Talk:Association of British Counties/Archive 1

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Articles for deletion This article was nominated for deletion on 2nd March 2006. The result of the discussion was keep.

fuddlemark (fuddle me!) 03:52, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Isn't the latest addition: The association also seems uncertain about how traditional to be. The map shown on its homepage and a larger scale version accept the 1889 reform of local government in Scotland. The separated parts of various counties are not shown. Thus, Ross and Cromarty are shown as one unit. Likewise Morayshire is not cut in two by a large exclave of the County of Inverness. Of the many mainland counties having detached parts, only Dunbartonshire is shown as having two separate areas, a situation left unchanged by the 1889 local government reform. a little POV? Doesn't the map on the ABC web site also show large detached parts of Worcestershire and Flintshire? Owain 13:03, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by Isn't the latest addition:
The ABC insists that the 19th century reforms did not effect traditional boundaries, and they do not claim that Scotland should be treated differently
and it seemes a little pointless noting that Worcestershire and Flintshire were not affected by the reform of Scottish local government. garryq 12 Aug
What I wrote was "Isn't the lastest addition [to this page] a little POV?". I thought when you were referring to "mainland counties" you meant the entire of mainland Britain. Possibly a little ambiguous... Owain 18:57, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Apologies. I read it as "[this] Isn't the latest addition:" as if a reference to the ABC's maps, I'll clarify Scottish mainland. but BTW are Worcestershire and Flintshire the only seperated counties except for the furness? --garryq 10:09, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
As far as the ABC map goes yes - from their map page at : "For the sake of convenience and practicality only the major (i.e. most sizeable) detached parts are shown (specifically those of Flintshire, Lancashire, Dunbartonshire and Worcestershire). All other detached parts are shown as part of the County in which they locally lie." Owain 12:19, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've reverted the last edit and removed the following text:

The association also seems uncertain about how traditional to be. The map shown on its homepage and a larger scale version accept the 1889 reform of local government in Scotland. The separated parts of various counties are not shown. Thus, Ross and Cromarty are shown as one unit. Likewise Morayshire is not cut in two by a large exclave of the County of Inverness. Of the many mainland counties having detached parts, only Dunbartonshire is shown as having two separate areas, a situation left unchanged by the 1889 local government reform.

The ABC is very clear on its website that its map excludes most exclaves for convenience, and that "Ross-shire and Cromartyshire are show as one unit" (for purposes of a simple map), not that "Ross and Cromarty" is a county in itself. I don't know why it doesn't show the large exclaves of Morayshire - probably cartographical laziness. If you read the "postal directory" section of the website, it is clear to the ABC that Aviemore lies in a detached portion of Morayshire; this portion is not shown on their map "for convenience". The simple map is simply that - a rough impression of the Counties. It isn't a 'manifesto'. Read the text if you want the 'manifesto'. This sort of speculative mud-throwing about "being unsure" is complete poppycock. People should read and understand the ABC's position before trying to extract alleged inconcsistencies from a map that is displayed with the clear warning that it makes no claims to small scale accuracy and only shows a few named exclaves for graphical convenience. 18:56, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)


