Star comment: Ukraine horrors show why we must remember Falklands conflict

Yesterday marked 40 years since the end of the Falklands conflict, with veterans gathering to remember a war that claimed the lives of hundreds of people. For those who took part in the war, the scars remain.

The conflict saw thousands of servicemen and women take part in 74 days of fighting, displaying incredible bravery. It was one of the defining incidents of Mrs Thatcher’s leadership and there are many in our region who were - and still are - affected by it.

There is a danger - as with all conflicts - that others forget the sacrifices made to stand up for the Falkland Islanders. It is our duty to remember those people who gave so much 40 years ago to keep the island free.

The horrors of Ukraine remind us why it is important to stand for the values upon which our society is founded: democracy, freedom, the rule of international law. The scale of that present-day conflict also looms more fully into view: there were 255 British deaths against that number of Ukrainian deaths every three days.

There are other parallels. While some British forces imagined they’d sail for two weeks, that Argentina would withdraw and there would be no war, the fighting raged for 74 days. In Ukraine, there were hopes that invading Russian forces would be repelled, but the impasse continues as the two sides bomb each other into submission.

In the Falklands, two nations disputed territory and the wishes of Falkland Islanders were ultimately upheld.

There are many instances where British troops have made the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our freedoms and the Falklands War was among them. We must never forget.

Strikes are looming this summer, threatening to cause travel chaos for commuters. There will be many frustrated travellers if the strikes go ahead, while the prospect of a summer of discontent looms. These are problems this country hasn’t faced on such a scale for many years, but they look set to continue as people grapple with the spiralling cost of living. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the strike action, this is unlikely to be the last of it.

We find ourselves in an era that harks back to darker times in the 1970s and early 1980s when the nation was beset by economic hardship, plummeting standards of living and divisions in society. This is a time for serious leadership, where there is a sense of purpose, fairness and direction. Disputes invariably call for realism and compromise on both sides of the debate. It is alarming that things could still become more worse.

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