Talk:Ed Miliband/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

He has worked in an economic capacity since

This phrase does not make sense: "He has worked in an economic capacity since". Does it mean he worked as an economist? Or that he has been economica; with his work? I have removed the phrase, but would appreciate it if this could be replaced by what the original editor meant to say. DavidFarmbrough (talk) 11:59, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

"Ed Miliband, despite having a broken wrist, was able to beat off Michael Dugher, ", Is this meant to be a double entendre?

political career

The scottish election bit is out of temporal order, need moving to before 'Doncaster North'. Could someone please action? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

personal life

The web link for his girlfriend's work is down, I wonder why? Also does anyone know why he lives quite so close to his brother David? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Punk-rock band

Just removed: He was also in a punk-rock band called "Squashed Psyche" from the age of 13 to the age of 17, together with two of his friends. The band was only recreational and never went any further.

Speaking on BBC Radio 2, Jeremy Vine, 01.07.2010 - stated it is not true - but has not yet removed it from wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

unnamed thread

Unlock the -- (talk) 10:10, 26 September 2010 (UTC) page !


Who's the twit who put the Jewish thing back in? Did you read the source? Being from a Jewish background does not mean you are Jewish in the religious sense. I would guess that, like his whole family, Ed is an atheist, or agnostic. And the reference I removed, reporting a speech to a Jewish community group never said that Ed is Jewish in the religious sense. I get the feeling some editors have an obsession with pointing out people are Jewish. Get over it. Wikidea 09:21, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Why not put him under "Jewish Atheists" then? His brother's in that category, then surely he should too? I apologise for adding him to it a while back, I didn't realise there was such a large discussion. Alexanderward (talk) 11:09, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Is there anything to say it is at all important to him or is a notable citable thing in his life?

If his brother (David Milliband) is classed as a "jewish atheist" why should Ed "surely" be that too - They each have minds of their own. Whatever David Milliband holds to ideologically, philosophically, or religiously tells us nothing about his brother. They may have similar views, they may not. They may be ideologically in agreeance and differ in specifics. But there can be no necessary correspondence drawn from one to the other, merely because they are brothers. Can we either have some solid references on each of their positions or nothing. No more guesswork please. (talk) 12:31, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

He is Jewish because his mother was when he was born. Halacichally speaking a person is either Jewish by birth via a direct matrilineal line or if not undergoes a formal conversion.

Well, yeah, Godwin's Law. Of course it is politically irrelevant, it should be -- but he is Jewish. Muslim voters will regard him as such. Britain defines Jewishness non-racially and instead by religious practice. See Who is a Jew?. But whatever the argument, he is, I believe, the first Jewish leader of the Labour party and this is a fair milestone to be included in the article. Shall we just insert "is the first Labour leader from a Jewish background ... or family ... or of Polish-Jewish heritage." Aren't those okay and notable points? To just leave it out altogether seems silly, even if it is in the categories. Which you may of course continue to have arguments about. If people want to keep this fact out of the article because they are worried about Muslim voter reaction, well I can see why you are so worried. But this encyclopaedia must be truthful and complete. -- (talk) 19:15, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know what all the fuss is about here. In the Telegraph interview he said he doesn't believe in god, so he's an atheist, not a Jew. He may be a Jew in the ethnic sense, but that's irrelevant when the question is about his religious stance. - Informed Observer 21:00 29/09/2010 (BST)

It is a difficult one, and you make a good point User:Informed Observer. However, the majority of those who define themselves as Jewish in the US or the UK are also Atheists. It is questionable whether being Jewish has much to do with believing in god. It would be useful if someone can find any source on how Ed defines himself.--Exfrum (talk) 20:59, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

He's of Jewish descent, not Jewish. His parent's were Marxists, therefore would not be Jewish either. I understand the principle of Matrilinael-Jewishness - but he is not Jewish in the religious-sense. He is an athiest, and I'd admit you could say he is a Jewish Athiest - but he is no more Jewish in the religious sense then Sun Tzu or Xerxes the Great or Charles Stewart Parnell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Tony Benn leadership "support" is false - please read.

I am removing the piece of information that Tony Benn endorsed E Miliband for leader. See below for an explanation of why I think this is a false piece of information borne out of confusion and irresponsible reportage. Terryitaloan (talk) 21:42, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

This is a C&P from Talk:Tony Benn.

