Category talk:British MPs

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If we include every article on anyone who was ever an MP, won't this category become far too large to be of any use? Timrollpickering 12:37, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

There has been a similar discussion at List of British MPs without resolution, although there has been an attempt to subdivide them. It does strike me as being useful to have a alphabetical list showing every article on anyone who was ever an MP. The category is an easier way than the list mentioned. It throws up people who may not be widely-known to be an MP, families of MPs (Benns, Churchills, etc.) and makes them easier to locate generally. I think that simply ordering them by election year (which are the most comprehensive lists so far, post 1974) is not helpful on its own. But I sympathise with the category being too long - perhaps subdivide by first letter of surname, as in the list mentioned (not by Party or year). Mtiedemann 13:58, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps a sub category for Current British MPs to keep them separated?

I've put in an alphabetical key for the category. There is probably a neater way of doing it.--Henrygb 18:30, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Proposed restructuring[edit]

This category name "Britsih MPs" is inaccurate: strictly speaking, MPs at Westminster are "UK MPs", since they sit in the parliament of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

So as a first step, I propose that this category be renamed "UK MPs": this would have the useful side-effect of allowing it to include MPs from Northern Ireland, and MPs from all of Ireland before 1922. Since this a direct successor category, a mass change could be implemented using WP:AWB.

The next issue is how to divide sitting and former MPs. I see three options:

  1. "UK MPs" with sub-category "Current UK MPs" (I suggest that the term "current is more readily understood than "sitting")
  2. "UK MPs" with sub-category "Former UK MPs"
  3. "UK MPs" as a parent category with two sub-categories Current UK MPs" and "Former UK MPs"

Of the first two options, option 2 seems better: I suggest that when people look at categories, "UK MPs" is most likely to suggest sitting MPs. However, option 3 seem to me to be he best of all.

The question that raises is what to do about "English MPs" and "Scottish MPs": logically they should be sub-divided in the same way, with a similar sub-division for new categories of "Welsh MPs" and "Northern Irish MPs"

The new structure would then be

  • UK MPs
    • Current UK MPs
      • Current English MPs
      • Current Northern Irish MPs
      • Current Scottish MPs
      • Current Welsh MPs
    • Former UK MPs
      • Former English MPs
      • Former Northern Irish MPs
      • Former Irish MPs (pre-1922)
      • Former Scottish MPs
      • Former Welsh MPs

(The "current" and "former" sub-categories for Scottish, Welsh, etc, could also be sub-categs for "Scottish MPs" etc. I'm not sure whether I like that idea, but have no strong views either way)

The only question I see is of how much multiple classification to do. I know that there is a general policy in Wikepedia that "Articles should be placed in the most specific categories possible" [1], but I can see a persuasive case for an exception here as per Wikipedia:Categorization/Categories and subcategories, with all MPs categorised both by nation and under "UK", so that (for example):

  • Tam Dalyell would be listed in Former UK MPs and Former Scottish MPs
  • Ann Clwyd would be categorised under Current UK MPs and Current Welsh MPs
  • retreads who crossed the border might have multiple classifications, such as
    • Teddy Taylor, who would fall under Former UK MPs, Former Scottish MPs, and Former English MPs
    • Malcolm Rifkind, who would fall under Current UK MPs, Former Scottish MPs, and Current English MPs

The only downside I can see of my proposal is that it dosn't accommodate Mtiedemann's desire for a category which includes everyone who is or was an MP.

Any thoughts?

BrownHairedGirl 11:06, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I have no problem with a subcat for former or current MPs - I even agree that option 2 is probably better.

What I would object to is a subdivision of politicians by nation. I don't believe it is (always) relevant to their politics or their position in the Union's assembly, unlike Categories like Category:Scottish politicians which can refer to those politicians where national identity or issues were integral to their politics. It could lead to confusion and should, if used, be titled Category:UK MPs representing Scottish constituencies, etc, which is, I assume, what this is proposed to be determined on.

The only exception to my objection that I can foresee is former MPs representing constituencies no longer in the United Kingdom, namely Ireland, which could be useful to separate. Mtiedemann 11:55, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure you have a point about subdivision by nation, but it is becoming an increasingly relevant issue, for example wrt to the West Lothian question, and it does seem to matter to people in Scotalnd and Wales.
However, I think that it would be best to leave the English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh issues aside for now, and just consider two steps: 1) renaming "British MPs" to "UK MPs"; 2) splitting that into current and former. BrownHairedGirl
I would support option 2 for now, to distinguish current MPs from former. I don't think having subcategories for current MPs by home nation would be useful, as these can be done (with more detail such as constituency and party) by lists (although this might be a bit large for England). Mattbr30 00:48, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

April 2006[edit]

It seems Mais oui! (talkcontribs) has gone ahead and subdivided according to home nation without any further discussion here. There was far from consensus for making this change.

Anyway, if the categories are named "English, Welsh, Scottish", shouldn't it be "Northern Irish" not "Northern Ireland"? There should also be an "Irish Constituencies" for pre-partition MPs. JRawle (Talk) 11:45, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I have tagged all four new subcats for merging back into Category:British MPs. Please join the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion#Category:British MPs Valiantis 18:10, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Unfortunately, the editor in question seems to be on a mission to eliminate the word "British" from Wikipedia, which resulted in the excessively long category names. If people are thinking about the West Lothian question etc., perhaps we could have categories for current MPs representing Scottish and Welsh constituencies (e.g. Category:MPs for Scottish constituencies. But they should all also remain in the category "British MPs". JRawle (Talk) 18:27, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I support a renaming to UK MPs but dividing between current and former is a needless complication. If we take football categories as an example, we do not differentiate between current and former mebers of a particular club. BlueValour 21:04, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Uniltateral subdivision of British/United Kingdom/Scottish constituencies[edit]

As noted above, the User:Mais oui! has been engaged in a massive exercise to subdivide this category, and has added several layers of sub-categories, removing articles from their parent categories.

