Talk:Ben Gummer

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Negative reviews of The Scourging Angel[edit]

I have today removed 'although some reviewers[who?] have called it "disappointing" and accuse the book of being too long and containing too much "padding".' from the Historian section. On examining the citation given, it led to this page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0099548836/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_2?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addTwoStar&showViewpoints=0. The author of that claim has simply looked the book up on Amazon and clicked on the page for the most negative customer reviews (two stars), of which there are two. These are apparently the sum of the "some reviewers" quoted. Since this is hardly legitimate peer review (as opposed to the positive review cited in the TLS), it lacks sufficient credibility to merit citation on Wikipedia; otherwise, one might also feel the need to cite the eight five-star or four four-star customer reviews available on Amazon as well. If a negative review from an established and respectable source can be found to balance the tone of the section, all to the good; Amazon customer reviews are surely not good enough. Moreover, as a matter of strict etiquette, the author has paraphrased the reviews but still used quotation marks: the first review is headed "Disappointment" and the second comments that "he pads it out with interesting critiques on the Hundred Years War"; this becomes "disappointing" and 'too much "padding"'. Quotation marks suggest exact quotation, and it is misleading to use them for paraphrasing, particularly when the writer adds in a value judgment such as 'too much' and attaches this to one inaccurately quoted word. Back and Forth (talk) 11:53, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I have removed a similar link today. Some random Joe or Jane with an Amazon account is not a reliable source. BlackberrySorbet 01:11, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Balance[edit]

@Over the Orwell: has expressed concerns to @JASpencer: that the article "reads as if it was written by a friend, relative or Tory party activist." Rather than getting into edit warring or battleground territory, perhaps it would be sensible to work through any issues here on the talk page. I know that OtO would like to see a critical review of The Scourging Angel, and I am looking through the various newspapers and literary supplements at the moment to see if there are any. The lack of a website when Gummer was first elected seems pretty trivial imho, and WP:UNDUE; it certainly didn't make it into any of the major news organs (although I'm still searching that, too.) Anything anyone wants to add? Blackberry Sorbet (talkcontribs) 23:57, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Seems like a negative enough review, although I got the impression that this had to be dug out. The website was a minor kerfuffle which probably seemed important when it was added but seems dated now (no doubt like the football ground will next year). JASpencer (talk) 17:30, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
It did require some serious digging, but eventually it was unearthed, and the critic is notable enough to carry some weight. I empathise with @Over the Orwell: and I'm sure that our personal opinions/philosophies/politics are not entirely dissimilar. The difference is that I go out of my way to avoid inserting my POV and understand that we are writing an encyclopedia and not a blog. Over the Orwell certainly gives the impression of being WP:NOTHERE and I see an RfC/U on the horizon. Blackberry Sorbet (talkcontribs) 17:38, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Lets make this a better article![edit]

I intend to update this in accordance with wp:BLP using wp:reliable sources, generally avoiding wp:primary, sticking to wp:NPOV and highlighting notable achievements. In practice, I don't usually get involved in disputes with experienced editors but feel free to contact me, discuss or apply wp:BRD. Regards JRPG (talk) 22:23, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

I will shortly update the section on itemized tax reform, my objective is to make it clear to readers exactly what extra info this will give them. I don't know whether someone attempted to collate press articles Gummer has written in this section but there is a Times article on legal aid randomly inserted which I've removed. Tabloid press should not be used in wp:BLP but more importantly it seriously clutters up the section without doing anything useful. I've also changed claims that Labour opposed the concept. A contentious 10 minute rule bill wouldn't get time and Bryant simply pointed out a problem. Comments welcome. JRPG (talk) 23:04, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Public Debt Management Bill[edit]

This section relies for its main description on a blog by a local Ipswich Conservative councilor which apart from being a blog fails all the tests of a wp:rs. As fully expected the bill failed to become law and since unless I’m wrong, the effort wasn’t reported elsewhere the section isn't significant. It may deserve a mention as a technique in Private member's bill if a wp:rs can be found. JRPG (talk) 22:26, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Need for food banks: de-spun[edit]