Just to clear up Benn's "support" for Ed Miliband. This all stems from an interview with Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio 5 Live where Benn said he would back John McDonnell for the leadership. Then, when pressed to give his opinion on the Miliband brothers, he said he preferred Ed, who had worked for him as a young man. This "endorsement" was then picked up by the New Statesman who ran a blog (now taken down) saying he was backing Ed Miliband. The rumour then wormed its way around the blogosphere, but in fact holds little truth. Terryitaloan (talk) 14:54, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

The 5 Live interview has been uploaded to Youtube. This is a direct link to the interview passage - "If there was a choice between the two...." Terryitaloan (talk) 02:56, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Seems reasonable, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 21:55, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Here's the link to the part of the interview where he says he supports John McDonnell - It's just worrying that this info can get in. I don't deny I am an "interested" party but I want to make sure WP is telling the truth about the new Labour Leader. Thanks Off2riorob. Terryitaloan (talk) 22:02, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, things do become Chinese whispers and as you say there was once a claimable source for it, even though it sounds extremely weak, thanks for your work. Off2riorob (talk) 22:10, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Yup. There was an article in the Daily Telegraph recently which repeated the endorsement. I wouldn't be surprised if the journalist (a respected one at that - Matthew d'Ancona) picked that piece of info from this very page...... Terryitaloan (talk) 21:58, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

He is Jewish not only by religion, but also by ethnicity.

Add that his ethnicity is Jewish. (talk) 04:34, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Please? Regarding his ethnicity, it is in the article and cited that he has a Jewish mother. As for the religion we need reliable citations that he is a follower or a practitioner of the Jewish faith and if it is a part of his notability or it something he has stated himself. Off2riorob (talk) 06:01, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

The fact that Ed Miliband is the first Jewish leader of the Labour party is a hugely significant political and cultural milestone. Whilst Jews, being oppressed throughout known history and even banned from the UK until the Cromwellian era, are successful in many fields, this is unprecedented and warrants a greater degree of recognition than this article offers. It is also an important electoral factor which should be open for the public to see. There is therefore ample reason to include this in the article, and until anyone offers a compelling reason why not, then it should stay. Wolfehenson —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

He's not Jewish by religion, he considers himself a secular Jew, which is Jewish by ethnicity but otherwise an atheist. --Topperfalkon (talk) 10:47, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


I would like to add a bit on his infobox regarding his religion (or rather lack of it). It says here that in regards to God, God is "something that some people believe in, and I don't." so I would like to add a part that says "Religion: None (atheism)". --Omarraii (talk) 10:11, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Id like to see a source or two clearly stating hes an atheist for it to appear in the infobox. I see that his brothers infobox does not mention hes an atheist, and theres more sources showing hes one. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:37, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

His Brother is a fully cited self declared Atheist. I have seen a citation from this subject saying religion is a private matter. Off2riorob (talk) 15:16, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

This is the kind of self declaration in a cite we are looking for to put him in any group .. from David Milliband - "My parents and grandparents -- all of them Jews -- went through huge trauma. They went through the trauma of the Holocaust. I don't know if it's for that reason that, by 1965, when I was born, my grandparents, who were alive, my parents were secular. But I've grown up in a secular way. I've thought about this, and I'm an atheist. I say that. I'm not a person of faith myself." - Off2riorob (talk) 15:21, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

I have replaced the removal from the infobox on David Miliband as it has been in the infobox there for quite some time and is very well self declared and cited. It was removed on the 25 Sept in an attempt to claim he was religiously Jewish. Off2riorob (talk) 15:34, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

By all means, put it in the infobox. GoodDay (talk) 21:32, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
If Im reading this right, a speculative source such as this recently added one from the Guardian isnt strong enough to be used to label Ed an atheist. Id prefer us not to specify his religion at all (except in Cats for which we have a weaker standard of proof) or to say undeclared (e.g. with this source ) Alternatively we could say none or even none / culturally jewish per the Guardian source. But we shoudnt say a specific religion when in fact he's undeclared and considers religion a private matter. FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:42, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the categories must be backed up by some statement in the article if they are even vaguely likely to be wrong or controversial. If the source is considered to not back up the fact that he's an atheist, I don't see any reason for the atheist categories to remain. What do others think of the Guardian source linked by FeydHuxtable above? Donama (talk) 12:49, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

