Template talk:Scotland counties

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Abolition[edit]

Morwen says that:

  • "um, Ross-shire and Cromartyshire weren't abolished in 1975"

Indeed? My understanding was that ALL Scottish counties were abolished in 1975. Those two became part of the Ross and Cromarty District Council of Highland Regional Council.--Mais oui! 14:58, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Ross-shire and Cromartyshire had been abolished already in 1889 to form Ross and Cromarty, though. Morwen - Talk 15:00, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Right, I see what you mean. I thought that you were claiming that they still existed (in some bizarre twilight zone?) :)
I still don't think that that opening sentence is very good. In fact, I don't think that the template needs any explanation at all: it is much cleaner without. What I do think would clarify things for the reader though is if we change the title to "historic counties" rather than "traditional counties".--Mais oui! 15:06, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I have been adding qualifiers to all these footers as there are quite a few articles that have more than one on them. For the historic counties the wording is deliberately diplomatic to only suggest they have historic origin but no mention of them being abolished (and we all know why that is). MRSC 15:11, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
And now the second point. What is our rationale for using 'traditional counties' over 'historic counties'. I've only ever heard mention of 'traditional' on wikipedia and on the pro-tradition websites. Elsewhere 'historic' and 'ancient' is used. What do the government call them? - perhaps Morwen will know :) MRSC 15:15, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the government generally doesn't call them anything, as it doesn't have a use for them ;) But a few searches of the online Hansard archive indicate that the phrase "historic(al) county(ies)" has been used in Parliament over 150 times, "traditional..." 20-30 times, "ancient..." 15-20 times, and "geographic..." 3 times. sjorford (talk) 16:44, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I've always thought 'historic county' was a better title, as it's less confusing. Using the phrase 'traditional' county, is POV as it implies that there *is* a local tradition of the county existing, which in many places is simply not true. P.s wouldn't it be better to put this at 'Counties of Scotland' seem as the present name has never been officially used, and there was never any distinction between admin and historic counties. G-Man * 20:01, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Recent edits by Mais oui![edit]

The county footers are part of a standard set. Mais oui! has made several changes to this particular template with the following edit sumamries:

  • rv anglifications:
Argyllshire -> Argyll
Buteshire -> Bute
Kincardineshire -> The Mearns
Kirkcudbrightshire -> Stewarty of Kirkcudbright
Morayshire -> Moray

This has broken a number of the links and is not consistent. The alternative names are listed on the respective county pages and shouldn't be mixed up in this way.

  • All counties were abolished in 1975 and restore fact
These edits have added the text 'All counties were abolished in 1975.' and were also a surreptitious attempt to remove 'United Kingdom'. Points to note:

(1) For the administration of local government on and after 16th May 1975, Scotland shall have local government areas in accordance with the provisions of this section

(5) On 16th May 1975, all local government areas existing immediately before that date, that is to say, all counties, counties of cities, large burghs, small burghs and districts, shall cease to exist

The local government areas referenced by subsection 5 were created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947. Section 1, subsection 1 states: "For the purposes of local government, Scotland shall be divided into counties, counties of cities, large burghs and small burghs".

It can be seen from these two extracts that the 1973 Act abolished local government areas that were created a mere 26 years earlier. This misunderstanding is also the root cause of current edit wars, insults and accusations of vandalism on my talk page.

It should also be noted that Schedule 29 of the 1973 Act also repealed Section 39 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 that united Ross-shire and Cromartyshire. Owain (talk) 12:27, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Systematic vandalism[edit]

