Thatcher Drive, a neat line of bungalows overlooking the Liberation Monument, encapsulates much of what Falklanders want to tell the world. In one window, a sign reads: “Falkland Islands – British to the core”. Next door, another sign says: “No need to knock. Door open. Come in. Give me a shout”.
On the adjoining main road through Port Stanley a cavalcade of Land Rovers – the vehicle of choice for the islands’ gritty roads – trundled past with Union Flags flying from their aerials and posters in the window reading: “Your country wants you to vote ‘yes’”.
This swirl of friendly patriotic pride, which will also include a display this evening of 50 4x4s arranged on a hillside opposite Stanley with their headlights spelling out “YES!”, will climax on Sunday morning when the 1,672 islanders eligible to vote begin to cast their ballots in the two-day referendum on British sovereignty.
After suffering a bellicose campaign from the Argentine government to cripple the Falklands economy and force negotiations on the ownership of “Las Malvinas” – the Argentine name for the islands – onto the international agenda (talks in which Buenos Aires has bluntly insisted the Falklanders would be irrelevant), this is the opportunity for these 3,000 hardy South Atlantic souls to make their voice heard on the world stage.