Desperate Tory press now raising spectre of Falklands war to win next election – Pride’s Purge

150201Expresscover

Look at today’s Sunday Express:

Falklands on HIGH ALERT: Hundreds of British troops sent to Islands to boost security

Now visit Pride’s Purge, where Tom will tell you that the Express ‘story is simply raising the spectre of another Falklands war in order to boost Tory chances in May’s election.

They really think we’re stupid.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best of the blogs.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

44 thoughts on “Desperate Tory press now raising spectre of Falklands war to win next election – Pride’s Purge

  1. nick

    thats the only thing the conservatives know and thats war and death in reality a smooth talking BNP party to retain power at all costs

    the public however don’t forget are in the main very selfish at times and thats what the conservatives tap into and as we all know are very successful at playing that card

  2. Andy

    Defending those poor falkland islanders? Defending a military strategic base waiting for the ‘Antarctic Treaty’ to be torn up so we have a ‘foot in the door’ to exploit its resources. If that happens we will be at war again with Argentina and maybe Chile who both have counter claims in Antartica.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I thought there was an oil field by the Falklands that is disputed and the UK was simply keeping its claim.

      1. Andy

        Yes you’re right but that is minor in comparison to the potential of Antarctica. Over the last century we have extended our territorial claims and in 2012, just to wind them up even more, we changed the name from ‘British Antarctic Territory’ to ‘Queen Elizabeth Land’! We just can’t shake the ‘Empire’ mentality.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        It’s amazing, isn’t it?
        To be honest, the renaming of the territory passed me by – I notice it was during the time of the current government, which says a lot. Was it reported widely?

      3. Andy Robertson-Fox

        So well hıdden that I knew about ıt and I was not even in the country and had not been for over five years at the time….

      4. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Yes, my prıorıtıes are an ınterest ın what ıs goıng on ın my country and the celebratıons for the jubıllee and the manner ın whıch ıt was commemorated at the tıme were no exceptıon.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        Yet you don’t take an interest in criticism of Margaret Thatcher or her motives.

      6. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Oh but I do take an ınterest ın the crıtıcısm and motıves of the leaders of the government of my country.
        As yet I have seen no substantıve evıdence to justıfy the crıtıcısm of Mrs Thatcher in her handliıng of the Falklands War nor ın her motıvatıon to free a Brıtısh colony from an ınvadıng force.

      7. Mike Sivier Post author

        You don’t find it even slightly suspicious that she decided to withdraw forces from the South Atlantic at a time when Argentina was sabre-rattling in order to keep its own citizens happy? Well, you are a Tory I suppose.

      8. Andy Robertson-Fox

        An error of judgement maybe and not the only one – Franks for all ıts faılıngs poınts out that Carrıngton was pressıng for Endurance not to be wıthdrawn for abou twelve months prıor to the ınvasıon – but nothıng suspıcıous ın the reactıon to the aggressıon of the Argentıans.

      9. Andy Robertson-Fox

        “the unthınkıng loyalty of the habıtual Tory”?

        Not sure whether that comes under an abusıve comment or merely reflects your tunnel vısıon.

      10. Mike Sivier Post author

        Having already moderated out one abusive comment you’ve aimed at me today, I’d say you’re fairly selective in your definition of that, as well.

      11. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Sorry as far as I can recall I have saıd nothıng abusıve about you whatsoever…perhaps you would lıke to repeat and ascrıbe to me whatever ıt was that apparently offended you, please.

      12. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, I don’t think so. If I kept it off the page once, why would I put it back, at your request?

  3. beastrabban

    The Express is now a UKIP paper, as Desmond has officially come out in favour of that party. Not that it makes much difference: the Tories for years played on the image of Mrs T as heroic war leader, up there with Winston Churchill and Boadicea.
    No, really they did.

    I remember sitting in school in the sixth form absolutely amazed as one of the other kids read out a story from that day’s Sun. Murdoch’s mighty organ was trying to cash in on all things celebrity spiritualist in the wake of Doris Stokes. They got some medium to get in contact with the great and good in the hereafter, and tell the living world the politicians they favoured. Boadicea, allegedly, gave Thatcher her full approval, and saluted the ‘Warriors of Goose Green’.

    Which tells you that there has never been any journalistic integrity or standards in the Sun, and that it has always been absolutely batsh*t insane.

    Still, the Falklands War is also something of a liability. We only won because we had the support of America and Chile. And Reagan was initially very reluctant to give that. I heard he actually rang up Thatcher to suggest that she might like giving the islands to the Argentinians.

    The War actually started because of Thatcher’s incompetence. They were cutting back on the armed forces, and withdrew the island’s naval protection. As the British ships sailed away, the Argentinians took their chance. A friend of mine went to a conference on it a few years ago. John Nott, Thatcher’s minister of defence at the time, was there, still denying that he did anything wrong.

