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 Post subject: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:08 am 
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The Argies wanting to expand again? Or just hot air?

Falkland Islands: Penguins, tea and tensions

Stanley, Falkland Islands (CNN) -- They call it an airbridge, but it feels more like a flight to another planet.

The "easiest" way to get to the Falklands is on a British Royal Air Force charter flight from RAF Brize Norton in central England.

But it's not that easy. From the time I shut my front door in Britain to the time we touch down on these remote islands, 24 hours have elapsed.

An eight-hour leg to the Ascension Islands -- a tiny speck of land in the Atlantic -- and then another eight hours down to RAF Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands -- a slightly bigger speck of land.

But this speck is suddenly back in focus as Britain and Argentina spar again over its sovereignty.

The two countries went to war over the issue in 1982, and tensions between the two countries are rising again over the islands which Argentina calls Las Malvinas.

How royal visit fuels Falklands spat

My first impression on landing is how similar the base is to the one we'd left in Oxfordshire.

Here though, posters on the walls advertize the penguin colonies. For nature enthusiasts this is a paradise with vast swathes of untouched wildness.

Outside the wire, a rough gravel road and barren countryside give the impression of being in the Highlands of Scotland. No trees, lots of sheep and every other car is a Land Rover. And lots and lots of ... well, nothing.

No houses, no people, no electricity pylons, nothing.

Finally we approach the capital Port Stanley, or just plain Stanley as the locals call it.

It's more like a village really -- a couple of food stores, a post office, some pubs and a gift shop. And everything is quintessentially British.

Red telephone boxes, warm beer, fish and chips. It reminds me of Cornwall or Scotland: windy, isolated and bathed in a similar dazzling light.

Our first stop is Gypsy Cove, where we see Magellanic Penguins waddling across powder white sand.

Perfect, apart from the signs warning you to watch your step, because this used to be an Argentine minefield.

The mines should have been cleared, but you never know, seems to be the message. It doesn't exactly encourage parents to take their kids down to the water to watch the wildlife.

The islanders are proud, tanned, rugged and permanently wrapped up against the chill of the south Atlantic.

They say they are Falkland Islanders first, British second, and most won't countenance the idea of becoming Argentine.

They are no nonsense to the point of being, at times, slightly stubborn. But they are also immensely hospitable.

Everyone seems to know everyone else -- many are related, distant cousins or connected by marriage. Hardly surprising in a community of just 3,000 people.

They seem slightly amused and perplexed by some of the rhetoric coming out of Buenos Aires, but they are analyzing every word. It matters here.

Many are withering about Cristina Kirchner, the outspoken Argentine President. They say their feelings have been utterly ignored in the war of words between Britain and Argentina.

Most are fervently loyal to Britain but in fact these islands are not part of the United Kingdom.

There are one of 14 British Overseas Territories like Gibraltar or Bermuda, a sort of halfway house between independence and colony.

The Falkland Islands government can raise its own taxes and has its own bank notes, but it relies on the UK for defense and foreign policy -- and a supply of home comforts, like PG Tips Tea, Chocolate Digestives and Spitfire Ale.

A couple of days into our trip, we get news of excitement at the only school on the island.

An RAF search and rescue helicopter has landed on the football pitch. Everyone's taking pictures, hoping Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is piloting the chopper. It's difficult to tell, but the town is abuzz afterwards.

His presence here might be "routine" as the British Government says and "provocative" for the Argentines, but for the islanders it's special.

He hasn't been spotted drinking in the local pubs yet, but on such a small island with so little to do, it's surely only a matter of time.

We won't be here to share that first pint though -- the airbridge beckons for the long, long journey home.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/08/world/ame ... ?hpt=hp_c2

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:21 am 
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The Argie claim on the islands is just laughably risible. If the UN Charter means anything at all they should just be told to fuck off in short order. Given the principle of self determination the UN could just lance this perennial boil by telling the Argies where to get off in no uncertain terms so we have the end of it - I mean, the Argie foreign office states explicitly why they choose to ignore the islanders self determination so it's a pretty clear cut case. I don't believe the UN charter makes the right to self determination conditional.

Of course the UN being a haven of kleptocrats and totalitarian regimes, all bets are off.

The Argie population must be the most gullible, easily led bunch of mongs on the planet given how they turn into supine little serfs at the mention of getting the "Malvinas" "back". Of course given Argentine political history maybe thats not actually far off the mark. Maximum Leader Kirchner already nationalised all the press after all. And if you were a Falkland Islander with this bunch of pirates and fascists next door, you can see why the prospect of them taking over would go down like a cup of cold vomit.


Oh incidentally another little microcosm where it shows how Britain "enriched" itself on the backs of its colonies. 1700 of Her Majesty's finest and a nuclear attack submarine to protect 3000 sheep herding islanders and a million penguins. Clearly a money spinner. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:39 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
Oh incidentally another little microcosm where it shows how Britain "enriched" itself on the backs of its colonies. 1700 of Her Majesty's finest and a nuclear attack submarine to protect 3000 sheep herding islanders and a million penguins. Clearly a money spinner. :roll:


Well, all of the colonies and dominions that were actually worth something fiscally had the good idea to jump ship a long time ago. The Falklands doesn´t really have a lot to offer. Kind of like the Faeroe Islands.

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:48 am 
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Argentina did not become a country until approximatelly 1816.

They had nominal control over the the islands for ~13 years (1820-1833).

Spain had control over "Argentina" from 1542-1816.


It would seem to me, following the Argentine logic used to justify their claim on the "Malvinas", that Spain has a stronger claim on Argentina, than Argentina does on the Falklands..... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:53 am 
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JDR_Dragoon wrote:
EUBanana wrote:
Oh incidentally another little microcosm where it shows how Britain "enriched" itself on the backs of its colonies. 1700 of Her Majesty's finest and a nuclear attack submarine to protect 3000 sheep herding islanders and a million penguins. Clearly a money spinner. :roll:


Well, all of the colonies and dominions that were actually worth something fiscally had the good idea to jump ship a long time ago. The Falklands doesn´t really have a lot to offer. Kind of like the Faeroe Islands.


That remains to be seen.

Falklands oil firm Rockhopper claims discovery

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:57 am 
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chijohnaok wrote:


Possibly. But I cannot fail to notice, that every firm in the oil or geology business seems to claim exactly this about their own little patch of ground and sea. Must be all the gold in them thar´ hills :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:05 am 
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Oil = IPO pumping, I wouldn't put too much faith in that.


This chap is the man who put Argies on the Falklands in the 19th century...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Vernet

You may notice he was acting as a private citizen looking to make a buck, stressed this fact in his dealings with the British, and that he asked Britain for permission, and even protection (!) first in his commercial exploits. So just any other businessman.

Then the Argies declared him governor and started granting rights not theirs to grant. WTF. (Even he seemed to think that was a step too far). Eventually culminating in him being removed.

And thats it. That is the Argie claim. Basically it boils down to "We wants it, precious". What a joke. :roll:

Even aside from 19th century history, the bottom line is that the civilians on the Falklands now have been there for generations, and they displaced no prior civilians aside from Vernet and his apparently 80% British mercenaries when they arrived as there is no indigenous population. The only colonialists here are the Argies.

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:25 am 
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War for oil!

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:16 am 
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EU, do you chaps still have Vulcans (the bomber, not the miniguns). You may need them. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Falklands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:28 am 
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We have some B52's sitting at Davis Montham that we can put back into service toot sweet for you, for a small fee of course.

We might even be able to russle up a couple of newly retired CVN's too.


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