Talk:Bob Ainsworth

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this is significant[edit]

this edit I have removed as opinionated speculation...

possibly motivated by political reasons related to internal Labour Party politics.[[1]] Twists that made Bob Ainsworth the least worst choice for the job

it follows this.... he got the what was considered by some to be "a surprise choice",

I left the first bit in and added...considered by some...because some people thought it was ok. The second bit is a bridge to far as regards to adding two and two and getting twenty two. The comments are all speculative and opinionated, ainsworth got the job, no one else was offered the post, so in that way, he was the first one offered the job and the only one actually offered the position,,, everything else is gossip and opinionated comment, Off2riorob (talk) 19:39, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

even the first bit that I respectfully left in is rubbish. what was considered by some to be "a surprise choice"

of course it was, this comment is from the conservative supporters, the tories think anything he does in to be ridiculed and he is to be ridiculed as much as possible, so we could add to the page.. the tories said he was rubbish. Are we here to add party political comment to a wikipedia biography? no we are not and I will resist it in all ways. Off2riorob (talk) 19:46, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

  • " a surprise choice to be Defence Secretary in Gordon Brown’s June reshuffle" - Times; [2]
  • "Mr Ainsworth’s appointment in June caused some surprise at Westminster."[3] - Telegraph
  • "Mr Ainsworth's own suitability has been called into question following his surprise elevation to the job during last month's emergency cabinet reshuffle."[4] - BBC
  • "To the surprise of many observers, Bob Ainsworth, a cheerful but pedestrian junior defence minister, was asked to step up to replace Hutton as defence secretary"[5] - Guardian (and again - first line of Ainsworth 5 June 09 profile! [6] )
  • "eyebrows were raised at the jobs for the moustachioed Bob Ainsworth as Defence Secretary - promoted beyond his means"[7] - The Herald

as my words "possibly motivated by political reasons related to internal Labour Party politics", that seems perfectly reasonably backed up by the Times story [8]. What does anyone else think? Rd232 talk 20:30, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

It is enough to leave what is left there now. You can't say...possibly...bla is speculation and has no place here. Off2riorob (talk) 20:37, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Well the "possibly" was a qualifer I added because there was only one source. The source is quite definite, and not speculative. Rd232 talk 23:01, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
You can see in these citations you present...surprise,,surprise.. and I left that comment in the article. What I left is strong, simple and clear. Off2riorob (talk) 20:41, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Anyone else wondering about the relationship between offtoriorob and Ainsworth? All offtoriorob has done is attempt to soften the profile: he has claimed that the comment "At this time he attended several International Marxist Group meetings before deciding not to continue his interest in the group" is contentious, when it is anything but. Ainsworth has confirmed on the record that he attended meetings (as has Mustafa Bevi), and that he decided not to pursue his interest. Offtoriorob has also attempted to remove citations from the Daily Mail; and he is now attempting to make out that Ainsworth was the first-choice for Defence Secretary, and that any source which claims otherwise is a conservative conspiracy. I think there are some credibility issues here.Chrisp728 (talk) 22:51, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Off2riorob has nearly 7000 edits on a wide variety of pages [9]; you have 8, all on Talk:Bob Ainsworth. Please do not make casual accusations. For example he has not attempted to make out that Ainsworth was first choice, merely questioned the basis for saying concretely that he wasn't. Nor did he use or imply anything relating to "conspiracy". As for your allusion to Mustafa Bevi - his comments here on this talk page are interesting but have no status as a reliable source. Rd232 talk 22:58, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you rd232, edit conflict..Well, I respect your comments, let me try and reply to a couple of them, Ainsworth was the first and only person to be actually offered his job. I am not here to soften Ainsworths profile, I have worked towards the insertion of the verifyable comment that he went to meetings of this group..I am for neutral encyclopedic articles. I dislike opinionated speculation presented as if fact, I am a good guy, honest. I am against any insertion of this couple of meetings but I have worked towards and assisted in an insertion.Off2riorob (talk) 23:04, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, but just go back to the Times article [10] a moment and consider again whether it can be described as "speculation". It's also not talking about others being actually offered the job, it's about others being considered. I think that is significant, not speculation, and from a WP:RS. Maybe it could be qualified by explicitly attributing it to the Times, but I think it belongs in the entry, because the appointment to Defence Sec is so significant in Ainsworth's career that circumstances of it are important. Rd232 talk 23:18, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I'll have a good look at the cites. I dislike all that, according to speculation commented written by jonny from the times. No one was at the meeting and there has been no official comment regarding it. In my opinion he has been promoted to the job and we should respect that, not start with, jonny was first choice but he couldn't get it so harry was second choice but this faction didn't like him so the position must have been given to bob to appease the unions according to the gossip and the point of view at the times tea room. Off2riorob (talk) 09:22, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

"Off2riorob has nearly 7000 edits on a wide variety of pages" but Rd232 how can number of edits be a criterion in deciding if an editor is good or not? Perhaps a consideration of the number of edit wars an editor has been involved in or the number of times an editor's account has been blocked by administrators would be better indicators. In my exchange with Off2riorob re: Ainsworth's over-promotion (now no longer in doubt and backed up by a variety of references from the BBC to the Guardian) he clearly did not show good faith, was at times rude, and was obsessive about cutting out anything negative about "Bob" (as he calls him). He also made a number of good points, particularly about use of language (which I acknowledged and have learned from). But overall my impression was that he does not have a neutral position when it comes to this subject.Jprw (talk) 11:04, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

The issue is not Off2riorob's general quality as editor ("good or not"); I was merely responding to Chrisp's insinuation here of a connection between off2riorob and Ainsworth, to which the long edit history elsewhere is highly relevant. As to neutral position: it is pretty rare for editors on political topics not to have a position. The issue is how this impacts on their editing and discussion, and their ability/willingness to follow policy and consensus. Anyway, further discussion of Off2riorob, if it's required, should take place elsewhere. Meanwhile, some of your own remarks ( "clearly did not show good faith", "obsessive about cutting out anything negative" ) are also problematic. Rather than conduct endless postmortems, let's either return to the substance of any outstanding issues, or just leave it here. Rd232 talk 12:08, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Discussion of me on this board should stop now, take it to a complaint board. Off2riorob (talk) 11:36, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Having a look at the times piece, it is speculation almost all of it. We have the simple clear statement that it was a suprise to some that he was appointed...