This article seems to lack balance.--IanDavies 03:17, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Strongly agree. For example, last time I looked the Kingdom of Fife was an historic kingdom, not an historic British county. Just zis Guy you know? 19:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Eh? Why can't you accept that it can be both? This is an article about an organisation that has specific ideals, whether you agree with them or not. Owain (talk) 12:17, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
It's about a minor pressure group of nutters. It's oly because some of those nutters are on Wikipedia and determined to use it to push there reactionary views by adding traditional county articles to parallel the current counties.-- 13:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
These people are not "nutters", they are proud of their history and determined that politicians should not take away their identity. As it happens the traditional counties have a continuing legal existence, but even if they didn't, it would be a laudable aim to try and keep the well-known and historic names and areas in the public conscience. Owain (talk) 14:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I can accept it is both. But for some reaosn only one of the two - the one backed by a pressure group - is on infoboxes. I wonder why that is? Just zis Guy you know? 13:49, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
There is a standard set of counties that have a continuing legal existence and that people continue to use. There are any number of other overlapping mediæval kingdoms that could be used to describe where a place is, but they are entirely dependent on a time-critical context. In the context of counties, the traditional set are still relevant and used today. What is the problem? Owain (talk) 14:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
For values of "standard" that exclude legal definitions, and for values of "people" that includes at least some who are pushing an agenda. The problem is that Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Just zis Guy you know? 14:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Have you read the relevant legislation? I have. I am not pushing an agenda, other than that of factual accuracy. Owain (talk) 14:50, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Cool. So, in the interests of factual accuracy, you can cite the size of the orgnisation and the significant coverage in reputable sourcves, right? Just zis Guy you know? 17:12, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Membership Size

There seems to be a revert-war going on regarding the membership size of ABC -- as if to say it's irrelevant as an entity due to the membership size not being known. This assertion is ludicrous; the size of ABC is not an important fact therefore not knowing the size is even less useful! MonMan 14:54, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. There is clearly a campaign to denigrate traditional counties on Wikipedia; witness the current revert wars and use of sockpuppets on this and related articles. There is no need for it. Owain (talk) 15:00, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
The campaign is by you to push them. -- 13:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I see no such campaign. I do see an attempt to astroturf. This organisation is essentially negligible, it's not even the most significant traditional counties group, and the traditional counties movement is of very little significance. Just zis Guy you know? 13:48, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
You are clearly coming from a non-neutral point-of-view then. There are articles whose wording was agreed on a long time ago that have been edited recently to push one PoV. Have you done ANY research on traditional county groups? The ABC is the umbrella organisation for many other groups such as Friends of Real Lancashire, whereas County Watch are merely a recently-created group of individuals. If you have an objection to their aims then that is fine, but please do not try to suggest that they are negligible or that the aims of people they represent are "of very little significance". Owain (talk) 14:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I had never heard of these people before yesterday. I have done some reading up. I have yet to find any credible evidence that they are considered significant outside theor (unstated) membership. They get fewer Google hits than I do. But thanks for providing another data point to support the evidence that it's always the admins who are non-neutral and activists who are the defenders of balance and fairness :-) Just zis Guy you know? 14:40, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
You haven't heard of them, therefore they are insignificant? Good argument. Please do not use the condescending attitude that admins somehow know more about any given subject than people who have read the legislation and been researching the subject for years. Owain (talk) 14:50, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not here as an admin, I'm here as an editor. One of the more important things when assessing the importance and influence of an organisation is the number of members. Refusal (clearly not simply failure) to give this information undermines the group's credibility. You allude to affiliated organsiations - which ones? How many members have they? How influential? There is nothing in this article which establishes the significance of this group, and some things which definitely undermine it. I repeat: you get fewer Google hits than I do, and I am not notable in any way. I have a website too (which ususally does work after midnight GMT. One letter in the Telegraph? Big deal - I've had dozens of letters published in the press, and been interviewed on national radio. A name check in Hansard? Big deal - I've been invited to contribute to a government consultation, and I've had early day motions put oon my behalf, and I have corresponded with Ministers and MPs. I see lots of bluster here but no actual conrete verifiable proof of actual notability or importance. So, let's start with the number of members, shall we? That would give a good indication of the significance of the organisation. Just zis Guy you know? 17:23, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

User:JzG - I removed the sentence "The size of the group is not known or stated", because I don't think we can quite say that yet - until we have a statement which can be rigorously defended by evidence, it will be continually reverted. Of course, I think the NPOV tag should stay at least until we have sorted out a rephrasing for this.

