Thirty years ago today British forces liberated the Falkland Islands from Argentinian occupation. Possibly the most justified use of British forces since the end of the second world war (even allowing for the Belgrano). Yet now thirty years down the line the Argentinians are once more sabre rattling over the Falkland Islands, imposing shipping restrictions in the area. Of course I’m sure this has nothing to do with the possibility of the Falkland Islands having oil, nor distracting from local issues in Argentina. So to try to send a clear message to the Argentinians the Falkland Islanders are going to have a referendum to decide if they’d like to continue to be British or if in fact 30 years ago they actually meant to welcome the Argentinians with open arms and it was all a big mistake. I think it’s safe to say that the outcome isn’t largely considered to be in doubt.
Now amongst all this where do those staunch defenders of democracy and our close allies with whom we’ve stood “shoulder to shoulder” through numerous conflicts stand? Why those freedom loving chaps over in the USA hold a position of neutrality and can’t even bring themselves to commit to recognising the results of the referendum – thanks guys, hopefully our glorious leaders will actually remember this next time we’re asked for help. I wouldn’t count on it though as, unlike the Yanks. we’re still voting to lend the Argentinians more money from the world bank! Today would be an excellent day to go and sign the petition against that by the way. If Argentina (a G20 country) does decide to become more aggressive over the matter again, where will we get the forces to respond given our commitments with those afore mentioned staunch supporters of democracy (though as there’s now oil involved…)? In theory the other EU members are obliged to come to our aid, but can you see that happening? And with the way we’ve treated them during our EU love in I’m not sure we could call on the common wealth for help either – still not to worry we’ve got banks to bail out and booze to ban.