My attempt to undo some of this excessive sub-categorisation triggered a minor edit war, and a strong reaction on my talk page (see Please desist). I have asked User:Mais oui! to desist from these changes until a consensus is reached here, but so far the user's response has unfortunately been to remove my comment from the user talk page. I have now reinstated it.

Personally, I believe that there is some merit in splitting the category British MPs, but I am impressed by the arguments here in favour of retaining some of the supercategories. In particular, I think that to removing MP articles from categories relating to the parliament as a whole and relocating them to categories as small as one constituency (e.g. Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from Orkney and Shetland) serious impedes the use of the category system.

There may be a case for using the sub-categories, but I believe that if those suategories are to be usedk, the parent categories should be retained. As per WP:SUBCAT, "The basic principle is that the duplication makes it easier, and not harder, for users to find articles".

I hope that User:Mais oui! will join in the discussion here and seek a consensus for a categoristion system for members of the United Kingdom Parliament. --BrownHairedGirl 09:18, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I have been adding the MPs by party, MPs by nation and female MPs categories, I must confess, because they are, I believe, valid ways of subdividing a large category. But they have all made me uncomfortable as MPs are equal members of a UK parliament and subdivision by these factors might group people together in an artificial way. I was unhappy that these were created somewhat unilaterally, when we had been trying to consider the matter in discussion as above. But now that they are here and bedded in, I'll continue to use those three sets of categories. I try to use all of them together to make people easier to find, as WP:SUBCAT, but few do - that is the problem of this piecemeal proliferation, pigeonholing politicians by one factor only.
What I do object to however, is the further subdivision down to local areas and in addition the creation of Scottish subcats for every other type of category, and by implication English, Welsh and Northern Irish. Borough and county boundaries change, and constituencies even more regularly. When I first started editing here, I selfishly created a 'Croydon MPs' category because that was my first project. I kept articles in the parent cat but added any MP who had represented what is now the London Borough of Croydon. More recently I moved all this to Category:Politics of Croydon replacing the now-defunct MPs cat, which I think reflects what anyone who shares my interest is actually looking for and groups articles with councillors, etc. It is also a broader category so boundaries and so on don't matter - categories can be linked in a useful way. I would suggest the same for Fife MPs, Dundee MPs, Reading MPs, Cumbria MPs, etc.
As to the Scottish subdivision, this irks me because it creates English categories by default, which I think doesn't reflect the situation. These are categories for politicians who work across the UK in large part, or have the capacity to. Their constituencies can be defined by nation but their nationality and interests are much harder to define and I resist pigeonholing. Speaking as the son of immigrants to the UK, I think many of us first and second generation residents don't recognise English nationality for ourselves, as opposed to British, and I think labelling people as 'English politicians' in some roundabout way is POV, inaccurate and unhelpful.
A final comment: Republic of Ireland TDs are categorised by parliamentary session. If we were starting again, I would be happiest with this way of subdividing, with some special subcats for 'unusual MPs' such as those who represented more unusual parties or none. Mtiedemann 10:38, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
There should be one category with all British MPs in it, however they are categorised elsewhere. If the reason for splitting it is because there were too many, I don't think having a category with all English MPs is sensible either, as there are very many of those. Instead, we could use the Government Office Regions (constituencies never cross borders of these) – but that probably won't satisfy those users on a crusade to split "British" into "English" and "Scottish".
Given the implications of the West Lothian question, there might be some merit in having a "British MPs representing constituenties in Scotland" category. However, those MPs should also remain in the main British MPs category.
As for female MPs, the guideline is quite clear. Categories should not normally be split according to gender. If there is a particular interest in a particular group (e.g. female heads of state) the people in that category should still be including in the main, gender-neutral category. From Wikipedia:Categorization/Gender, race and sexuality:
Whenever possible, categories should not be gendered. A gender-specific category should only be implemented where gender has a specific relation to the topic. For example, separate categories for actors and actresses are not needed, but a female heads of government category is valid as a topic of special encyclopedic interest. That category, however, does not need to be balanced directly against a "Male heads of government" category, as historically the vast majority of political leaders have been male by default. Both male and female heads of government should continue to be filed in the appropriate gender-neutral role category (e.g. Presidents, Monarchs, Prime Ministers, Governors General.)
A similar discussion about Category:Female life peers concluded that they should also be included in Category:Life peers JRawle (Talk) 13:38, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
In response to Mtiedemann, it was me who created the categorisation-by-parliament for TDs, and I'm glad to see that you like it! It is perhaps slightly easier in Ireland, because there is clearly a "1st Dail", "2nd Dail" etc, and the nomenclature in the UK would be a little more unwieldly: "MPs elected to the 2001-2005 parliament" is not as snappy as Members of the 28th Dáil. I developed that categorisation partly by accident: starting from a "current TDs" idea.
(Minor pedantic aside: an election returns a new "parliament", and with each "parliament" there are several "sessions", which start with a Queen's speech and usually last about one year)
I think it's usually best on these things to look forward to where we want to be, and not to be too hung up on where we are now (think of the current situation as part of the learning process!).
So I'm going to tenatively stick my neck out and suggest that maybe we should work towards a parliament-based classification as a starting point: a not-for-subcategorisation system which should produce reasonably manageable categories. I'll knock up a draft proposal below.
As to the Scottish/Irish/Welsh/English division, I can see a case for it, and I don't have a problem with MPs being labelled that way. What I do object to is to them being labelled only in that way, because for many people it's likely to be the least useful categorisation. ... and the further subdivision of Scottish MPs makes the categories near-useless for searching from a parliamentary perspective. Those sub-divisions may be of relevance to those with an electoral focus (e.g. question = "who was elected in Stirling over the years"), but they are not much help if anyone wants to know whether there was ever a Zebbedee Smith in parliament, or whether there is a wikipedia article on Harry Houdini MP. --BrownHairedGirl 14:42, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I haven't seen the TD categories and don't know much about Irish politics. But would a similar system mean the likes of Tony Benn being in more than 10 categories just for being an MP? JRawle (Talk) 14:48, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, I see for example Charlie McCreevy is in 10 categories: 9 for the different parliaments; 1 for former members. I guess the majority of MPs aren't members for that long. JRawle (Talk) 14:51, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes. It's unusual, because Ithink that most MPs only sit for (at a guess) three to six parliaments, but as an example of how it looks in those extreme cases, see Oliver J. Flanagan, who was elected to Dáil Éireann no less than 14 times, or Tom McEllistrim, Snr, who won 15 elections. But those cases are rare: a more typical example of a senior politician is the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, who was first elected in 1984 and is currently in his sixth Dáil. --BrownHairedGirl 15:03, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I absolutely support the principle that articles should remain in the parent category, especially for MPs by gender and MPs by local area, if we are to keep those cats. To be fair to User:Mais oui!, I pointed out to them that the female MPs by nation cats (subcats of Category:British female MPs which I'd still rather get rid of) were not helpful in this respect and they stopped removing them from the parent category. Mtiedemann 23:12, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