We still have not got a strong enough self declaration of affiliation to any group to add that his alleged atheism is important to him to add it, we are not going to add it because a op ed blog reporter says he is an atheist. We can't add him to the cats either until we accept the whole picture. Please remember, there is no hurry. Off2riorob (talk) 17:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

It's not an op ed reporter, it's the definition of atheism. When someone says he doesn't believe in God that is already a statement that negates theism, ergo is a statement of atheism. Let's not be more Catholic than the pope, being named an atheist after making a statement that one is not a god believer is no slur. Mind you, he didn't say he has doubts, can't know or is a skeptic. Hekerui (talk) 19:20, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It is not a self declaration, call it op ed or not, the reporter is adding his own opinions and POV. What we are looking for to add him as a self declared indisputable whatever is a strong comment in a reliable citation, as yet we don't have one, this went on in Davids article for a long time and finally a strong claim was added and it is still there to this day and as a self declaration it is absolutely indisputable, we will require the same here. Off2riorob (talk) 19:43, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
The American Heritage College Dictionary, 4th ed., Atheism: "1a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods." Interview of Ed Miliband by Nicky Campbell for BBC Radio 5:[1]
NC: Do you believe in God?
EM: I don't believe in God personally, but I have great respect for those people who do. Different people have different religious views in this country. The great thing is that, whether we have faith or not, we are by and large very tolerant of people whatever their view.
This is a clear, unambiguous statement by the article subject that establishes he is an atheist. The categories and infobox items should stand. -Rrius (talk) 19:38, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I will change this back. "I don't believe in God personally" is a self declaration. Hekerui (talk) 19:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Please step back, this will not be edit warred into the article, Please don't edit war over this, Look at this [Category:Atheists] .. who have expressed being an atheist, and of whom it is known how they define their atheism. .. As yet Ed does not fit and has not self declared as an Atheist. Off2riorob (talk) 19:51, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I was involved in the adding of this to the infobox of his brother, a clear indisputable affiliation, I am an atheist. this is what we are looking for here also, a strong self declaration ...|religion = None (atheist)
It is unnecessary to use the word "atheist" if your definition of yourself is the same a the definition of "atheist". He didn't say there is no proof of the existence of God; he said "I don't believe in God". That is clear and definitive and enough to support the claim that he is an atheist. Full stop. -Rrius (talk) 20:08, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Well that is your claim, he hasn't commented that he is affiliated to that group or that he is even bothered about that. Commented in an interview that you don't believe in god is not a self declaration, ..I am an atheist, is what we are looking for, right now we don't have that at all. Off2riorob (talk) 20:12, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
No, it is not my claim, it is reality. Atheism is not a group to join. We don't have conversion ceremonies and meetings and such. Rather, atheism is a state of being. To be atheist, you have to not believe in God, as opposed to believing in God or doubting God's existence. Stating "I don't believe in God" is equally as clear an indication of atheism as stating "I am an atheist". There is absolutely no difference, so you (and I emphasize "you", not "we", as you say) can look for something else all you want; it doesn't matter. We have a direct quotation from the subject saying he doesn't believe in God, which means he is an atheist, which means it should be included. -Rrius (talk) 20:21, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
This is just your POV, and your alteration of the cat conditions to support your POV and your warring to assert this is not going to strongly add it, please take a step back, you know how to request discussion and community comment, please move in that direction. I have had this discussion at multiple other BLP articles and we don't label living people in such a lightweight manner. Off2riorob (talk) 20:25, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It is not a POV, it is the bloody dictionary. It is not labelling in a "lightweight manner" to base a claim of atheism on a direct quote saying "I don't believe in God." If you think something more is needed, you know how to start an RfC and are welcome to do so. -Rrius (talk) 20:33, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I've added yet another ref, this one from the Mail reporting on an interview with him in which "he confirmed he that he is an atheist". -Rrius (talk) 20:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It is all POV, please stop stuffing in disputed content , open a RFC, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 21:34, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Do you know what POV is? Really? The reality is that he is an atheist and that the fact has been reported in innumberable press sources today. I provided one of those and a source going back to a month ago using the word you want to hear. The first source has Ed Miliband, in his own words, saying "I don't believe in God", which makes him ipso facto an atheist. The second is a news story in which he is reported to have "confirmed that he is an atheist" in an interview with the paper. This is more than enough for BLP. If you want to change the rules, take it up at WP:Verify or WP:RS. Whatever your problem is, the balance of opinion is against you now that sources have been provided. If you want an RfC so badly, start one. I have to go out of town for a funeral tomorrow, so I won't be able to participate, but I am not the only one who can repeat the facts ad nauseam to refute your idiosyncratic belief that all assertions must be identical to direct quotes to pass BLP. You have said in the past that you don't trust the media. That's fine, but that opinion (POV) doesn't direct Wikipedia policy or guidelines. Start an RfC if you want, but be prepared to be told that an assertion as to a person's religion, or lack thereof, that is verified by reliable sources is permissible. -Rrius (talk) 21:56, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

