Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

Another Argy Bargy…..?

 

Hms duantless

The Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has recently described Britain as a "crass colonial power in decline" because they are refusing to hold talks over the future of the Falkland Islands.

This appears to have rattled a sabre with the UK's Ministry of Defence, and they have decided to send HMS Dauntless down into the South Atlantic in what seems to be a statement of intent – that intent being that the Falklands are not open to negotiation, that they have been a British protectorate since 1833, and that is how they will remain.

Putting aside the economic reasons for holding onto the islands – British oil companies are drilling for oil in the region, for example – the small population of the Falklands are British and wish to remain so.


One would hope they would not be sold down the river just for political expediency. Besides, they don't want to be ruled by Buenos Aires.

Back in 1982 it was obvious that the military junta of Argentina were desperate, and even though their invasion of the Falklands was on the cards, it led to the resignation of the then Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.

Carrington was of the old school, and he fell on his sword. The buck stopped with him, and being the gent he was, he walked. But he was a statesman, and there are precious few left like him in politics – if any.

Meanwhile Magaret Thatcher was swinging her handbag like a mace, kicking the cat and getting very annoyed. Ronald Reagan was in the White House, and his envoy General Haig was employed as a go-between to negotiate a deal where Argentina and Britain could avoid a conflict. Nobody ever thought then that the British could mount a task force, travel thousands of miles, refuelling aircraft in mid flight, and kick the Argies back into touch. They did, they won and the rest is history. But it's not over yet.

Argentina can see that the UK forces are stretched. They have seen the cuts, they have seen the sale of the UK Harrier Jump-Jets which played a crucial part in their defeat, they have seen the UK scrap their ageing aircraft carriers – not to be replaced for at least five more years – they have seen British forces occupied elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan, and can now see an opportunity. Perhaps not a military one, but an opportunity nevertheless.

So along comes William Hague, just a sprog in 1977 who, when just 16 years old addressed a Conservative party conference with a resounding speech. He'd like to forget that now, but today he is the UK Foreign Secretary, and what he believes more than anything is to restore the credence and respect of UK influence on the world stage, which was so undermined under the previous Labour Government. Statesmen learn early, regardless of privilege, and Hague the Yorkshire son of a businessman, is no different from Thatcher the Lincolnshire grocer's daughter. In the USA they say that anyone can become the President. Well in the UK, it's no different, we just don't shout and scream or dance and sing about it.

Hague is restoring embassies and consulates, he is restoring his office to the rightful place that was once held in such high regard, and he has decided to send HMS Dauntless to the Falklands.

What's so special about this vessel? Well it's certainly not your bog standard naval frigate, it is in fact a Type 45 destroyer and the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world, with 48 Sea Viper missiles and Sampson radar. It is in a league of its own in air defence.

It can shoot down fighters before they even take off and has the ability to take out all of South America's fighter aircraft, let alone Argentinian ones. The Royal Navy's other Type 45 HMS Daring is currently sitting in the Arabian Gulf because of Iranian tensions.

So are we expected to be bravado or imperialist about all this? Should we be condemning the UK government for playing power games? Far from it. The empire has gone, but over 400 years it must have learned something, and one thing above all is to instill pride in it's subjects – a pride eroded under 13 years of the last Labour Government.

There is an arrogant Prime Minister sitting in Downing Street, who struts on the European stage telling them that there will be no more EU nonsense dictated by the French Sarkozy or German Merkel. That the gravy train which was the carousel of European Union fiscal monetary policy has got to stop.

Well, I want my PM to be arrogant. I don't want anymore theatrical and subservient Blairs or pedestrian Browns. I want my politicians to stand up and be counted. I put them there, so I expect them to represent me. I may not agree with them all the time, but I expect them to stand up and give me hope!

Hope that there can be a better world if not a perfect one. Hope that the honest and true will not be shafted by the dishonest and false. Hope that my grandchildren can grow up proud in a nation which gave so much to the world, and hope that they feel special to be apart of it.

Hope that they will have hope and opportunity and wear their heritage with pride. Hope that they will believe above all, that they were born in the greatest nation in the history of the world, and feel proud because of it.

2012 sees two major events in the UK. The Queens Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne – and the Olympic Games. Both will ensure that the world will be watching.

We need to get this right, because you can talk the talk, but you need above all to walk the walk.

 

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January 31, 2012 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Events, History, London, Politics, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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