Talk:Administrative geography of the United Kingdom

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Map request[edit]

Maps already exist that could go on this page but the problem is deciding what layer of subdivision to use. As they are somewhat complicated and the sub-articles provide them anyway I would suggest none. MRSC 16:07, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps a conscious and motivated selection of maps - perhaps just one - to illustrate (ordered hierarchically?) which functions or layers are related to which administrative subdivisons. This would help the reader to get a quick overview. On the other hand, the Scotland and England artcicles seem somewhat confusing, to me at least. //Big Adamsky 16:13, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The CIA factbook map that you just inserted shows no administrative borders at all. Just the international border. Big Adamsky 16:16, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The structure is unfortunately so complex that to include maps would require pulling futher information out of the articles to explain them - effectively repeating the sub-articles. England alone has four levels of divisions and at one level (county) they are split into four types of unit which may (or may not) be then further divided by another two levels. That said, I have found at least one map that requires no further explanation. MRSC 16:18, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Venn [Euler] Diagram of the The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[edit]

Sam has made up a Venn [Euler] Diagram that can be found at http://qntm.org/uk, i am not sure of the licence, but it may be of intrest as a link to. SkippyUK 13:02, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

This Venn Diagram is that of the British Isles and not the United Kingdom, thus i propose it should be removed as to avoid confusion between both terms. --  RÓNÁN   "Caint / Talk"  22:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I beleve tt it covers both topics; and as such should be worthy of consideration SkippyUK (talk) 21:18, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I have created a Euler diagram of the United Kingdom here showing England and Wales making up Britain, Britain and Scotland comprising Great Britain, and then Great Britain and Ireland comprising the United Kingdom. I also masked the circles (they are all circles, no ovals) with the flag of each nation, with the same flag being used for UK, GB, and Britain (the latter two being transparent, showing UK's flag.) What do you think, is this a more suitable diagram for this article? Timmytim6912 (talk) 22:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

No, because it's fundamentally wrong. "Britain" is not England and Wales: it is a term used for the whole of the UK, including Scotland and NI. Much more accurate and comprehensive diagrams already exist, in this article and elsewhere. See also MOS:FLAG. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Constituent country v. constituent part[edit]

According to Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use, Ordnance Survej of Great Britain and International Organization for Standardization UK consisting 4 constituent parts: 2 countries (England and Scotland), 1 principality (Wales) and 1 province (Northern Ireland) [1], [2]. So, informations in this article are wrong. Aotearoa from Poland (talk) 17:47, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Officially, maybe so - but within the UK, the terms "nation" and "country" are very widely used. I've amended the article to mention this. Bazonka (talk) 20:40, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
So, in Wikipedia we should use the official one. Aotearoa from Poland (talk) 16:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
The terms "nation" and "country" are so widely used that it would be unthinkable not to refer to them. I'm not entirely sure that "principality" and "province" are official anyway (the documents you referred to are not necessarily authoritative) Bazonka (talk) 11:26, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

But, there are no sources in this article, so this is rather OR. Paper [3] is very official, because this is official documet presented by UK athorities on Ninth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names (August 2007). So, if there are no official sources for terms "nation" and "country" they should be replaced by terminology from official documents (and informations about "very widely used" terms "nation" and "country" are allowed in annotations). Aotearoa from Poland (talk) 22:37, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

If you look at the talk page on Constituent country you will find numerous citations of UK Government web sites which use the phrase country. I repeat them here.
  1. 10 Downing Street website "The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."
  2. 10 Downing Street website "Gordon Brown will travel to Wales today in his first visit to the country as Prime Minister."
  3. The Wales Office (Government Department for Wales) "Wales is a small but clever country. ...The remainder of the country is predominantly rural in character."
  4. Welsh Assembly Government Their strategic agenda is called "Wales: A Better Country".
  5. Visit Wales (the Welsh Tourist Board) "For a small country we have a varied and dramatic landscape"
  6. The Queen's Speech on the opening of the Welsh Assembly building "It is now up to you, by giving meaning to the ideals and aspirations of those you serve, by expressing the spirit of your rich and ancient culture, by shaping the very future of this country, to make this National Assembly a true symbol of Wales."
  7. The 2001 UK Census (country of birth: England, Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland, ROIreland, elsewhere)
  8. The Office of National Statistics ("In the context of the UK, each of the 4 main subdivisions (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is referred to as a country)".

--Snowded (talk) 01:14, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The vast bulk of the UK text on the Constituent country would be more appropriate on this page. --Barryob (Contribs) (Talk) 21:55, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

  • (Support) I agree, it adds no value in its own right --Snowded (talk) 22:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
  • (Oppose) I'm afraid I don't agree. The page constituent country is an explanation of the phrase, but this page is not the place to discuss semantics of that sort - this page should describe 'the subdivisions'. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 22:21, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

* (Support) I agree with the merge. Subdivisions of the United Kingdom should discuss the subdivisons not constituent country.WikipÉIREFlag of Ireland.svg\(caint) 13:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Just for the record, this user has been inef blocked for multiple sock using, so striking his vote. --Matt Lewis (talk) 17:32, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree - there is a need for both articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.55.138 (talk) 15:34, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Any reasons why you feel that way?WikipÉIREFlag of Ireland.svg\(caint) 15:43, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi there. As I read it, the constituent country article is about any country in the world that is made up of constituent countries and not just the UK. Subdivisions of the UK is about all levels of subdivision (not just constituent county) within the UK alone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.55.138 (talk) 16:18, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for the merge. Keeping the sections separate has always stemmed unnecessary controversies. The content all deals with one issue - and as such, keeping them separate appears quite a random choice to make. 125.244.178.2 (talk) 12:59, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Merge the section: clearly a fork. The rump of constituent country should probably go to Wiktionary, but that is a different discussion. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 22:36, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support for merge --fone4me 10:53, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose This is the preferred government term, if the article is to exist it must include a UK section, so why merge? -MichiganCharms (talk) 16:53, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I've no problem with this merger; one can easily pipe-link constituent country to this article. GoodDay (talk) 20:46, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support (strong) As both are used, we can't fully merge the articles. But the section on the UK in constituent country should simply point here. The reason I have given a 'strong' support is because the word 'constuent countries' can theoretically be used for a number of cases. This article mentions the UK - so this article should have the UK detail. This is a clear merge situation to avoid forking.--Matt Lewis (talk) 17:58, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: The only two opposes above seem to have misunderstood the section-only nature of the merge. Am I right there? I'll perform the merge if nobody else does. --Matt Lewis (talk) 17:58, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I would wait a couple of days and see if the mediated solution on Wales (pipelinking to this) sticks. If so then we can merge and change Wales and England to pipelink here. --Snowded (talk) 18:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
(e/c) My view is "Please go ahead and do it, so long as overall quality of the text of this article does not suffer as a result." I think the quality of writing and exposition in Constituent Country is not as high as it is here. (After reading Snowded's comments: May be a short wait would be advisable.)  DDStretch  (talk) 18:09, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't we do this first as a clear consensus (or as good as it gets) is here? If there turns out to be just one person against proceeding, I don't care how vocal he/she is. Sometimes not to act is just to carry on wasting people's time. I'll give Wales another read then I'll I expect to make a merge, and we'll see if people like it.--Matt Lewis (talk) 18:26, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Matt, just wait, please. Go to the Wales site, agree the mediation (there is one against but that will be handled). 24 hours time we can then merge Constituent Country (you need to find somewhere for the non UK bits by the way. Then we can make the changes to Wales and England. If you merge now you will have to change Wales and England before the mediation is finalised and that will just cause issues More haste, less speed. 24 hours will not make a difference really.
Hang on - we are only merging the section, right? (not the entire article). It will redirect - so what's the issue. I'm not in a hurry - but stalling can also lead to not getting anywhere sometimes. I'll read Wales - lets sort out the intro here first anyway. --(talk) 18:50, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
24 hours and you have my complete agreement (unless the Wales page erupts)--Snowded (talk) 18:51, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Merge performed[edit]

As the country issue at Wales is now successfully resolved, I've made the merge.

