2012 is the 30-year anniversary
of the conflict between the UK and Argentina over ownership of the Falkland Islands. It is fair to say that until the conflict broke out in 1982 few people in the UK were aware of the Falklands, its location and its sovereignty.The Islands are located of the coast of Argentina many miles from the UK and British life. The small population of the islands however want to remain as British subjects and so it would seem that if necessary we would go to war again.In the last few weeks some would say that the UK has either been rubber stamping its ownership of the Falklands
or goading the people of Argentina. Prince William has been stationed
there for a six-week tour of duty and the UK has sent one of its few remaining warships into the area. UK authorities claim that HMS Dauntless is simply replacing an existing warship as a matter of routine, as they do with regards to Prince William's presence in the region.There is no doubt though that the UK is edging its bets. The Falklands is better defended than it ever has been.
It is generally accepted that the islands, if lost or invaded, would be hard to re-capture. Great Britain still claims it is all about the people of the Falkland Islands and their wishes but you have to wonder if that is the case. The amount of money all of this will cost can only leave the conclusion that more is at stake
. Could that be oil?The Falklands is rich in oil and gas. Some pundits would recommend investing what you can in shares. Although oil exploration was put on hold when prices dropped now that the world, as far as oil is concerned, is
imploding Falklands oil could be a very useful asset.The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez,
is to lodged a formal complaint with the UN. She has said, "We will present a complaint to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, as this militarisation poses a grave danger to international security."Whilst much of what is going on right now is political posturing and a war of words it is a case of watch this space. Update:
According to the comments below there is no oil in the region. According to investors it seems that there is. Plus it is claimed that Argentinians have had their eye on the Falklands for some time again. As they dispute the island's sovereignty presumably they always keep one eye on the islands. Great Britain has gradually shed itself of its colonial past and to this blogger the Falkland islands appear to be part of that long gone past.Where this puts the people living there I do not know.
Media reports online claim that only a third of the population were born on the island and that a handful of locals wanted to lose British sovereignty back in 1982. Yesterday, February 7, 2012, Dick Sawle the country's leader said he needed nothing from any country including the UK, except for miliary power.
Speaking on BBC 2 he said,“When talking about the Falkland Islands, there are three parts involved in this: the British government, ours, which is a democracy and Argentina,” although Argentina only acknowledges the United Kingdom for negotiations.We are always willing to talk to Argentina about many issues except our sovereignty, because we want to continue with our self-determination and determine our own future. Our sovereignty is not negotiable. There are things going on here all the time, such as Prince William doing his job as a helicopter pilot. If people want to read something else into that, then it is not true. And the HMS Dauntless is a Type 45 ship replacing a Type 42 one, which was already pretty old. Its deployment is normal and something like this happens in any modern military force”
Do British people want to undertake another Falkland conflict if necessary? Do we agree with the cost of protecting those Islands? Are we to get any say in the matter? Millions of us as opposed to a few thousand?
Mr Sawle concluded, “Deep inside, we’re all very British, and many tourists visiting us say we’re more British than the British. We have our own traditions and British traditions as well. We also have people from other countries living peacefully among us: people from Chile, Saint Helena and Argentina, who we have no problem with. There is no discrimination towards other nationalities”
Yes you are more British than the British because you are not British in this British blogger's opinion.
A 2010 report set the cost at £69m to maintain a military presence on the Falklands Islands in 2010-11. With increased problems it will be an increased military cost. The UK military is currently cutting jobs in order to try and balance the books. Falkland Islanders do not pay British taxes. A UK representative of the island in 2010 said, "We, in particular, have made tremendous strides in developing our economy and we are proud of the fact that we require no budgetary aid from the UK. In fact, should oil be recovered from our territorial waters in commercial quantities, then we should be able to make an even bigger contribution to the cost of our defence. There is no doubt that the UK economy will benefit from any such development"Sukey CameronThe Falklands worth every penny? You decide.