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British defy UN mandates on colonial possessions
by Jake Highton
Oct 23, 2013 | 2035 views | 3 3 comments | 122 122 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Colonialism no longer dominates the world but its evil spirit still exists.

The British seized Gibraltar in 1704. Four centuries later, the Brits are still squatting on Spanish land, a 2.5 miles long and three-quarter mile wide isthmus jutting into the Mediterranean.

The UN General Assembly approved decolonization of the “Rock” in 1963. Yet the 28,000 Britishers in Gibraltar voted —hardly a surprise — to remain part of the British Empire.

Spineless Britain cannot say nay to a “vote of the people” so it perpetuates a colonial anachronism. It is the only such territory in Europe. Ditto for the Malvinas (Falklands), an archipelago of two large islands and 776 smaller ones on Argentina soil in the Strait of Magellan.

At various times, the island chain has had French, British, Spanish and Argentine settlements. But Britain declared ownership in 1833. A dispute flared in the 1950s when Argentine ruler Juan Peron asserted Argentine sovereignty. Britain was unmoved.

Then in the 1960s tension increased again when the UN passed a resolution on decolonization. But negotiations never got anywhere because the Brits insisted they were the rightful sovereigns. It took the position that since the Falkland Islanders — all 3,000 of them! — did not want a change there was no reason to do so.

The Falkland residents prevailed over justice.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain guaranteed the seizure with a mini-war in 1982. This latter-day colonialism was so macho the warmongering Brits re-elected a reactionary ruler.

The UK Guardian, liberal-leftist newspaper, dared to call the islands by their real name: Malvinas. For that truth-telling it was denounced in Britain for “defying national pride.”

Pocket stuffer’ loses

We have a do-nothing Congress but occasionally some of its committees do something wonderful like opposing Larry Summers in his bid to become chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

The result: he withdrew after the Senate Banking Committee made it plain that it contained too many no votes.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was among the key committee members leading the opposition. She is one of the precious few genuine liberals in the Senate, worthy of being the first woman president of the United States. (Which is why she never will be president.)

The Summers withdrawal opens the way for Janet Yellen, Fed vice-chair, to succeed Ben Bernanke.

Summers was one of President Obama’s economic advisers, serving government but preferring “to stuff his pockets” in the private sector. As columnist Maureen Dowd put it: “He is an exemplar of the obscenely lucrative revolving-door problem, part of the culture that ran the economy into the ground.”

That culture espoused Wall Street deregulation, bailouts for bankers who were “too big to fail” and outsourcing.

Summers, speaking to world business leaders in 2011, said they should not oppose offshoring. He likened critics to “Luddites who took axes to machinery early in England’s industrial revolution.”

U.S. firms are able to sell products cheaply because they are produced overseas. Workers there make something like 35 cents an hour and are terribly overworked. Out-sourced products are shoddy.

I bought a pair of slippers made in China. In several weeks the seams began to unravel. Soon they disintegrated into a worthless mess. I bought some belts made in Thailand. They gleamed but were stiff, containing more cardboard than leather.

Better to pay more for merchandise than buy shabby goods.

Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.
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Old Hickory Jackson
November 07, 2013
I have never before read such rubbish from an eminent person,The location of the Falkland Islands is not even known to the writer. They were discovered by the British and then had several years occupation by some pirates form the River Plate who were sorted out by the US Navy Commander Silas Duncan in USS Lexington in 1831

and Islands declared free of all Government, the British returned in 1833 and invited the small community found to remain, many did and their ancestors and people from many other nations make up the Falkland population today. I presume the Profesora will also be proposing the return of Texas to Mexico in his next article?

which was taken in 1836 if
Dave J
November 06, 2013
We could also talk about how the USA got its hands on Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
Martin Newman
November 06, 2013
Spineless??? The good emeritus prof needs some history lessons before he enters into such bitter diatribes. Gibraltarians and Falkland Islanders are British and have a right to be defended. They are not squatters or colonialists. What a plonker.....
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