    Thatcher’s incompetence and the subsequent War has produced some very bitter satire. About ten years ago the Times did an interview with Ian Hislop in the offices of Private Eye. On the wall is a picture showing a monument with a list of the 200 squaddies, who died fighting. The legend on the memorial reads: They died to save her face.

    Quite.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There’s another argument that suggests she pulled out of the South Atlantic in order to provoke a war with Argentina in time for the next general election.

      1. beastrabban

        That could be, Mike. And if it is, it makes it much, much worse. Maggie effectively diced with the islanders freedom and created a war that killed hundreds, all for her own political advantage. It’s low, even by the grotty standards of the Tories.

      2. Andy Robertson-Fox

        By sendıng the Task force Thatcher defended the Falklanders freedom as has be confırmed ın a subsequent referendum on the ıslands whıch overwhelmıng voted to remaın Brıtısh.

    2. Andy Robertson-Fox

      Lord Carrıngton was the Minister of Defence at the outbreak of the conflıct. John Nott replaced hım when he resigned havıng acknowledged that he had not reacted correctly ın defendıng the Brıtısh terrıtory and her Falkland Island communıty.
      The war started because the Argentıan government was ın dıre straıghts and saw thıs as a dıversıon from ıts own troubles; ın so doıng ıt totally under estımated the resolve of the Brıtısh government to defend ıts own

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        You’re right about Carrington being replaced by Nott. Your interpretation of why the war started is debatable though – at the very least.

      2. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Not really – Argentına was ın a state of cıvıl unrest agaınst the rulıng junta and sufferıng a stagnatıng economy. Galtıerı and hıs sıde kıcks saw takıng the Falklands as a means of ınstıllıng patrıotısm and dırectıng publıc opınıon away from the severe economıc crısıs and human rıghts attrocıtıes. He bargaıned on the UK not respondıng wıth the Task Force…and lost.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s not at issue. The issue is that the UK government, under Margaret Thatcher’s direction, took the state of Argentina into account and factored it into their calculations when working out whether a withdrawal from the South Atlantic would provoke the war that they (allegedly) wanted. In this way, it is argued, Argentina was manipulated into aggression by the Thatcher government. Your sabre-rattling, jingoistic interpretation is too simplistic.

      4. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Oh but ıt ıs very much the ıssue…the motivation for their invasion and that stemmed from the sıtuatıon ın Argentına. Read any good hıstory book on the subject but ıf you have evıdence to support that the UK (allegedly) wanted the war then where ıs ıt?

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        I find it strangely selective of you that you have knowledge of the change from the British Antarctic Territories to Queen Elizabeth Land, but no information about the alleged conspiracy to use the Falklands as a stepping stone to re-election in 1983.
        Would anybody like to help Mr Robertson-Fox here with his research?

      6. Andy Robertson-Fox

        It ıs not selectıve at all and I am aware of the conspıracy theorıes but wıth no evıdence and you havıng to ask for help to support them I am becomıng less ınclıned to take them seriously.

  4. wildswimmerpete

    Mike and The Beast – I remember watching a TV programme about the Falklands in 1981, and the captain of HMS Endurance was interviewed where he warned that if the Navy left the Falklands the Argentines would be in within a year – which they were. I said at the time that Thatcher deliberately encouraged a war to pave the way for another election in order to restore her flagging popularity – sadly I was proved right.

    1. Andy Robertson-Fox

      HMS Endurance was stıll commıssıoned and ın Port Stanley when the Argentınes ınvaded South Georgıa. The UK never left the Falklands.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        The UK never could have left the Falklands – they’re a British colony. The whereabouts of any Royal Navy ships has nothing to do with that.
        For clarity, HMS Endurance was not taken by Argentinian forces during the invasion – it was ordered to join the task force and served during the campaign.

  5. hstorm

    It pains me to agree with such an obvious blue-tie Thatcherite, but I’ve never seen any evidence that Thatcher was deliberately trying to embroider a war in 1981, even though, ever the opportunist, she took cynical advantage when Argentina attacked. To say it was all a carefully-constructed trap credits Thatcher with more intelligence and subtlety than she really possessed. The withdrawal from the South Atlantic was entirely consistent with her tight-fisted attitude to spending money, and with her limited strategic skill in military affairs.

    I subscribe therefore to cock-up theory rather than conspiracy theory on this one. It’s worth pointing, given that we’re talking about a blunder that paved the way to a pointless war, that this in NO way redeems Thatcher at all. It only underlines how utterly foolish, narrow-minded and obsolete her ideology was, and thus how wholly inappropriate she was as a Prime Minister. That is the case, indeed, be it cock-up or conspiracy.

