged enough to have seats can chat about the important issues of the day. It has advisory and supportive powers, but these are not really powers at all. Parliament needs to become more proactive and have the confidence to assert itself. If it does not, it will remain the Commission’s rubber stamping body and will never have the power to implement the sort of Europe demanded by the voters. The power of the European Parliament should be paramount; the unelected Commission simply has to go.

Successive national governments in countries across Europe have let the people down, they have failed to give Europe the democracy she deserves and dragged their feet on giving more power to the Parliament. This is not good enough, democratically elected national politicians should hang their heads in shame and ask themselves whether they are really democrats at all.

The European Parliament has a responsibility too. It should not just oppose the Commission when some corrupt Commissioner gets caught, it should refuse to endorse any future Commission and demand a Europe-wide referendum on whether the Commission should continue to exist. Such a vote for democracy would inevitably result in European power being vested where people want it, in a directly elected Parliament.

A powerful parliament would be able to increase interest in Europe and increase the appalling voter turnouts that currently characterise Euro-elections. People would no longer be afraid of the EU since decision-makers would be elected officials who could be voted out at the next election. If this doesn’t happen, Europe will never enter the popular consciousness.

By Chris Knowles

Originally published in the REaction! the political magazine of Wakefield District Young Labour, ISSN 1464-8105, Vol.2 no.1 April 1999.