@Dtellett:" First friendly greetings and I've noted your last edit reason. When I first looked at this article in January it appeared to me to be hagiography which I’ve tried to make fair but much more wp:npov. I note your comment on foodbanks “despun” Whatever I think of foodbanks, it seems fair to include Gummer’s reference

We have cut the benefit bill by £10 million by tackling fraud, but we know there are people who have been on benefit for years who know how to use the system – while those who really need urgent help, the kind of people that Beveridge was thinking of when he set it up are left struggling. and a little unkind to suggest the new version is 'de-spun'. Had you overlooked Gummer’s own statement or have I misunderstood? En passant Gummer appears not to distinguish between £10 billion and £10 million but I thought I'd let that go! Regards JRPG (talk) 20:43, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

It was actually Gummer's comment I perceived as the "spin" (particularly as the abbreviated section above cuts the relevant acknowledgement of delays in benefit payments but did include a generic party-line swipe at long term benefit claimants that didn't seem that relevant to other claimants not having enough to eat. The sentence also had him "agree" with GMB - which would probably be a surprise to both parties!) Hence my replacement of his "spin" - and I didn't necessarily intend to imply anything about editors - with a paraphrase of what appeared to be the more pertinent and encyclopaedia-worthy part of his comments: acknowledging a link between food banks and benefit delays. His full comment seemed a bit long since welfare reform isn't his responsibility to defend anyway... and the £10million raised my eyebrows too - that's less than MPs' expense claims!
As you've probably noticed the previous edit moved the Ipswich minor achievements below the nationally relevant policy proposals (the fact it was originally organised the other way round is what made me suspect someone on his local campaign team may have been involved at some point in the history of the article) Please don't take it as implying any criticism of your edits specifically; I certainly didn't scrutinise all the diffs Dtellett (talk) 21:16, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
No problem at all! I admit wasn't particularly concerned about the order. The 14:53, 26 January 2015 version looked like a hagiography. I've done most of the changes since then because I was keen to get it more balanced. Regards JRPG (talk) 22:15, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Sancroft[edit]

The 1st line of the section on Sancroft contains a dead link to a wp:primary source which makes extravagant claims about the business expansion! The only reason for not removing this sentence altogether is that there is a much more significant article in the Telegraph which shows that Gummer remains a shareholder and this is likely to be of interest. JRPG (talk) 20:18, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Public Debt Management AKA Budget surplus law[edit]

Whilst I am well aware of the effort made by many MPs to draw attention to bills which HMG hasn't allowed time for, public debt management died the usual death. The BBC makes no connection between the two and doesn't mention Gummer. It seems to me that this is Synthesis of published material, albeit well intentioned, which we are required to remove. The BBC has attributed an entirely different motive for the bill. Regards JRPG (talk) 18:32, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

It's not an implausible theory, whether he was thinking originally or flying the Treasury's kite, but it should be shown in a reliable source. JASpencer (talk) 21:34, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
My understanding is that Parliament is sovereign except in certain European instances & future parliaments cannot be bound by a previous parliament. Osborne can abolish the OBR if it conflicts with his economic aims & I note he's still hasn't succeeded in balancing the books. If, as it says in the BBC article, this announcement is just a political exercise then timing is important and it has nothing to do with the different political circumstances of Gummer's work 3 years ago.
I should have said that in the unlikely event that a link is found, wp:npov rules require us to explain the purpose of the bill, presumably along the lines given by the BBC. Regards JRPG (talk) 17:06, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Religion[edit]

According to this link, Ben Gummer is Catholic. This does not appear to be the case. Gummer's father Sir John Gummer converted to Catholicism when Ben was 14 years old. The link is not entirely accurate and there appears to be no evidence that Ben Gummer is anything other than Anglican, the religion in which he was raised. The Tablet is a reliable source generally but ........ Quis separabit? 16:09, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Various other sources claiming Gummer is a Catholic [1][2][3] and none that I can find that suggest otherwise. That's also consistent with Gummer's own blog noting that he was pleased to be invited to join a Catholic organization[4], and his marriage in a Catholic cathedral. I don't think we want to be changing things based on inferences about his childhood as a chorister unless he makes a statement or further sources cast doubt on those describing him as a Catholic Dtellett (talk) 19:39, 15 September 2016 (UTC).

External links modified[edit]

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