The Falklanders Have the Right to be Stupid 128


When there is a 99.8% vote for something, either it isn’t a democracy or it is a very stupid question. Nobody has ever disputed that the majority of the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British. The point of the referendum was simply to annoy and upset Argentina, and that is very stupid indeed.

You cannot escape geography. The trade and communication links of the Falklands should naturally be with Latin America, not with another small island half the world away. Given that Latin America is undergoing an economic, cultural and political resurgence that is truly exciting, while the UK is in an accelerating spiral of decline, that should be a good thing. Unless you are very stupid.

David Cameron is fond of citing individual cases of families in the UK whose benefits cost the British taxpayer over £30,000 per year. But each and every family in the Falkland Islands costs the British taxpayer ten times that – something which Cameron does not detail.

But the first expenditure is motivated by compassion, which enjoys precious little political and media support. The second expenditure is driven by militarism and jingoism, which can never be questioned and enjoy unlimited political and media support.

Britain’s ability to sustain the Falklands will not last forever, not least militarily. With expenditure cuts and every last penny of discretionary expenditure going into the black hole marked “Trident”, Britain would be hard pushed to re-invade the Isle of Man, let alone the Falklands. The inability of the islanders to read the writing on the wall is astonishing. They have all the long term vision of that other island race, the dodo.

But they do have the right to be stupid. Attachment to the rule of international law is central to my belief on how the world should be run, and I am obliged to say that, in international law, Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands is a nonsense. The Argentinians are not the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, nor does the Argentine government represent the indigenous population of the Falklands. The large majority of Argentinians are not even the indigenous population of Argentina. They are simply a rival bunch of colonialists, very many of British descent.

Like Diego Garcia, which should and must be returned to its native population, any genuine indigenous population would have the right to the islands in international law under decolonisation. But there is not one. A rival and defeated colonial occupier does not have the claims of an indigenous population. There is no important rival here to the principle of self-determination in the legal argument.

The Falklanders do have the right to be stupid. The refendum is a prime example of how to be stupid, as it is the opposite of the link-building and cooperation that needs to be done. The potential oil fields have been greatly exaggerated, but what oil there is lies under deep water and is already very difficult; potential conflict blights the possibilities for investment completely. Cooperation is in everybody’s interest.

Were I the Argentinian government, I would smother the Falklands with love. I would completely open all air links and sea routes. I would initiate a regular free postal service to forward on mail through Argentina. I would provide an air ambulance service on permanent standby to whip very serious cases from the Falklands to the mainland for free treatment. I would organise a regular supply ship of subsidised goods and food. I would provide free university scholarships to all Falklanders. I would give a large government subsidy to any company in Argentina which employs a Falklander.

I would also work hard on the darker diplomatic arts. I would identify a couple of Falkland Island councillors and put ten million dollars each into numbered Swiss accounts for them, on condition that they facilitate the provision of the free air ambulance service (which is easy to reconcile the conscience to, and an easy way to start). I would put attractive young Argentinian agents into the path of Falklanders, any Falklanders, at every opportunity.

I appreciate that all Argentinian offers would suffer inital rebuff. But Argentina should keep trying. Switch off the rhetoric, and turn up the love. Geography and economic trends are with the Argentines here. The Falklanders do have the right to choose. Argentina’s task is to change their minds.


128 thoughts on “The Falklanders Have the Right to be Stupid

1 2 3 4 5
  • JonL

    “Smother them with love” – I used to think the US should have done that with Cuba, but, as usual, to many giant egos in the way……

  • glenn_uk

    Brilliant stuff, Craig – I will pass this along to a bunch of my Argentinian friends tomorrow. This will form a point of discussion for us for some time, I’ll also ask them to drop a couple of comments here. I hope they stick around too – these comrades of mine should brighten up the place no end 😉

  • adriana

    Lwtc247 echoes my thoughts, nothing can change while the Falkland Islanders speak English and I doubt Spanish is even on the school curriculum. The bond between language and cultural identity is very strong and won’t be broken by promoting a Cargo Cult

  • nevermind

    Great article, especially like the love bombing suggestion, but I do not agree that the UK has got more rights to the Falklands than Argentina, despite being over a 1000 miles away, legal or otherwise.

    Time will tell, this is were I agree, eventually we will not be able to afford the 3ook/head/year and let go, after we exploited the riches that is and those who care for the Falklands wildlife better start campaigning.

  • Fred

    “Great article, especially like the love bombing suggestion, but I do not agree that the UK has got more rights to the Falklands than Argentina, despite being over a 1000 miles away, legal or otherwise.”

    I think it would depend on if the Argentinian people are made of sterner stuff than the British, there seem to be a lot of green eyed monsters crying “not fair he gets more than I do” around these days. I don’t know how the poor of Argentina would take to subsidising British citizens.

