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BBC News
#1


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Si vis pacem, para bellum  - "If you want peace, prepare for war"
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#2
(3rd April 1982)

FALKLANDS INVADED - ARGENTINA TO BLAME

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Argentinian marines in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

Today Argentina invaded the British owned Falkland Islands in the south Pacific, overwhelming local forces numbering just 100. At 06:00 yesterday morning, Argentina launched so called “Operation Rosario”, which saw a number of amphibious landings by Argentine marines on Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Details leaking out from various sources suggest that the British government became aware of the potential for the invasion just two days ago, notifying Governor Rex Hunt of the plans immediately. By that evening, British marines that had been stationed on the island and local defense volunteers had set out defensive positions, expecting a substantial Argentinian force to land on the island. Numbering an estimated 70 marines and 30 local volunteers, the key points of operation are assumed to be the local telephone exchange, radio station and power station.

With little communication being possible overnight, at 16:30 local time yesterday a Falklands telex operator announced that the Falklands had been captured by the Argentinians. The transcript reads:

Quote:LON (London): HELLO THERE WHAT ARE ALL THESE RUMOURS WE HEAR THIS IS LON
FK (Falklands): WE HAVE LOTS OF NEW FRIENDS
LON: WHAT ABOUT INVASION RUMOURS
FK: THOSE ARE THE FRIENDS I WAS MEANING
LON: THEY HAVE LANDED
FK: ABSOLUTELY
LON: ARE YOU OPEN FOR TRAFFIC (i.e. normal telex service)
FK: NO ORDERS ON THAT YET ONE MUST OBEY ORDERS
LON: WHOSE ORDERS
FK: THE NEW GOVERNORS
LON: ARGENTINA
FK: YES
LON: ARE THE ARGENTINIANS IN CONTROL
FK: YES YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH THOUSANDS OF TROOPS PLUS ENORMOUS NAVY SUPPORT WHEN YOU ARE ONLY 1800 STRONG. STAND BY PLEASE.

Here in London, the feeling is that this will come as a blow to the government. It is expected that there may well be be a military response to the invasion, however diplomatic options remain on the table as the UN Security Council meets today to discuss the conflict. Britain’s representative is said to be tabling a motion that will demand a swift end to hostilities between Argentina and the UK, as well immediate removal of Argentinian troops from the islands. The resolution is expected to pass with little opposition.
"We all know that Mary has a nice cat" - Fairbanks
"Nice pussy" - Coombes
"Oh look, it's Mary's massive pussy" - Keynes
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#3
(27th November 1981 - this is posted slightly out of order and should have been before the Falklands)

TORIES LOSE SECOND BY-ELECTION TO THE ALLIANCE AS VOTE SHARE CRUMBLES IN CROSBY

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New MP for Crosby, Shirley Williams, returns to Parliament having lost her previous seat in 1979

Shock was the facial expression seen across Tory faces tonight, after the party suffered setback in the Crosby by-election, losing by over 5,000 votes - shedding 17.1% of the local support versus the 1979 election - to the new Social Democrat Party. Leadership of the SDP have proclaimed the result as a “tremendous success”, effectively highlighting it as evidence that their recent split from the Labour party is electorally viable.

This is the second test the party has faced since its formation, with one of its founding members (and ex-Home Secretary) - Roy Jenkins - having narrowly lost the Warrington by-election by just a few thousand votes earlier this year.

So what does this result mean in practise? Well, not much in all honesty. The government now sits at 336 seats, an overall majority of 36. This result will neither derail the government’s plans on monetisation, nor change the nation’s outlook towards rising inflation and unemployment. But what it does suggest is that the next election may be highly uncomfortable for the Conservative party, perhaps losing previously safe seats to this new, purple surge.

The result can be seen below:

BUTCHER, John (Conservative Party) - 22,829 / 39.8% (-17.1%)
WILLIAMS, Shirley (Social Democrat Party) - 28,118 / 49.1% (new)
BACKHOUSE, John (Labour Party) - 5,450 / 9.5% (-15.9%)
Others - 900 / 1.5% (n/a)
"We all know that Mary has a nice cat" - Fairbanks
"Nice pussy" - Coombes
"Oh look, it's Mary's massive pussy" - Keynes
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#4
TASK FORCE FLEET SUFFERS "SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE IN UNEXPECTED PINCER ATTACK" BY ARGENTINEAN FORCES.
HMS HERMES AND HMS SHEFFIELD SUNK WITH ALL HANDS

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The British Task force near the falkland islands has suffered a crippling blow, with the loss of the flagship aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and the destroyer HMS Sheffield following an surprise engagement with the Argentinian fleet.

