1982 War A Blessing: Best thing Ever for Falkland Islands British Newspaper Quotes Islanders' View
An article in a British newspaper about Falkland Islands prosperity refers to the views of its legislators and controversially declares: As the 20th anniversary of the Falklands War draws near, everyone believes it was the best thing ever to have happened to the Islands
With a headline saying "The war was such a blessing for us", the widely read "Mail on Sunday" describes Falklands Councillors as "feisty, independent souls" who don't agree on much but "there is surprising unanimity on this issue". The article quotes Councillor Jan Cheek as saying "It was horrible that people had to lose their lives, but there is no doubt it was a blessing in disguise".
Councillor Bill Luxton, a sheep farmer, recalls how Argentina's President in 1982, General Galtieri, "changed his life". He is reported as saying:" If Galtieri had not invaded, we'd all be Argentines now. The place would have fallen apart and they would have just walked in".
The article describes how fishing has boosted prosperity and quotes a director of the Fortuna fishing company, Stuart Wallace with "business interests all over town", as admitting: "Without the war, none of this would have happened. I'd hate to have to thank Argentina for anything, but...."
The Mail on Sunday says: "Perhaps not surprisingly islanders still. view Argentina with considerable distrust. But fishing is one of the few areas where co-operation is taking place to conserve and manage fish stocks". (For an article date-lined Port Stanley, by Russell Miller, visiting the Islands as a guest of the Falkland Islands Government, this appears to be a remarkably inaccurate and out-of-date assertion, incompatible with several days of bitter complaints by Falklands Councillors of lack of Argentine co-operation in trying to limit fishing by three hundred Taiwanese vessels on the high seas just beyond the 200-mile limits of Falklands and Argentine jurisdiction*.)
The Mail on Sunday article, headlined "Rejoice, Rejoice", says "Twenty years after Mrs Thatcher's victory cry, the Falklanders are getting rich in the kind of society most Britons would envy. There can be few places in the world where the Union Flag flies more proudly or more defiantly".
It paints a depressing picture of the pre-1982 Falklands, "scratching a living" with "no future for anyone". It says the capital "Port Stanley was a decrepit settlement of wooden shacks... Virtually everyone lived on the poverty line". By contrast it is today "booming", with new houses, central hea