Britannia under the Waves

Coments from the Times. August 2008

British Claims to Ascension sea bed raises stakes over quest for Falklands Oil

Sorry Mel, but its not your sea at all. It never has been either...
Sam, Norwich,

Who are all these damn liberals who want to give away our oil? Retired town hall layabouts by any chance, who will be able to afford fuel no matter what it costs. Still if high costs keep "ordinaries "out of the way, I suppose that is good. They have served their purpose now they get in the way. D.L. Stephens, York, England

Perhaps time to reinforce the Falklands defences? The RN could do with another couple of destroyers patrolling down there me thinks..John, Portsmouth,

Argentina is a poor country but growing every day, discovering oil in our sea would mean a lot to this country and help us immensely, England is a developed country that doesn't need it as much as we do. You should let us take our oil that would help with the country's development. Mel, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Let the UK taxpayer foot the bill for another costly war so a few oil men can stuff a few more petrodollars into their bulging pockets. I suppose the ban on flying St George will be temporarily lifted to boost moral for this adventure...Nigel Allen, London, UK

We owned the territory, so we are the owners of the oil. We are owners, always owners. Something is wrong with us. Read the history, see the maps, .... What are we doing in the Falklands (or Malvines)? What are we doing there? Argentina is a far poor country. Lets them free in peace.
Chris B., Cheshire, UK

Rob, Your comment proves how ignorant you are on this matter. Bolivar never freed Argentina from Spain San Martin did. In any event Argentina had a military fort in Las Malvinas since 1810 to 1833 when the Americans destroyed, then the British invaded them and are still there as invaders.
Andres, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Been to Ascension Island. Owned by Britian, populated by mostly Americans and surrounded by an ocean with delicious grouper, tuna, and lobster. Superb diving, except most divers have been bitten by the agressive moray eels.
Jerry Stroud, Orlando, USA

Britain and Argentina should not be drawn into mutual attack. It only hurts both countries.
Name Withheld, Hong Kong,

As well as the residents being British citizens.
Chris, Rochdale, UK

Rob, incorrect. We claimed them, as did the Spanish (both left plaques to this effect when forced to leave). The issue of sovereignty was never resolved. The Argentines then colonised them. This colony was then wiped out by the Americans in 1833 and we then went back and reclaimed them after.
Matt, Birmingham, UK

Britain would, wouldn't it ? BRITTANIA still rules the waves it seems.................!!!!
ian payne, WALSALL,

Its funny how Britain is apologetic and generous towards other nations, ONLY when there are no natural resources involved? I say help the poorer nation; give it to Argentina. I have to share my homeland with poor immigrants, the Government can share its resources!!!
Matt, Norwich, UK

As Rob says. the Argentinian claim to the Falklands is without merit and should be ignored.
Andy, Cheshire, England

i think it's more about fairness...
but since when has Britian ever been fair in regard to colonial expansion into other peoples countries!
simon, norwich, uk

Britain owned the Falklands before Argentina was even a country on it's own, after Bolivar freed them from Spain. So their claims are frankly ridiculous.
Rob, singapore,

Marie Tharp

At coffee break someone mentions Marie Tharp describing her as an ‘artist who drew sections of the seabed’. Further research uncovers a cartographer and geologist, working in the fifties - a time when women were not allowed onto research vessels, who with a pen, ruler and data collected by her colleague, oceanographer Bruce Heezen, plotted the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, a line of undersea mountains that run along the sea bed between Europe/Africa and the Americas. An undertaking that laid the foundations for theories of plate tectonics and continental drift which were controversial until well into the 1960’s.

‘She wondered whether the depression was evidence of a continuous rift - a crack in the world - down the middle of the ridge. And … in turn whether that rift might be evidence of what scientists now call seafloor spreading, popularly known as continental drift. She and Mr. Heezen argued about it. She threw erasers and bottles of ink at him. It took him some time to come around. “I discounted it as girl talk and didn’t believe it for a year”

Many of the tributes to Tharp, who died in 2006, emphasize her fiery nature and powerful intuition observations which charecterise her achievements in a way that it is hard to imagine happening to a man, the later offering never the less a point of reference for my own less than rational approach.