Thursday 14 March 2013

Although She's Dressed Up To The Nines

I have read the then-future Pope's wrong but unremarkable words to a military memorial event in Argentina. It is part of the job of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to mouth the platitudes, which in Argentine terms was what these were, on this sort of occasion, just as it is part of the job of the Archbishop of Canterbury to do much the same thing.

And all that I can say is that at least Argentina can be bothered to remember. Look at the decades-long struggle for the slightest recognition of everyone from the Arctic Convoys (still not allowed to go and collect a Russian medal which they have already been awarded, even though hardly any of them are still alive), to the Women's Land Army, to the Bevin Boys, among numerous others.

To this day, nowhere in the world is there a memorial to the British Fallen of Mandated Palestine. That is absolutely disgraceful. Disgusting, in fact. If I were there, then heaven and earth would be being moved in order to erect a memorial to them on one side of Saint Stephen's Entrance, and a memorial to the ILP Contingent on the other side of Saint Stephen's Entrance.

The only thing that the Cold War headcases of the 1970s and 1980s Radical Right had against Galatieri was the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Before that, it had loved him so much that when the invasion came, it had to be repelled by deploying ships that until that very moment Thatcher had been about to flog to him at a specially knocked down price.

Likewise, the only thing that that Radical Right's successors today have against Kirchner is what is as yet her purely rhetorical claim to the Falkland Islands. Other than that, she is exactly their kind of politician. Complete with, being a Cameron-like economic disaster area.

While it gives me no pleasure to say this, a third of people in Britain do not now support the Falkland Islanders, rising to 49 per cent, within the margin of error for a majority, in the 18-24 age bracket. Although I was alive at the time, I cannot remember the Falklands War. But I am older than serving members of the present Government, as well as older than at least two people who will be in the Cabinet after the next General Election, one of whom is on Question Time as I write.

It took us nothing like 30 years after we had expended vast amounts of blood and treasure in their defence, to give up vast possessions in Asia and the Pacific. In the most important case, it took us all of two years. Yes, we had to do it, mostly because of that very same war. But having so recently fought a war in order to prevent ourselves from having to do it did not stop us. Never mind having fought a war during which the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office had been born, as is now the situation here.

Be afraid, British Falkland Islanders. Be very, very, very afraid. But not of the Pope.


  1. Perhaps we should send Eric Joyce to defend the Falklands. He is a former soldier and still has some fight left in him.

  2. Now, that could be a very interesting by-election. But on topic, please.

  3. I imagine being both supportive of the British Overseas Territories, and a champion also of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom, would tend to cause you a considerable degree of cognitive dissonance.

    It does for me. And not just for this particular dichotomy either. I wonder how long rural Anglo-Catholic traditionalists, like yourself, and urban Northern Roman Catholics, like myself, can hold those forces in tension.

    Personally, I'm very close to breaking point.....

  4. I haven't been a Labour Party member for many years (or an Anglican for so long that it seems like someone else's life), but Labour's record on the Overseas Territories, and not least on the Falkland Islands, is infinitely better than the Conservative Party's.

  5. Anonymous, I can't understand why you haven't passed breaking point, long ago.

    Labour's record is appalling on every British overseas Territory-not just Diego Garcia.

    It was Labour that secretly negotiated with Spain over Gibraltar, over the heads of its own people our subjects, until they cleverly held a referendum to undermine Jack Straw (it worked brilliantly).

    It was Labour that formally surrendered to the IRA on Good Friday, releasing hundreds of terrorist murderers in the process.

    And it was Labour who put the British Army at the service of the US neocons not once, not twice, but three times (Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan).

  6. All with the full support of the likes of you, of course.

    The concession on Northern Ireland was made by John Major. He is said to be miffed that he never got the Nobel Peace Prize for it. In any case, Northern Ireland is not an Overseas Territory, although it is very telling that you imagine that to be the case.

    The Callaghan Government successfully prevented an Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, but a Prime Minister who literally did not know where they were then brought one on.

    The Royal Navy had to stage a sort of temporary coup for the duration of hostilities while it repelled the invasion using ships that she had been about to flog off at a knocked-down rate to Argentina.

    Both Opposition formations supported the war, and in 1983 the Conservative Party took fewer votes than it had managed when it had only just won in 1979. Like the unspeakable awfulness of the 1970s, the "Falklands Bounce" is a much later myth, believed by no one at the time or for a good many years thereafter, and having no basis in actual fact.

  7. Silly, tedious, meaningless party-political point-scoring.

    I wasn't making a party-political point, but Lindsay tediously and predictably turns it into one.

    People who still think in terms of a tribalist tit-for-tat competition between Labour and Tories over who was worse (and respond to every historical fact with "but your party did worse") have so badly missed the point as to be irrelevant to political discussion.

    Those who have woken up from this stuff (like Annonymous above) are beginning to see that both Tories and Labour are equally mired in all the historical disasters that have affected Britain and its overseas territories.

    Neither of them have a monopoly on the last 50 years.

    Only silly empty tribalism (of the kind you have just displayed) prevents people realising that, getting rid of them and replacing them with something far better.

  8. You are not Peter Hitchens, and you never will be.

    Get over it.

  9. What are you talking about?

    Nobody I can think of wants to be Peter Hitchens-as for me,I have plans of my own, thanks.

    You may regret it when they work out rather better than yours.