Christopher Lee


Why would de Kirchner think Il Papa can fix the Falklands?

18th March 2013

The Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was in the Vatican today claiming that she had asked Pope Francis to fix the Falklands for her.

She said she asked him to bring together the two sides.  Presumably by two sides she means Argentina and the UK.  

Well isn’t that what happened in 1982? Didn’t the British kill enough of the Argentineans and sink their biggest cruiser and make them eat Falklands dirt (reputed to taste better than Falklands mutton)?

Seem to think the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a pretty big victory parade.  Didn’t hear many bands doing hot numbers in Beunos Aires in June ’82.

But back to now: the president, arrived to be the first to kiss the holy ring or whatever it is these people do in private.  Not so private was the shot of the pope giving the fragrant Cristina a big kiss – on the right cheek, just by the ear to be precise.  

Maybe popes should not go about kissing fiery widows who are on the make.  Before you know it, the word would be going the rounds that the swaying and elegant Cristina whispered to Il Papa that if he doesn’t fix the Falklands with the Brits then she may just not deny any stories that appear in the Argentine media that there was a time when she and Jorge Mario Bergolio were a little more than just good friends.  

Everyone knows that’s not true, but we all know how the world works. News editors on six continents  are waiting for the truth about Jorge and the Kirchners to emerge.

The irony of this one is that the Brits would love to do a deal with Kirchner.  The Falklanders have just this past week held a referendum on handover. Seems all but a couple of guys who don’t matter everyone down there in the South Atrlantic want to stay British.  They reckon any Argentina tin-pot who thinks differently  will be taken out by Prime Minister Cameron’s brave boys – that’s if he’s still got any after the biggest defence cuts in Conservative history.

But the lady’s line that the pope will fix it raises the spectre of  Francis being asked to sort quite a few outstanding differences involving the UK.  Let’s take just two.

Maybe he could persuade the British to give back the six Northern Ireland counties to the Republic of Ireland.  The fact that the British want to get rid of Northern Ireland and the Irish government don’t want it matters not.  Pope Fixes 100 Year Old Troubles would be a great headline.

He could even have a go at another Brit-Squatting issue – Gibraltar.  The Spanish want Gibraltar back.  The people of Gibraltar seem stubborn about staying British.  There are only 29,000 of them but they can’t be persuaded to go.  

The British don’t particularly want Gibraltar but it is a good place to put out retired ministers and generals to grass and be saluted.  About 80% of the people of  The Rock are Roman Catholics so maybe the pope wouldn’t want to upset them by suggesting that they be governed by the nice but inept Spanish.  Can’t see that one working either.

All this raises the point: if Francis has signed up for the poor and if as he thinks the poor are always with us, why would anyone want him to be anything else but a mendicant and nice guy and to keep out of politics.

That would be a reasonable line if it were not for the fact that the pope has form on this.  Last year during a service for Argentinean veterans of the 1982 Falklands War he said, and we quote, “We come to pray for all who have fallen, sons of the Homeland who went out to defend their mother, the Homeland, and reclaim what is theirs”

Not sure Jorge got it right about defending Argentina.  Didn’t they do the attacking? Maybe he was under pressure from the delectable Cristina.  Maybe she does know something or maybe in the context of his service he was saying that the soldiers simply saw things that way.

All this tells us three things: firstly, the British own a lot of places that others still want, or want back and if truth were known, the British want rid of them. Secondly, no pope ever fixed things publicly so why is the Argentinean first lady putting on the pressure? Thirdly, maybe she did after all get her ear nibbled.

Wonder what the pope emeritus makes of all this? Kissing in public? OMG Catholic cardinals only do that in private, surely.  But that’s another story for Francis to fix.


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