I found it impossible to completely remove information on the UK in the constituent country article. Basically, it is because the term is in use for the UK, and so needs to be covered to some degree on the main article, including on a semantic level (ie the word "constituent"). Plase bear in mind that a lot of articles link to constituent country (like Cardiff in its infobox).

I've cut it down to (what felt like) the minimum text though, and linked to here as the 'main article'.

A lot of useful information has been moved over here. The new 'History' section may include some duplicated information and need some work. Looking through it seemed OK, but this is more something to work from than the finished article. --Matt Lewis (talk) 17:13, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Laws in Wales Acts[edit]

The Laws in Wales Acts are important to the history of Wales, but not particularly significant as far as the formation of the United Kingdom is concerned. By the time the Acts were passed, Wales was already controlled by England and the Acts just formally annexed Wales to put it under English law. That is totally different from the Treaty of Union which led to the Acts of Union in 1707 - in this case, two sovereign states agreed to merge to form a political union. If we are going to include the Laws in Wales Acts, what other events may we also have to include? The clear starting point for the United Kingdom was 1707 with the Treaty of Union - not the Laws in Wales Acts. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 18:47, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Its an interesting question. I think you can either take the Statute of Rhuddlan or the Laws in Wales Acts, Rhuddlan is probably the most significant for the history of the UK - how about that? --Snowded (talk) 19:12, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for replying. Could I suggest that a possible way forward may be to include a reference to the Laws in Wales Acts in the third paragraph where it is discussing why England and Wales are sometimes treated as a single entity. I don't think it should be mentioned in the paragraph about the union of 1707. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:26, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Do we really need that paragraph about how the 4 countries united? It's not directly relevant to "Subdivisions of the United Kingdom", which describes the current state. At most, all that's needed is a reference to the History of the United Kingdom article. Bazonka (talk) 21:54, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think we do. It is important for readers to realise that the UK was not divided into 4 entities from the top down, as it were, but the other way about - what are now the subdivisions were the building blocks that created the union. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.55.138 (talk) 21:59, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, then all we need to say is something along the lines of "the UK was created from the merger of four countries - see History of the United Kingdom." Bazonka (talk) 22:03, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
On re-reading the article, I think you are right. The article does make clear that the UK is a political union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - that is sufficient. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.55.138 (talk) 22:15, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Overall it wasn't a merger. Ireland and Wales were conqurered (the Northern Ireland aspect comes after the creation of the United Kingdom when all bar six counties of Ulster became Eire. Scotland choose to join, although the economic and other pressures make the use of the word choice difficult. You certainly can't say they merged - its a complex history and at least has to be signified. --Snowded (talk) 23:22, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
How about "amalgamation" then? Details of how these 4 countries were amalgamated should sit elsewhere. Perhaps include a short sentence on how part of one of those countries then became independent. Bazonka (talk) 06:38, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Well you might say something like "The development of the United Kingdom through a mixture of conquest form treaties of incorporation (needs a lawyer to get that phrase right) is the result of a complex history. During Roman times what is now England Wales and part of Scotland constituted the Roman province of X. The bulk of Scotland and Ireland comprised Y (something line a set of king and fiefdoms?). During the post Roman period up until the Norman Conquest successive invasions forced teh Romao-celts into what is now Wales and Cornwall (kernow). Cornwall was absorbed into Norman England (when?) and Wales conquered and incorporated through the Statute of Rhuddlan. Ireland moved in and out of English influence over the years but was finally incorporated in Z. Scotland remained an independent nation until Y when the Act of Union created a common parliament, but maintained differences in the legal and other systems. The early part of the 20th Century the Irish independence movement gained strength resulting in the creation or Eire. However six counties of Northern Ireland, albeit with their own Parliament were maintained with what was now know as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". It could be worded a lot better but that sort of makes the point? --Snowded (talk) 06:52, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
My point is that none of that is relevant. Keep it short, brief and to the point. This is not the UK History article.
"The United Kingdom was created from the amalgamation of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The majority of Ireland subsequently became independent, leaving just six counties within the UK, now known as Northern Ireland. See History of the United Kingdom."
No other information is needed here. Bazonka (talk) 07:29, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

UK, now known as Northern Ireland. See History of the United Kingdom."

I think the history is relevant, even here. However lets see what other people think. Possibly something between the two would make sense--Snowded (talk) 12:41, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) in the absence of further comment I implemented the earlier suggest of Fishiehelper2 to use the third paragraph, leaving the introduction as it stands.

"Country within a country" wording proposal[edit]

Come look see here and vote. MickMacNee (talk) 02:10, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

How many?[edit]

How many of these articles which describe the geographic and political terminology with regard to the British Isles now exist?!? This is getting ridiculous! Feel free to merge this with one of the others. --Setanta747 (talk) 01:19, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Unambiguous Introduction[edit]

Better version: "The subdivisions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the 'United Kingdom', or 'UK') is a term that is used to describe the political union of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All of these (variously described as countries, constituent countries, and nations) have developed into the current structure of the United Kingdom over hundreds of years. Wales is also referred to as a principality, and Northern Ireland as a province. Calling Northern Ireland a both a country is disputed, particularly within the nationalist community.[citation needed]"

I've re-written to the above, because if this is going to be linked to in Wales (or anywhere else), it think it needs to be clear and unambiguous. --Matt Lewis (talk) 18:36, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

