The Falkland Islanders have spoken: the world (and the left) must listen

Ninety per cent of Falkland Islanders voted on their future and of those, 99.8 per cent voted for the islands to remain a British overseas territory. We must stand by the Falklands. They have spoken loud and clear, now the world, and the left, must listen

Ninety per cent of Falkland Islanders voted on their future and of those, 99.8 per cent voted for the islands to remain a British overseas territory.

Yet Seamus Milne’s grossly misinformed article in yesterday’s Guardian actually suggested the turnout and support for the islands’ current status was ‘dodgy’ rather than democratic.

Milne is not alone in rolling out straw men and weak arguments to defend the indefensible and to deny the freedom of the Falkland Islanders. Below are some of the stock arguments regularly used to make a point similar to Milne’s:

Geography: How many times is it rolled out that the Falklands are 300 miles from Argentina and thousands from the UK? Is that really the level we debate sovereignty on? Proximity and distance? It might blow the heads of some people but I don’t get less British the further I travel from home. Islands across the globe can share a culture and ties with Britain that are not diminished simply by distance. To suggest we settle sovereignty on proximity is not only infantile but would redraw the world map.

History: Argentina’s historical claim to the islands are poor at best. Some Islanders have had family there since 1848 – decades before Argentina’s brutal conquest of Patagonia that exterminated the native population and secured Argentina’s proximity to the Falklands. Argentina relies on its links to the Spanish Empire to have any sort of real claim. Ironic really.

Imperialism: Remnants of empire might be embarrassing but that’s no reason to negate the will of a free people. The islands were originally uninhabited so the current Islanders are the closest thing to a native population the Falklands could have. To roll out claims of British imperialism is pretty laughable given Argentina’s own bloody history of conquest and colonisation.

Thatcher: Believe me, I’m no fan. Did she milk the conflict for political purposes? Certainly. But like it or not the right thing to do when faced with foreign invasion was to defend the islands. Over 900 people died in that conflict – is anyone shocked that the Islanders don’t want to negotiate their independence with a former aggressor? Michael Foot welcomed their liberation and Ed Miliband continues to affirm their freedom. It’s an insult to the left to assume that only a Tory could support the freedom of the Falklands.

Cost: Some fellow socialists suddenly get very small state conservative when it comes to the Falklands. It costs us too much, they claim. Being from the South East, I could take that line to its logical conclusion and jetison the majority of Great Britain. The Scouse half of my family would be aghast if I told them Liverpool cost too much so had to go, so too should the idiocy of this point be seen in the same light.

Oil: If the line isn’t that the islands cost us too much then often it’s said that we’re only there for the oil. Britain has a strategic interest in the islands – stop press – Britain has a strategic interest in Kent, it doesn’t mean the primary reason we’re there is for gain alone. I understand the link – Iraq > Oil > Imperialism – it’s lazy thinking and a weak argument versus a people’s freedom.

Let’s Negotiate: England’s claim over Calais is firmer than Argentina’s over the Falklands, but I doubt the inhabitants there would be keen for London and Paris to go over their heads. The simple fact is the Islanders do not want to negotiate; and who can blame them after facing invasion? This is not like China and Japan’s dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyu. Britain cannot settle this issue by ignoring the rights of the Falkland Islanders. Imagine being informed your part of the country faced annexation from abroad as a price for better international relations?

It’s time for those opposed to the freedom of the Falklands to grow up. Would anyone question the Islanders’ right to independence if Argentina were trying to invade a non-British neighbour? Do they think forced repatriation is progressive or invasion excusable?

America has proven herself a faithless ally so Britain needs the EU and the Commonwealth more than ever. We must stand by the Falklands. They have spoken loud and clear, now the world, and the left, must listen.

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86 Responses to “The Falkland Islanders have spoken: the world (and the left) must listen”

  1. Mick

    Yup, there’s Newsbot’s denial of the truth on a par with the denials showcased at that Tehran conference.

    And similar stories online showed the EU finally getting to grips with France’s wine lakes too. And let’s not forget the decimation of Britain’s fishing fleets or the shambles of CAP, etc.

  2. Newsbot9

    Why, you were right there to see that conference as well.

    Grips? Oh, you mean they sold them off when the market was favourable. Making a profit. And keep calling on one hand for funding inefficient industries, while bemoaning others not being funded. Odd that!

  3. Mick

    ‘Why, you were right there to see that conference as well.’ As well as you, you mean, along with those other Jews? No, I wasn’t.

    And back on the EU’s loopy road, the wine lake was only there through corrupt subsidy and protectionism. Now the European Commission takes that away from the European winemakers, threatening their bsuiness.

    And all the time, as Newsbot says, having the EU profit from their misery.