In an emergency commons statement today the Defence Secretary today confirmed the British task force had "significant damage from an unexpected pincer attack" to the task force fleet. The Defence Secretary confirmed the HMS Fearless has suffered heavy damage and the HMS Hermes, the flagship of the British task force, as well as the HMS Sheffield, has been sunk with all hands.

The Navy task force fleet has been ordered to temporarily withdraw from the immediate area in order to regroup, limiting Britain's ability to enforce the Total Exclusion Zone set up. The commander of the Task Force, Rear Admiral J.F Woodward has been confirmed to have been killed in the surprise attack in the early hours of the morning.

Although there has been no official comment from the Government, there is speculation as to how Britain can continue it's mission with the loss of it's flagship and it's lead commander in the south Pacific.

It is understood the Prime Minister is holding an emergency meeting with the Head of the Royal Navy, the Chief of the Defence Staff and senior members of the cabinet this evening. The BBC understands the Prime Minister will be making a statement later this evening.
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#5
THATCHER CONFIRMS "STRATEGIC WITHDRAWAL" FROM FALKLAND ISLANDS


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In the last hour the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has confirmed British forces are withdrawing from the Falkland Islands. The move comes after the news that the HMS Hermes and the HMS Sheffield have been sunk and the task force has recieved a crippling blow by the Argentine forces.

In a statement outside Number 10, the Prime Minister stated that the "Strategic Withdrawal" would see all British forces involved in the mission to recapture the Falkland Islands return to Britain. The Prime Minister stated that Falkland Islanders "should not give up hope" that Britain could one day recapture the Islands, now under Argentinean control.  The Prime Minister also stated that the Government was pursuing diplomatic options in order to resolve the crisis.

The Leader of the Opposition, Michael Foot, has called on Margaret Thatcher and the Government to resign immediately following what is now considered to be a defeat for Britain in the Falklands War.

There are reports that several Conservative MPs are now considering Ms Thatcher's future as Prime Minister following the defeat.
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#6
THATCHER: I WILL NOT RESIGN


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The Prime Minister Maragret Thatcher today told the House of Commons she would not resign as Prime Minister over the Falklands defeat and following the resignation of the Environment Secretary, Michael Heseltine. Earlier, Mr Heseltine attacked Ms Thatcher in his resignation statement for not standing aside, he said Ms Thatcher "has lost the confidence of her party, and her country". 

In an intense emergency session in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister told the House of Commons the Government would stay and she would not quit. 

The Prime Minister said "It was my decision to lead us into war against the Argentinan junta, I stand by the decisions i made and I will not stand aside even if i am dragged out of this chamber. Now is not the time for internal faction maneouvring when we need solidarity and strong leadership."

The Prime Minister also attacked the departure of Michael Heseltine, her Environment Secretary. "My true colleagues stand by me over the decisions that have been made and we are all focused on achieving the best possible outcome for Britain and the Falklands. Those who can't take the heat or are only concerned about their own careers are free to run scared out the door like the member for Henley".

The Leader of the Opposition Michael Foot said the Government was in chaos and called the Prime Minister a "dead woman walking". He said "The Prime Minister is not only incompetent but she is clinging onto power. Those behind her are sharpening the knives and she knows that."

The Prime Minister is facing enormous pressure following the Falklands defeat and with the Government at odds, many wonder what will happen next.
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#7
PRIME MINISTER MARGARET THATCHER RESIGNS

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The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, has announced her resignation outside Downing street this evening.

Ms Thatcher, who has faced considerable pressure to go following the Falklands defeat, previously said she would not resign in intense scenes in the House of Commons yesterday. Following the intense pressure and the threat of a VONC, Ms Thatcher said in her resignation statement she accepts full responsibility over Britain's actions in the Falklands War. Ms Thatcher also confirmed that she would remain as the MP for Finchley, stating she would stay on and would assist her party in anyway she could.

The Prime Minister said:


"I have consulted with many colleagues over the last few days over the future of this country and my leadership. I have concluded that for the unity of the Party and of the country this country would be better served with a new leader and a new Prime Minister that can unite and lead this country through these dark and terrible times. I have therefore informed her Majesty the Queen this morning that I intend to stand down as Prime Minister and I have also informed the Chair of the 1922 committee to call a leadership election. After discussions with Her Majesty, I will stay on until a new leader and a new Prime Minister takes office.

