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Double Standard

I have Argentinian neighbours. I’m worried that they are going to seize my flat. After all, much of Argentina’s claim on the Falklands seems based on proximity and only a thin wall separates me from the neighbours. I can’t help noticing that many of Argentina’s South American neighbours are supporting the attempt to force the islanders to accept traditional South American life. I’d take this despicable piece of grandstanding more seriously if all South American countries agreed to return to their own pre-1833 boundaries (the year Britain took over the islands). And possibly I’d make them sign a guarantee that never again would their countries be run by military dictatorships, no more paramilitary death squads, no drug cartels, no oppressing or murdering indigenous populations, no murdering inconvenient environmental activists and perhaps genuinely democratic elections. You know, I really can’t blame the Falkland Islanders for not wanting to be ruled by their nearest neighbours. Mind you, that would probably have happened if the Argie Junta hadn’t been stupid enough to invade in 1982. I was a teenager at the time but I knew that the plan to withdraw the South Atlantic patrol ship Endurance was madness and would be seen as a lack of commitment to the islanders. I could never work out why the wishes of the Falkland folk were regarded as paramount but we were happy to turn over the residents of Hong Kong island to Communist China. The 1898 lease agreement for 99 years only applied to the parts of metropolitan Hong Kong on the mainland. So, Britain was not obliged to return the island at all.

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