The current page has been reverted back to this preceding vcersion ('pending talk' - but why? And where is the proposed talk? Must we poll on everything?):
Preceding version: "The subdivisions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the 'United Kingdom', or 'UK') are complex, multi-layered and non-uniform, varying between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They have developed into the current structure over hundreds of years. The United Kingdom is a political union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These are commonly termed nations or countries, though Wales is also referred to as a principality and Northern Ireland as a province. Calling Northern Ireland a country is disputed, particularly within the nationalist community.[citation needed]"
I can't accept a merger, or Wales pointing here if it is an unprofessional article. The line "are complex, multi-layered and non-uniform, varying between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. " is weasel-worded waffle. Encyclopaedic language only, please. --Matt Lewis (talk) 18:45, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Matt please calm down. It clearly needs changing but your version (and the current one) both have problems. No one wants a poll or is suggesting one, but neither can we have an edit war. In respect of this Its not a political Union (well Scotland and England is) but Wales was annexed and Ireland is very complex. So the current version is wrong. The first sentence of your proposed change also reads badly. It does need changing and I liked my variant, but in the interest of compromise how about this
"The subdivisions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the 'United Kingdom', or 'UK') are England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All of these (variously described as countries, constituent countries, and nations) have developed into the current structure of the United Kingdom over the past 700 years. Wales is at times referred to as a principality, and Northern Ireland as a province. Calling Northern Ireland a country is disputed, particularly within the nationalist community.[citation needed]"
That's fine - can you put it in? By the way, given what I've been through lately, I'd appreciate it if you stop saying "calm down" to me! I have already said I'll read through everything first. I won't do anything rash, but I'm not letting a single editor 'stop play' either (if that is the case). --Matt Lewis (talk) 18:58, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Done, sorry about the "calm down" know how you feel! --Snowded (talk) 19:00, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I can see it's not been great (as per the last few months) but people need to know they can't stall things forever. I have been rushing the typing a bit - but only because I have to go out soon. I won't rush anything else. In fact, not to rush myself at all, it I'll leave it now and come back to it in a couple of hours (I've not been through Wales talk properly yet). I support the above parag if any merging or linking happens, anyhow. --Matt Lewis (talk) 19:06, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Just coming into this from a different perspective; I'm concerned we're writing original research here. "The subdivisions of the UK are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland", um, are they? Who says? My point is that the UK is not subdivided on the basis of four parts, but rather, united on this basis. Also, a publication submitted by the UK to the United Nations Economic and Social Council states England (and Sco/Wls/NI) "should not be considered as a first-order administrative division".[1] The traditional subdivisions of the UK have been the county and the ecclesiastical parish, whilst historically, the ward and constituency are also the UKs political and pan-uk subdivisions. --Jza84 |  Talk  22:10, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I take your point, and think a name-change might be on the cards: how about to "Countries of the United Kingdom", which could also include Northern Ireland if only to say its status is complex and not as acceptably a country as the others are? The biggest problem is knowing how to name the article, and I have no doubt that I will be taken to task for this suggestion.  DDStretch  (talk) 22:18, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, if we managed to secure a consensus, we could pipe the UK/Eng/Sco/Wls/NI articles' use of "country" (or whatever) to this page with a view to ending the entire edit war. --Jza84 |  Talk  22:24, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
See the mediation on Talk:Wales by Keeper76, which suggests doing just that. (I'm glad I added the table of RSs to this article now.)  DDStretch  (talk) 22:28, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I've not seen this article until today, but I've assumed that the term is used officially in places? If it isn't I'm not sure about the name either. But assuming the name is in use, how about (going back to my original suggestion) "The subdivisions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the 'United Kingdom', or 'UK') is a term that is used to describe the political union of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales." And, for the better flow Snowded wanted, followed by "These 'subdivisions' (variously decsribed...".
"Countries of the United Kingdom" won't be accepted by everyone, that much is for sure! I personally believe Northern Ireland is clearly a created country, and the others are countries too: but if some people insist they aren't, I'm not sure I could justifying forcing a name change on them. However, it could stop hours of future (and futile) debate if Wikipedia itself recognised that these are indeed 'countries' (which it is intitled to do per the 'common name' policy/guideline). Maybe a specialist on NI could give an opinion on it. --Matt Lewis (talk) 22:37, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I've tweaked the intro to reflect the above concerns.
I'm supporting the poll in Wales for a piped link to here from its introduction - as it has started, and seems like the product of a lot of work. I'll also carry on my support (and preperation) for merging the duplicated material in constituent country to here (which seems to have reached consensus now). It seems wisest to follow consensus. Maybe at a later date we could all consider a name change for this article. I don't think that many have come across this page until now!--Matt Lewis (talk) 00:48, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Map of UK - colour and labels[edit]

Would anyone complain if I get photoshop out make Wales red and England white, as they tradionally are? The neutrals are grey, so nothing would clash. I'll also label each UK country (but no other, to avoid confusion). I'll give the image a new name so people can still use the old one. Some people are colour blind, so Wikipedia shouldn't so often only label things via a colour-key, anyway. --Matt Lewis (talk) 01:57, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Do it. It would probably be politically safer to change NI to a neutral colour, not green or orange. Bazonka (talk) 07:14, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm the creator of the image. I gave each country specific colours due to one of two reasons cultural tradition and/or patron saints flag
England Red = cultural tradition (e.g. english football colours) and the flag of St. George (red on White)
  • England play first in white. The accepted national colour is white (though red can be used).
Wales Yellow = cultural tradition (e.g. welsh football colours) and flag of St. David (Yellow on Black)
  • Wales play first in red. The accepted national colour is red (though green can been used).
Scotland Blue = cultural tradition (e.g. scottish football colours) and the flag of St. Andrew (White on Blue)
  • Agreed.
N. Ireland Green = cultural tradition (e.g. irish football colours)
I feel that they represent the traditional and cultural colours of each nation rather well. Though I must say I haven't thought about putting names on each country. It might work. Any images that might give a good representation of what you were thinking about? -- Phoenix (talk) 08:19, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
OK but you are wrong. Wales in football and rugby play in red and England in white (they have an alternate red strip. Red has always been the traditional colour of Wales, White that of England so can we please change it. I also agree that it is very important to avoid either GREEN or ORANGE for Northern Ireland. Thanks. --Snowded (talk) 08:37, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Snowded.
Yellow for Wales seems a bit strange. Their football team wears red (Is yellow the away strip? Don't think I've ever seen it). Red is on the flag of Wales - yellow isn't (how often do you see St David's flag - rarely if ever). I really don't associate yellow with Wales (except for daffodils, and that's a bit tenuous). So surely red is a more appropriate colour.
And if red is to represent Wales, then it can't be used for England. White seems much better to me - it's the home football strip colour, and it's the main colour on the flag.
Green is an Irish colour, but it only represents one of the communities of NI. (It's the colour of their football strip for historic reasons.) Although I can see arguments for using it, I feel that a non-sectarian colour would be better - perhaps your yellow could be used here? Although this isn't "Irish", it's less likely to offend.
I agree that Scotland should be blue. Bazonka (talk) 08:45, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
If there's any element of conflict here, we could just use four pure colours (i.e. Red, Yellow, Blue, Green). Although I won't lose any sleep over the consensus that will be made whatever it may be. Just a suggestion. :) --Jza84 |  Talk  16:26, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
OK then. Scotland = blue (it's on the flag); England = red (it's on the flag); Wales = green (it's on the flag); NI = yellow (it's not green or orange). Bazonka (talk) 17:09, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
As it is easy to change once started, they can always be changed in turn. I could try:
Scotland = blue, England = white, Wales = red, Northern Ireland = pure bright yellow (ie between orange and green, and not leaning either way).
Does anyone feel they could never accept that? I think the bright white for Enlgand will work against the light blue sea - if it doesn't we can always try again, or I can deepen the grey. --Matt Lewis (talk) 18:16, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) You could try it out, posting the map here (may be even with a few others so long as it does not make too much work for you). Then we can have an actual look at the possibilities and see what it is or they are like. Just a thought. (Let's hope no one gets too sensitive over the idea that yellow may be associated with the Pope.)  DDStretch  (talk) 18:21, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