  4. Mark

    I don’t agree. Why did we hand over the Chagos islands if we care so much about self determination? Put yourself in Argentina’s shoes, would you want a foriegn power occupying an island 300 kms from your coast? I think the best solution would be for the Falklands to become an independent state, while the sovereignty of the waters surrounding the islands shared between the Falklands, Argentina and possibly Britain as well, the access to the resources can then simply be shared three ways between Britain, Argentina and the Falklands, and Britain should keep a ten year lease on the military base to keep our presence there temporarily to ensure the peaceful transition to independence for the Falklands. Once the Falklands is a full sovereign state and a member of the UN, and Argentina have recognised this, British military forces should leave completely

  5. Newsbot9

    Ah yes, you keep on claiming that it’s Jews picking on Jews.

    And of course you call good business shady. In reality, there was long-term overproduction and it was curbed, according the proper rules. The excess was sold for a profit. None of this is unusual.

  6. Mick

    Newsbot lies that I claim that, though there were Jews at the Tehran conference. Google BBC WHY ARE JEWS AT THE HOLOCAUST DENIAL CONFERENCE?

    Another lie is the fact that the wine lakes weren’t a product of dodgy dealings. Also Google BBC NEWS Q&A EU BUDGET BATTLE.

    “In 1985 about 70% of the budget went into the CAP – those were the days of butter mountains and wine lakes.”

    The EU kept food and drink mountains to keep prices artificially high.

  7. Newsbot9

    Oooh, yea, loads of hits on David Irving’s website. Yea, you keep on promoting that.

    Yes, that’s right, you keep whining about past policies. Which generated a profit, years after they were…oh right, you’re objecting to someone else making a profit.

    So yes, keep redefining the truth as a lie, duckspeaker.

  8. Mick

    ‘Duckspeaker’! Oh Mr. ‘holohoaxer’ Newsbot! I think we know you deny the bigger truth.

    And as you say, the workers of the EU were stiffed when their glorious Eurofuhrers cancelled the subsidies and the protection. That’s just what Newsie likes.

    And you look at David Irving’s page? I looked at BBC News.

  9. Newsbot9

    “Bigger truth”. Ah yes, your conspiracies.

    And of course you view the EU making a long-term profit and following the sensible course of winding down the CAP’s subsidies as being like the policy of your Dear Furher.

    And that’s where the links go when you google it,, to your hero’s page.

  10. Mick

    Ah, so you admit the CAP was wrong. And about time too, though not before the once-cherished policy caused misery on an epic scale. Google MIXED REACTION TO EU VOTE ON AGRICULTURAL REFORM.

    Unfortunatly, CAP is still there: ‘This is a strong signal to national governments that people do not want their taxes spent on propping up an industrial farming system that is destroying the environment, causing endless food scandals and ruining the livelihoods of small farmers.’

    Now it’s time for Newsbot to tell us where the money went after the wine lakes were sold off. It didn’t appear to go to the people who created the produce, once again stiffing Newsbot’s workers.


  11. Newsbot9

    So basically, you say that winding it down caused misery, again. Got it. You want me to “admit” that it was wrong, when winding it down made for you an ideologically unsound profit. You’re mixed up… The reality is that the CAP wasn’t as fast to be adjusted as it should have been.

    And of course you oppose the poor eating, the usual. Gotta have far more expensive food to benefit the rich. The CAP’s lowering basic food prices these days, after all, while you’re still stuck in 2006.

    And of course you don’t see investment in infrastructure as benefiting workers. No, you see it as raising those nasty salaries long-term!

    Meanwhile, Farrage wants a D-Day invasion of the UK….so American!

  12. Mick

    And poor little Newsbot has overheated his poor little brain. He’s back to kneejerk nonsense again and blaming me for saying the opposite of what I did.

    Newsbot – tell me where the money went, if indeed the lakes were sold off. The farmers responsible for the produce apparently didn’t cash in and the only reason there were mountains was the ‘need’ for higher prices artificially.

  13. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep trying to pass your brain freeze off onto me, for reading your confused posts.

    And it went into infrastructure funds, as I said. Why should the farmers “cash in” again, when they were paid originally? Moreover, keep misunderstanding the concept of the CAP.

  14. Mick

    Farmers should ‘cash in’ because farmers are supposed to profit from their own produce. That’s what they do and what the CAP is supposed to protect.

    Newsbot’s preference for farmers getting pocket money instead degrades them and bans them from being independent.

    And the CAP is another needless tier of waste and authority: ‘The policy costs Britain – in raised food prices, regulations and other indirect effects – an estimated near £10 billion per year.’


  15. Newsbot9

    Keep on ignoring the basic fact that they were already paid. Keep calling proper payment “pocket money”.

    You’re the one trying to not pay them at all, so…

    And of course you’re going to take an “estimate” and call it fact. It’s overlooking several critical factors, of course. Keep ignoring the way reforms have been going, too.

  16. Mick

    Subsidies were effectively pocket money if that’s the only money they get. The true point of subsidy is to give them a bit extra if they find themselves earning short.