In a Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman just shown this evening (29 September), Miliband restates that he does not believe in God (although respects those who do). The interview will, no doubt, be available on BBC iPlayer shortly. Catiline63 (talk) 21:56, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Ergo, he is, by definition, an atheist.Catiline63 (talk) 21:59, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Ergo that is original research, we are looking for a strong self declaration of association to assert affiliation, such as we have for his brother. Off2riorob (talk) 22:01, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
What part of equating disbelief in (any) god with athesism is OR? Catiline63 (talk) 22:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Off2riorob removed sources, so I inserted an additional one from the New York Times that talks about how he "confirmed his atheism". The dictionary definition, the reliable sources - this is confirmed very well. Hekerui (talk) 22:05, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Please stop edit warring and stuffing in your claims against my BLP objections, there is clearly only weak opinionated comments and no self declaration of affinity to the group, please consider BLP and discussion and feel free to open a RFC, Off2riorob (talk) 22:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

O2RR, adding sources for a claim does not constitute edit warring. The question remains: What part of equating disbelief in (any) god with athesism is OR. Feel free to request a third-party opinion if you think that 'disbelief in god(s)' and 'athesim' are discordant concepts. Moreover what part of "a BBC2 Newnight interview with Jeremy Paxman, filmed and broadcast on 29 September 2010" is "uncited"? Catiline63 (talk) 22:21, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Two items. First, Rob even objects to the temporary compromise of saying "None", without saying he is an atheist; somehow even that is contentious. I have to wonder whether to Rob saying someone is an atheist or has no religion is an insult. I am genuinely perplexed by this. We have more than satisfactory proof that he is an atheist, but even under a strict standard regarding the "label", as Rob has called it, of "atheist", the news stories saying he's an atheist are more than enough to support the contention that he is not of any religion. Second, Rob, please read your dictionary's definition of "atheist" and "atheism", and then explain why you think it is somehow OR to say that his saying "I don't believe in God" doesn't mean he is an atheist. That's not a rhetorical flourish; I genuinely want you to look at your dictionary, tell us what it says, and then explain why we are wrong in believing that his words make him an atheist. -Rrius (talk) 23:13, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know if anyone cares, but we went through exactly the same discussion with Julia Gillard the newish prime minister in Australia. She made a similar statement of the form "no I don't believe in God, but am a respecter of those who do", and dozens of people claimed this doesn't mean she's an atheist. I think we need to take a step back here and realise that that *is* a declaration of atheism, despite our own personal POVs and that it could be seen as controversial (well, back 50 years ago). The ultimate result of our discussion on Gillard was to put text inline in the 'Personal life' section to quote her disbelief in God and avoid all use of categories and infobox slights, deeming them too simplistic. As you can imagine the conversation was dominated by Aussies and the collective weight of opinion was that religion or lack thereof is not important enough to go in an infobox and its presence in the infobox is due to the American domination of the English internet. Too bad what other nationalities might think about its importance, but I have to say I agree with the decision on Julia Gillard. Just because there's an infobox slot and categories indicating religious persuasion doesn't mean we have to use them. I think this is especially important because "being of religious persuasion x" is something that's self-claimed rather than provable (like, say, spouse) and definitely changes over a lifetime for many people. I would suggest focussing on inline text that is very accurate to the sources available. See Julia Gillard#Personal life. Donama (talk) 23:40, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