OK - I'll do that (probably late tonight).
I'll make a start anyway (and do a few), and ongoing suggestions are welcome: especially for NI. Mauve, black - dark grey? Remember I am labelling too. If yellow is likely to be offensive then we can't use it imo, though I'll do a version. --Matt Lewis (talk) 18:28, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I only mentioned yellow as perhaps being associated with the papacy because of the colours used on the papal flag (yellow and white, though it used to be red and gold) and someone I knew who was a catholic was adamant that yellow was a papal colour. Somehow, I suspect that reasons could be found for objecting to any colour, though, as I said, I think one would have to be very sensitive to object to yellow as far as I know (neither being a catholic nor having any direct day to day experience of the extent to which religious differences have affected Northern Ireland.  DDStretch  (talk) 18:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm certain no-one will be offended by yellow for NI. My suggestion above (with red for England and green for Wales) would avoid any problems with white being too pale, but otherwise I'm happy with Matt's suggestion. Bazonka (talk) 18:47, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yellow is OK, but Green is not a national colour for Wales, its RED and WHITE for England. If you don;t what White for England then find another colour, don't take Wale's, or use the Irish colour as an alternative --Snowded (talk) 19:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Bit of a can of worms now! I suggest we put the whole national colours things to rest and use those suggested at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Maps#Vote_on_standard_colors_and_gallery_of_exemplars (and example of which is here - and yes I did draw that!) --Jza84 |  Talk  20:08, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
It's got orange though - colours will always cross, like at Wales (which needs addressing too).
I'm not sure its such an 'open can', and I did ask for continued suggestions(!) I'll create a few examples and see how they go down, anyway. There's nothing like a visual choice.--Matt Lewis (talk) 20:20, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

So is it only Snowded and myself that think that Wales should be yellow and England should be red? -- Phoenix (talk) 23:01, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

It is only YOU. I have said clearly that Wales should be red and England white --Snowded (talk) 23:59, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Have the 4 in any color yas want. GoodDay (talk) 23:06, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I think I need to see some examples before I can make any well-founded choice: It's a practical applied psychological problem within the area of visual perception, and modified by various matters which are almost totally cognitive in nature, and I know enough about doing that within psychology to not be able to come to any strong a priori decisions about it. (I need to use techspeak every now and then to keep my "hand in".)  DDStretch  (talk) 23:15, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
By the way, what about color-blind editors? Err, that's another topic. GoodDay (talk) 23:17, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I did mention that GD - they are going to be labelled... in fact, they are done! Now how do you put images in tables?
Images in tables? I don't know how. GoodDay (talk) 20:17, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Map choices[edit]

Eight possibilities originally came up in the end (the last two - which I personally don't see as possibilities - have since been added). I couldn't see others that worked, myself. Mauve etc all looked too close to the two blues (or too close to green or orange). I think one country has to be very dark, unless yellow is used.

The arrows are a bit 'freehand' (but they can be done properly later - all these can be 'saved-over' easily) - this is about the colours and text placement. These are the same size as currently used, but can be made smaller/larger. I'm running a high resolution, and they look quite big, so I don't think they can really be made bigger as the thumbnail.

I think I favour the first - one of the first four anyway. Maybe number 7. --Matt Lewis (talk) 02:59, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I like 7 but they are all fine by me - great job Matt and thanks --Snowded (talk) 03:15, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Nice. I'd go for 3 or 7. Bazonka (talk) 08:13, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

My first preference would be for 7, followed closely by 3, then 1.  DDStretch  (talk) 08:32, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't know how you missed #9 after all that is what a few of us have been talking about! -- Phoenix (talk) 10:21, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I haven't missed it, I have rejected it because it does not use national colours. As far as I can see you remain the only one interested in it. --Snowded (talk) 10:37, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I suppose I could have included examples of England as red, given the labelling itelf is a new addition, and NI has changed. I didn't think to do it as it is essentially the current colouring - and it is so problematic. It almost reverse the traditional colours of Enlgand (white) and Wales (red). I could have also tried: England red, Wales blue, Scotland yellow, and NI white! But I wouldn't vote for it. Wales has to be red.--Matt Lewis (talk) 14:17, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Note 1 & 3, and 2 & 4 were identical so I have removed the images that were repeats. -- Phoenix (talk) 10:34, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, they are not identical, though if you have a monitor whose brightness is turned down, they may appear identical. Additionally, I indicated a preference for 3, and did this in the knowledge that it was not identical to one of the others, and so I think they should be kept in. So, I've reinstated them.  DDStretch  (talk) 11:02, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
The second dark colour is a purple. --Matt Lewis (talk) 14:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Poll on best map[edit]

If you have a second or furher choices, please leave them in order in brackets.

7 (3) --Matt Lewis (talk) 14:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

7 (3) (third: 1)  DDStretch  (talk) 15:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

7 (3) - looks like we have a clear winner Bazonka (talk) 16:16, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Go with 7 --Snowded (talk) 17:58, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

3/1 (9 7); Any of the 3 would be ok, But do they have to have the text included? That is not an objection b.t.w. I think it looks good, but does anyone foresee it causing any problems? -- Phoenix (talk) 19:25, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I think for this particular article the text is needed. I don't mind uploading versions without the text if they would be useful somewhere else - esp for consistency. (I could use the sames names without "labelled" in). This is looking like consensus but as there are a lot of '3's I'll leave it a bit longer, to make absolutely sure about the yellow! --Matt Lewis (talk) 19:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I've put number 7 in. I'll improve the arrows slightly at a later date (the England one extends just a fraction too near to Wales!) --Matt Lewis (talk) 15:40, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Northern Ireland's colour[edit]

First off, my sincere apologies over my recent edits to Image:United_Kingdom_labelled_map7.png and linked pages. User:Ddstretch pointed out that there was a discussion here on the choice of colours. I think that is great that editors from GB took such a responsible approach to the colouring of the map, but I do think it has been taken a little far.

Green is of course the colour of Northern Ireland and used by many "national" organisations: NI Commonwealth Games Federation, NI Football team, Sport NI, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Police Service of Northern Ireland (and the RUC before that), Athletics NI, the Royal Irish are just a few. On a second point if you don't want to offend anyone using yellow wasn't the best choice as can be seen on an Über-Republican Irish Tricolour incorporating the flag of the Roman Catholic Church.

