When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
MP Richard Drax column: Could we retake the Falklands?
11:00am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
I RECALL the Falklands War with great clarity. I was serving at the time and watched many good friends in the Welsh and Scots Guards sail from Southampton 31 years ago.
Hundreds of brave men were killed and wounded retaking the islands, but our fight was just and the islanders have never forgotten the sacrifices made.
So it was with joy that I watched islanders vote to remain British in their referendum. Of the 1,672 entitled to vote, 1,517 turned out – a 92 per cent show.
Of these, only three said no.
Amusingly, this prompted a feverish manhunt in the press for the ‘Falklands Three’, with one islander saying that a few dissenters at least proved the poll was real.
That’s because rarely, if ever, have statistics like these been seen, except under totalitarian governments like the Argentine military junta, which claimed the Falklands back in 1982.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner says this referendum is invalid because an ‘imported’ population voted under British rules. Her foreign minister says the vote is ‘irrelevant’ and ‘Las Malvinas’ are Argentinian.
I could not disagree more.
This historic vote honours those who fell and sadly reminds us that sometimes democracy and freedom come at a price.
The islands have been inhabited by British settlers since 1833 and it is our duty to defend them. But with all our defence cuts, I, personally, doubt we could retake the Falklands again.
If I recall, Margaret Thatcher was about to cut our armed forces when the war erupted.
Afterwards, she swore never to make that mistake again.
Now, mistaken priorities have seen our armed services cut to a gendarmerie.
History has a nasty habit of repeating itself.