15 MAY

CABINET – URANIUM MORE IMPORTANT THAN ENDING APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA

[ 15 May 1975 ]

Throughout 1975 Harold Wilson’s Labour government supplied Apartheid South Africa with ammunition, military spares and other critical equipment for their armed forces. Britain’s backing helped the South African army enforce internal repression and prevent anti-imperialist insurgencies across southern Africa.

STEPHEN SPENDER – THE WAR OVER THE FALKLANDS ‘GOES ON LIKE SICKNESS.’

The Yomper Falklands Memorial Statue at Portsmouth. –
Colin Smith – CC BY-SA 2.0 – via Geograph.

[ 15 May 1982 ]

Today in 1982, the novelist and essayist Stephen Spender reflected in his journals on the ongoing military operation to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentina, which by the time the Britain was able to claim a victory one month later would cost 300 British and over 600 Argentine lives.  ‘At the back of everything else,’ he observed, ‘this goes on, like sickness – the sickness never written about or photographed of the soldiers on their ships. These operations are an automatic function of the capacity to perform them, just as the war in Vietnam was a function of American power. If we didn’t have the ships and the weapons and men we would never have set off on this expedition. Given the fact that we do have them, we use them; they demand to be used…’1

FOOTNOTE

  1. Stephen Spender cited in Travis Elborough, Our History of the 20th Century As Told in Diaries, Journals and Letters, Michael O’Mara Book Limited, London, 2017, p. 377.

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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