|Postcard from the Falklands|
between Britain and Argentina are at their lowest since the invasion of
the Falkland Islands 30 years ago this week.
...Argentines reacted hysterically to the dispatch of Prince William to the islands in February on a six-week helicopter training exercise and to the deployment of HMS Dauntless, one of Britain's most modern destroyers. In response Argentina has attempted an economic blockade of the islands, sent threatening letters to banks that are supporting oil exploration in the waters around the Falklands, and last month persuaded Peru to withdraw an invitation to the British frigate Montrose.
...Time, then, to make a conciliatory gesture to the excitable South Americans?
...Er, not quite. The only gesture Britain is making is a two-fingered one. The next contingent of infantry to garrison the islands, in time for the 30th anniversary celebrations in June, will be 3 Battalion, the Parachute Regiment - the unit whose bloody capture of Mount Longdon, outside Port Stanley, paved the way for the final British victory in 1982. In the course of the war 40 Paras were killed, including two posthumous VCs. They were the first British troops into Stanley on 15 June.
...The significance of the Paras' presence will not be lost on the Argies. Nor is it lost on the Paras themselves. "It's fuel on the flames!" says Our Man in Colchester, merrily. Utrinque Paratus!
From Private Eye No. 1311
6 April - 19 April 2012
Having talked to the Islanders when I was there: they're
as much British as the inhabitants of Colchester are....