I can’t exactly remember why Billy Connolly took to wearing these splendid Big Banana Boots in the nineteen seventies. I do remember my parents going to see him and telling me how unsuitable he was for nice young girls (which is what I was then, more or less). All I know is that I can’t see a banana now without thinking of them. What a delight that they now have pride of place in Glasgow’s splendid celebration of people power, the People’s Palace.
Now the humble banana has taken on a new role in the venacular of citizen empowerment. BANANA has apparently replaced NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) as the acronym of choice when describing public resistance to building projects: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Another acronym which manages to encompass all the weaseliness you would expect from public officials trying to put a positive spin on recalcitrant members of the community is LULU: Locally Undesirable Land Use. But my special favourite is CAVE: Citizens Against Virtually Everything – sometimes it feels like there are a lot of them about.
What we need now is a nice acronym for the sort of people who make a positive contribution to public life: Sensible Undervalued Citizens, Keen, Empowered and Rational. Got any suggestions?