[Marxism] British Government Refuses To Discuss Sovereignty of Malvinas

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 1 07:43:59 MDT 2009

J.M.P.Cloke at lboro.ac.uk wrote:
> And therefore, had the Argentinian military dictatorship 
> and its supporting clique amongst the bourgeoisie defeated 
> the UK armed forces and re-established control over the 
> Falklands, thus reinforcing itself in power and 
> strengthening its ability to oppress and commit mass 
> murder against the Argentine working class, petit 
> bourgeoisie and, well, lefties, academics, activists, the 
> usual suspects, that would have been a step forward in the 
> international class struggle, would it?

Actually, Thatcher's triumph was a major step forward in the ascendancy 
of the neoliberalizing bourgeoisie.

The Washington Post
May 7, 1982, Friday, Final Edition
Thatcher's Party Wins a Vote of Confidence in Local Elections
BYLINE: By Leonard Downie Jr., Washington Post Foreign Service

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party won a strong vote 
of confidence for her government's handling of the Falkland Islands 
crisis in local government elections in Britain yesterday.

Politicians from all parties said the Conservatives did better than the 
national government party has in any mid-term local elections since 
World War II because of voters' support for the government in the 
conflict with Argentina over the Falklands.

It also appeared from election results still being tabulated this 
morning and a new national opinion poll published today that Thatcher's 
government lost only a small proportion of this support after the 
sinking of an Argentine cruiser and the destruction of a British 
destroyer caused the conflict's first large-scale casualties.

This is expected to strengthen Thatcher's hand as her "war cabinet" of 
senior ministers decides on Britain's next military and diplomatic moves.

Thatcher has been under conflicting pressures in recent days. 
Conservative hawks in Parliament have been pressing Thatcher to move as 
quickly as possible to invade the Falklands and bomb bases on the 
Argentine mainland. Others, including some members of her Cabinet, have 
been cautioning Thatcher to avoid further military escalation before 
exhausting every remaining diplomatic channel.

A leading academic political analyst here, Ivor Crewe, called 
yesterday's local government elections "an extraordinarily good result 
for the Conservatives, which has to have a great deal to do with the 
Falklands crisis."

A computer projection by BBC television from a sampling of city and 
district council constituencies across the country showed the 
Conservatives winning 39 percent of the vote, compared to 32 percent for 
the opposition Labor Party and 26 percent for the electoral alliance of 
the Social Democrats and the Liberal Party. This is in line with the 
most recent opinion polls here, and represents a strong recovery for the 
Conservatives from their position in the polls a year ago.

In a national parliamentary election, according to the BBC projection, 
yesterday's result would give the Conservatives 315 of the 635 seats in 
the House of Commons, compared to their majority of 334 seats now. Labor 
would win 266 seats, the Social Democratic Liberal alliance only 30 and 
minor regional parties 24.

The Conservatives appeared to match the support they won as a resurgent 
opposition party in the last elections for the same local councils in 
1978, which foreshadowed the Conservatives' national election victory 
the next year that produced the Thatcher government.

Conservative Party chairman Cecil Parkinson, who as paymaster general 
participates in Thatcher's Falklands crisis Cabinet of senior ministers, 
said, "Our vote is holding up well. We have retained seats won in the 
boom year of 1978, and added to them. These results are a firm 
endorsement of the determined leadership of Margaret Thatcher, not only 
over the past few weeks, but over the last three years."

"People feel the government is handling things well," said another 
member of Thatcher's Cabinet, James Prior. He attributed yesterday's 
"remarkably good result for the government" to both confidence in its 
handling of the Falklands crisis and a recovery of voter support for 
Thatcher's economic policies now that Britain's worst recession in a 
half century appears to be ending.

One of the Social Democrats' four co-leaders, William Rodgers, said, 
"The Falklands factor is a major one" in the disappointing showing of 
his party. It won five fewer council seats than it expected in large 
metropolitan areas like London and Birmingham. Many of the council 
members across the country who defected from Labor to the Social 
Democrats during the past year lost their seats, including all 26 
defectors from Labor in the London borough of Islington.

Although the Liberals did better, the Social Democratic-Liberal alliance 
polled only two-thirds as many votes as opinion polls indicated they 
might win just a few months ago. The alliance suffered during the local 
election campaign from being pushed off Britain's front pages by the 
Falklands crisis and the fact that the issue concentrated national 
attention on Thatcher and opposition Labor leader Michael Foot.

The Labor Party, which has become divided over the Falklands crisis, 
with many of its left-wingers demanding an immediate cease-fire by 
Britain, barely held its own in many traditional urban strongholds. It 
lost the city council of Birmingham to the Conservatives, a major defeat 
in Britain's second-largest city. Birmingham Labor Party leaders 
attributed it mostly to the Falklands crisis.

A new national opinion poll by the Markets Opinion Research 
International firm here, published in The Economist magazine today, 
shows that public support for Thatcher's Falklands' strategy declined 
slightly after recent Argentine and British casualties. But 71 percent 
of the respondents, who have been polled four consecutive weeks on the 
Falklands crisis, said they were still satisfied this week with 
Thatcher's handling of the crisis, down from 76 percent last week.

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