Even though they are a tiny group of islands tucked away in the South Atlantic Ocean, 800 miles from London, and with a population of 2,800, I am quite attached to the Falklands. I am sure many other Britons are too.
I was serving in the RAF back in 1982 when the Falklands War broke out. Even though I didn’t serve in the conflict, I know many people who did. In total 255 of our boys lost their lives and hundreds of British soldiers returned with serious injuries or post traumatic stress disorder. I have the utmost respect for the sacrifice these men made.
So with the troubled Argentine government recently making all sorts of noises about wanting the islands back, it was heartening that 98.8% of Falklanders voted in favour of staying British.
In a political era where voter turnout is low and hung parliaments are common, the result was astonishing.
It may, of course, not be enough to stop the Argentines talking tough – they have already dismissed the vote as an illegal publicity stunt. But it does put Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in a difficult position.
It’s difficult to justify making a play for an island when its inhabitants do not want your interference.
But if push came to shove, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t reach this point, I would support Briton doing it all again and defending the islands from invasion. The people of the Falklands have spoken, resoundingly, about their desire to maintain their British allegiance.
So the message is clear: Hands of the Falklands.