Therefore I would like to propose changing the colour to green      , however if GB editors don't want green then there are other suitable/sensible alternatives:

Thanks for reading - and sorry once again. Any thoughts?  Roadnote  ♫  19:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Green seems like a better choice for Northern Ireland than Yellow. BritishWatcher (talk) 19:53, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
The above examples aside, it still has a political connotation - yellow doesn't. It's about avoiding future hassle, not finding examples of past use. --Matt Lewis (talk) 20:01, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the thinking was that the ties to Scotland are too close to use blue (the history between the countrues, both old and modern.. all politics I know) - and red of course is Wales! (although we loan in the England on occasion). Someone did voice the religious connotation in yellow, though not too seriously, as of all the colours available (apart from bright pink), yellow was the best of the bunch. And I expect even pink is used by the church in some denotation - they do like their colours. The flax idea is interesting though (a geyish blue), but I still would keep yellow, as no other UK country uses it. I'm not sure that there is an official blue for the Scotland flag either - I've seen it both dark and light - another possible cause of confusion.--Matt Lewis (talk) 20:01, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
We have got a problem actually, because in Ireland-related articles we need to colour Ireland one colour and Northern Ireland another. The yellow looks quite garish against the green. Could we have a go at design principles to include Ireland as well? Compare the images here. -- Evertype· 21:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Green Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map11.png
Green Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map12.png
Green Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map13.png
Green Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map16.png
Grey Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map7.png
Grey Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map14.png
Grey Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map15.png
Grey Ireland version
United_Kingdom_labelled_map15.png
I'm about to add two more images to the table above. -- Evertype· 21:33, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind but I put them above - otherwise it looks like they were polled in an old poll, but they weren't. --Matt Lewis (talk) 23:42, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
This article is about the UK, so the Republic of Ireland should be coloured grey (same as France) because it's not part of the UK. The Republic must not be coloured in. I would not object too strongly if NI were green, but I should point out that yellow is a traditional colour of Ulster (although of course this is not the same as NI). Bazonka (talk) 22:29, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
They are discussing the Ireland map here too - I've given a couple of alternatives. Are we really discussing a green Northern Ireland for the UK map? I could never pass that - sorry. --Matt Lewis (talk) 23:35, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, of course the UK countries table can continue to keep Ireland (the state) grey. The current discussion however is to include Ireland (the state) in the colour design scheme so that we can use the same colours on Ireland/Northern-Ireland-only articles. -- Evertype· 00:50, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)If I can go back to the suggestions of Roadnote: If the blue were to be adopted, we might (and I think we would) have a problem with there being too many blues in the map unless enough differences in the contrast and/or saturation (or slight differences in the hue) could make them sufficiently distinct. Since the blue for Scotland seems to be a good idea, if we really want blue for Northern Ireland, then the blue to change would be the colour of the sea. I'm not sure how easy this would be to manipulate. In these circumstances, I wonder whether abandoning the attempt to make the colours at all relavent in some way to the countries would be best.  DDStretch  (talk) 10:26, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I've posted the more recent Ireland variants on Talk:Ireland - I think its best to talk about them there (and one is currently used there too). --Matt Lewis (talk) 10:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Matt, it might be best not to confuse the two. the Ireland map doesn't include GB and the UK map doesn't need to identify the ROI. Maybe we should get the opinions of more Irish editors? I accept blue won't work as it is already used in the sea and Scotland. But I don't understand these "political connections". Anyone form Northern Ireland would agree there isn't a problem, green isn't exclusive to republicans nor is it exclusive to the Republic of Ireland. I'll try and upload a copy of the green version of Matt's UK countries map later for comparison, uploads don't seem to be working at present.  Roadnote  ♫  11:48, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd still like to be able to use the same colour for Northern Ireland on our maps as you are using on yours. Not so much to ask... Have a look at these: -- Evertype· 11:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Island-of-Ireland.PNG
Island-of-Ireland2.PNG
File:Island-of-Ireland3.PNG
Island-of-Ireland3.PNG
File:Island-of-Ireland7.PNG
Island-of-Ireland6.PNG
File:Island-of-Ireland3.png
Island-of-Ireland3.png
File:Island-of-Ireland7.png
Island-of-Ireland7.png
Island-of-Ireland8.png
Island-of-Ireland9.png

OK, I've done a lot of uploads. -- Evertype· 12:16, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Merge proposal: discussion is at Countries of the United Kingdom[edit]

At Talk:Countries of the United_Kingdom#Merger proposal.

Lead section[edit]

OK, I made a change to the lead but this was reverted as "too bold" (see the comparison here). My objections:

  • "Subdivisions of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe ENG/SCO/WLS/NI" - no it isn't. Completely unsourced.
  • It puts a list into the lead, against WP:MOS, WP:LIST and WP:LEAD
  • It tells me hardly anything about the subdivisions of the UK.
  • Its forks material about devolution and parliamentary arrangements, not how the UK is subdivided.

I suggest a restoration. --Jza84 |  Talk  10:20, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

You are right - it's doing a job that the title doesn't identify: but we need somewhere with this particular material. How about the merge? I think your list-to-prose edit (a MOS I personally always found too rigid) was kept in, but the other stuff reverted. I thought myself some of it was awkward - but it's really to do with the title of the article: it is simply too ambiguous, and is not a common name. I don't want the spend any more time on this one fitting square pegs into round holes myself: I'd rather see it merged with Countries of the United Kingdom. --Matt Lewis (talk) 10:37, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking that this article needs to go down the route of the British Isles and Second city of the United Kingdom articles. I.e. merely present the facts as they are, and in cases of citation conflict, be written within the spirit and letter of making for a purely neutral description of the issue in hand, allowing for zero poetic licence.
My particular gripe is with the first bulleted point above, and how I've expressed (in an above conversation) that ENG/SCO/WLS/NI "should not be considered as first level administrative divisions"; the UK is united on a basis of four "parts", not subdivided into them. --Jza84 |  Talk  23:06, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
The current wording is poor, but the change which I reverted was not neutral and simply ran the risk of reopening old (well regrettably recent) debates. Best to merge I think. --Snowded (talk) 23:14, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Can you explain how it wasn't neutral? That would have aided in making tweaks rather than a revert with the summary of "too bold". --Jza84 |  Talk  23:18, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
For a start there were a lot of changes, the main issue which would be bound to cause conflict was emphasising "parts" with "country" as a casual afterthought. We all put a lot of effort to get to something that can keep all but the extreme POV pushers happy and that syntax is "country which is a part" and variants. --Snowded (talk) 23:37, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
In the edit summary to that last post, you say (quote) "respond to insulting language" ([4]). What on earth do you mean by that? --Jza84 |  Talk  00:02, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
predictive text got ahead of me. It should have been "respond" but my previous text was respond to insults" (the use of abusive language) on another page where you are also engaged. --Snowded (talk) 00:30, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Predictive text?? Please take more care in future - summaries like that made me rather inclined that you're not serious about the issues in hand. Anyway, I've taken your (good) feedback on board; as I said in my summaries - the changes I made may have needed a tweak, but a blind revert with the summary "too bold" wasn't particularly well spent from my perspective. I've removed "forced" descriptions of "part" and "country" per this discussion. --Jza84 |  Talk  00:42, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I won't be the first or last to make that mistake (Predictive text) and its always useful to check before assuming intent (especially when there was little connection). In respect of your latest edits I think they are OK although "complex, multi-layered and non-uniform" has been objected to before. Personally I would leave well alone while the merge discussion is underway. This article now has more importance as it has been used as a pipelink to resolve conflict elsewhere. --Snowded (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, you might want to reconsider Political Union in favour of "union" or similar. There were votes in the Scottish and the Irish parliaments for union (although the latter can be disputed in terms of legitimacy). Wales was incorporated by act of the English Parliament. --Snowded (talk) 01:05, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
That's a valid point, yes. I hadn't considered this. We need something for the opening sentence that is of suitable ambiguity. I picked that one from another article/part of this article (from memory). --Jza84 |  Talk  01:27, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Where is Great Britain?[edit]

