A.J.P. Taylor

Sitting in Waterlow Park the other afternoon, I heard a park keeper ask an old lady with a transistor, ‘What is happening in the Cup Final?’ – to which the old lady replied: ‘Which one do you mean – the one at Wembley or the one at the Falklands?’ The park keeper returned: ‘Wembley of course. We have got to win in the Falklands, we are in the right.’ This is, I think, the general reaction when people consider the Falklands affair. Stage one: the Argentine occupation was totally unjustified – this appears to me indisputable. Stage two: therefore we are not only entitled to throw the Argentinians out again, it is our duty to do so. This, too, commands general agreement though it is not beyond argument. I do not believe that we have a duty to remedy every act of injustice, even if it is comitted against our own people. At any rate, we arrive at stage three: our victory is not only beyond argument, its consequences can be prolonged indefinitely. This final stage of discussion follows logically on what came before but it seems to me far from inevitable.

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