Archie Bland: We've nothing to fear from Kirchner's condemnation

FreeView from the editors at i

Share

I find it uncomfortable to take a strong line on the Falklands. I always get anxious if I feel like I'm being especially patriotic, except about football. And in this instance, I also worry that I might be just seizing on the opportunity to disagree with Sean Penn, which is always hard enough to resist that it can distort your perspective.

Even disregarding Sean Penn and one's interest in flag-waving, though, it's easy to dispute the Argentinean stance. The slightly childish debate over which side is the more colonial is a rare instance in which Britain's history is of negligible significance, considering no Argentinian ever lived in the Falklands; and, in the end, it is hard for the non-nationalist to take anyone's opinion on the matter seriously if it doesn't chime with that of the people who live there. It has to be up to them, in the end.

Since that position is so straightforward, and since it would win the support of those along the vast majority of the British political continuum, the 30th anniversary of the conflict this week has unfortunately also provided cover for some daft scaremongering. It's not surprising, perhaps, but there were some pretty silly things written in the tabloids in the aftermath of Argentinean president Cristina Kirchner's description of the situation as an "absurd injustice".

"Contemptible sabre-rattling", The Sun called it; the Mail added that "there are many who doubt our ability to liberate the Falklands if the worst should happen".

What these accounts (and others) fail to factor in is that, for all her bombast, Kirchner was careful to avoid talking about the Falklands in terms of a military conflict.

Assertive though she might be – and cynically exploitative of a nationalist cause to deflect attention from her domestic problems – she also talked about the war as the junta's sorry responsibility, rather than the Argentinean people's.

"Wars only bring pain," she said. "They only bring loss, they only bring hate."

Any remaining fears that we may face an invasion that we would be militarily incapable of responding to should be soothed by the fact that these days, the island's defences are such that the opportunism of 1982 could not be repeated.

Even the ambassadors of those Latin American countries that have lent Kirchner their support were conspicuously absent from Monday's commemorations. Sabre-rattling it might have been, unconvincing the Argentinian position certainly is. But we should all rest easy in the knowledge that the chances that Kirchner will actually draw her sword are slim indeed.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EYFS Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education require an ex...

Year 3 Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 3 primary supply teacher ne...

SEN Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special educational ne...

Regional ESF Contract Manager

£32500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: European Social Fund...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

August catch-up: Waiting on the telephone, tribute to Norm and my Desert Island Discs

John Rentoul
Jihadist militants leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq, in June  

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Robert Fisk
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home