“Argentines love rattling the Falklands cage, and I suspect that journalists in Argentina, are being naughty as usual”, commented Labor MP Chris Bryant who was recently interviewed in several Argentine radio stations but was not able, because of workload, to listen or read to his edited statements, aired rather controversially.
I did an interview in Spanish online the other day during which we were cut off six or seven times so I’m not sure quite how things played out. As I recall I was asked whether I thought Argentina should offer help to the Malvinas over coronavirus. I said they should, though they are the Falklands, MP Bryant told the Falklands Radio Station on Monday
I have no idea how much of what I said was successfully recorded. But as you know, the Argentines love rattling this cage. I’ve made my position on the Falklands very clear many times including as minister responsible for Latin America, he added.
Further on MP Bryant commented, I suspect that the journalists in Argentina are being naughty as usual. I have certainly always been of the opinion that good relations between the Falklands and Argentina are important, if achievable. In that light I’ve always supported Argentina helping the Falklands and the Falklands helping Argentina.
Not to mention that yes If there were a major medical emergency in the Falklands and a genuine no strings offer of help was made by Argentina, of course it would make sense for that offer to be accepted. I haven’t seen a transcript of the Spanish interview, and, as I said earlier, the interview was truncated several times by a bad line. I would not be surprised if the journalists only used, or were only able to use part of what I said.
But the precondition of any offer or acceptance of help, as I certainly made clear in my interview, is that the Falklands remain British for as long as the Falkland Islanders want to remain British. No amount of Argentine jiggery-pokery can change that.
In the dialogue with radio Rivadavia the UK politician was quoted as saying he considered a nonsense the excuse that the inhabitants of the Falklands made when they rejected the medical and food offer that Argentina made to them.
Working on these statements the Argentine news Agency edited that They should take any offer of help, allegedly Bryant said, and then gave his opinion on the relationship that Argentina and England should have today. Both countries should be friends, since the matter of the Falklands has delayed many times a better friendship.
However the cheeky interpretation by the 'naughty' Argentine media seems to have ignored facts or forgotten to make background homework, about MP Bryant's position on the Falklands and the Falklands people, since he can be easily described as a pragmatic staunchly hard liner in support of Falklands people's self determination.
In effect, when asked about Labor and the Falklands policy under new leader MP Keir Starmer, MP Bryant said, “I am not responsible for Labour Party policy as I’m not on the front bench, but I’m absolutely certain that Labour Party policy remains exactly as it was when I was minister with responsibility for the Falkland Islands at the Foreign and Commonwealth office, namely, that the Falkland Islands are British.
The point I made in Buenos Aires, when I was last there as part of an all-party delegation was that Argentina really will have to stop making ludicrous claims about the Falklands if it wants long-term relations with the UK to improve. That was under President Macri, but the same applies today under the new administration”.
The Falklands radio station looked up in its records and confirmed that in effect the MP for Rhondda, Chris Bryant, has been an MP continuously since 7 June 2001 staunchly supportive of the Falklands. Indeed tweeting in March 2012 in a reply to someone who said “(David) Cameron (a former UK Prime Minister) has revealed he talked about the Falklands with Obama. The President said he recognized the UKs right to maintain (the) status quo, to which Mr Bryant replied “it’s not about the UKs rights, it's about the Falkland Islanders right to self-determination”
Finally the Argentine media also asked about the current government of UK Conservative PM Boris Johnson and his coronavirus pandemic policy.
”(Johnson) He's a good prime minister when you're winning the World Cup, but he loses utility when he has a crisis, Bryant said.
Also in the same sense, the MP for Rhondda criticized the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, for their policies against the virus describing them as populist.
They think that the vast majority of the people want to go out and they think more about the economy than the health of the people,” he said.