CFM for subcats of Scottish MPs[edit]

FYI: I have nominated the sub-categories of Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from Scottish constituencies for merging into their parent category: see the CFM discussion. --BrownHairedGirl 15:03, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Now that the principle of dual classification has been accepted by User:Mais oui!, I have withdrawn the CFM. However, we really do need to do some work on restoring some order to this category: it was overlarge, but after various bits of subdivision, it's now a mess. --BrownHairedGirl 00:23, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

New hierarchy[edit]

To start off a new discussion, it occurs to me that there needs to be a new hierarchy starting one level above where we are now. I'll address a broad hierarchy and avoid too specific references to naming or detail lower down (please don't get fussed if I get nation and country mixed up, or British vs UK, or HoC vs Parliament, etc etc).


* Suggested new categories
Mtiedemann 00:43, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Mtiedemann, for being the one to get the ball rolling! I like a lot of what you suggest, but I have a few reservations:
It seems to me that the first big questions we need to address are:
  • a) what the categories are to be used for? The CFM discussion revealed several different needs, which hadn't been adequately explored beforehand, which was partly why the details became complicated. I think that your list includes all possibilities except the breakdown by whuch parliament(s) they were in.
  • b) what level of multiple classification can we live with? I'm in favour using several categories, to facilitate different ways of using the categories, but I know that others are much less keen on that.
Beyond that, I question the practicality of trying to devise anything remotely approaching a single, consistent classification scheme for all the parliamentary chambers within these islands. Apart from the problem of the "British Isles" as a term (it doesn't always win favour in Ireland!) I can count at least nine parliamentary assemblies in these islands: Scotland-pre-union, England-pre-union, Ireland-pre-union, UK-parliament-since-1707, Commons-of-Southern-Ireland, Dail Eireann, Welsh Assembly, Scottish-parliament-post-1998, northern-Ireland-post-1922 ... plus various other short-lived post-1972 assemblies in Northern Ireland. And that's without getting into the issues raised by Irish peers, Scottish peers, UK peers, and the complex intersections between them all. Off the cuff, I can count at least three different electoral systems in use (FPTP, PRSTV, and AMS).
So how would you feel about restricting this effort to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom parliament, since it was established in 1707? From 1707-1801, it was techically the Parliament of Great Britain, becoming the Parliament of the United Kingdom only after the union with Ireland ... is there consensus for treating the two parliaments as the same body?
That would trim your list to the following:
I like your use of "United Kingdom" rather than British: the applicability of "British" is a matter of debate in Ireland (and possibly in Scotland), but while the union has always included those who do not see themselves as British, "United Kingdom" does seem to be a widely acepted shorthand for "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". However, I question the usefulness of spelling out "United Kingdom" in full, rather than just using "UK". There may be existing policy/consensus on this -- sorry if I have missed it.
The existing categories "Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from xxxxx constituencies" are already in use (and have a lot of support in Scotland), but seem to me to suffer from two problems:
  • a) they are horrendously long
  • b) they may be somewhat misleading. The term "Member of Parliament" clearly applies to a member of the Commons, but "Members of the United Kingdom Parliament" is an unfamiliar construction, and could be read as implying that it includes peers.
So I prefer your construction "members of the UK House of Commons": it's unfamiliar, but shorter and unambiguous. Using that throughout, the list becomes:
I have tried applying this to a few MPs:
  • Betty Boothroyd: Members of the UK House of Commons|Labour Members of the UK House of Commons|Female members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from English constituencies
  • Paul Flynn: Members of the UK House of Commons|Current members of the UK House of Commons|Labour Members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from Welsh constituencies
  • Malcolm Rifkind: Members of the UK House of Commons|Current members of the UK House of Commons|Conservative Members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from Scottish constituencies|Members of the UK House of Commons from English constituencies
  • Enoch Powell: Members of the UK House of Commons|UUP members of the UK House of Commons|Conservative Members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from Northern Ireland constituencies|Members of the UK House of Commons from English constituencies
  • Alistair Carmichael: Members of the UK House of Commons|Liberal Democrat members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from Scottish constituencies|Members of the UK House of Commons from Orkney and Shetland
To my mind, that looks verbose but manageable. I still think it would be better to further contract "Members of the UK House of Commons" to the much shorter "UK MPs", but there appears to be a consensus against that, so I won't push the point.
Sorry for being so verbose, and congrats again on getting the discussion started :) --BrownHairedGirl 02:16, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
That all makes sense. I was trying to find a neat place to shove the pre-1707 categories and we aren't closer to solving that, but you're right, my way would create a new minefield - you can add Isle of Man and (incorrectly) the Channel Islands. A 'Britain and Ireland' cat might be more acceptable, but still so complicated.
I am certainly happy with contracting United Kingdom to UK in all cases. I think I prefer HoC to just MP or Parliament as there is the peerage issue. I am sure we could have found a way round the Irish peerage issue to bring UK peerage under a parliament supercat, but the removal of hereditary peers makes it a much larger problem.
And in terms of what is it for, I see the smaller sub categories as being the most useful in many cases: Communist or Lab Co-op or Independent MPs categories will be much more interesting and useful than Labour or Conservative MPs categories. Without wanting to encourage trivial groupings, are there any other subcats or themes of interest we can identify at this stage? I have successfully proposed or supported the move of British Asian and LGBT categories to cover all politicians, not just MPs, and I'd encourage that usage for personal aspects of MPs, but there may be other political issues, such as parliamentary positions, expelled members, etc. Maybe I'm complicating things now... Mtiedemann 07:43, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

