Saturday, 15 October 2016

Fighting Over A Comb

How British and Argentinian politicians must thank their lucky stars that the Falkland Islands exist.

This time, the bit of sabre-rattling is to distract attention from the woes of sterling and the peso.

Sterling was in fact overvalued before, but things are starting to get out of hand now.

As to the ongoing exercises on the Falklands, at least Theresa May is (presumably) not trying to sell the equipment at a knocked down rate to Argentina.

That was what Margaret Thatcher was planning to do with the ships that had to be deployed to the Falklands in 1982, until the moment that they had to be deployed.

And she thought that they could be there in three days.

Oh, well, the last time that Britain withdrew its military presence from the Falklands, then Argentina assumed that we didn't want them anymore.

As the Thatcher Government had actually told its Argentine counterpart would be the meaning of any such move.

But Argentina is unlikely to assume that now. Is it?

The truth is that, beyond a vanity nuclear weapons system that is permitted to cost the earth, successive Governments have left this county practically undefended.

While insisting on waging entirely voluntary wars far beyond the capability of our remnant Armed Forces, thereby creating new and wholly unnecessary enemies along the way.


  1. Thank you for reminding people about the ships. If the Argentines had waited another 6 months, their marines would have been landing from ex-HMS Fearless and Intrepid.

    Amidst all the ballyhoo and chest beating about the islands, it's forgotten that prior to 1982, they were an unwanted expense on government, and the then Thatcher government had been thinking about selling them off. I can remember a Sunday Telegraph article about them as late as 1981 which basically asked why are we still trying to keep these islands.

    1. She sold off far more than that, of course.

      I have some relatives on the Falklands. But you would never see them on the television over here, because they are of St Helenian extraction, like hundreds of other people now living there. And depictions for Thatcherite Motherland consumption must be strictly of the rural South of England in the 1950s. No brown faces allowed.

      I have no sympathy for the Argentinian claim, not that there is any serious desire to press it. But the lack of likeability is not only on one side.

    2. I am not disagreeing sir. It should also be remembered that at the victory parade in London, injured servicemen were not present, even in civilian clothes. That, for me, was unforgivable.

      The Falklands war was allowed to happen by a government that wanted and needed some kind of good news to make for the problems they'd created at home. Very few people seem to remember the original Tory promise that there would be only some 6 to 8 months of hardship - or 'austerity' - and then things would be ok.

      Contrast Callaghan's approach in 1977(?) when Argentina was sabre rattling; quietly send a couple of destroyers down to Port Stanley - no fuss, no war, just a clear statement that the UK would protect the islands. Thatcher's government gave the impression that they would happily sell the islands, and half the navy.

      My view has always been that sending the troops was the right thing to do, but it was a war that should not have happened, and was managed for the benefit of Margaret Thatcher's ego.

  2. Margaret Thatcher proves herself a great Prime Minister during the Falklands War. The present leader of the Labour Party, by contrast, would have handed their people to General Galtieri.

    What a disgrace.

    1. That was what she had been all ready to do. For a price, anyway. But Argentina could have named that.

      We couldn't now defend the Falkland Islands, but Argentina couldn't now invade them, so that's that. What a pair we have become in our dotage and decay.