Not first time public fooled

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While I have no sympathy with Tony Blair and how he fooled Parliament and the public with his “facts” about the situation in Iraq, he is not the first Prime Minister to do so.

Margaret Thatcher had the public believing that the Falkland Islands were part of the UK, somewhat akin to the Shetlands.

The Falklands were privately owned islands.

At the time of the conflict they were owned by The Coalite Group of companies.

Coalite had bought the islands from the Falkland Island Company in1972. In 1976, at a meeting held in Paris, a consortium of Argentine businessmen met with directors of Coalite in an attempt to buy the islands.

In 1978 Coalite was absorbed into Charrington Industrial Holdings Ltd.

As citizens of the UK we were only allowed on the islands as employees of Coalite. As an employee once you had reached retirement or unable to fulfill your occupation for any reason you had to vacate the island.

Your tied accommodation was needed for your replacement.

With the enactment of The British Nationality Act (1981), the islanders had their passports withdrawn.

Both Coalite and Charrington companies were involved in the fuel/oil industry and by shear coincidence a well known chairman of another well known oil company was none other that a Mr Dennis Thatcher.

The only newspaper I can recall that made some of the above facts available to the public was the Sunday Times.

As is usually happens, as a result of Government “misconceptions”, it was our brave and valient troops who paid the high price for defending places we should not have been involved with.

My heart went out to the young Argentinian soldiers, who must have felt so relieved to be heading back home without having to fight only to be blown to bits when the Belgrano was blown out of the water.

The Sun made the headlines with “Gotcha” while Mrs Thatcher went on to win the imminent General Election.

You can fool some of the people ...

John Whitfield