Veteran clown Seumas Milne "argues" in the Guardian that the recent 1514 to 3 vote in favour of continued British rule of the Falkland islands is a North Korean-style ballot:
No doubt 1,514 island residents really did vote in favour of continued British rule. The only surprise was that three islanders dared to spoil the rousing choruses of Land of Hope and Glory by voting against.Astonishingly, Milne appears unaware of the fate of previous Guardian columnists (Flavia Dzodan, Sean Penn, ambassador Alicia Castro) putting forward their ideas on Argentina taking over the "Malvinas". He gets swiftly set straight in the comments:
It's that the poll was a foregone conclusion and designed to miss the entire point of Britain's dispute with Argentina over the islands – which began 180 years ago when one of Lord Palmerston's gunboats seized them and expelled the Argentine administration.
The islands might be 8,000 miles from the UK (something that doesn't trouble other countries of the world with THEIR islands) but they are 400 from Argentina.It used to stagger me that a flagship journal for human rights and democracy, such as the Guardian styles itself, would support the military annexation of land and populations based on a flimsy-as-paper argument about a Huguenot, Luis Vernet, making a commercial settlement in 1828 under a joint Argentina-UK pact where Argentina refused to provide any warship to back his claim. Sadly, it appears that Seumas is happy to pursue any argument, no matter how absurd, as long as it is contrary to the policy of the UK government, even if that means backing the increasingly dictatorial and distasteful Argentine regime.
If distance is the issue, then it is still an issue with the Argentine claim. As would be the usual bollocks about "continental shelf."
There are numerous disputes - ones of a more serious nature - such as the islands disputed between the Japanese and Chinese, between North and South Korea, etc etc. I suggest that the Guardian gets stuck in there. Maybe send a journalist to stir up shit in China and Japan, North and South Korea.
As the above commenter notes, there are plenty of more unsavory regimes casting their island claims far beyond their shores. That Seumas does not see fit to remark upon these makes one wonder what it is about the Falklands that he finds so exceptional.
Seumas is sadly not immune from the occasional inconsistency in his argument:
[...] most of whom weren't born there but are subsidised to the tune of £44,856 a head to keep them in the Rhodesian retro style to which they are accustomed?I like the precision of that "44,856". The sly allusion to the racist imperialist rule in Rhodesia is also a nice touch. But what's this?
A generation on, the discovery of potentially large oil and gas deposits around the islands, development of fisheries and growing importance of the Antarctic sea lanes have changed the picture.Well, Seumas, either the Falklanders are financial dependents, or they're not. Which is it?
Lasy word to commenter Chrispytl:
So Milne wishes to now simply ignore the wishes of virtually the whole of the residents of the Falkland Islands?Seumas, I think you've met your match. Time for a piece on a less challenging topic.
The man must really hate democracy.
He must love the EU though.