Thursday, 14 March 2013


There was a referendum held in the Falkland Islands a few days ago.  It was a question that required a simple "yes" or "no" answer: "Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?".  The reason for holding the referendum was to demonstrate to the government of Argentina (and anyone else who might be at all interested, such as the United Nations) that there is no question but that the residents of those far-flung islands wish to retain the status quo and that the islands should stay British.  Had the answer been "no", a second referendum on possible alternatives would have been held.  That will not be necessary.  Out of a total of 1,518 votes cast (91% turnout), there were 2 spoiled papers, 3, "no" votes and 1,513 "yes" votes, that being 99.8% of the votes cast.  A pretty decisive majority.

I well remember the feeling in this country 30 or so years ago when Argentine forces invaded the Falklands.  There were large crowds at Portsmouth to see the task force set sail.  The Old Bat even considered keeping the children away from school that day and taking them to watch as this was likely to be the one and only time in their lives that such a sight could be seen.  During the fighting, people were desperately anxious for news and there was tremendous support for the campaign.

I would suspect that public opinion in the UK is now less in favour of the Falklands remaining an Overseas Territory, basically on the grounds of cost.  We keep a few planes and troops stationed there at quite considerable expense and there are bound to be those who feel that the islands have no value to us, so why should we pay out to keep them?  On the other hand, if Argentina were to try another invasion, public opinion would probably swing back in support of the islanders.  Mind you, with all the cuts our defence budget has suffered over the last two or three years, I doubt we could do very much to right the situation anyway.

I do hope there's no witch hunt to find out who voted "no".


There was just about enough snow left for this youngster to enjoy it.

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