    “Time will tell, this is were I agree, eventually we will not be able to afford the 3ook/head/year and let go, after we exploited the riches that is and those who care for the Falklands wildlife better start campaigning.”

    Yes time will tell, the Antarctic treaty isn’t exactly carved in stone and anyway America reserves the right to ignore any treaties they deem against their national interests. Another decade or three and those Falklanders could be sitting on some very valuable real estate.

  • Neil

    My brother was in the Falklands war and remembers the locals being referred to as ‘Bennies’ until the military top brass got wind of it and banned all use of the term. In a humourous snub troops then called them ‘stills’ – meaning still bennies.

  • Villager

    Clark, you need carry no sense of regret. None of us here claim to be saints, but Habbakuk does.

    He is in fact just a barking dog, of whichever gender it matters not.

    Point is he’s a hungry dog and we should all simply starve him. This has been said before by you and many others but it requires consistency. Starve him, as Mary said, leave the RyVita on the shelf, and he’ll stop crapping all over this blog.

    Its awfully simple.

  • Mary

    Lombardi is quick off the mark to defend the new pope.

    Vatican denies Dirty War allegations against Pope
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21802684#

    Michel Chossudovsky’s research is usually faultless and he is widely travelled and well informed.

    “Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis I? Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Argentina’s “Dirty War”
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-pope-who-is-francis-i-cardinal-jorge-mario-bergoglio-and-argentinas-dirty-war/5326675

  • doug scorgie

    The CE
    14 Mar, 2013 – 9:59 pm
    Usual tosh from The Scourge.

    “You selectively quote Habba and omit his first sentence, making his comment entirely on topic.”

    “On the argument that the referendum was a waste of money and that it’s an even greater waste of money to subsidise the Falkland islanders to the tune of £x thousands or millions a year,”

    It is still off topic with that included because the first part of his opening sentence is merely a ploy that trolls use to appear on- topic by mentioning the on-topic point first and then flying off-topic at a tangent to make a different point.

    That of course may be difficult for a Celtic supporter to understand.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ The Scourge :

    No, The CE got it right : my comment was a response to those other contributors who were making a point about the cost of the referendum and of supporting the Falkland islanders. Therefore very much on-topic.

    Stop behaving like a troll.

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (find the real trolls)

  • The CE

    Wrong again I’m afraid Douglas!

    My team are a lot worse than Celtic, but the last time I checked this had no bearing on my ability to spot selective quoting.

    If, as you state, it had no effect on the post, why omit it?

  • Richard

    Habbakuk:

    Thanks for jogging my memory about the name of the French island in the St. Lawrence. I assume that like other French overseas territories – Martinique, Tahiti etc. – it must be administered as a Departement of France. It is still a French possession one way or the other. Given that the world is full of these anachronisms oddities, enclaves and curios – hangovers from a previous era – and that reasonable people accept them as such and can live with them without getting their knickers in a twist, it does rather beggar belief that Argentina bangs on about the Falklands as if they are the victims of some major injustice. Still worse is the fact that so many people seem to believe that they’ve got a point! Is there any hope for common sense, peace and a spirit of live and let live?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    I assume that trolls are people who wish to divert and distract others away from the subject of the thread and who to this purpose deliberately go off-topic and/or post provocative (and usually impolite) comments.

    Here are the off-topic subjects raised so far :

    * the film ARGO (Mark Golding, Mary)
    * the new Pontiff (Ben Franklin twice, Mark Golding, Herbie)
    * Jack Straw (Brian Fujisan, Mary twice)
    * John Pilger / USA (Mary)
    * Israel (Tony)
    * 88 year old Mr Catt (Mary)
    * defending The Scourge (Mary)
    * mixed ramblings (Guano)
    * trolls (Clark, Villager,Jives 4 times, Mary)
    * attacks on Habbabkuk (Mary, Brian Fujisan).

    Who are then the real trolls?

    **********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (by their deeds shall ye know them)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Hi Richard,

    Saint Pierre et Miquelon isn’t a département d’outre mer (DOM) but a COM (Collectivité d’outre mer). French Wiki will explain the difference if you’re interested (not that it has any bearing on the good points you make).

    Salut!

  • Mary

    True to previous form, there was a little lull and then he/she/it is back. Good at counting too. Seems to think that he/she/it is the appointed monitor for the integrity of the blog. Has Craig given him/her/it the job?

    Pathetic stuff. Note that we are never given any facts, links, info, support, a feeling of camaraderie or communality – exactly zilch. Nothing in fact just the carping and darts. Oh sorry. We have been reminded of the name of an island in the St Lawrence river!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Sorry, an off-topic from Mary has just popped up on the screen (on the new Pontiff), so she should be added to the above list together with Ben Franklin, Mark Golding and Herbie).

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (why am I not surprised..)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    “Seems to think that he/she/it is the appointed monitor for the integrity of the blog” (Mary, just now) :

    Not at all, Mary. It must have been all that talk about trolls which got me thinking who the real trolls might be.