"it was techically the Parliament of Great Britain, becoming the Parliament of the United Kingdom only after the union with Ireland ... is there consensus for treating the two parliaments as the same body?" No. For a start, the whole potential "by session" numbering system (which I think is a good way of subcategorising, in addition to by geography and by party) is based upon the fundamental differentiation between the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of the United Kingdom, see:

I have several other thoughts on this whole discussion, but let's start off slowly here, cos I strongly suspect that my contributions to this debate will not be treated with the respect they deserve by certain parties, Mtiedemann and BrownHairedGirl excluded. (Quickly though, I support 3 methods: by location, by party - which can never be comprehensive by the way - and by session.) --Mais oui! 08:17, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

UK/GB parliaments[edit]

Hmm, thanks MaisOui. This one is messy, isn't it? You're right to suggest that we proceed slowly. In that spirit, I offer the following three suggestions for discussion, below.

However, I think that I may have been over-hasty in trying to encourage mtiedemann away from looking at all these parliaments. I still think that it is most pertinent to focus on the UK parliament post-1800, but I think that we do need to make some outline decisions on how to handle some of the other long lists of parliaments, otherwise the articles on MPs from those parliaments will end up being miscategorised under UK.

--BrownHairedGirl 13:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

UK-GB option 1: separate all[edit]

This is logically the simplest of all the options: to have completely separate hierarchies for the pre-1707 parliaments, the GB parliament 1707-1800, and the UK parliament 1800-onwards. I think it is broadly what mtiedmann initially proposed, above.

When I started writing, this was my by far my least favourite option, but the more I look at the subject, the more it seems to me to be the best. It has two strong advantages: a) it maintains rigorous historical accuracy, and b) the terminology for Westminster parliaments can be unambiguous:

  • English House of Commons (pre 1707)
  • GB House of Commons (1707-1800)
  • UK House of Commons (1801-onwards)

On the downside, it will require some careful explanation and monitoring when in use, because most people are not aware of the distinctions. But it should be reasonably future-proof, because the logic doesn't require any tortuous explanation.

--BrownHairedGirl 13:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

UK-GB Option 2: combine UK+GB[edit]

The GB parliament (1707-1800) and the UK Parliament (1801-present) are separate institutions. However, from reading the 1707 Act and the 1800 Act, it seems to me that there is slighty more commonality between them than between the GB parliament and the pre-1707 English parliament (although both UK & GB parls started with members co-opted from predecessor bodies, rather than with an election).

So I suggest treating the UK & GB parliaments as one parliament for the purposes of creating a container for all the other categories relating to those parliaments, and allowing a common nomenclature for the 18th century onwards. The text on the category page should make it clear that this kludge is being used for convenience, and to prevent a multiplicity of hierarchies.

If this agreeable, then the classification by parliament (yes, I know that's not strictly speaking the correct terminology) would look something like the list below. Some of the categories would merely be containers, but others would be populated, and I have placed the mark @#@ by the ones which I suggest should be populated:

--BrownHairedGirl 13:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

UK-GB Option 3: Westminster parliaments[edit]

I think that we should also consider this idea. It makes a slightly larger step way from most historically precise form of labelling, but it avoids the kludge in option 1 of placing the GB partliament under UK.

This suggestion is to refer to every Parliament which has met in Westminster (or Oxford, where it moved for a while) as a "Westminster parliament". This would include the English parliaments pre-1707, the 1707-1800 GB parliaments, and the 1801-onwards UK parliaments.

--BrownHairedGirl 13:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I think all three suggestions are sensible, and an improvement on the status quo as the multi-cat system allows cross-referencing by several different relevant attributes. If pressed, I would have a slight preference for the third option. The only possible suggestion I would have is the shortening of the session cat title to a mere 50th House of Commons, etc. This would slightly reduce clutter in the cases of long-serving MP's, and would create little extra confusion. The only thing that could be added to these renamed cats (other than the Members) would be Acts and important issues from that session, and perhaps that would be no bad thing. Aquilina 21:38, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I now rather regret suggesting the third option, of the "Westminster" nomenclature, because I think that it is likely to be dificult for nationalists: it seems to me that it skates too glibly over the constitutional fact that there have been three bodies in Westminster called "House of Commons" (although it works well for the Whig view of history which seems to underpin British House of Commons#History: there is no mention there of any of the Acts of Union!). The one advantage that I see is that it avoids having separate Whig and Tory categories for the English, GB and UK parliaments ... but maybe that could be accommodated anyway by having some sort of single "Whig" caregory which was sub-catted to each of the three parliaments?
The problem with Category:xxth House of Commons is that it's ambiguous. OK, I dunno if Canada has got its 50th Commons yet, but if we take Category:1st House of Commons, that could apply to Canada or to the short-lived House of Commons of Southern Ireland or to the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1760-1868, or to the English parliament pre-1707, as well as to either the UK or GB parliaments.
If we expanded it a litle, to "Category:xxth UK House of Commons, it wouldn't be ambiguous, but I'm a little uncomfortable about lumping MPs and legislation into the same category. It seems to me to be better to have a category Category:xxth UK House of Commons, with a subcat of Category:Members of the xxth UK House of Commons. Category:Acts of the xxth UK House of Commons doesn't really work, because Acts are Acts of Parliament as whole, not just of the Commons. --BrownHairedGirl 11:45, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