    1. Andy Robertson-Fox

      I guess the blue-tıe Thatvcherıte comment was aımed at me – wrong but not abusıve Mıke – but can you explaın hstorm how defendıng our sovereıgnty and people agaınst an ınvadıng force can be termed as takıng a cynıcal advantage?.

      1. hstorm

        It was a perfect distraction from how badly her policies were harming the country of course.

        If you don’t think that’s true, just look at the preposterous, almost embarrassing ‘Patriotism Shows’ that Thatcher’s Government put on in the weeks and months after the Argentines surrendered, with all that dated flag-waving and posturing about how the war should make us ‘proud of being British’ etc. And with another General Election less than a year later. Coincidence of course…

        On that topic, I find it genuinely disturbing how so many ‘patriotic’ right-wingers seem to get such a kick out of war. (Not necessarily referring to you there.) As Bill Hicks once said, “What kind of people are these with such low self-esteem that they need *a war* to feel better about themselves?”

        I mean, if war makes them feel good, what the hell must these people’s lives be like before they’re surrounded by guns, missile-launchers, flying blood, and dismembered body-parts?

      2. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Of course the Falklands conflıct was a dıstractıon…how could such a major engagement not affect the daıly lıves of every UK cıtızen, many havıng relatıves actually servıng ın the fıghtıng force.

        I was, and am, proud to be Brıtısh and was pleased to be able to lıne Southampton Docks when Canberra returned home and be able to welcome some of our armed forces (ıncludıng some frıends) and show apprecıatıon of theır bravery ın defendıng our terrıtory and the homes of several thousand Islanders, the majorıty of who were eıther Brıtısh expats or descendents. I do not consıder the varıous “Welcome home, well done and thank you” partıes, gatherıngs and showıng prıde ın my country inapproprıate.

        Whıle I am prepared to admıt that the successful outcome of the campaıgn had some ınfluence on the 1983 electıon, if the ıntentıon was to make capıtal out of ıt then surely Thatcher would not have waıted a year before goıng to the country but would have called ıt ın September or October 1982? That would have been an advantage to offset the dısquıet about the polıcıes she was employıng to try and redress damage to the UK caused by the ınflatıon rıdden and strıke rıdden 1970’s and whıch culmınated, of course, ın “the wınter of dıscontent” and the fall of the Callaghan government.

        Any Prıme Mınıster was entıtled to go to the country at any tıme durıng the course of the parlıament. Churchıll dıd, Heath dıd, Wılson dıd, Thatcher dıd, Blaır dıd, twıce, and why? Because they saw ıt, rıghtly or wrongly, to be to theır advantage. There ıs a school of thought that suggests Gordon Brown threw away such an advantage by not goıng to the country durıng the “honeymoon” perıod of hıs admınıstratıon. Who knows, had he taken courage, we mıght never have had thıs coalıtıon.

        My knowledge of Bıll Hıcks ıs lımıted – I was not one of hıs cult followıng – but I belıeve when he suggests that “some people need a war to feel better about themselves” he ıs workıng from the wrong premıse. Theır prıde ıs not from the war but from havıng the courage to stand up for what ıs rıght, to defend those who cannot defend themselves and whıle “Jaw, jaw ,jaw” ıs preferably to “War, war, war” to be prepared, ıf necessary, to fıght for ıt. .

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        The ‘Falklands Factor’ put Thatcher ahead of her rivals for the year leading up to the 1983 election. She had expressed a wish to run for a complete five years but was persuaded to call an early election. It seems likely that she didn’t call it in 1982 because unemployment was rising at more than double the average EEC rate, the average income was lower than when she had taken office in 1979 and industrial output had fallen markedly. It seems likely that she decided to call an election after a change to constituency boundaries, following a report by the boundary commission.
        I too am proud to be British – but for the advancements made by British culture over the years. Many of our military adventures have been questionable and I think it is justifiable to question the governments that ordered or engineered them while also wishing the best for the servicemen and women involved.
        Oh, and you are very far off-base in your comments about the inflation-ridden and strike-ridden 1970s. Thatcher’s project was to destroy worker security by undermining the unions and making a large number of people unemployed.

  6. amnesiaclinic

    Except wars and the threatening of wars and ‘our sovereignty’ are medieval and inappropriate ways of dealing with the 21st century. As the new Greek foreign minister has said in regard to the EU and Russian sanctions, What we should and need to be doing is negotiating and using diplomatic means to solve these issues or words to that affect.

    War, war and more war need to be outlawed and only ever used in last resort, not first as we and the US and Israel do so often. Actually, they were made illegal by the UN, but when did we 3 countries ever abide by international law?

    Just about time we started!

Comments are closed.