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Montevideo, January 19th 2018 - 01:18 UTC

“The Argentines are childish stalkers who menace us Falkland Islanders”

Thursday, March 31st 2016 - 00:46 UTC
Full article 310 comments
Editor Lisa at her Penguin News in Port Stanley Editor Lisa at her Penguin News in Port Stanley
The Welcome to the Falklands sign next to the pier which receives tourists The Welcome to the Falklands sign next to the pier which receives tourists
My son Jacob is a seventh-generation Falkland Islander – my family came to the Islands in 1840. My son Jacob is a seventh-generation Falkland Islander – my family came to the Islands in 1840.
The irony is that most of the Argentines who abuse me on Twitter are only second- or third-generation South Americans. The irony is that most of the Argentines who abuse me on Twitter are only second- or third-generation South Americans.
”You are so far from Britain” they cry to me “go back there.” How about “You are so far from Spain … how about you go back there mate?” ”You are so far from Britain” they cry to me “go back there.” How about “You are so far from Spain … how about you go back there mate?”

By Lisa Watson (*), published in The Telegraph - Having a neighbor like Argentina is like living next door to your stalker – someone who terrorizes you but then tearfully berates you for rejecting their advances.

 On hearing the news Monday that the United Nations has adopted an Argentine proposal to extend its territorial waters around the Falkland Islands, an Argentine man tweeted me with the message “U R surrounded.” When I pointed out that his message was menacing, but that we were used to being threatened, he pleaded: “But Argentines love you“.

The thing is, the Argentine people really do live in a stalker-like fantasy land when it comes to the Falkland Islands – and the Argentine government encourages them to. In fact it rules that they do so. The pursuit of sovereignty over the Falklands is confirmed in their constitution. It’s the only thing that the country, long divided by political factionalism and social strife, can agree on.

From the day they are born, the ”Malvinas” myth is poured into innocent little Argentine ears. They are poked and prodded at school with concepts like “British colonialism”, “stolen lands” and “piratical usurpers” . Presumably at no point are Argentines reminded that their own country came about through Spanish colonialism; that their beautiful lush lands once belonged to a slaughtered or subjugated indigenous population; that the Falklands had no indigenous population and that the people there now have just as much right (if not more) to be in their little corner of the world as Argentines do to be in theirs.

I honestly think Argentines believe the first language to be spoken in South America was Spanish. “You are so far from Britain” they cry to me “go back there.” It almost seems rude (clearly I haven’t lost all of my ancestral characteristics) to point out “You are so far from Spain … how about you go back there mate?”

My son Jacob is a seventh-generation Falkland Islander – my family came to the Islands in 1840. The irony is that most of the Argentines who abuse me on Twitter are only second- or third-generation South Americans. The other irony is, they bawl us out for the British military presence, but then threaten our oil company and fishing company partners and do all they can to undermine every part of our economy by castigating other South American countries who wish to trade with us.

But you know sometimes I almost pity them. I pity their passionate, self inflicted foot-stamping, frustration. I watch them with that helpless feeling you have when a toddler screams and chokes and cries for absolutely no logical reason.

And it is illogical. Gigantic Argentina does not need the Falkland Islands. It wants them because it thinks they will make them feel better. I have tried so very hard to find the right words to explain to Argentines that from their point of view it just doesn’t matter – but from our point of view it means everything. How can I make them see that if the Islands were to become a province of Argentina that after an initial burst of ecstasy, the lives of Argentines would simply go back to normal? But my world, and my son’s world, would be turned upside down.

Right now we are an economically self-sufficient (apart from defense) well adjusted, law abiding, overseas territory. We elect our own government, we run our own industries, we do everything we can to be a peaceful, hard-working little asset in a world that seems hell bent on tearing itself apart.

But if we were to be booted into the arms of the Argentine government we would instead be owned by a culturally alien, politically chaotic and ultimately uninterested and uncaring giant. We would become nothing more than an Argentine colony.

Argentina should take a deep breath, grow up, and respect the political choices of a long settled and peaceful little people. Sadly, the new UN ruling makes that unlikely. Even though the judgment makes it clear that it does not “consider and qualify,” those parts of the Argentine submission subject to dispute, including the Falklands, it is being greeting with ludicrous, hysterical spin in Buenos Aires. This stalker needs therapy. Until the treatment works, we should never let our guard down.

(*) Lisa Watson is managing editor of the Penguin News, Falklands’ weekly

Top Comments

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  • MagnusMaster

    Yet another British who asks Argentina to “grow up”, which really means to be an obedient pet of the British. I wonder what does she mean by “therapy”...

    Mar 31st, 2016 - 01:42 am 0
  • Roger Lorton

    “ .. is like living next door to your stalker ..”

    She's surely not thinking of you, is she Think?

    Mar 31st, 2016 - 01:43 am 0
  • Troneas

    If the Argentineans are childish stalkers then the usurpers are hard-headed, self-entitled paranoids.

    Sovereignty does not mean government. Argentina wants their claim to be heard and discussed, but a negotiation can comprise a wide range of solutions; such as the same autonomy they enjoy now to govern themselves, determine their economic future, keep the culture, language, education and what have you.

    You'll never know what argentina expects unless the UK sits down and does the right thing.

    Claiming argentina is a bully and selfish for wanting to incorporate a few small islands to its vast territory is myopic. Without these islands the UK has no claim to the Antarctic, for one; and it strengthens the Argentinean claim for the same geographical reasons the UN accepted to extend its continental marine shelf: logical continuation of its territory.

    Also, no country is confortable having a foreign power military base in what they consider to be their territory. The arabs don't like it, Japan doesn't like it, Cuba doesn't like it, the Philippines don't like it, and the list goes on.

    So no, my dear Ms Watson, the notion that you'll be sent packing, or that you'll be forced to speak another language, or to change your religion, your currency, your hobbies or that Argentina will prevent you to catch squid overnight is all in your head.

    Above all, Argentina just wants that extended piece of territory to be recognized as Argentina. Who rules it and what people do over there has never been discussed.

    Mar 31st, 2016 - 02:05 am 0
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