No new hierachy is required[edit]

There are two other schemes in place already, subdivision by constitient country, and Category:British MPs by political party. There are also several specialist categories for women and current MPs. etc. There are quite enough systems for allocating MPs already, and no need to agree on the creation of any more, as they would be harmful category clutter. I am also alarmed to see a near total neglect of party affiliations in the above, which are by far the most relevant criteria for allocating MPs in my opinion. All the proposals above give overwhelming priority to nationalist considerations, so none of them comply with WP:NPOV. Hawkestone 16:23, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that last point is fair. I didn't include party affiliation beyond a parent category into my original proposal as it is largely uncontroversial with a sensible hierarchy. I seem to be the only person populating the MPs by party categories, at the moment mainly by tidying User:Dovea's contributions. I would like to rename the by party categories, however - I did create several of them in an attempt to be consistent with the original ones, but would prefer Category:UK Conservative Party MPs or perhaps something even less ambiguous (than the current Category:Conservative MPs (UK)).
Also, this hasn't been an attempt to encourage the break-up of the category into national elements but rather halt that process. I would like to get rid of the national subcats of Category:British female MPs for instance.
The need for a new hierarchy is as a result of the following:
  • The chance to have a one-off reorganisation now that we have everybody's attention
  • The poor and inconsistent naming of categories
  • The mixture of pre-union Parliaments with the GB and UK Parliaments, plus Irish MPs
That said, I don't think anything too radical has been proposed anyway. Mtiedemann 17:01, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with everything mtiedmann has said here. At the moment, all MPs appear to have been categorised according to national boundaries, but what is being discussed above is parallel classification by parliament and by party, in addition to the existing category for female MPs. I too would oppose subdividing the party and session categories by nationality, and would like to remove the national subcats of Category:British female MPs.
That would leave MPs being classified as in something like the example below (an update of an earlier set of examples), which I think rightly meets the needs of those with a nationalist perspective without prioritising that view over other perspectives:
  • Paul Flynn: Members of the UK House of Commons|Current members of the UK House of Commons|Labour Members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from Welsh constituencies|Members of the 50th UK House of Commons|Members of the 51st UK House of Commons|Members of the 52nd UK House of Commons|Members of the 53rd UK House of Commons|Members of the 54th UK House of Commons
  • Betty Boothroyd: Members of the UK House of Commons||Labour Members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from English constituencies|Female members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the 45th UK House of Commons|Members of the 46th UK House of Commons|Members of the 47th UK House of Commons|Members of the 48th UK House of Commons|Members of the 49th UK House of Commons|Members of the 50th UK House of Commons|Members of the 51st UK House of Commons|Members of the 52nd UK House of Commons
  • Malcolm Rifkind: Members of the UK House of Commons|Current members of the UK House of Commons|Conservative Members of the UK House of Commons|Members of the UK House of Commons from Scottish constituencies|Members of the UK House of Commons from English constituencies|Members of the 46th UK House of Commons|Members of the 47th UK House of Commons|Members of the 48th UK House of Commons|Members of the 49th UK House of Commons|Members of the 50th UK House of Commons|Members of the 51st UK House of Commons|Members of the 54th UK House of Commons
--BrownHairedGirl 18:37, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Member for ...[edit]

OK; when you are speaking about an MP in a general context, then referring to 'Freda Bloggs, Member of Parliament for Little Puddleton' is appropriate and normal since the full title is needed to clarify her position. However, under the heading 'Parliament of the United Kingdom' then the full title is clumsy and unnecessary and 'Freda Bloggs, Member for Little Puddleton' is all that is required. To provide an example of authoritative useage, in the Commons MPs are always referred to, when their title is used (putting aside the modern regrettable practice of using names :-)), in the short form 'Member for Little Puddleton' because, as here, the context does not require the longer version. BlueValour 03:29, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

CFM for national subcats of Category:British female MPs[edit]

See Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 August 2#Category:British_female_MPs_2. --BrownHairedGirl 15:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

A second CFM process has also been started at Wikipedia:Categories_for_deletion/Log/2006_August_2#Category:British_female_MPs - please check both. Martín (saying/doing) 16:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Martin. Unfortunately, Mais oui has not started a new CFD, he has overwritten the one I made. I am reporting him for vandalism. --BrownHairedGirl 16:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Please stop. If you continue to make personal attacks on other people, you will be blocked for disruption. Comment on content, not on other contributors or people. Thank you. .

