Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Grumpy Old Sod on the Falklands

The Argentine president Christine Kerchner is trying to deflect criticism of the mishandling of her country's internal affairs by indulging in some macho posturing about the Falklands Islands, despite the fact that the people who actually live there have made it perfectly clear that they want nothing to do with her. In a letter published recently in the Independent and the Guardian (why? Why did they print it? Whose side are they bloody on?) she accused us of colonialism, brutality and no doubt many other crimes probably including child abuse, global warming, international terrorism and picking our noses in public.




Someone had to reply, of course, and it shouldn't be left to the Sun newspaper though credit to them for trying. Much better is this missive from anonymous blogger Foxy who calls herself “Fleet Street Fox” ...







THURSDAY, 3 JANUARY 2013



Dear Argentina...



Now look. You've been whining about this since 1767 and it's starting to get on my wick.



I've ignored you until now, because you're very silly and your greatest cheerleader is Sean Penn, a man who pretends to be things he is not and once hit his then-wife Madonna with a baseball bat, tied her up for nine hours and abused her. If he is on your side, it's not a good side to be on.



But today you've written to Prime Minister Dishface demanding he enter negotiations to 'return' the islands we call the Falklands and you call Malvinas, 180 years after we cruelly stole them from you with our jackbooted naval officers of totalitarianism.



You were 'forcibly stripped' of these jewels in the South Atlantic and your people were 'expelled'.



Only, that's not quite what happened, is it Argentina? Someone obviously needs to remind you, and probably Mr Penn too, of the facts.



In 1820 an American pirate called David Jewett took shelter there, and finding the place deserted promptly claimed the islands for a union of South American provinces which later became Argentina.



You lot didn't realise this for a year, but still didn't settle the islands. Instead a German who pretended to be French called Luis Vernet came along, asked the Argentines and the Brits politely if they minded, and founded a little colony of his own.



It took him a few goes, but eventually he established a settlement, you named him governor and gave him the right to kill all the seals. This quite hacked off the Brits, who wanted some seals for themselves, but Vernet placated us by asking for our military protection.



It all got a bit hairy in 1831, when Vernet found some American seal ships, arrested their crews and sparked an international incident. The Americans sent a warship, blew up the settlement, and hot-headedly sent the most senior settlers to the mainland for trial for piracy.



The Argentines sent a new governor to establish a penal settlement, but he was killed in a mutiny the day he arrived. The Brits, quite reasonably, decided the whole thing was a dog's breakfast.



You had never settled the islands. Never established a colony of your own. Never guarded it with a garrison of your own soldiers. They had never, ever, been yours.



So allow me to make a couple of things clear. Firstly, the history of these windy rocks is an utter mess but someone had to take charge, and you weren't up to the job. We did it pretty nicely, considering our record in other places. Secondly, only jackbooted colonial scumbags refuse to listen to the democratic voice of the people who live somewhere, so you really ought to wind your hypocritical warmongering necks in.







There's much more, and it's pretty good stuff, including a great deal of historical detail most of us aren't familiar with. Do read it here.



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