May Day for Brexit?

Wed, 2017/06/14 - 7:11am | Your editor
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In college, I attended High Holy Day services with my childless Boston aunt and uncle who lived in Allston rather than at the university. They were not very religious, running a German delicatessen selling non-kosher food to fellow-European refugees, so the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement services were not in a synagogue. They were held in the Orange Lodge in Allston, a relic of Protestant Irish immigrants to Boston who wanted to continue their harrassment of the Fenians in the New World.

By then the Northern Irish had become a tiny minority as Boston's Irish Catholics took political power. During the services when I got bored I examined the stain glass windows, showing the Battle of the Boyne, when William of Orange (husband of Mary) defeated the ragged Irish rebels and their church, represented by something like the College of Cardinals in full panoply and miters. There also was a stained glass window showing the Orange-men marching with banners and halbards through the Irish slums and trampling the inhabitants.

These symbols had gone date well before the Jews hired the Orange Hall, but they spring to mind as the British Conservatives join with the relics of the Orange Order to continue to govern during the Brexit crisis. The legacy of William of Orange and the Rev. Ian Paisley is devisive and dangerous.


Yesterday David Jones and George Bridges, two of the 4 British cabinet members working on Brexit, resigned over the complexities of the new narrow parlimentary majority dependent on the Orangemen. They are frustrated by the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to keep the Department for Exiting the European Union, or DEXEU, informed of what she is up to in her talks with the Northern Irish members and also with EU leaders.


French Pres. Emmanuel Macron and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble today called on Mrs May to halt the drive to remove Britain from the EU before negotiations formally begin next week, saying once talks start it will become harder to reverse any UK move to exit. Her alliance is a further irritant. I wrote that she might be a secret remain supporter last autumn (following a Canadian academic who suggested she was a Trojan Horse).


This morning Bloomberg writes that “Doubts appear to be growing in the UK over its government's tough stance and ability to handle the withdrawal successfully after last week's election.” So there may be a good outcome, the one my British relatives all support, starting with my husband.


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