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It was no minor metaphor when British Prime Minister Theresa May’s car door stuck as she strove to exit recently to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who waited with characteristic stoicism on the red carpet for yet another go-round in May’s futile attempt to negotiate a better Brexit deal. Brexit has been the ultimate stuck car door for May and the British people, a frustrating rigmarole with no satisfactory conclusion in sight.
The new movie “Mary, Queen of Scots” — which I am reluctant to see for reasons that will become clear — belongs to what I like to call the Sylvia Plath school of storytelling. That is, if your telling the story of the suicidal poet, the husband will always be the villain. (That he had two wives who killed themselves in exactly the same way doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in him as a spouse. You know what they say. Once is a tragedy. Twice is an unsettling coincidence.)
These are not the best of times on either side of the English Channel. Paris is burning as les citoyens – who have protest in their blood – take to the streets in outrage over higher taxes on the hoi polloi but not on the hoigty-toigty types. French President Emmanuel Macron took to the airwaves to promise tax relief for workers and pensioners and an increase in the minimum wage. While he acknowledged his own role in the situation – protestors have accused him of being out of touch – Macron said France’s problems predate him by decades and stem from the changes wrought by globalization.