The Introduction of this page says "The United Kingdom, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe, comprises England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales." Shouldn't it read "The United Kingdom, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe, comprises of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland." As a result of the Acts of Union 1707 then the later Act of Union 1800. Mr Taz (talk) 19:00, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

That's probably much more confusing for our readers. The UK is a result of much more than those two pairs of Acts of Union (see Template:UKFormation), whilst England, Scotland and Wales span beyond Great Britain, by way of the Isle of Wight, Northern Isles and Anglesey alone. --Jza84 |  Talk  19:13, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Once again we see political and geographical terms conflicting. It should be made clear that the phrase "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" is a politically coined misnomer - excluding, geographically, 394 offshore islands from the political whole. DavidFRAS (talk) 22:15, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Comparative square? where?[edit]

hello, i wan see a comparative square of "Countries of the United Kingdom" England, N Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, something like i see in States of USA, with: Official Country Name, Flag, Area, Population, Capital, Most Populous City. Or like i see in "Demographic" table in Provinces of Argentina, like in every other "Articles of first-level administrative division". I feel like you dont know what are you doing, discussing about "not or no". Somebody talk me the real facts of UK subdivision, please. sorry for my engrish hahaha, i not acount in that wiki languaje but i will back to revise --201.255.40.34 (talk) 03:50, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think that is a good idea, but it would sit better in the Countries of the United Kingdom article, not here. I'll see if I can make a table there. Bazonka (talk) 17:34, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
It's also worth mentioning that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland "should not be considered as a first-order administrative divisions" of the United Kingdom ([5]). I know that we could add some useful stuff, but not on this article - the two are distinct for a reason IMHO. --Jza84 |  Talk  17:44, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Something needs to be done about the two articles: Countries of the United Kingdom and this one. There is so much overlap at the moment. If one takes this article as a basis, then it may well do with having its name changed so that the range of administrative divisions, as well as the E/NI/S/W parts could be dealt with in one place. If this were done, it may mean intergrating some other articles into this one, or, at least, having a summary of their content here and a link to the main article. However, even this idea is not supported, the problem of the great overlap between the two articles, as mentioned above, does need attention.  DDStretch  (talk) 17:53, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree. It's all a bit of a mess at the moment. I've now made a table in the Countries of the United Kingdom article btw. Bazonka (talk) 18:02, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I agree. I'd be tempted to throw geography of the United Kingdom, home nations and history of the formation of the United Kingdom into the mix too. If I was writing this, I'd seriously consider writing an article called England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Lengthy and a little unslightly perhaps, but avoids labels (which is something I'm trying to promote ATM). Failing that, I'd merge Countries of the United Kingdom into Home nations. Countries of the United Kingdom is serving editors, not readers, which is why I'm uncomfortable with its presence.
Another option of course is to polarise the two articles - keeping any overlap to a minimum. That's probably workable. --Jza84 |  Talk  18:04, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales might also be a good name to change the current Countries of the United Kingdom to, as I agree, in its present state I now see (as I did a while back, but got diverted) that it is too biased. It could then be expanded in the lines I think you are considering, with sections being "spun off" into separate articles as they get too unwieldy for a single article. I wasn't fully aware of Home Nations, though I may have been at some stage in the past, there are just so many of these around that I may well have simply forgotten it. I'm not sure about Home Nations as a name to change Countries of the United Kingdom to: I was under the impression (possibly mistaken impression) that it was mostly a sporting term. Being a UK citizen, I feel it is rather a disgrace that articles about the country of which I am a citizen are in such appalling states, but the problems and drama that ensue when changes have been proposed before make me wonder if they won't occur afresh if a new initiative was applied.  DDStretch  (talk) 18:16, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
hello, i am who was created that Comparative square? where? discuss, and i am happy to see the Table of UK countries in Countries of the United Kingdom, congratulation and thank to Bazonka. Again sorry for my inglish --201.255.44.179 (talk) 18:47, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Detailing issues[edit]

Can we actually detail what might be biased on both this and the Countries of the United Kingdom article? Neither need be so (an yes they are overlapping - though we needn't delete either).

There certainly is a lot of nationalism in the UK, but bias or intent does not necessarily mean the information isn't sound or appropriate. Regarding the title "Countries of the United Kingdom", it is a commonly-used phrase. The alphabetical ordering of "England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales" unfortunately isn't. We can't go after "intent" on Wikipedia (I've had my fingers burnt there myself) - and we need to just accept that the word "country" is simple more flexible than "sovereign state" (why else do we have this other term?). The US was calling Georgia the "sovereign state" not so long ago, and saying how the "they must be respected" - it is where the international power lines are, but the situation showed how politics has its own language - Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not Georgian culturally, and were called "breakaway states". I'm certainly not comparing this with the UK (a different situation entirely). But the principle of 'country' being the 'non-political' word is the same - I see as much bias trying to deny it as trying to overplay it, but to me the word simply esists. We certainly don't call ourselves united 'states' in the UK, because we were always countries (or a country formed out of the division of a pre-existing country, like Northern Ireland).

By the way, I will soon be applying some more citations to the term "multicultural" (if that is a problem of bias, I don't know). It is more leftfield to say the cultures in the UK are not 'multicultural', than it is to call the UK multicultural (the winning Olympic bid, and the traditional - and in my view correct - view). Some sociology can crawl inside iteself on these things IMO (as sociology often does - it's a multifarious field to say the least). Most of the UK articles seem to be shy on tackling ethnicity. I worked on the Haringey article last year (now in the news, of course), as I noticed in passing that it basically manipulated ethnicity statistics to claim there are less than 50% white people in Haringey (it focused only British decent). I found out that around 65% of Haringey's population were white (and the Irish and others, of course, are not 'non-white'). The truth is that Britain is full of different cultures, whether British citizens, or British-decended or not. Some people are certainly British full stop, as it means something to them other than being Enlgish, for example. When someone becomes a British citizen why should they be made to be 'English' too, just because they moved to England? Britishness for them is clearly keeping their culture (first from the old empire, but it rubs off on other immigants too). We all know the millions Polish are very different culturally (which is why its argued that we should have gone back to the old empire, or the 'commonwealth', when we were searching for workers, as they are closer in identity). Great cities like London have always had a kind of cultural life of their own too, and are a significant part of the wider identity.

Anyway (I'm not even sure if that the identity section is a problem) - can we detail what is wrong, so it can be addressed?

