January 4, 2013
The Falklands, windswept rocks a few hundred miles from the Argentinean coast, are home to no more than 3,000 people, most of whom claim descent from the UK as well as a stark loyalty to the land of their ancestors. The islands offer little value, aside from an unknown (possibly negligible) amount of oil under the seabed, and vast quantities of kelp.
Their true appeal lies in their potential to distract—for both Kirchner and Cameron. Argentine politicians always go for the Falklands when they’re having trouble at home, and Kirchner is having trouble indeed. The Argentine economy has been faltering under her rule, with soaring inflation and GDP growth of only 2 percent in 2012. Drumming up fervor among the fiercely nationalistic Argentinian population is a good way to divert attention from the sorry state of affairs at home. Meanwhile, Cameron gets to wrap himself in Thatcher’s mantle, flexing his iron muscles by stating his unwavering commitment to the sovereignty of British descendants abroad.
With its advanced crony-capitalism-under-the-guise-of-redistribution economy, Argentina is in deep trouble. Good thing nothing like that could ever happen here.