31 March 2012Comment

PN was naturally a leading voice in the opposition to the Falklands War, both in terms of its own editorial line and in its promoting of the views of the main British pacifist organisations and the international networks to which they were affiliated.

The prospect of war over the Falkland Islands has been viewed with enthusiasm by headline writers, and politicians of all persuasions have been competing in jingoistic declarations that Britain should show it is still a great power. They entirely miss the essential point that the outbreak of violence can only lead to deaths and casualties among the Falklanders themselves as well as servicemen.

This is the central argument of the statement by British pacifists we reprint here. It…

13 August 2011Feature

Diana Gould was a geography teacher from Gloucestershire who came to public attention in 1983 when she was picked to ask a question of Margaret Thatcher on BBC's Nationwide. She tackled the Prime Minister on her decision to sink the Argentinian warship General Belgrano on 2 May with the loss of 323 lives. Here she pinions the Iron Lady.

Gould: Mrs Thatcher, why, when the Belgrano, the Argentinian battleship, was outside the exclusion zone and actually sailing away from the Falklands, why did you give the orders to sink it?
Thatcher: But it was not sailing away from the Falklands - It was in an area which was a danger to our ships, and to our people on them.
Sue Lawley, presenter: Outside the exclusion zone, though.
Thatcher: It was in an area which we had warned, at the end of April, we had given warnings…

13 August 2011Feature


The archipelago Britain calls the Falkland Islands lies 300 miles off Argentina in the South Atlantic.
The islands are known in Argentina as the Malvinas.
Argentina has asserted sovereignty over the islands since the British invasion of 1833.

Timeline 2 April 1982: Argentina invades Falkland/Malvinas islands. 3 April: The UN Security Council Resolution 502 calls for troops on both sides to withdraw and negotiations for a peaceful solution. 5 April onwards:…

13 August 2011Feature

During the war, the Peace Pledge Union embarked upon negotiations of its own, with the object of obtaining a joint statement from British and Argentinian pacifists condemning the war.

Regrettably, this proved impossible, as the most accessible Argentinian pacifist, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace laureate of 1980, whilst prepared to condemn the military action of both parties, refused to sign a statement that in any way set aside the Argentinian claim in favour of self-…

13 August 2011Feature

After the Falklands/Malvinas war, Tam Dalyell (Labour MP for West Lothian/Linlithgow, 1962--2005) mounted a long campaign to expose government lies about the sinking of Argentinian warship the General Belgrano.

PN : Do you see parallels between the current ``war on terror'' (and the war on Iraq in particular) , and the Falk? lands/Malvinas war in 1982.

TD: Two parallels strike me. The first is that in the Falklands, there was the Peruvian peace proposals [see box]. Knowingly, when Mrs Thatcher sank the Belgrano, she knew about the Peruvian peace proposals, and wanted to torpedo them. By that time, she didn't want peace. Years later, the same was to happen to Hans Blix. If he'd been…

3 June 2007Comment

Twenty-five years ago the Falklands/Malvinas War was controversial in Britain for three main reasons.

One was a widespread belief that the war was fought by Margaret Thatcher's government to cover up their failure to anticipate an Argentine invasion. They were prepared to fight a war that would cost the lives of nearly a thousand soldiers, not so much to safeguard the lifestyles of less than 2,000 islanders as to prevent an electoral disaster.

Related to this was the bitter…