Hands up: who wasn’t around when the Falklands War began? I wasn’t. But don’t fear as there may well be a second act for this play and it is all because of that beautiful ‘black gold’.
Before I started writing this article it occurred to me that my knowledge of the Falklands War was severely limited. I knew it had begun in 1982, the Iron Lady herself was leading the offensive and my military knowledge went as far as Ricky Gervais’ account whereby our missile range was far superior to their so we ‘parked’ out of their range and shelled them mercilessly.
Clearly research had to be done.
My research has brought up some interesting points and parallels today’s world further enhancing the theory that all stories have been told and history repeats them.
Thatcher’s government in the UK was wearing thin and was losing support – such a patriotic war was just the tonic and exactly what the electorate needed to vote Tory. (Well that and that Foot wrote the longest suicide note in history for the left)
The Argentine government was losing support due to corruption, lack of legitimacy and poor economic record. This could be countered by another claim to the Islands which are still a source of Argentine pride and is still regarded as their own in schools.
The parallels with today are clear. Due to government fatigue, war controversy and economic outcome, Gordon Brown has fallen behind the Tories. Argentina’s leftist government has not delivered their promises which have further accentuated their economic woes since their currency crash in the nineties. With both countries in need of financial support an oil discovery would be warmly received.
British government has given the go-ahead to start exploratory mining to clarify if any oil is there and there is enough to be cost effective as it is in British waters. However if Argentina closes its ports to these tankers, mining the oil would be too expensive and not cost effective.
This shouldn’t lead to military intervention given the hefty military bill already encountered. However Latin American countries have openly supported Argentina while the US has kept their distance from the UK (which again is not dissimilar to ’82).
A deal will be struck to mine this resource but it will not build rapport – something which the UK is used to today.