X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Blogs

Falklands Talks? There Is Nothing To Talk About.

3 February 2012

2:14 PM

3 February 2012

2:14 PM

So much for today’s Guardian. In the Independent, Philip Hensher has a grand solution for the "Falklands Problem": we should jst sell the islands to Argentina.

[I]t might be worth raising the question with the Argentinians. We’ve got absolutely no money. I really doubt we have much stomach for another Falklands War, and then another. They are clearly passionately keen to acquire some territory with rich resources, high GDP and as much sentimental value as you can maintain for something 300 miles from your coastline. It might be worth a lot of money in the future, but actually we could quite do with some money now, this second. Perhaps we can suggest to President Kirchner that half a trillion pounds would be quite a reasonable sum for this archipelago of 778 mostly charming islands. They wouldn’t have to pay all at once.

When Aden was abandoned by the British in 1967, Philip Larkin wrote rather an imperial poem saying: "Next year we shall be living in a country/That brought its soldiers home for lack of money". Well, we’ve been living in that country for a long time now – all my life, and probably yours, too. The thing is, we don’t have any money at all any longer. If they really want these remote and intermittently inhabited islands, we might as well abandon any shame we might once have possessed, and sell them to them, priced by the acre.

It’s true, as Hensher says, that selling sovereign land is scarcely unprecedented. Nevertheless, as tends to be the case when folk advocate sweeping solutions to the Falklands issue one poor group of people don’t get a look in: the plucky little islanders themselves. Their views appear to be of little account, as though they have become an embarrassment whose inconvenient presence thwarts any chance of solving the issue in any kind of grown-up fashion.

[Alt-Text]


Well, tough. The islanders have no desire to be Argentine and that’s that. Unless the Argentines relinquish their claim to the islands there is no point in talks since there will be nothing to discuss. Moreover the present Argentine meddling can only be designed to placate President Kirchner’s domestic constituency. That comes at a price, however, and seems likely to reinforce the islanders’ existing loyalties.

The rest of the world may (I think does) view this stramash with some baffled amusement. Nevertheless the islands are British and though far from the UK mainland are hardly in the mouth of the River Plate either. So that’s that.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close