Progress? by Donal Kennedy

In December 1936 the King of England, at the dictation of the Protestant Commonwealth, abdicated. He had decided to marry an American commoner who was a divorcee.

The Irish Free State had outlawed divorce in 1925 but its Government in 1936 declined to follow the herd on the reasonable grounds that divorce and remarriage were acceptable

The Irish Government, headed by Eamon de Valera, was accustomed to taking a principled line. It condemned the Italian attack on Abyssinia and offered to send Irish troops, i.e.soldiers whose allegiance was to Ireland, to participate in a League of Nations force in Abyssinia’s defence. In doing this it was merely adhering to the League of Nations Covenant which all members of the League had signed up to. But Britain and France and Italy and Japan, the BIG FOUR of the League, flouted the Covenant and other states also ratted. In Ireland Fine Gael supported Italy’s Fascists and Franco’s mutinous bandits.

Britain and France, Italy and Spain used airborne terrorism against civilians in their overseas territories and seized lands “mandated” to them by the League of Nations which they themselves dominated. The Northwest Frontier, the Punjab, Iraq, Syria, North Africa – not all that different from the situation today. The United States, not a member of the League, went in for similar “police actions” in Central America.

And in the 1930s women who had children out of wedlock were treated abominably across the Christian world and beyond, as were their children.

So, how far have we got today?

Prince Harry, 7th in line to the British Throne, is married to an American Commoner who is divorced. The couple are the delighted parents of a baby boy and are under no obligation to flee England. Though I’m no Royalist, I wish the family well.

Aerial terrorism has not been abandoned. But THE TIMES reports the use by the Americans of a guided missile which can reach an individual target and cut him or her to pieces without harming other passengers or the driver of his car. The Lockheed Corporation developed this because Barack Obama was worried that Moslems didn’t approve of his use of missiles which wiped out others in the vicinity. Apparently Obama reckoned that Christians, Jews, Buddhists and members of the Society of Friends found no fault with indiscriminate slaughter. That has to be a plus.

Finally there is the heartening story of the 82 year old Dublin woman, separated from her mother at birth, who has been reunited with the centenarian after searching  for her for sixty years.

That is indeed heartening. But there is apparently a majority in Ireland who rejoice that today an expectant mother can have her child’s life extinguished at her GP’s surgery.     

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