My problems with it are the following:

  1. not known... implies nobody at all knows - this may well not be true. Just because we do not know from our research, doesn't mean other people don't know. There is no proof that there aren't people who know
  2. not stated' - well it's not stated on the website, but it might be stated on other materials, such as press releases or lobbying documents. We just don't know.

There's a difference between information being available, and us actually having it. There's a difference between what we don't know and what we can't know.

My date of birth is not stated on my user page (or anywhere else on the web) - but it is publically available, and certainly is known!

If only we were to ask the ABC about their membership, they might well tell us! - we're just too busy sorting out edit wars instead... if they were to refuse to tell us however, then we could fairly say the information is not publically available, but until we do so (or we find documentary evidence saying this info has been withheld previously, say), we can't honestly say.

That the membership isn't available on the website is incontrovertible, but somewhat unnotable - but I personally wouldn't object to it being included if people insist, however Aquilina 17:27, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

It's significant for the reason given above: in the absence of a single cited reliable source, the size of the group is important to establishing whether it is actually notable. As far as I can tell it genuinely is not, since it scores lower on every measure of significance I can think of than I do, and I'm just zis guy, you know? Just zis Guy you know? 19:41, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
If you really think that a number of google hits versus another number of google hits is an accurate indication of notability then it is pointless trying to argue with you. It is the importance of the results that matters, not the absolute number of them. As has been mentioned before, the ABC have been mentioned in many Parliamentary debates whereas I doubt you ever have. Owain (talk) 17:43, 4 March 2006 (UTC)


I don't understand why this keeps coming up -- this is an article about a group that lobbies for something that some people may find contentious, but surely this article itself is perfectly neutral and eminently factual? Can someone explain how this article--as it stands--is anything but neutral? I'd really like to know. MonMan 04:32, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. The wording is mostly paraphrased from the ABC site itself. It is trivial to compare what it says here to what it says there and notice that they are saying essentially the same thing. As an organisation, they obviously have a PoV, so the addition of a non-neutral PoV template to this page is ludicrous. Owain (talk) 09:44, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Read WP:NPOV. What it means is that the neutrality of the article is disputed - this is a flattering portrait of the organisation but neglects crucial facts. Lack of wider coverage, no information about size etc. You canot tell form this article whether the group are significant or not (and the number of genuinely significant groups whose website fails after midnight GMT is pretty small, I'd suggest). So until the article makes it clear that this is a quixotic bunch with very limited support it is not neutral. Just zis Guy you know? 12:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you may have just shown a significant bias there, unless you meant to say: makes it clear that this is a quixotic bunch with very limited support--if that's truely what they are. How about someone actually asks them about some of the things about which we're all wondering? Besides, I don't think the article is the least bit flattering to ABC--it's merely the facts! [BTW, I've not had any connectivity issues to the ABC site from the US] MonMan 16:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
See, it's like this: I follow British politics reasonably closely. I am familiar with many of the pressure groups like the weights & measures bunch and so on, but I have never once come across any single reference to this lot. I followed them up in a few news bases (I don't have access to the really good ones as they require subscription) and got precisely zero hits. I am having enormous trouble finding any coverage of this lot at all in reliable sources. Without coverage in reliable sources, a topic is officially unverifiable per Wikipedia policy. I've seen some evidence of this agenda being pused on Wikipedia but very little evidence linking this group to any significant events or movements in the UK (which is where I live). So I am left wondering: whose word do we have, other than theirs, that they are significant? Just zis Guy you know? 17:17, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
You have never come across references to "this lot", but I have. What does that prove? Nothing. The reason you won't see any mainstream news articles about them is because they don't do headline-grabbing things like stealing administrative border signs. They do boring stuff like replying to government discussion papers and othery low-profile lobbying. I have given you a small list of affiliated organisations, so rather than attacking the article from your standpoint of no knowledge, do some proper research. There are plenty of reliable sources, unless you count the official record of the House of Commons and the British Library as 'unreliable'. Owain (talk) 17:38, 4 March 2006 (UTC)