I also note this from the times article......

"Mr Ainsworth, then Armed Forces Minister, had been in the running from the off. It is likely that he was Mr Hutton’s recommendation as he offered continuity. Ms Kennedy’s departure and Mr Brown’s weakened position meant that the Prime Minister was no longer in a position to resist an appointment that would satisfy both defence chiefs and Labour MPs". Off2riorob (talk) 12:07, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

"Speculation" is about events in the future; I guess you mean "gossip" or something. But the Times article seems to be based on leaks ("senior figure"), not (merely) the fevered imaginings of a journalist. The above would be a relevant part of the story too. I don't think a sentence or two about the appointment would be undue. Rd232 talk 12:11, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Speculation can also be about events in the past. Not speculation? there where no announcements, no one said anything about it! When I say speculation I mean a couple of people get together and get their opinions and anything they have heard and add that together and make it into a story, and here is the story, story being the optimum word, well, if you really think it will be beneficial to the article, knock something up and attribute it as has been summised, it has been suggested, according to supposed leaks, or something along those lines and we will also need to add the comment I posted above to balance.. also be careful not to coatrack anyone else, Gordon Brown, for example, or the chaotic shuffle on to this biography. Personally I think it adds nothing.. but hey..regards Off2riorob (talk) 12:26, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
According to supposed leaks from a an unnamed so called senior figure that is in the know....Off2riorob (talk) 12:34, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Just a thought: I think this discussion suggests an interesting conflict between the apparent value of media/news reporting and 'official comment' with respect to inclusion in WP. Sir Humphrey Appleby often (reliably) informed us as to the origin of leaked political stories, whose source could not be named. And likewise we all know that official statements, such as the existence of WMD, should not be believed and are about as reliable George Wickham's word and Alan Duncan's genuine hardship. I'm sure there exists all shades of truth and politic in between those extremes but the Boothby scandal teaches us how both sources can be compromised by political pressure such that we can only strive to sift through all possible information and ultimately use our own judgement to reflect the truth. However, it does seem to me that there is a greater threat/caution to journalists than there is to politicians - Tony Bliar was not impeached and roams free and making money to this day. Newspapers can issue a retraction you might need a magnifying glass to spot but who tends to be the biggest liars or vehicles of truth? It's a tough one, I know. Mimi (yack) 13:14, 20 August 2009 (UTC) Replied on mimi's talk. Off2riorob (talk) 14:14, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

you messed up my edit.[edit]

You upset the link, so I reverted to my comment. All my comments are from the link, well cited comments, so it is good to add well cited comments at this point the article is in need of expansion.Off2riorob (talk) 21:51, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

WP:UNDUE. And why did you post this twice? See my reply above. Rd232 talk 22:10, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Duncan changed "several meetings" to "a few meetings" [11]. I prefer "several" - sounds better to me. And "a few meetings" also sounds like a larger number (the original spokesperson quote was "a couple of meetings"). Rd232 talk 20:40, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Several is more than a few. Since couple is in the reference, I will change the edit to say that.--Duncan (talk) 08:36, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
"Several is more than a few." - I guessed that was your opinion, but I think the opposite! "a couple" is fine. Rd232 talk 09:30, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Not notable events or reports[edit]

In the long term reality of a biography, actually even in the short term this new addition is of no value..

"In December 2009, Ainsworth announced that he would have been more circumspect about supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq had he known that Saddam Hussein did not in fact have weapons of mass destruction at his disposal."

If you asked each and every MP this question they would all say the same thing. It is meaningless. Off2riorob (talk) 19:09, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Fixing MiszaBot archiving[edit]

The template for MiszaBot at the head of this page was sending old threads over to Talk:Gordon Brown/Archive %(counter)d, which is clearly the wrong place. I think MiszaBot has a security feature that disallows targets which are not subpages, most of the time. I fixed that. I hope someone will have the patience to sort out two incorrect archivals which occurred, one on 20 August and the other on 15 December. These are the only two times that MiszaBot has run, and the threads were copied to /dev/null both times. Also a proper archive box should be created. EdJohnston (talk) 07:03, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

That should do it. —WWoods (talk) 09:42, 20 February 2010 (UTC)


How come there is no mention of all the criticism Ainsworth has received as Defence Secretary? ( (talk) 16:05, 25 February 2010 (UTC))

I for one will easily wonder what is the reason that the HMS Endurance deserves have a repair bill atleast 5 times larger than the amount of money HMS Roebuck is sold for. A major reason for the repair bill is that a crewmember allowed the boat almost to sink, and the MoD (Ainsworth was the Minister/Secretary at that time) has yet not been looking for someone responsible. The Royal Navy is answerable to the Government, but that does not excuse any MP from doing a good job.-- (talk) 12:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)