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Finneran: Why Brexit? Here’s Why!

Friday, April 27, 2018


For months now, the intelligentsia have wondered about the rest of the world—you know, those benighted ignorant grunts—who, in sheep-like fashion, had a temper tantrum and embraced various forms of populism for which the intelligentsia had expressed their disdain.

Beyond the election of Donald Trump, which might be explained as being as much about Hillary Clinton and the national media as it was about Donald Trump, Europe itself is experiencing convulsions of populism.

Perhaps the most obvious example—and the most startling to the intelligentsia—was the voters’ “Brexit” decision to have the U.K. withdraw from the European Union. That decision flummoxed the great and the wise pundits whose furrowed brows and fevered lectures meant very little to the ordinary Joe who had grown tired of the pretensions of bureaucrats and bullies. Those ordinary Joes had itchy middle fingers to flash at Brussels.

Why Brexit? Two issues provide insight. One involves millions of people. The other involves a dying little boy.

For the past several years, Europe has been on the receiving end of a tidal wave of migrants fleeing the horrors of war in the Middle East or the droughts and violence of Africa. Every country in Europe has experienced great difficulty in simply absorbing the human deluge which arrives daily. The desperation of the migrants is palpable, their circumstances heartbreaking. The sheer numbers have overwhelmed the budgets and goodwill of many countries, who, not surprisingly, emphasize the need to control their borders and to adopt their own immigration policies. Britain, France, Germany, and Italy have struggled to find a rational and humane way forward, while experiencing political unrest over the issues of culture, assimilation, and national identity. Even more pronounced, have been the strains imposed upon some smaller Central and Eastern European governments—think Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic—whose insistence on strict control over their borders is based not on hysteria or hate but rather based on history. How bureaucrats in Brussels can blithely ignore such brutal history is beyond me.

After the tramp of German boots upon Polish and Czech throats came the tramp of Russian boots upon their backs. Ask the Poles about the sanctity and control of borders. Ask the Czechs too. They do not succumb to the feel-good nonsense of global brotherhood. As the French are notably different from the Germans, the Dutch notably different than the Greeks, so too the Czechs and Poles from the Italians. Hungary is not about to sit still for a massive migrant quota imposed by Brussels, let alone abide by a lecture from a distant and unaccountable bully. Uncontrolled immigration is the source of rebellion against the E.U. and its pronouncements.

The dying little boy’s name is Alfie. He has loving attentive parents. He also has a mysterious degenerative brain condition which requires various life supports. The British courts, backed up by the macabre rulings of the Orwellian-named “European Court of Human Rights”, insist that Alfie be taken off life support. It is, of course, a death ruling, dressed up in fancy judicial nonsense. This is despite his parents having obtained Italian citizenship for Alfie, the use of an emergency medical aircraft, and a placement in an Italian specialty hospital for children which eagerly awaits him. Apparently the “best interest of the child” must henceforth be decided by distant bureaucrats rather than loving devoted parents. And those best interests apparently include his imminent death.

Perhaps the medical odds against Alfie are truly insurmountable. But aren’t his parents allowed to try to save his life? They love their son. They have made alternative arrangements for his care. Those arrangements pose no burden on Britain or the European Union. But apparently, the hangman must be satisfied. Now, by depraved court order, Alfie will be unhooked from life support equipment over the objections of his parents. And Alfie will die.

Remember this moment the next time you hear about European sophistication or the majesty of the law or the glories of the E.U.

Why Brexit? Now you know.

Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio  


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