British Lawmakers Elect First Jewish Speaker

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By Stanley Siegelman

Published July 09, 2009.

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?



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