Leading article: A victory we still pay a price for

Share
Related Topics

Thirty years ago today General Leopoldo Galtieri's tottering, gold-braided regime started a military adventure in the South Atlantic, hoping a quick victory in Port Stanley would keep the military in charge of the Casa Rosata in Buenos Aires for a few more years.

As we all know, the Falkands War did not turn out like that. It wasn't Margaret Thatcher who tasted gall and humiliation but General Galtieri himself, and while he and his regime soon disappeared into oblivion, Mrs Thatcher, as she then was, had her Armada moment and went on to win an election in 1983 that she would otherwise probably have lost.

Beyond the ranks of a hardy few – those who would rejoice in any blow to the government, no matter where it came from – few Britons regret the decision to muster a task force in 1982 or the victory that followed. The invasion was an act of aggression and of gross political opportunism. The re-conquest of the Falkands, meanwhile, not only restored to the islanders their lost liberty but also did away with an odious and blood-stained junta, a fact that many Argentinians concede, however reluctantly.

For all that, there has been no real closure as a result of this war. Britain is very far away and Argentina, even as a democracy, has continued to pursue its territorial claim, all the more vigorously whenever it has experienced economic or political turbulence. When all else fails, sound the tocsin for Las Malvinas! The fact that the islanders today are enjoying an economic boom and that there is a talk of an oil rush is a mixed blessing from the British Government's point of view, attracting jealousy and attention and fuelling a perception round the world that Britain's only real interest in the islands is economic.

It is all very regrettable, because as the rest of the continent falls into line behind President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, we face the prospect of our relations steadily deteriorating with most of Latin America. Whether or not Argentina invades the islands again, which looks highly unlikely, our victory 30 years ago has still come at a high price, therefore, and it is one that we will continue to pay for some time.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Charge Accountant

£20,000 - £22,000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Property Management Grou...

Head of Sales, London

£70 - 95K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Milton Keynes

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Bristol

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Russian President Vladimir Putin  

How to deal with Putin without crossing moral red lines

Dominic Raab
Prostitutes face a high risk of contracting HIV, yet they are offered little help from the Government  

Want to rid the world of HIV? Then you can start by decriminalising prostitution

Pamela Das
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game