Mary Ellen Synon

Latest by Mary Ellen Synon in Chronicles

  • August 2010

    Die, Belgium, Die!

    Most English schoolboys learn this quip: Belgium is a country invented by the British to annoy the French. Which is just about true. And if you don’t understand why and how Belgium was invented, you won’t understand the significance of the elections in Belgium earlier this summer.

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  • December 2009

    The Fainting Irish

    Yes, the Irish caved in and reversed their vote against the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty. Gutless? Of course. But I’ve spent too many years in Dublin and Cork to be surprised.

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  • October 2009

    Dissolving Britain

    I have a picture pinned over my desk here in Brussels, a 1929 photograph—“obtained under great difficulty,” the caption says—of a man being executed by guillotine at 5 a.m. on an open street in France.

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  • Aids, Condoms, and Liberals

    Since I’ve just finished reading a two-page spread in the Wall Street Journal on sexual assault among staff at the United Nations, I hesitate to refer to a U.N. report in support of what I am about to say on sexual incontinence and AIDS.

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