Get your facts straight before accusing people of vandalism. You ought to be ashamed of the way you are conducting yourself. --Mais oui! 16:49, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Somehow Mais oui!'s CFD did take over the name of the first, but I amended the link to reflect that (it added '_2' to the link).
It is unfortunate to have two together and I hope that both of you can point to the other CFD at the top of each to help editors make one single decision. That is why it would have been better, Mais oui!, to have brought this bigger objection to categorisation by gender to here first, and have some kind of consensus on renaming/merger/hierarchies. I had proposed the CFM that BrownHairedGirl has taken forward and you didn't seem to object, so it was a useful first stage to bring this whole category into some kind of order. Your CFD has made that more complicated, although you have a valid point in nominating it. Martín (saying/doing) 16:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Mais oui!, I did not "make a personal attack", I objected to the creation of a new CFD which took over the old one. I am sorry that I was incorrect in saying that the discussion had been overwritten, when in fact what had happened was that the link was duplicated (the higher one taking pecdence) and was I wrong to revert your addition of it. However, it appeared to be an overwriting, and I believed that I needed to act quickly to prevent what reasonably appeared to be the sabotage of a CFM, before more comments were added, complicating the reversion process.
I am sorry for thar error, but it arose only because you made a CFM which appears to be in bad faith. As noted on the CFD, why on earth are you nominating for deletion a category for which you created the subcats, and making that nomination immediately after the upmerge CFM was posted? What's the logic in that?
As noted by Martin, your CFD has made things more complicated ... and I fear that may have been your intention. If it wasn't, perhaps you can explain more about what you were trying to achieve by the CFD at this time, rather than when Category:British female MPs was created. I agee that you have a valid point, but why now if not to disrupt? --BrownHairedGirl 18:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

MPs by Parliament[edit]

The wider discussions on categorising MPs seem to be stalled, so I thought that it might be a good idea to start with one aspect of categorisation on which there seems to be agreement: MPs by parliament.

Thanks to some great work by Morwen and others, we already have a list of session numbers for the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which makes a good starting point, so it seems to me that we have the foundation to start making the categories.

I suggest the following:

  • United Kingdom MPs by Parliament
    • MPs of the 1st UK Parliament (1801-1802)
    • MPs of the 2nd UK Parliament (1802-1806)
    • ...
    • MPs of the 53rd UK Parliament (2001-2005)
    • MPs of the 54th UK Parliament (2006-)

The subcategory names look a little ugly to my eyes, but they are the best I can come up with so far. The reasoning:

  1. MPs rather than "Members of Parliament" because it's shorter, and since some MPs serve in ten or more parliaments, brevity is essential
  2. "UK Parliament" rather than "United Kingdom Parliament"' for exactly the same reason
  3. Date at the end because although it adds significantly to the length, the numbering system for parliaments is insufficiently known, and without it the "xxth Parliament" phrase will be meaningless to most people. (Yes, the name of the category for current parl will have to be changed when parliament is dissolved, but that job will only be needed once every few years)
  4. It might be more logical to say "MPs of the 54th UK House of Commons", but that would be even longer:(