The Scottish counties were abolished in 1975. It is an extremely well attested fact. The ongoing campaign to systematically obfuscate this fact is clear, disruptive vandalism. --Mais oui! 13:34, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Have you read the legislation? Why are you not responding to the explicit points I have raised above? Just stating "The Scottish counties were abolished in 1975. It is an extremely well attested fact" does not make it so. For local government purposes the counties are no longer directly used, yes, but there are other uses bar local government, just as there were prior to 1890. Your systematic removal of all references to Scottish counties on Wikipedia would be more easily classifiable as vandalism. Getting county categrories deleted with no discussion is vandalism. Removing county fields from Scottish infoboxes is vandalism. Continual reverting of this template to a version that is clearly broken and has your unncessary PoV commentary in it is vandalism. I have clearly pointed out in all my edits on county pages that they are no longer used for local government, but that is clearly not enough for your PoV! You would rather that all the other uses for counties were stopped too. Unfortunately, traditional geographic use can never be stopped and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Having all the information in articles pushes no PoV but allows the reader to choose which piece of information is important to them. You are attemptimg to choose for the reader which piece of information you think is important to them, and that is clearly wrong. Owain (talk) 13:46, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Counties are units of local government. They were abolished 31 years ago. It really is time that you got over it. If you want to troll about the internet, start a blog.--Mais oui! 14:28, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Again you are making the classic mistake that because local government was based on counties then local government somehow define counties. That is clearly not the case otherwise they wouldn't have existed before 1889/1890. In any case there are many other uses besides local government that counties can be and currently are used for. The Registers of Scotland and Lyon Court both use counties. The Chapman codes and Watsonian vice-counties are based on them. Many current council areas and Lieutenancy areas of Scotland are named after them. They are widely used in postal addresses, and other geographic uses. The Scottish Executive use them quite freely. Look at many Executive press releases that use counties to describe where a place is. Counties were used as local government units between 1890 and 1975, but they have been before 1890 and continue to be used after 1975 for other purposes. What evidence do you have to prove otherwise? Owain (talk) 15:18, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
You are deliberatly trying to present the counties as still being in existence. You persistently describe them in the present tense for heaven's sake! They are no longer extant: they are deceased. It is an underhand campaign of obfuscation and deceit. Shame on you.--Mais oui! 16:41, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Owain. It is impossible to abolish a geographical area. The council administrations that operated within these geographical areas may no longer exist, but the geographical county areas are still in use. Astrotrain 20:43, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Counties were not "geographical areas". Counties were units of local government which serviced pre-existing geographical areas. Counties came into existence by legislation and they were killed-off by legislation - the names of the areas they temporarily served continue in use, but they were used prior to the invention of counties.--Mais oui! 21:54, 17 February 2006 (UTC)


Clarification on Dispute[edit]

Is this dispute simply about the naming? Argyll to Argyllshire, etc., or the naming of such entities as counties or not? This would greatly help me to determine my opinion on the matter. Because it seems to me that Argyll and Bute have (for all intentes and purposes) always been named Argyll and Bute, regardless of other things governments have tacked on or off, and that even on Wikipedia, they've been that way as long as I can remember. I recently heard that someone was trying to change them to Argyllshire and Buteshire etc., which is flat wrong. What's going on here? Canaen 10:02, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

The dispute as put forward by Mais oui! is both the "shire" suffix and calling them counties is wrong. Clearly they *are* counties, and *can* take the "shire" suffix, as evidenced by the names of many organisations and government documents. Why is it "flat wrong" to call them Argyllshire and Buteshire? Owain (talk) 12:26, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Owain: you have comprehensively lost your attempts to distort the Argyll and the Bute articles. Please desist from your campaign to use the overall template to pursue your bizarre aims. --Mais oui! 14:29, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm willing to stick with Argyll, since it doesn't mean anything else, but Bute I still think should redirect to the Isle of Bute, or at the very least be moved to Bute (county) with Bute as a disambiguation page; when people search for 'Bute', they will generally be looking for the island, not the county. In order to avoid parenthetical modifiers, listing it as Buteshire is still the simplest and most elegant solution.
And let me say again, this is a question of useful referencing - what readers will actually search for, not of the terms found in Haansard in the 1830s! It is a clear wikipedia policy to name articles according to their most frequently-used name, and further according to their least ambiguous name, avoiding brackets in the title whenever possible. In the case of Bute, this simply hasn't been done. Stringops 15:14, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
You say.
"It is a clear wikipedia policy to name articles according to their most frequently-used name"
Well, when myself and others, and most people whom I know, refer to the Isle of Bute, we do say Bute. And when referring to the administrative region, we still say Bute. Not Buteshire, Bute, as it is clearly named after the Isle of Bute. I'd say that Bute stays as the administrative region, and Isle of Bute stay at Isle of Bute. Buteshire was the name of the county up until 1975, but no longer. Every mention of "Buteshire" that I can find is of the county whose existence was ended in 1975. Particularly Scotland's People.gov, the only Government site on the first page in Google. Scotland's People calls Buteshire:
"A county, until 1975, in the west of Scotland."
This Government site, the first I find when searching for Bute, refers to "Argyll and Bute," with no mention of a Buteshire. Buteshire is simply not a relevent term any longer. Canaen 22:04, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Naming[edit]