(PS - lets not make "Wales is not a real country" etc an 'issue' again here, please - it will simply obscure debate and prevent progress.)--Matt Lewis (talk) 12:55, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I've read this a couple of times, but I'm struggling following where the real gripe lies. What is it you're proposing? As I understand it, this article is merely about how the UK is geographically subdivided. Culture, ethnicity, identity, language are all factors that shouldn't be in the article IMO. --Jza84 |  Talk  22:21, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it was about Countries of the UK more than this, but was in response to a comment in here. I'll have to come back to it again. Maybe I'll move it when I look at it - I'm fixed on Ireland right now, so we can get the Ireland disam right esp. --Matt Lewis (talk) 23:47, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm concerned about how problems are being "addressed" here. Jza84 summarized what this page is merely about ("merely about how the UK is subdivided"). There are two problems with Jza84's sumarizing language and overall conception of this page. First, in terms of dividing territory geographically, there is no "merely" involved. Territorial division is a serious and often deadly issue. Moreover, Brits tend to be more tolerant of the mixing of cultural, ethnicity, and legal issues because they live without a written constitution. Jsa84 could learn from this attitude. The second revealing problem with Jsa84's language is that Jsa84 underscores geographically as if this modifier is going to clarify anything. The discpline of geography is made up of several branches and, until you specify whether you mean political geography or other kinds of geography, you haven't resolved anything--you haven't even begun. This page is one of the more inconsisent pages available, and not just internally, but in relation to other pages that deal with consitutional and cultural issues in the United Kingdom. I recommend that Jza84 begin to accept the help of others in the Wikipedia community. Otherwise, these pages will continue to look confused.Dylan Hunt (talk) 19:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)Dylan Hunt --Dylan Hunt

Well you could start by proposing changes rather than criticising one of the admins who has show he understands the issues associated with the various UK Pages. I have had my run ins with him but the above comments a nonsense. I also see that you are a "new" user who has jumped straight into a controversial area. --Snowded TALK 19:32, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Significant refocus[edit]

I'm not insensitive to knowing alot of work went into this and countries of the United Kingdom, but I've been bold over the last 24 hours and tried to refocus the two pages as to why they are distinct from one another. I'm keen to make it more clear that they are seperate topics.

As such, I've removed alot of the repetition from this article that is found in "countries". I've also swapped out the map for something that not only shows the home nations, not only shows some kind of subdivision of the UK, but also helps explain that there is "no common stratum of administrative division of the UK" - which is probably the most notable and most important thing we ought to get across to our readers.

There's nothing sinister been going on - no politics behind this, it's just something that has been bugging me for a long time that this article effectively was, well, wrong as to focus on ENG/SCO/WLS/NI as divisions. Hopefully this change is viewed as a positive. --Jza84 |  Talk  13:47, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

The changes youve been making have been very good in my opinion, it seems strange that a few days ago these were two almost identical articles, Great job. Could i suggest now this article has been reshaped and improved most of the current talk page be archived as its no longer relevant. Thanks BritishWatcher (talk) 13:54, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I am very much in agreement with the reasoning and changes that have been made to the article, Jza84, so long as the large table is retained in the Countries article (since I think it is of particular importance to use against tediously repetitive arguments about "countries" and the UK), It reads better and the logic of the two articles (this one and the countries one) is much better clarified like this. Is there room for further expansion, do you think?  DDStretch  (talk) 13:57, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks folks. I'm glad this is well received, as I had visions of objections to go backwards to the status quo! :S
Is there room for further expansion? Sure, I think so. The main bulk of the article has zero references. The lead is quite tightly sourced now, but things like "England is split into counties" and other such simple statements really need a reference. They should be quite easy to find (maybe Youngs?). If we could expand the prose a little more we could start to get more maps in of other divisions (constituencies or informal/cultural regions etc). --Jza84 |  Talk  14:03, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Just a suggestion: In the third paragraph, it reads: "Historically, the subnational divisions of the UK have been the county and the ecclesiastical parish...". I wonder whether the "ecclesiastical parish" needs "tweaking" a little: it is true that the parish system at the time being referred to included ecclesiastical functions, but, from Tudor times onwards in the case of England and Wales, and a bit later for Scotland, civil duties were taken more onboard. Perhaps the better term to use would be "ancient parish", which can be sourced (I can dig out a couple). Now, it may be that in Northern Ireland, and much of Scotland, the parishes had for most of their existence purely ecclesiastical functions, but their age still renders them ancient parishes, I think. It may be that a short article titled Ancient parishes might be in order. I am a bit less certain about the situation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, however, so I may be a bit out in what I've just written.  DDStretch  (talk) 14:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Sure, that sounds great, especially if can be sourced. I presume when you mean civil duties you mean Poor Law? If so, that also may warrent a mention somewhere, perhaps in a new "historical subdivisions" section? --Jza84 |  Talk  14:41, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok. I'll dig out the refs, and add them as well as tweaking the text after I've re-read them to (hopefullY) confirm what I've written from memory, above. About historical subdivisions, that would be a good idea, as Hundreds/Wapentakes/Wards/Rapes could then be included with appropriate links to the various articles about them. Sanitary Districts and Poor Law Unions would also be good ones to add, along with the old (ancient) boroughs, county boroughs, municipal boroughs, urban districts, rural districts and so on. There is a lot of scope for expansion in History sections, and that is just for England. Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales will need to be different to differing degrees.  DDStretch  (talk) 14:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Registration Districts (for births marriages and deaths) may also be useful UK-wide subdivisions. May be we need to separate local government divisions from other kinds?  DDStretch  (talk) 15:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Why have a separate section for the home countries/constituent parts[edit]

There is a section in this article that enumerates the various subdivisions within geography corresponding specifically to the constituent parts (i.e., Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales). In an apparent inconsistency, the article makes clear that the official subdivisions of the UK do not conform to the most widely known vernacular subdivisions (i.e., Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales). Nonetheless, the section goes on to enumerate the various subdivisions within these constituent parts. Can anyone in a position to do so please explain why this article is so structured? Notice also that the section previously bore the vacuous sub-heading "In the United Kingdom". Where else but *in the United Kingdom* would you expect to find subdivisions of the United Kingdom? The section has since been renamed to "Subdivision in the Constituent Parts of the United Kingdom", but it remains an oddity given most of the statements in the article. Dylan Hunt (talk) 00:52, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

