UK & World News
Falklands: Sky Poll Reveals Nations Divided
Only 15% of Argentinians think Falkland Islanders should have a say in their own future, and a quarter still believe that the islands will one day be governed from Buenos Aires.
Those answers, in an opinion poll conducted by YouGov for Sky News, come on the eve of a referendum in which Falklanders will be asked whether they want to remain British.
It is expected to result in an overwhelming yes vote, but the islanders' enthusiasm for Britain doesn't seem to be reciprocated in the UK.
When asked what was the most important international issue affecting their country, only 1% of British respondents said the Falklands, while the figure was 24% in Argentina - just ahead of those worried about the economy.
There was an even bigger divergence of opinion between the two countries over the rights of the people on the islands to have a say in their future.
Nearly nine out of 10 (88%) British people who were surveyed thought the islanders should have a say on who ruled them, while six out of 10 (59%) Argentinians thought they should have no say on sovereignty.
Jan Cheek, one of the eight members of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly, told Sky News: "Sadly that says a lot about Argentina and their view of democracy.
"It's a populist theme. We saw it used by the military junta in '82 and it's being used in the same way by Christina Fernandez de Kirchner today."
The Argentinian president has tried to buttonhole David Cameron on the issue and has raised it at the United Nations.
"We've seen a lot of propaganda going out from Argentina. Some of it entirely false, some of it a distortion of the facts," said Ms Cheek.
"We would like people to recognise that we have the right to self-determination and we hope that democratic countries would wish to afford us the same right."
It will arguably be the most significant moment in the history of the Falkland Islands since British forces liberated them 10 weeks after they were seized by an Argentinian invasion force in 1982.
The result is not in doubt, only the precise number voting yes. And those who have organised the referendum acknowledge that they need a high turnout to send a clear message.
Dick Sawle, another member of the Legislative Assembly, said: "I think if we got 100%, people would think it was rigged. I think we will get a very high percentage, in the nineties, voting for yes."
There may be a few no votes, because while nobody is thought to favour Argentinian rule, there are a few who would prefer complete independence from Britain.
"One or two people might think that no means that they could have independence immediately," said Mr Sawle.
"I don't think this country is ready for independence yet, I think we have a long way to go in terms of government structure, in terms of responsibility for elected members and so on. We're too small."
Liam Felton-Short is a typical voter. "I'm British. I'm a sixth-generation Falklander," he said. "We are a British people. We're very much proud to be so."
Sybie Summers owns a gift shop in Stanley and is angry about the detrimental effect the Argentinian government has had on her business which relies on tourism.
It's been a slow year because some cruise ships stayed away under pressure from Buenos Aires.
They were told they would not be allowed to sail in Argentinean waters if they sailed into Stanley.
"It annoys me to think what they're trying to do to our islands," said Ms Summers.
"They're trying to cut us off. And hopefully the rest of the world will realise that they just can't do that."
The anti-Falklands policy has become more inventive in recent years, with adverts being placed in British newspapers, and a video secretly shot in Stanley showing one of their Olympic athletes preparing for the London games by training on what the video said was Argentinian soil.
What angered islanders most was that the video showed deserted streets as if the people didn't exist.
They hope that the referendum will give them a voice which the world can't ignore, even if Argentina continues to deny their right to self-determination.
what do you think?
We saw a similar situation in 1936. The world stood by whilst German troops entered country after country, territory after territory, making false claims to justify their actions. Then it was too late and we know what happened next. The world must not stand by mute whilst Argentina tries to force their illegal claim on another sovereign territory.
A little OTT.
This article starts by expressing how democratic Argentineans are 'Only 15% of Argentinians think Falkland Islanders should have a say in their own future '. I wonder how the vote would go if they suddenly said there was no oil around the Falklands or that Argentina did not have any fiscal problems.
We didnt have that % voting here for Police Commissioners and some by elections! So much for Democracy here eh! HA
Give them back also give Ireland back to the Irish
Let the people of Ireland decide, their own fate. And the Falklands have never belonged to Argentina, so we could hardly give them back.
d and d Phillips
And logically therefore, give England back to the English. I see a lot of removal vans being ordered.
well said d and d
Paul agreed but people do not know the history of the place or the claimant. Though also agree with d&d
Irish? And who might they be, exactly? Surely you don't mean to exclude the Scottish and English settlers of 400 years ago or else you would have to give back the USA to the red Indians, Australia to the Aboriginies, Mexico to the Aztecs, Brazil to the Indios and so on. Silly talk.
We really care about the oil i mean people that are over there.