    Many EU farmers were even paid NOT to harvest stuff, as well as the fact small farmers suffered whilst big ones received too much! Google EU FARMING SUBSIDIES FOR THE ROYALS MUST STAY SECRET and FAT CATS BENEFIT FROM EU FARMING SUBSIDIES.

    “‘Fat cats’ benefit from EU farming subsidies … whereby farmers have to leave 10 per cent of their land idle.”

  17. Newsbot9

    Yes, you keep claiming that full payment is “pocket money”. You’re not aware of the situation in question, of course.

    And since the CAP’s been cut it’s the small farmers who are going to wall, so much for this post’s conspiracy theories.

    And that’s all farmers again, but facts, you don’t need them.

  18. Paul

    Unlike the writer & possibly many readers of this article, I support the Seumas Milne Article in The Guardian, 13.03.2013 and particularly the last paragraph

    ´´The options for compromise have been canvassed for many years, including joint sovereignty, co-administration and leaseback. A negotiated settlement is in the interests of Britain, Argentina – and the islanders. The sooner time is called on the emperor’s new clothes saga of the Falklands, the better for all of us´´.

    All countries including the UK have had & still have their faults, but it is time to move on & not back.

  19. Mick

    And now Newsbot’s running on empty again, back to saying stuff I didn’t, his lies and hyperbole.

    My evidence shows small farmers losing out. And if the EU is cynically selling off the mountains it created to keep costs high (And don’t farmers know that here!), then the proceeds should have gone towards the workers and not the fat cats.

    Stuff Newsbot usually bitches about like a stuck record.

  20. Newsbot9

    Yes, that’s right, when you’re confronted by facts you start screaming you equivalence attacks again. It’s the small farmers who have lost out, in reality, by the CAP’s reduction. Near-inevitable, of course.

    The EU sold off, for a profit, the stockpiles some time ago. You keep trying to get tour rich buddies pad twice for the same goods, though.

    You’re the stuck record – if it benefits your rich…

  21. Mick

    So as admitted by Newsbot, small farmers lose out WHATEVER the CAP is like.

    Those same farmers Newsbot now says are ‘rich’.

    The wheels have come off the Newsbot train. Let us delightfully sample more of his ravings now we’ve hit all the points……

  22. Newsbot9

    Nope, that’s your fantasy. And you’re trying to conflate your large landholders with small farmers.

    And of course you want to pretend you’ve hit me. And I see, your latest terrorist scheme is out a James Bond book.

  23. Mick

    Newsbot’s own spluttering is recorded in black and white. Newsbot can’t refute any points and Newsbot has no links which can do so either.

  24. Newsbot9

    Nope, your black and white world is black and white, you don’t post links and don’t make any points other than your hatred, splutterer.

  25. Mick

    And there’s the spluttering again. Just hyperbole, same as usual when he loses.

    Where’s Newsbot’s links then? If mine are so rubbish, then Newsie would have no problems.

  26. Newsbot9

    Yes, indeed, you’ve admitted you’re lost as you confess again.

    You have provided no links, just demands I search. Keep on ignoring inconvenient truths!

  27. Mick

    The only thing I demand from Newsbot is that he takes his tranquilisers. Newsie’s rather shrill again.

    Google the capitalised texts and you fond the links. You mean you haven’t bothered?

    No wonder Newsbot lies and smears! Those are the only paltry resources he has!

  28. Newsbot9

    Exactly, you demand to drug anyone resistant to your shilling. And you’ve provided demands I do searches, not links.

    I get paid to research. You’re not paying me.

  29. Mick

    You get paid to research? It always seems to be Newsbot’s day off whenever he’s here.

    Still, it’s fun to gambol through the meadows of madness with good old Newsie.

  30. Mick

    I have trouble posting links. But the capitalised texts are the webpage titles.
    So easy even an untranquilised and hair-trigger Newsbot can take it in.

  31. Newsbot9

    You have “trouble”, right. And they’re demands others search, right. And of course you demand tranquillising your “enemies”.

  32. Newsbot9

    As usual, you can’t stand the though of anyone outside your ideology having a job. And of course you keep thinking I’m in your personal meadows.

  33. rufus_t

    And I would give it approximately ten years and a week before Argentina conveniently forgot it’s desire to reclaim the Falkland Islands through solely peaceful means and invaded (to quote the Argentine defense minister, the British garrison “is the only element that upholds the usurpation of that part of our national territory” – in other words “stops us invading”)

  34. Joe

    Well technically they did live under Argentine military control during the Falklands war, and I’m quite sure being invaded by thugs working for a dictator wanting to look powerful so people would forget how the Argentine economy was collapsing gave them all the insight they needed.

    What could Kirchner possibly offer the Falklanders in exchange for loosing their self determination, British citizenship and being a part of a yet again failing economy of a country that invaded their homes during the Falklands war?

  35. Mike Spence

    ok so the malvinas are Patagonian then

  36. julietsm

    No, Mick’s comments are true because they’re true.
    You’ve certainly not changed, although I never would have imagined that you had.

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