It seems odd that a template for "Subdivisions created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889", covering the period 1889 to 1973, is called Template:Scotland counties rather than something more accurate, like Template:Scotland counties (1889-1973). Thoughts ? Explanations ? Precedents ? Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:25, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

It's not supposed to be "Subdivisions created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889", that keeps getting added by User:Mais oui! to suggest that counties and shires only existed between 1890 and 1975. If you look at my revision, it has no such notice, and is entited "Counties and Shires of Scotland" just to placate those that think the term "county" was invented by the LG(S)A 1889 (It clearly wasn't as there were "county constituencies" long before that Act). If you think my version is more generic, feel free to revert to it. Owain (talk) 08:35, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
The description "Subdivisions created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889" is accurate, it's the template name that's wrong; it should match that description, not necessarily word for word, but at least acknowledging that these are a C19th introduction. Angus McLellan (Talk) 11:14, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
The description is NOT accurate. The shires clearly existed before 1890, the only thing invented then was Ross and Cromarty. This is why I removed the text and changed the title to "Counties and Shires of Scotland". Owain (talk) 11:46, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
We know that "Subdivisions created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889" is accurate, because the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 50) corresponds with the list. As for it being valid much before 1889, the Statistical Accounts of Scotland and the Register of Sasines and the Vision of Britain site's 1806 and 1812 mapping all suggest otherwise. Angus McLellan (Talk) 14:51, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I am fully aware that the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 created a uniform system of county councils with these names on a specific date, but the wording is disingenuous as it suggests that the shires themselves were created in 1890. The reality is that they all have radically different histories and were formed at different times. The 1812 map for example shows them all, 78 years before this wording suggests they were created! Owain (talk) 15:07, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
So why use the 1889 names ? There's no objective reason to prefer Xshire to X when X is (a) shorter and (b) older. Angus McLellan (Talk) 15:44, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Why the 1889 names? See Association of British Counties - see [1] which I believe identifies one Owain Vaughan as hostmaster for the Association of British Counties website. Certainly the same Owain Vaughan has communicated with the BBC in respect of ABC. So perhaps that explains it. Just zis Guy you know? 20:43, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Merger[edit]

Why not merge this with English and Welsh counties in order to create a counties of Great Britain template? Lofty 09:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that would be a good idea. There is too much unnecessary regionalism in UK articles as it is. Owain (talk) 09:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it would be a very bad idea. Not only would it give the entirely false impression that Scots and English counties were in some way related and/or comparable, it would create an excessively large blot on the page. Angus McLellan (Talk) 09:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. The counties issue is even more contentious in Scotland than it is in England. County of Fife my arse ;-) Just zis Guy you know? 10:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I said it would be a good idea, but I knew there was no chance of it happening. UK regionalism rules! Owain (talk) 10:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It won't happen because it would be revisionism. Just zis Guy you know? 20:36, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Revisionism? Hardly. Listing the same units in the same country on the same template is not revisionism. Notice how there is an Association of British Counties, not separate associations for England, Scotland, Wales, &c. Owain (talk) 20:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Wow, a pressure group exists! So obviously we must immediately adopt their agenda. Not. Just zis Guy you know? 20:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
No no no, I wasn't saying that at all. I was merely pointing out that there are sets of things called counties across the entire of Britain. Why things need to be constantly split up into England, Scotland and Wales escapes me. Owain (talk) 20:49, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Because their histories have almost nothing in common before 1889. Welsh and Irish counties were created by assorted English governments, Scots counties weren't and have quite different origins. The idea that we should ignore the seven or eight centuries of difference just because there was a period a tenth as long when they were much the same just doesn't fly. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Just so. County of Fife my arse ;-) Just zis Guy you know? 23:37, 3 August 2006 (UTC)