Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Colonial shame is the reason the Falklands should be British

In the Guardian it is being reported that Roger Waters, founding Pink Floyd member, while garnering support for his current tour in the South Americas, has stated that the Falklands should belong to the Argentinians. It is reported as follows in the Guardian...

"I am as ashamed as I possibly could be of our colonial past," Waters is reported to have said to TVN journalist Amaro Gómez-Pablos. When asked if the islands are British or Argentinian, Waters reportedly replied: "I think they should be Argentinian."

This is obviously after other celebrity endorsements for the Argentinian heightening of military tension in the region, the most prominent being Sean Penn, clumsily sticking his foot in to something far more complex than he perhaps realised when first opening his mouth.

The trouble I have with these statements is that they are completely at odds with their own reasoning for making the statements, complete oxymorons. If we want to atone for our colonialist ways of the past, we need to stand by the wishes of the population of the Falklands and their wishes, people that have lived on the island for generations.

It is no less than a colonialist mentality to state that Argentina should be given sovereignty over the islands simply because of their position. There is no significant evidence of "Argentinean" people living on the island pre-discovery by the British in the 17th century, any claim to the islands is purely based on the whims and wishes of a particular government and the benefit that such sovereignty can have for their strategic aims.

This is colonialism 101.

Celebrities and others that would see Argentina regain some sovereignty over the land, especially ones that have been so vocal against military excursions in the Middle East due to the underlying controversy of how the country's oil reserves get exploited, are being amazing hypocrites by making the stand they are.

There aren't many up to date opinion polls on the subject, maybe because the last one Argentina tried to use to gain ammunition for gain in sovereignty of the islands almost 20 years ago resulted in only 4% of the population being open to discussions about it. The people, unless there has been a seismic shift in public opinion in the last two decades, want to remain as they are...who are we, or the Argentines, or Sean Penn and other vocal celebrities, to tell these people what country they associate with, potentially against their will?

And why would they want to change? They have an island of their own, not ruled over by the government of Argentina, and not really ruled over by the UK. They have their own governance, their own laws, their own way of life.

Those asking for the people to risk giving that up, and to be amalgamated with a population of people that are culturally and physically miles apart, ought to be ashamed; not for Britian's role in colonising various lands in history, but for their own desires to demand Argentina be allowed to colonise the island now, in the modern world.