Any thoughts? --BrownHairedGirl 21:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I hope we can agree this. I agree with having the dates and the abbreviations in this instance. I think I'd prefer House of Commons but I'm not that bothered, so I'd be prepared to just agree without qualification. Martín (saying/doing) 21:16, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
In many ways, I like this suggestion. The sole problem is the sheer number of categories which will be added to some articles on MPs. For instance, David Lloyd George served in fourteen Parliaments, and these will replace only one of his fourteen current categories. Similarly, Winston Churchill served in fourteen Parliaments, and I'm not clear whether these will replace any of his twenty-eight current categories. Perhaps this could be addressed by merging some of the proposed categories - for instance, Category:MPs of the UK Parliament (1801 - 1852); Category:MPs of the UK Parliament (1852 - 1900); Category:MPs of the UK Parliament (1900 - 1950), Category:MPs of the UK Parliament (1950 - 2001) and Category:MPs of the UK Parliament (from 2001). The exact divisions chosen aren't very important, just the rationalisation of categories. Warofdreams talk 00:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Warofdreams, I take your point, but ... but but. :) A few points:
  1. Condensing the categories like that would seriously dilute their usefulness. Parliaments are shaped one at a time, not in chronological clusters. e.g. the 1983-87 parliament had huge changes over the 79-83, and the same happened in 97. Clustering the categories obscures those changes.
    • Clustering the categories makes it much harder to check their accuracy: there no lists of those clusters, whereas the single-parliament categories can be directly checked against the arricles in Category:MPs elected in UK elections: the list and category serve as checks on each other, and are a huge aid in maintaining accuracy.
    • I for one wouldn't find the clustered categories at all useful, but I would find the categories-by-parliament very useful.
  2. I would hope that once this scheme is in place, we could agree to delete the existing (and badly named) Category:Current British MPs (or at least turn it into a cstegory redirect), so that would save one category in the list;
  3. A few long-timers who would be categorised under a dozen parliaments, but not many MPs served in quite that many parliaments. Plenty last for only one or two terms, but most seem to serve for about fifteen years (e.g. Mo Mowlem was in three: 87, 92, 97). Apart from a few periods where elections were held every other week, that means an avergae off about about four or five categories each. (Once I have finished this message, I will doodle a brief list of MPs who retired/were defeated at the last election to give an idea of how many parliaments they sat in: see Category talk:British MPs/Selected list of MPs by Parliament)
  4. For a comparison of how this has system worked for TDs in Ireland (I implemented those cats), see the subcats of Category:Teachtaí Dála and a few long-serving TDs such as Bertie Ahern, or John Bruton. The very worst case I can think of is Séamus Pattison, and even on that article the categ list looks OK. Others such as former Deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring don't look too cluttered, and a more typical example might be the minister Micheál Martin --BrownHairedGirl 13:33, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I reiterate my support for the MPs by parliament categorisation scheme, as outlined by User:BrownHairedGirl. I also still support the by party and by geography schemes: we can have a pluralistic scheme, as elsewhere on Wikipedia. I fail to understand why this needs to be pained over so much: just get on with it. (I am still awaiting an apology from User:BrownHairedGirl for her behaviour last week.) --Mais oui! 23:21, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I have already apologised in several places for the bits I got wrong in trying to sort out the mess. But I am still awaiting your apology for trying to disrupt a CFM by creating a new CFD with the same name, which obscured the previous one. --BrownHairedGirl 11:13, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
That is just an unfounded personal attack: plain and simple. For the last time: the Wikipedia software automatically designates CFD titles. You are seriously stretching my ability to WP:AGF. I believe that your behaviour in this matter is well below that expected of an Administrator. And no, I have not received a single apology from you, least of all for trying to block me for 7 days (!!!): which was immediately revoked by your peers. Look to your own behaviour before throwing false allegationsat at other User. Disgraceful. If you are going to apologise, do it properly on my User page, and show a little contrition. And stop maligning me. --Mais oui! 11:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Mais oui, you did create a CFD with the same name as an existing CFM, and this did have the effect of obscuring the CFM. I know the Wikipedia software automatically does that, and I'm sure that you knew that too when you created the CFD, and I'm not going to waste time posting all the links to the apologies. However, it's worth noting that when things appeared to have been sorted out, and the links separated, you then changed the CFM/CFD titles again so that the links on the category page pointed to the CFD rather than to the pre-existing CFM, and it was that piece of vandlaism which prompted me to place to the block (which I agree was of excessive duration, and whose reduction and subsequent removal I supported). I'm not the only one to have concluded that this was all done with the intent of causing disruption, but we're obviously not gong to agree on this, so I won't reply again on this subject. --BrownHairedGirl 13:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Categories now being built under Category:MPs of the United Kingdom House of Commons, by Parliament. --BrownHairedGirl 13:38, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Pleased that you're going ahead, but also that you did come here for discussion first, BrownHairedGirl, even if it "pains" us. After all this discussion, unilateral action is the last thing we need. Martín (saying/doing) 14:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Martin! I don't feel that we have had quite as wide a consensus as I would like, but having general support I thought I'd push ahead before I go off on holiday on saturday ... 'cos then everything might fall by the wayside again. I hope that what's being done meets with general approval: there is already one comment on my talk, suggesting it might be better done differently (leaving out dates). As I wrote there, I wouldn't object much if that change was considered appropriate; it seems like a margin call to me, with good arguments either way. --BrownHairedGirl 14:18, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Am now running AWB to populate Category:MPs of the 49th UK Parliament (1983-1987), and have done over 200 so far. I have also added a complete set of categs for a few of the longer-serving MPs, such as Norman Tebbit and Paddy Ashdown and Denis Healey, and I am beginning to think that it might all be better without the dates after all. :( --BrownHairedGirl 16:52, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I've categorised T. P. O'Connor for an example of one of the longest-serving MPs (albeit one with few other categories). I'd strongly agree with removing the dates. Warofdreams talk 02:52, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Eeek, that's horrible! OK, we do have to rename.
Does anyone know what procedure would be best to use? Do we need to do a huge AWB run, or is there any way to get a bot to do it? -BrownHairedGirl 07:05, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this situation does not appear to qualify under WP:CFDS, so the speedy option is out. :(
There's nothing for it except a rename request at WP:CFD, and my recent experience of that has been far too bruising for me to want to try it. If anyone else wants to do it, I'll support it, but I'm not going to initiate the CFD. --BrownHairedGirl 09:57, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it can be speedied. You just created them, so you are allowed to ask for a speedy rename, as long as no-one objects, which I cannot see happening. --Mais oui! 12:18, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, sorry to disagree, but from my reading of the criteria it doesn't fitWP:CFDS.
In any case, a very sensible suggestion on my talk page is to leave them as is while they are being populated, to help checking ... and I'm inclined to go along with that. Meanwhile, have just noticed an issue with Keith Joseph: the display of categs appears to be truncated. He is in Category:MPs of the 49th UK Parliament (1983-1987), but although he shows up in the categ listing, that categ is not displayed when the page is viewed. Definitely a case for shortening the names. --BrownHairedGirl 17:57, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Best to rename them now really as only a few MPs have been added so far. We have two to three thousand already extant pages for these categories to be added to and waiting on all of them to be populated could take a while. Galloglass 21:05, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh dear. We probably should have done the renaming before the inevitable CFD for these categories was started, but the latest suggestion there (from Stephen B Streater there seems like a good one: rename to Category:UK MPs (2001-2005) etc. I like that: conveys the basics, and it's very short. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:45, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

List of members of the British Labour Party[edit]

FYI this list is up for AFD: List of members of the British Labour Party (AfD discussion). Thanks/wangi 10:56, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

And it's gone. Phew! :) --BrownHairedGirl 07:06, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

New template:UK-current-MP-stub[edit]

{{Template:UK-current-MP-stub}}: purpose should be self-explanatory. Should assist anyone wanting to prioritise unstubbing current MPs. --BrownHairedGirl 19:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Now nominated for deletion, but nomination withdrawn. -BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:41, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

CFD for MPs by Parliament[edit]

see CFD for category:MPs of the United Kingdom House of Commons, by Parliament and subcategories. --BrownHairedGirl 17:00, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm about to close the CFD discussion, and I figured with this discussion going on here, I'd give an explantion as to my reasoning. On any other CFD, I'd have given it a no consensus. It seems people are split between deleting or renaming to a shorter name. From what I've read here, you people aren't opposed to a rename. I checked a few of the cats, and since they are empty, I'm just going to go ahead and delete them. That will appease the people at CFD who wanted to delete the cats, and it will allow you all time to come up with a new naming scheme that will be more acceptable (shorter or whatever). Technically, a category rename is just a delete and create anyway, I'm just leaving the "create" step to you. I hope this works for you, and good luck with the rename. --Kbdank71 18:53, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Succession boxes[edit]

For people interested in the format of succession boxes for MPs, I've put up a page at Wikipedia:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization/Guidelines. This is still preliminary, so feel free to add on or make changes. Choess 22:57, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Seems fine Choess. Not sure that we need to lay it down too tightly though as a bit of variation here and there may be useful. Galloglass 23:36, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Parliament of Great Britain[edit]

I have created Category:Members of the Parliament of Great Britain, for (as the name suggests) Members of the Parliament of Great Britain 1707–1800. I am slowly running through Category:British MPs to recategorise the the GB MPs.

