New Head of Policy for Falkland Islands Government

DIANE Simsovic has been announced as the new Head of Policy for the Falkland Islands Government.
                                                         
Ms Simsovic is Canadian and has more than 35 years’ experience in the private and public sectors, with a background working at municipal, provincial and federal levels of Government, primarily focussing on economic development and growth. Ms Simsovic has also previously worked in environmental engineering and management consultancy.

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Editor's Column - July 1 guest editorial from Peter Young

ONE of my first reactions to the referendum result last week, after disbelief and shock, was a strong feeling of sadness that younger generations of Brits would not enjoy, as I and millions of others had, almost unfettered freedom to roam across Europe on holiday. I’ve been lucky enough to drive from London to Turin in Italy, and through Belgium, Germany and Austria to Hungary.  I’d also travelled by train to southern Poland from my suburban station in London. All of this travel without needing a visa or seeing a border guard, except when my navigator took a wrong turn and we went through Switzerland.

I can see how young people would value this freedom and why they could feel angry that they had been denied this by older voters who mainly voted to leave the EU.

However, one of the more interesting statistics to emerge once the dust settled was that, although 75% of under-24s voted to Remain in the EU, compared to only 39% of over-65s, crucially, it is reckoned that only 36% of under-24s voted, compared with a massive 83% of over-65s!

Read more: Editor's Column - July 1 guest editorial from Peter Young

Brexit and the Falkland Islands

A LIST of the potential implications on the Falkland Islands, of the UK exiting the EU, is to be drawn up between the Chief Executive and the Falklands private sector and presented to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Hugo Swire.

In an interview with Penguin News this week Members of Legislative Assembly Roger Edwards, Ian Hansen and Michael Poole (pictured) accepted that it was a time of uncertainty for the Islands, “but we will find a way through it,” said MLA Poole.

He said there were, “obviously key things in terms of access and tariffs that will be focussed on,” adding that the Chief Executive Keith Padgett had already begun work on looking at the potential risks and implications across the Islands. 

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Editor's Column June 24 - Lisa Watson

WHILE attendance at the C24 must feel like an annual exercise in heads and brick walls, the yearly requirement to produce a speech outlining our position is probably an invaluable (if dreary) undertaking. 

OK so the meeting itself is our politicians’ equivalent of Ground Hog Day and the indifference with which their arguments are met by the majority of attendees, is probably trying. But as someone who has been obligated to read the speeches for close on 20 years it feels quite a heartening commentary, not only on our political and economic development, but our evolving perspective and state of mind. Many of the basic arguments haven’t changed ‘we’re not a colony’ ‘we’re not an implanted population’ ‘we deserve self determination’, but as time has gone on, we have become less denying and more asserting.

(According to PN we decided to start being more ‘robust’ about 2001). Now we use hard facts about our cultural diversity, our constitutional and political development and our economic successes. There just seems to be a whole lot less pleading and a lot more telling. We will never have much support from C24 members; our story doesn’t sit neatly enough with their guiding principles. We’re an untidy reminder of colonial history - something that prevents them from patting each other on the back, packing up and going home.

However I suppose we must continue the diplomatic dance, but if it’s any consolation, with our every passing year and expansion of independent conduct, we slip further away from any kind of easy classification by the C24. The more we move forward, the more obvious it is the Committee is entangled in its own outdated dogma.

I DO wonder how aware the visiting ICRC delegation is of its organisation’s reputation in the Falklands. The truth is they’ve never covered themselves with glory. 1982 surgeon Rick Jolly was less than complimentaryabout their conduct when they rocked up at Ajax Bay, and as Tim Miller points out in the Letters Page, Falklands civilians weren’t exactly dazzled
either.

That said I think it only right we hear the delegation’s plans, and just as importantly impress on them our own questions and concerns. We need assurance not only of their neutrality as intermediaries but that they are absolutely certain about the wishes of the families of the Argentine fallen. If identified, should the parents wish to take the remains of their child home, then it must be allowed by the Argentine government. If they (and not the Argentine government) wish for the remains to stay then so be it - let’s respect that.

I hope that our treatment of this issue is not influenced by politics. If the Argentine government wishes to behave so that’s their choice, but there are no good arguments why we should behave similarly. And I don’t think we will.

Executive Council Summary June 29 2016

MEMBERS of Legislative Assembly noted at this week's meeting of Executive Council that the survey of Camp radio services has been completed, and that the acceptable level of service needs to be agreed by MLAs. MLA Mike Summers said they also noted the new Charter Party for the Concordia Bay is due to be in place by 8th July. Four FI representatives will attend the MoD Industry Day at Abbey Wood on 15 July, and the interim project manager for the Old People’s Service Development project has been appointed and will arrive shortly.

Departure arrangement for the Argentine yacht San Martiniana were noted, together with the costs to be reclaimed from the owners.

Read more: Executive Council Summary June 29 2016