Let me just say this, I take full responsibility for the decision to go to war in the Falklands and the buck stops with me with the result that we now have. I also wish to offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives doing their duty for their country, I was only doing what I felt was right. We should never give in to barbarianism and those who seek to harm us. We should stand up for Britain and I have every faith that whoever becomes the next Prime Minister will do just that.  I would like to thank all those in Cabinet and outside who have given me such dedicated support. Thank you."



The Conservatives will now hold a leadership contest to replace Margaret Thatcher as Conservative Leader and as Prime Minister.

Let's go to our BBC Political Editor John Sergant, John, what do you make of this?

Quote:Ms Thatcher was under considerable pressure to go following the Falklands Defeat. Despite her insistence to stay on, with pressure from within her party and the looming threat of a VONC from the Labour Party it appears she has jumped before she was pushed. Ms Thatcher will indeed go down in the history books as the Prime Minister who failed to lead Britain to victory in the Falklands. 

Interestingly, I am told by a source within the party just before her departure as Prime Minister that there was a clear opportunity a couple of weeks ago to deliver a crippling blow to the Argentine Navy by the sinking of the General Belgrano, apparently according to our source Ms Thatcher stalled over the decision to sink it, resulting in the opportunity being missed Whether this had an impact on Britain's fortunes in the war is too early to say, but this development will raise questions over Britain's approach to the war and Ms Thatcher's leadership on the issue.

The pressure is now on the Conservatives to unite the country and their own party. It will be interesting to watch who stands for the leadership. Thatcher's close circle of allies will indeed be scarred by this, so it's anyone's guess who will be the next Prime Minister.
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#8
PARKINSON IS THE NEW PRIME MINISTER

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Cecil Parkinson is Britain's new Prime Minister. The Herefordshire MP, who had served as Postmaster General and Party Chairman since 1981was elected on the third ballot of the party's MPs, in a closely watched and anticipated race after the resignation of Margaret Thatcher several weeks ago. Mr Parkinson, who has served in the House since 1970 when he succeeded the late Chancellor of the Exchequer Iain Macleod as MP for Enfield North; was the favourite heading into this contest.

Mr. Parkinson would ultimately face three opponents in his bid for the leadership of the party and the Premiership. First to announce was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Geoffrey Howe. Mr. Howe was harmed by the still lacklustre state of the nation's economic affairs and his rather bland personality. The Sun, which backed Mr. Parkinson, attacked the Chancellor, quoting Labour's deputy leader Denis Healey that being attacked by Mr. Howe was "like being savaged by a dead sheep."

Representing the liberal One Nation wing of the party was the Leader of the House of Commons, Mr. Francis Pym. The Cambridgeshire MP was an early frontrunner for the leadership, owing to him being on the other end of the parliamentary party in regards to the Prime Minister. A series of gaffes, however, would harm his leadership bid - in particular his remarks that he would prefer a smaller majority so as to ensure that the government would be on its toes and would  produced higher quality legislation. These remarks did not go down well with many backbench Tory MPs, in particular those on the Monday Club right, who were already less than cordial with Mr. Pym.

The final candidate was the Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary. The Brighton MP who is the son of the late Leo Amery and the son-in-law of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan is widely seen as the darling of the Monday Club right of the Conservative Party. Mr. Amery however does hold some contrarian positions on several issues, which put him at odds with his fellow right-leaning Tories, namely his support for British membership of the EEC and his passionate anti-death penalty beliefs. Mr. Amery, who served in a variety of ministerial posts under Ted Heath in the early 1970s, is widely seen as having ran a competent and effective leadership campaign, with his campaign managers Teddy Taylor and Alan Clark having managed to appeal to both Monday Club and non-Monday Club members alike.

On the first ballot it is understood that Mr. Parkinson led on the first ballot with 124 votes to his name. Mr. Amery followed with 78 votes. Mr. Pym was in third with 69 MPs, while Mr. Howe brought up the rear with a mere 63 votes. With Mr. Howe eliminated, the second round also went for Mr. Parkinson, though his lead was cut drastically compared to the ballot before. Mr. Parkinson on the second ballot won 140 votes, while Mr. Amery won 107, and Mr. Pym won 87. With a final ballot being called after Mr. Pym's elimination, Mr. Parkinson won by a comparatively small margin in the third and final ballot. Taking 180 MPs to his name, versus 153. It is understood that Mr. Parkinson is currently in transit on his way to the Palace to be invited to form a government by Her Majesty.
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