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Hey Waitrose, any chance we could buy a banana?

Three gleaming Sharons – two more than Allison found. Getty

There are a few telltale signs that civilisation is close to collapse, says Allison Pearson in The Daily Telegraph. Political dysfunction; the “younger generation deciding they identify as a tortoiseshell cat”; and, most alarming of all, “nothing in the fruit and veg aisle at Waitrose”. At my local branch on Wednesday I found “no salad, no apples, no potatoes” – just a single Sharon fruit “glimmering yellowly on the yards of empty shelves”. What’s going on? “Is it the Russians?” Is AI starting its mission to eliminate the human race by wiping out the middle classes? If so, Waitrose is the place to start. It has replaced the Church of England as the place we go to soothe our souls. “They say man cannot live by bread alone, but you could test that hypothesis to destruction in Waitrose, from San Francisco Sourdough to Vogel’s soya and linseed.”

A shop as “deliciously” upmarket as this cannot afford to have its well-heeled patrons turn up and find the place looking like an “empty Cold War-era Polish supermarket”. Personally, I blame Sharon. “The chairman, not the fruit.” A former Treasury wonk and head of Ofcom, Dame Sharon White is clearly more interested in “values” than delivering the goods. “We don’t tolerate any form of prejudice or discrimination,” shoppers are told, “and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.” Well, terrific. “Top diversity points, guys! Any chance of, you know, buying some actual food?” Much more of this and Waitrose will be Pane Pugliese toast. “Me, I’m off to Tesco.”