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COSTS OF FREEDOM.

Byline: Kevin Maguire

THEY might as well weigh as count the majority in today's Falklands referendum.

The result's not in doubt when the Islanders are voting for free money.

Voting for Britain to continue spending PS75million on troops, missiles, aircraft and n doubt g,d warships to guard their sheep lands.

Voting for the 1,672 electorate to enjoy a PS44,856 per head annual military subsidy.

Who would vote against a deal like that? Not even the 59% who think of themselves as Falklanders rather than British.

The colonial relic cost 255 British lives in 1982 and is a I -n financial drain in 2013. I would respect a vote for independence 8,000 miles away in the South Atlantic.

But when British taxpayers are presented with the tab, we have a say. Leaders of all parties are paralysed by fear of flag-waving jingoists accusing London of a sell-out.

It is glaringly obvious that a deal with neighbour Argentina remains the only sensible longterm jall answer to the Falklands-Malvinas.

The cowardice of politicians here means you pay for army boots in Port Stanley while old folks freeze down your road.

CAPTION(S):

defence at Port Stanley
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2013
Words:197
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