On a related but separate issue, I would accept that the section dealing with the constituent parts is about Local Government. However, neither the past nor the present title of the section indicates the section is primarily about local government. Moreover, it is no more clear why local government would feature so prominently in an article about subdivisions. There is of course the possibility that the subdivisions exist because of local government, but this is not stated anywhere in the article. If that were the preferred reading, then the article as it now stands is inside out, or back to front, depending on your preferred colloquialism. Is this article about subdivision or about local government? Dylan Hunt (talk) 01:21, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand your first paragraph. The article goes through the four countries and describes the sub-divisions within those. What is inconsistent? The name is clumsy and I for one would be open to other proposals. There are other articles on local government which could be better referenced. --Snowded TALK 08:39, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Snowded here. --Jza84 |  Talk  12:16, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Also agree, but if Dylan Hunt thinks there is a better way of organising it, then he/she is free to describe how here. Then we could all see perhaps a bit better why the current organisation is somehow troubling to him/her.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:25, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
On another note, I'm a bit concerned that the lead of Northern Ireland says that it became a "subdivision of the UK" following partition, with a link here. --Jza84 |  Talk  12:28, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
May be this is something to raise at the ArbCom procedings rather than attempt to dive into that morass here or on that article. Be intersting to see who it was who made the change, though.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:54, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I do my best to stay out of that corner of Wikipedia. It's a terrible lead section IMHO. Anyway, that's another matter... --Jza84 |  Talk  15:09, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Good try, guys, but this United Kingdom wikipedia club is not quite reaching quality levels of communicaton. Jza84 and ddstretch both say they agree with Snowded, but what do they agree about? I certainly don't have any transcendent knowledge about their agreement and they don’t say. Please state your own opinions clearly rather than making a blanket agreement statement. If what I wrote is not clear (if that is what you agree with), I will restate it, but please specify what I need to clarify. It seems obvious that the four constitutent parts are getting more than their fair share of the attention in this article. The article already states (with a citation) that the four parts are not official divisions ('"should not be considered as first-order administrative divisions"'). Then it says that, historically, other divisions (county, parish, not to mention districts that succeeded the ecclesiastical districts, then ward and constituency) have been the subnational divisions. It is anybody’s guess whether he latter are official divisions, relatively more official divisions than the vernacular ones of the 4 countries, or co-existing divisions with the 4 countries in the multiplistic complex arrangement that is the UK. Moreover, despite the statement that there is "no common stratum of administrative unit encompassing the United Kingdom", the structure of 4 (Scotland, England, NI, and Wales) is used as just such a common stratum to describe local government and to structure the article. This is a good, pretty textbook example of inconsistency. If any of this is not clear, please be a good administrator and/or editor and be specific about should be clarified. Thanks. Dylan Hunt (talk) 06:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Im sorry i read through your post twice but im still unsure what your problem is with the article. Could you suggest what changes to the article you would like to make so its clear what the problem is? The article seems accurate and clear to me, talking about each part of the United Kingdom and their individual subdivisions.
You say the Countries of the United Kingdom are getting more than their fair share of attention, but if each part of the UK has its own subdivisions surely its more accurate to describe each one separately? Please say what you would do to improve the article. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:02, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

BritishWatcher: Thanks for your courteous and transparent question (the first I have seen from the UK clique since I got "involved"). I'll address your second point. If my answer to that is not clear, there is little point taking the time to suggest actual changes. Your clarifying question mentions the premise that each part of the UK has its own subdivisions. The article states this, but your phrasing implies that the parts are not themselves subdivisions. The article says nothing about that. Besides the lack of clarity on that point (assuming your reading is correct), there is another confusion in the article: I think the majority of the people reading this article will understand that the four countries are the focus of the article and that the title of the article (Subdivisions...) refers to them. If it is the case that the parts are not themselves subdivisions, then the article is far from clear on this point (except to the three or four who have been "involved"). Hence, there are two confusions in the article: 1) the title suggests that the parts are subdivisions (because of the structure and general content of the article) and 2) since the article explicitly divides the UK into the four countries, this suggests that the parts are themselves subdivisions. Your reading suggests that the title of the article should be "subdivisions of the four parts of UK", not "subdivisions of the UK". Until these confusions are addresses, I think the article casts more shadow than light on the subject. Dylan Hunt (talk) 18:09, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Ahhhhhh i see what you mean. As we say in the article the 4 countries of the United Kingdom have their own subdivisions the title would be more accurate if it was something like Subdivisions of the Countries of the United Kingdom (sounds slightly odd). All i know about this subject is what ive read from this article and i presume its correct regards the content. I wouldnt object to a title change to something else if others want to as long as a decent title could be decided on, although i think the article makes clear in the introduction that the 4 countries are not subdivisions but each have their own system so the title is still correct as they are all part of the UK still (A district in Texas is still a district in the United States etc). BritishWatcher (talk) 18:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Would "Subdivisions within the UK", or "Administrative subdivisions within the UK" clarify it? Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Or possibly "Administrative Geography of the UK", as used by ONS here[6]Pondle (talk) 23:11, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Excellent idea. Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:21, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I think that's fair too from my perspective; the capitalisation of "Administrative geography of the United Kingdom" would be preferred though in case there is confusion about that! --Jza84 |  Talk  23:48, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

These all seem to be reasonable solutions, if a little stop-gappy. I think my problem is that I am seeing this as an outsider to this UK group and the UK group might be seeing the article as a group of insiders writing for insiders. My initial problem with the article was that it is unclear and allows different incompatible readings. "Administrative geography" certainly makes the article more consistent, but I'm not sure it makes the title more understandable (unless, of course, you are a geographer or know all the branches of geography). To benefit neophytes (perhaps I presume too much in thinking this is the intended audience of wikipedia and any other encyclopedia articles) on the subject which this article addresses, I would make the following suggestions. 1) Gut as much of the introduction as possible regarding the four countries and, instead, refer people to the article on the Countries of the UK (since it already exists; which would also resolve some problems people have with repetition between these two articles. 2) Explain what "administrative geography" addresses (e.g., national and local government hierarchies) and how this relates to this article. 3) For the love of God, rename (to whatever is appropriate) the section entitled "In the UK" (or eliminate this title) because it serves no purpose whatsoever--perhaps to "contemporary administration" or something that transitions from "History"; although for reasons beyond my comprehension, some people are apparently wedded till death to that vacuous phrase (i.e., In the UK). 4) Move the last paragraph of the Intro (beginning with "Historically...") to the History section or exapnd on the themes it introduces. 5) Identify the referent of "This structure" in the History section (i.e., answer the question, "What structure?"). 6) Follow strict style guidelines for the terms "division[s]" and "subdivision[s]" throughout this article if either is a significant concept for this article. 7) Incorporate the "Parliamentary representation" section into the section preceding it. This would give a structure of [Introduction], History, Contemporary Administration (or whatever), Informal (Sub)Divisions, International (Sub)Divisions. As things stand, having a separate section for informal divisions suggests the rest of the article is about formal divisions, which would be fine if the sections reflected a more transparent and sensible organization to the article currently lacking. Dylan Hunt (talk) 03:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually, on reflection, I'm not sure we need a change. The lead is pretty clear and structure is logical. I'm really not sure what the problem is. The only issue that perhaps needs work is the fact that the UK does have subdivisions, but not for local government (for example, constituencies and Lieutenancy areas). It makes perfect sense to describe the four systems of administrative subdivision breifly in this article. --Jza84 |  Talk  12:18, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I would prefer to move the article to "Administrative geography of the UK" purely because the term "subdivisions of the UK" doesn't appear to be common currency anywhere outside Wikipedia. Pondle (talk) 17:46, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Allow me to reiterate: whether the intro is "clear" or the structure "logical" shouldn't be the issues (and I don't think logic is on anyone's mind in this discussion). The issue should be whether the random person is going to come away more confused than before (i.e., *to whom* is the article clear (or not)?) If Jza84 reads it over and over, I suggest it will remain clear to her/him. On the other hand, the random person looking for answers about the administrative geography of the UK is likely to find it unclear for the reasons mentioned above. Dylan Hunt (talk) 16:32, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Well that is your opinion, personally I think you are wrong and clearly in a minority here. Administrative geography was a good move. --Snowded (talk) 17:25, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Constitution[edit]

According to this article the reason why there are no single defined terms for the subdivisions of the UK is solely due to the lack of a single document written constitution. This is a false and unverified statement.--jrleighton (talk) 02:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Correct it then. Bazonka (talk) 07:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)