(I created this a week ago, and should have announced it at the time. Sorry!) --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:03, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Hugh Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of Allander[edit]

Hugh Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of Allander was categorised under Category:British MPs, but Rayment shows no sign that this guy was a MP, so I have removed him from the category and commented him out in List of British MPs: F. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:17, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Rename the List of British MPs?[edit]

See Talk:List of British MPs#Rename_to_United_Kingdom.3F.

I suggest that the discussion (if any) should take place on that talk page, rather than here. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:41, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Now done: renamed to List of United Kingdom MPs. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:38, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Restructuring again, now largely done[edit]

Drawing on the discusions earlier this year (see above, #Proposed_restructuring and #New_hierarchy), I have largely completed the restructuring.

The first step was to create a new Category:Members of the Parliament of Great Britain. I then set about recategorising all the articles which were in Category:British MPs: over 950 of them when I started. Some belonged Category:Members of the Parliament of Great Britain, some in Category:Members of the pre-1707 English Parliament, and most in one of the national UK categories, such as Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from English constituencies

I finished that job yesterday, and have now created a new container category, Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament, as a container for all the UK-Parliament-related subcategories.

Meanwhile, with other editors, I finished reinstating the subcats of Category:MPs of the United Kingdom House of Commons, by Parliament. Some of these had been deleted after a CFD in August, but with the clear intention that they shoud be recreated with shorter names (see above, #CFD_for_MPs_by_Parliament). That's now done; the new naming format is Category:UK MPs 1979-1983 rather than the previous over-verbose Category:MPs of the 48th UK Parliament (1979-1983).

So we now have most of the structure discussed above: a clear separation of categories for MPs of the different parliaments, with subcats by nation (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland 1801-1922, N. Ireland), by party and by parliament (the later categories need more work before they are fully populated, but I will put WP:AWB on the case).

As a result of this, I think that some renaming is now both possible and desirable, and before launching into a CFD, I thought it would be helpful to float my ideas here: see #Renaming_subcategories_after_restructuring, below. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:33, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Renaming subcategories after restructuring[edit]

Now that the sub-categories of Category:British MPs have been restructured (see above, #Restructuring_again,_now_largely_done, it seems to me that the names of some of the sub-categories should be renamed to reflect the fact that they refer only to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Here's what I suggest:

It also seems to me that it would be a good idea to shorten the names of the by-nation subategories, which are currently of the format "Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from xxxxish constituencies".

I suggest two changes:

  1. contracting the "Members of the United Kingdom Parliament" prefix to "UK MPs", as with the new subcats of Category:MPs of the United Kingdom House of Commons, by Parliament
  2. replacing the "from xxxxish constituencies" with "for xxxxish constituencies": the word "from" could mean that an MP was born there, but "for" makes it clearer that they were elected to represent the constituency, even though they may be "from" somewhere else (such as Michael Heseltine: he is from a Welsh constituency, but was an MP for English constituencies).


Any thoughts? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:33, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Reasonable and sensible proposal. Support. --Mais oui! 08:23, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Shorter, but just as understandable. Sensilbe, how User:Mais oui! said. Support. ~~ Phoe talk 14:44, 6 November 2006 (UTC) ~~
Seems fine. Only query I have is into which Category would MPs from Northern Ireland go prior to 1922? Apart from that a very good proposal. Support. Galloglass 17:30, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Current practice is that pre-1922 Northern Irish MPs go into Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from Irish constituencies (1801-1922), reflecting the historical situation that at the time Ireland was not partitioned. I do not propose changing this, and susgest that after the reanme they should go to that category's successor, Category:UK MPs for Northern Ireland constituencies.
(As an aside, I support this practice: whatever view anyone takes of the merits or demerits of the partition of Ireland, it seems to me to be historically undesirable to categorise 19th century MPs according to a division which did not exist in the 19th century).
I can't see any neat way of incoporating into the name the fact that it includes Northern Ireland, but maybe editors would like to review the text in Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from Irish constituencies (1801-1922) and in Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from Northern Ireland constituencies to check that the distinction is clear?
Once these renamings are complete (whetever he outcome), I intend to draft a guide to classifying articles on MPs, which is now a lot more complicated than it was when we just had Category:British MPs. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:21, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Thats fine. As long as contributors know then it won't be a problem. Galloglass 23:34, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Three CFDs[edit]


See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 January 10#UK_MPs: a proposal to lengthen the names of the sub-categories of Category:MPs of the United Kingdom House of Commons, by Parliament.

The sub-categories are currently of the form Category:UK MPs 2001-2005; the current proposal is to change them all to the format Category:United Kingdom Members of Parliament 2001–2005 (with an ndash as the hyphen). The short category names were created after problems caused by the earlier categories of the form Category:MPs of the 49th UK Parliament (1983-1987): see discussion above.--BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Category:Current British MPs[edit]

See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 May 22#Category:Current British MPs. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:32, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed renaming of national subcats of Category:Members of the United Kingdom Parliament[edit]

See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 June 16#Members_of_the_United_Kingdom_Parliament. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:39, 16 June 2007 (UTC)