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Friday, June 23, 2006

Malvinas

I live with a British diplomat now. Please don't tell my mother. Yesterday, he came home and collapsed dramatically on one of the several couches in the apartment. Diplomacy requires a proliferation of soft reclining surfaces, it seems. But yesterday's swan-like sofa dive was because he had just spent another day arguing about the Falklands / Malvinas. I'd imagine that kind of wrangling can take its toll. Perhaps this is the secret Argentinian weapon: wear them down little by little, so that diplomat after diplomat becomes so exhausted politely defending the British position on the islands that they eventually surrender, depleted. Afer all, nobody can keep up a tirade like an Argentinian. When it comes to constant, unyielding dialogue, my money´s on the Argentinians over the English every time.

My other British diplomat friend (you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, after all), went through the same thing on Saturday. After another week of Malvinas in the headlines, with Argentina reiterating before the UN their demand that dialogue on the sovereignty of the islands be reopened, we ended up at an asado where the local contingent sought to take advantage of the presence of a representative of the British embassy to bang on about the islands once again. Being Irish, I felt a natural affinity with the Argentinian position. But there was my diplomatic friend, attempting with admirable politeness to avoid offending anyone while being attacked from all sides by agressive Argentinians. As he listened to the local contingent reminding him of how cold English people were, how they never invite you to dinner, how nobody ever smiles in England, and how they really should give back what isn't theirs, I couldn't help but feel sorry for my old china, who is almost constantly beaming and has on several occasions fed me free of charge.

At the same time, I didn't hesitate to point out that I was, in fact, Irish. The great thing is that this not only exempts me from this particular argument, but there's also the implication that we paddies fall into the "our enemy's enemy is our friend" camp. God bless the accident of birth that made me Irish. The worst I ever get is being slagged off for uncharacteristic sobriety. And that's a lot easier remedied than giving back the Falklands.

2 Comments:

Blogger Alfredo said...

Hola Fiona:
Quisiera saber si sos Fiona Mc Cann la corresponsal del diario The Times en Bs. As. Soy ex-combatiente de Malvinas y me interesaria contarte algunas cosas sobre la posición Argentina. Si te interesa mi dirección de correo es castrobarro2@yahoo.com.ar y mi nombre es Alfredo González.

5:55 p.m.  
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