    **********

    La vita è bella, kife is good! (by their deeds…oh sorry, already said that)

  • nevermind

    and it loves to have the last word, as if to make out to those reading this blog, that it is the definitive axle on Craig Murray’s cart.

  • Keith Crosby

    If only the Falkland Islanders are entitled to vote, they can’t be my country-people. A change in the constitutional status of my country isn’t a parochial matter like bin collections, it’s something that affects everyone in that country. By holding a vote on the Islands’ constitutional arrangements they have defined the jusrisdiction.

    How did they get that many sheep to vote anyway?

  • Roderick Russell

    My eldest uncle – Archibald Russell, originally from Stranraer in Scotland – emigrated to Argentina in the late 1920s. He died in Buenos Aires of old age during the war over the Falklands (it must have been very stressful for an old UK citizen in Buenos Aires at that time). At the time that he had emigrated back in the 20s, Argentina was regarded as a country that had a very bright future indeed. But, it was not to be. Instead of this expected prosperity, all that Argentina would experience, as a result of appalling government, in the next 80 or so years was regular economic collapses, almost continuous inflation, a series of vicious dictators & juntas (one after the other), and the worst death squads in Latin America. It seems to me that it would be very wrong to hand the Falkland Islands over to a country with the appalling record of governance and corruption that Argentina has had until very recently.

  • Keith Crosby

    @ Roderick Russell

    “It seems to me that it would be very wrong to hand the Falkland Islands over to a country with the appalling record of governance and corruption that Argentina has had until very recently.”

    It seems to me that it would be very wrong to hand the Falkland Islands over to a country with the appalling record of governance and corruption that Britain has always had.

    ;O)

  • Roderick Russell

    @ Keith Crosby
    Yes, I agree with you that Britain’s economic performance has been deplorable since ww2 – largely as a result of bad, perhaps weak, government that has spent its time toadying to the country’s power-elites rather than looking after the interests of the British people. And I personally have experience of Britain’s lack of real commitment to human rights, rule of law, and democracy . Yet, bad though these things are in the UK, they have been many times worse in the Argentine.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Roderick Russell

    And who is to say that the current period of democracy in Argentina will last? There have been many false dawns in Argentina and in the whole of Latin America for that matter.

  • karel

    Craig,

    it is not so obvious whether the Bennies of Falkland are stupid or not so stupid after all. My guess is that they expect (or have been already promised) to get even more money from their “mother country” after having voted the right way. We will find out soon. Argentinian governement is not so stupid to give them anything as it would make it somewhat unpopular in the eyes of their not so well off citizens.

  • crab

    “And who is to say that the current period of democracy in Argentina will last? ”

    A fortnight ago…
    Herbie wrote(20h18)
    Can you assure us that the same thing isn’t happening in the US/UK now too..

    Hababbkuk replied:
    I can’t, of course, but I must be honest and say that I don’t think it’d matter very much, provided that the modern Augustus Imperator would not be George Galloway and that you and the other [regular commenters] would be the first to be fed to the lions.

  • karel

    halibabacus,

    I guess that you must have recently got some shekels from the Holy land as you seem to be in a state of delirium. Or do the local “residents” screw your ass so much nowadays? Take it easy old boy as a stroke can visit your brain any time. It will be sooner rather than later, I guess, unless you stop over-exerting your “intelectual firepower”. It would be a great pitty if we should thus loose our beloved buffoon so soon. No doubt this great loss would make life much less beautiful for all of us. So take care of yourself hahababa to reduce the chance of living “la vita in culo”, if you know what I mean.

  • Keith Crosby

    @ Roderick

    Yes, I agree with you that Britain’s economic performance has been deplorable since ww2 – largely as a result of bad, perhaps weak, government that has spent its time toadying to the country’s power-elites rather than looking after the interests of the British people. And I personally have experience of Britain’s lack of real commitment to human rights, rule of law, and democracy. Yet, bad though these things are in the UK, they have been many times worse in the Argentine.

    Tell that to the Chagos Islanders, Bobby Sands, all those butchered iraqis and Afghans, Liddle Towers, Stefan Kiszko, J.C. De Menezes etc, etc, etc. The British state commits most of its atrocities outside the UK whereas the Argentine boss class does most of its crimes within the political boudaries of Argentina. Peron and Videla etc didn’t butcher Kenyans, Indians, Irish, Malayans etc did they?

  • Keith Crosby

    @ Rodders Oh and the British economy actually did rather well 1945-1970-ish, its “sick man” status was bogus. When invidious comparisons with the growth rates of West Germany France and Italy etc were being made they were going through industrial revolutions, something that Britain did 150 years earlier. Since then, the working class has been recolonised and turned into those Kenyans, Irish, Malayans etc I mentioned earlier.

1 2 3 4 5

Comments are closed.