Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Libertad o Muerte

The Mercosur ban on docking by Falkland Islands vessels can hardly be expected to bother a Prime Minister who made a pre-Election promise to give Argentina a share of Falklands oil revenue without asking anything whatever in return.

He is truly the heir of the Prime Minister who had one of her closest allies, Nicholas Ridley, negotiate a transfer of sovereignty until the Islanders and the Labour Party forced her to back down, and who then invited Argentina in anyway, before being forced to deploy the ships that she had been about to sell at a knock-down price to ... Argentina. The Royal Navy had to stage a sort of coup for the duration of hostilities, or else that hopelessly out-of-her-depth character would have left those Islands in Argentine hands to this day. No wonder that her party took fewer actual votes in 1983 than it had done in 1979, but was merely fortunate in facing two parties competing for the Labour vote, both of which parties had in any case supported the Falklands War once her incompetence had made it unavoidable.

And we have only ourselves to blame for favouring American hegemony and its pet projects, Mercosur as much as the EU and vice versa, over the Commonwealth, the BRICS countries (two of which are Commonwealth members, while a third is Brazil), and bilateral ties around the world. Our engagement with the Americas should be as an American country seven times over, since the Falkland Islands, Bermuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and the Turks & Caicos Islands are each and all British by choice, whatever the United States or anyone else might think. Two more American countries, Dominica and Trinidad & Tobago, retain the right of appeal to a body drawn from the High Court of Parliament at Westminster, and lucky them, since we no longer have any such right here. (Engagement with Africa should also be as an African country in right of Saint Helena and Her Dependencies, while Mauritius retains that right of appeal.)

Meanwhile, which way will Uruguay jump? Belgium is sometimes said to have been set up by the British in order to annoy the French. But Uruguay really was created by Britain specifically not to be Argentina. Those on the Falklands requiring serious medical attention are taken to Montevideo to this day. But for how much longer? Ongoing developments are strongly redolent of Peronist and kindred tendencies. Greater Argentina does not only mean the end of the British Falkland Islands. Greater Argentina also means the end of Uruguay. I say again, bilateral ties around the world. And I say again, since it now includes African countries with no British imperial past, the Commonwealth.


  1. "But Uruguay really was created by Britain specifically not to be Argentina. "

    Its somewhat beside the point of your main post, but I thought that Uruguay was created as a buffer state between Argentina and Brazil, by agreement of both of those countries after a war they fought over the area ended in stalemate and destablized both regimes.

  2. Yes, but Imperial Britain was behind it all, and the ties have bound ever since. People think that South America was pretty much exempt from the global superpower status of the British Empire in its heyday, apart from Guyana, which is culturally part of the West Indies anyway. But the truth was a lot more complicated than that. It still is.

  3. Whatever happened to the Port War, the 200-year-old rivalry between Montevideo and Buenos Aires?

  4. With any luck, we are about to find out.

  5. Just as well we kept Trident.

  6. Exactly as effective a deterrent as it has ever been, or ever will be.