British Lawmakers Elect First Jewish Speaker

Image: Getty Images

NEWS ITEM: For the first time in its long history, the British parliament elected a Jewish speaker of the House of Commons. He is John Bercow, 46, the son of a taxi driver. The leader of Bercow’s Conservative Party, David Cameron, hailed the historic occasion: “I would also like to put on record an historical first that you have achieved which is to be the first person of the Jewish faith to occupy the office of speaker of the House of Commons and it is a milestone that we should mark.”

The House of Commons now admits
A Hebe as speaker! Up with Brits!
Significant is this ascent,
This Jewish voice in Parliament!

No doubt of Yiddish accent free,
And quite adept linguistic’ly
He’ll certainly not ever say
In public utterance, “oy vey.”

Stiff upper lip he will display,
That hallmark of the British way.
There’s unanimity that he’ll
Bring to the Commons commonweal.

Conforming to the English tone
Can he suppress a kvetch or moan?
No snide remarks, no vulgar joke,
Expect from this Hebraic bloke!

Perhaps he’ll bridge some verbal breach
With echoes of bar-mitzvah speech?
Suggestive quips won’t pass his lips,
His phrasing will be free of blips,
Although in them indeed one might
Find echoes, faint, of Yiddishkeit.

The speaker’s post has come to be,
In politics, epitome.
We’re curious about this Jew:
Does he speak mameloshn too?

Written by

Stanley Siegelman

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

British Lawmakers Elect First Jewish Speaker

Thank you!

This article has been sent!