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Simon Winchester


outposts.jpgIn his book on the British Empire, Outposts, Simon Winchester attempts to explain the mindset of the Falkland Islander prior to the Argentine invasion:

I once bought a house in an Oxfordshire village from a pair of elderly ladies who had decided to emigrate to New Zealand because, they explained, 'it is like England was in the Fifties, and that's the time we liked so much. We don't like England today. We want to find a place that's like what it used to be.' And as with New Zealand, so with the Falkland Islands. What these people wanted, when they or their fathers set out on a ship so long ago, was just what my old ladies wanted: a country with no crime, no television, no permissiveness, no coloured people, no disco music, no drugs....These were the people for whom Carnaby Street meant the beginning of the end, and for whom progress was a dirty word. And the land they had found, and for all its faults the world to which they clung so eagerly, was about to be desecrated.

I know one Falkland Islander and she's not at all like that. New Zealanders, on the other hand....

It's an interesting book, and one that will give you itchy feet to visit some far-flung outposts.

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