For your information, when the Falklands war took place in the Eighties, there was no knowledge of any oil in the area. The possible of oil deposits were discovered some time after the war ended...........
To be fair though it has been known for a long time that the falklands benefit us massively for a stake in Antarctica - first off it gives us the only area where you can actually access the continent with relative ease, secondly the mineral wealth there has been recognised for quite a while. And there is no denying that will be an underlying reason for continued interest in the islands by both sides for a long time.
Give Argentina back to the people who made it rich. . . Fleeing members of the National Socialist party in 1945. . Kirchner? Sounds suspiciously Bavarian to me.
So does Timerman the surname of her lapdog foriegn minister
persian empire 625AD know your facts! we had a great swimmer who found these islands
Persian Empire? Shame what happend at Thermopoli. . 300 Spartans v 1 million Persians. . How did that turn out for Xerxes?
Steve do you really believe that :)
exactly jimmy amazing how history is written take zero dark thirty, in 200 years they will use that as evidence as to what happened to bin laden stevie do you think jesus was blond and blue eyed
No. Believe Jesus was Hebrew - brown eyes , brown skin. Do I believe the Persian Empire was defeated by the Greeks and never dared try to invade Europe again? Yes. Historic fact. From Thermopoli to Platea
agree with the Macedonians over powering Persia you mentioned 300?????
Apparently Kim Jong II beat them to it.
Please just look at historical facts and ignore the lies coming out of the mouths of Argentine politicians who ALWAYS use the Falkland Islands to take attention away from the FACT that they're doing a cr*p job of running the country (whilst lining their own pockets, of course). Argentina has NEVER had any claim the these islands; when they were discovered, Argentina DIDN'T EVEN EXIST!!! Read the history and you'll find that France has a better claim to them than the so**ing Argentinians, who, I might add, are actually foreign invaders who stole the land from the indigenous Amerindians, so why aren't they calling for Argentina to be given back to its rightful owners?????
Nobody really owns anything
The queen owns you.
malkie man, can i have your car?
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Give Peckham back to the Peckish.
Does that mean we have to give planet Earth back to the dinosaurs? Oh that's right, dinosaurs never really existed and this planet is only 6000 years old. Sorry God. Mmmmm
Always curious - where do Christians think the pyramids across the world came from and what language did Adam and Eve think in before they had knowledge?
The usual reply from fundamentalist christians to ANY question they don't have an answer for is - Its a test from God to test your faith. . . Sad but true
Adam and Eve were incapable of thought they were merely slaves created by God to tend his garden:- and speaking of creation, if God really did create 'everything' then He/She/It is responsible for the Devil for nothing existed before God created it!
just because we understand the basic mechanics of how the world works does not mean the preclusion of a higher being!
d and d Phillips
Oh what a twit
Steven i think they could explain the egyptian pyramids. They fit in with exodus and the israelites. The ones in south america and asia would probably(and were )considered as blasphemous . The bit that doesnt fit with anything historical is how were these pyramids actually built seeing as some of the stones weigh hundreds of tons and even with todays technology we couldnt build them?
Sell it off now with potential oil and mineral reserves Britain may get a good price .Like N/Ireland the Falkland`s cost us tax payers billions.As I know soldiers returning from a tour in the Falklands(most hate the posting).They say If it was not for the penguins/ birds there would be no intelligent life .
That`s never worried the British Establishment .
Lets sell you off.
a complete disrespect for those that lost their lives there would be a good starting point for why we should defend our brethren, let alone defending democracy and the right for the islanders to choose their own destiny.
Happymike, I suggest you take an hour or two to research the contribution of Northern Ireland during the First and Second World Wars - just for a starter. Then go back a little further and you will discover that Belfast was the fifth most important wealth generator for the UK during the Victorian Industrial Revolution, And while you are about it take a look at how Cameron is currently transferring civil service jobs out of Northern Ireland to England.
"No intelligent life" sounds ideal for you then.
I do know many republican Irish fought and died in the First and Second World War as volunteers for Britain. Now Northern Ireland is a drain on our economy like the Falklands,also too many people living in the past with old bigoted views.
don't think the argies will be bothered what the islanders want. democracy wasn't present when they slaughtered the indiginous indians of south america and it still isn't now, in the eyes of the argies.
Argentina was shown what happens to you when you threaten UK territory once before!! Let the people of the island decide and if they sway to the Argentinians point of you then pull all support from the island with immediate effect and let them get on with it! Our troops gave their lives in defending that land and those residents before, lets hope that they remember that!!!!