My Week: Emma Edwards

Argentinian anger over British exploration for oil off the Falklands brings out the defiance in one islander

Gillian Orr@gillian_orr
Saturday 27 February 2010 01:00


I'm a full-time teacher as well as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands. I teach my year seven class today before doing interviews with international press, giving the Falkland Islands' view about our neighbours across the way, Argentina, and the current disputes with them about oil and ship permits.


We have media training in the morning from our PR company but I scoot off early to go back to school and teach. I have lunch with my friend Elaine, then more school. Afterwards I go to the public meeting where the problems with Argentina are mentioned, but it's not the main topic of discussion. We talk about school fees and introducing a bill for a complaints commission. It's short and sweet.


It's the general purpose committee all day. We read all the new pieces of legislation which may be going through, and discuss everything from installing a new wind farm to more efficient ways of transporting sheep. We have our briefing with the chief executive and the governor and talk about what's been happening at the Rio summit. It's nothing new: Argentina goes off and makes a lot of noise about the sovereignty issue of the Falklands but Britain is steadfast in her support of our sovereignty. The people of the Falklands want to be British. The oil is ours; it's totally within our waters. Argentina can't come in and take it away. They could offer to supply items for the drilling programme and make money out of it but because they've made such a fuss, all the supplies are coming from Aberdeen. I'm interviewed by a Brazilian paper too; the Brazilian President has come out supporting Argentina at the Rio summit and at the same time they're making noises about how it's time for the world's super countries to give up their seats within the UN and let developing countries sit on various committees of higher importance.


It's mainly a school day today. I have a free period so I dash off to a meeting, pay some bills and then go to Gilbert House, which is like our little Houses of Parliament, and I read through all the press coverage from yesterday.


It's the standing finance committee and the legislative assembly meetings today. I'm interviewed by an Argentinian newspaper about life in the Falklands. Argentina isn't going to change its mind overnight and we aren't going to change our stance. It always puts a smile on my face when they go on about Britain being the colonial power here, and yes, we're a British Overseas Territory but we run ourselves. If Argentina gets its way, all they'll be doing is turning us into a colony of Argentina. Most of us would leave; there's no way we'd be able to stomach living under an Argentinian government.

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