Interesting Times

30 Aug

In an adjournment speech for the Legislative Assembly Meeting on Friday 26th, the Hon. Mr. Dick Sawle picked up on the defence of the Falkland Islands and addressed some remarks to Brigadier Bill Aldridge, ” We are living in interesting times. The strategic Defence Review has resulted in some sweeping changes but we are all grateful not only for the continual uninterrupted and unreserved support shown to the Falkland Islands by UK politicians from all parties but also we are indebted to you for the hard work and dedication shown towards us by the forces under your command … the defence of the Falklands is not something which relies wholly on strong deterrence. We also have to be self-reliant and resilient. And I am delighted that, with this in mind, we now resolve the issue of international shipping. There remains a great deal of work yet to be done but the framework is there and there is no practical reason for it not to be successful.”

The international shipping issue being a reference to the resumption of services between the Falkland Islands and South America which were interrupted following pressure from the Argentine Government.

In this closing speech. Mr. Sawle also reiterated the importance of promoting the Island’s right to self-determination amongst a wider audience. ” The Falklands message has to be sent outside in a clear and un-equivocal terms to a wider audience. We are doing that on many fronts. Some of them like C24 are customary and very public. However, a lot of the work is in the background and involves meeting foreign journalists, foreign politicians and attending a variety of events. Some of this work is very public and very short-lived but much of the progress is a question of networking with people, building confidence, trust and contact and then working on these relationships to further our aims and get our message of self-determination out on to the international stage. The results of this work are not readily seen but, like any good medicine, it slowly works its way into the system and hopefully cures the rot.”

Following Mr. Sawle was the Hon. Gavin Short, who was similarly assertive, “Before sitting down I would like to turn my attention towards the cursed neighbours.  I note in particular a statement that was made by their defence minister in which he said that his Government was minded to respect our ways of life, language, culture, etc.  We’ve heard all this before and from my experience of them nearly thirty years ago, they would not know the word “respect” if it came up and sat up on its hind legs wanting attention.  I had a dose of their respect and will not be having another experience of it.  Perhaps if instead of using macho bullying tactics they were to grow up or smell the coffee and start to behave like a first world country – which they say they are – and recognise us as a people with just as much right to our country and to determine our own future and way of life as they have then maybe – just maybe – given long enough we could start to have normal, friendly relations as we would hope to have with any other country.  But until they drop their totally unfounded and illegal claim, stop behaving in a threatening, macho manner and with blatant disregard for international treaties then they can sit over in their crumbling country and posture all they like.  This Islander is not giving an inch.  Full stop.”

Mr. Sawle represented the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly at the recent Special Committee on Decolonisation (C24) meeting in June as Mr. Short had at the June, 2010 discussion.

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