The issue you are talking about was moved and reverted to other articles, just for you and any others that support your position, this is a strong indisputable claim.... I am an atheist - Off2riorob (talk) 23:45, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Nice declaration, Rob, but slightly unclear: What does that Greek-looking word you use - "atheist" - mean? Catiline63 (talk) 23:47, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I apparently means that categories like Category:English atheists can be added to an article, otherwise not! On the one hand, that category can only be useful if it contains people who self-declare "I don't believe in God", but it's a stupid pigeon-hole category in the first place, comparable to Category:English Catholics even though the person to whom that is applied may not even be practising or know the various tenets of the dogma. I would argue that even if Miliband states "I am an atheist" it's stupid to put it in the infobox or cats, but this is very difficult to obtain real consensus on. Donama (talk) 23:58, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
He's already in the category "English Jews", so why not put him in another category that fits the past statements he has made regarding his beliefs --Topperfalkon (talk) 10:49, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I think part of the problem is that there is really no universally-accepted simple definition of the term "atheist" (or "agnostic"), eg see Atheism, Negative and positive atheism, Nontheism, Agnosticism, Strong agnosticism, Weak agnosticism. Ed said "I do not believe in God", so does that mean "atheist"? Does an agnostic believe in God? I'd say no. And while it does sound to me as if Ed probably is an atheist, his statement could apply to varying positions on the atheist/agnostic scale (or even to Buddhism, in fact), and so I think saying "atheist" in the article would be too strong based on what we actually know. I think we could be more confident with religion = "none". -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:59, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Interesting points, but the fact is that, whether you think the term is "too strong" or not, several reliable sources have reported Miliband as an "atheist" (rather than, say, an agnostic or a Buddist). At the same time we should observe that the term is not discordant with his repeated statement "I don't believe in God". Catiline63 (talk) 14:42, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that fine and we can discuss adding that jonny reporter has said his comment make him an athiest, but that doesn't allow adding the claim the the infobox. As in.. Jonny says he loves Jesus, this statement does not mean we should assert and label him as a Christian. Off2riorob (talk) 19:33, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
No, but if EM (or anyone else) said he thought that Jesus was the Saviour of mankind then that would be pretty good evidence that he was a Christian. Nor does refering to multiple reliable sources as "Jonny Reporter" lend weight to your argument. Catiline63 (talk) 14:47, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Whatever the case, the current state of the article stating that he is Jewish is clearly completely wrong and must be changed. -- Love, Smurfy 18:16, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Strictly speaking I believe he is ethnically Jewish. So it isn't exactly inaccurate, although I suspect that it could use some clarification.--Topperfalkon (talk) 22:58, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Early Life as Leader of the Opposition

{{edit semi-protected}} If this information could be put under the currently blank section "Leader of the Opposition"

On becoming leader of the Labour Party on 25th September 2010, Milliband also became Leader of the Opposition. At the age of 40, he is Labour's youngest leader. (

Shukb84 (talk) 16:47, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

  • -  Done - many thanks - Off2riorob (talk) 16:56, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The article says he is Labour's youngest leader since WW2 - but isn't he the youngest leader of Labour ever? (talk) 15:16, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know, I added what the citation reported, if you have a citation to support youngest ever I will add that.. Off2riorob (talk) 17:39, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 29 September 2010

{{edit semi-protected}}

In the ractable box on top right of the article, could you add 'Religion: None (Atheism)' please, just like it shows with his brother and former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's page? The reference is this:

Ed Miliband is the leader of the opposition party in the UK and a potential British prime minister by 2015 and the fact that he has today declared himself an atheist is significant enough factor for a global educational charity like Wikipedia to inform the public. Thank you. (talk) 22:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Not done There is an ongoing discussion above in the "Atheism" section to achieve consensus ; please contribute there. Rodhullandemu 22:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the better place to go would be the #RFC BLP, the section immediately before this one. -Rrius (talk) 22:41, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I missed that. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Rodhullandemu 22:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 29 September 2010

{{edit semi-protected}}

Looking at atheism and related sections, I get a feeling that Wikipedia religious editors doing whatever they can to avoid any prominent figure showing religion as atheism or none. Just checked Nick Clegg's page on Wikipedia. (He is the British Deputy Prime Minister.) His page as well, after all those atheism section discussions, editors ruled not to show his religion is none or that he is an atheist in the info box on top? If my understanding is right, Wikipedia originates from the USA, a country, though not written in their constitution, in reality, is one where a presidential candidate said they don't believe in god they're the last person on earth to become president. Europe is different and the UK is indeed where the current Deputy Prime Minister is an atheist and the newly elected Labour Party leader and someone who could be the British PM in the next 5 years is obviously an atheist, and it only does educational good to inform the world about it. And all that being so pedantic, I mean, both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband said 'I don't believe in God.' If that isn't at least 'no religion' if not 'atheism,' what is? It's as clear as mud. I think this American Wikipedia is run by a bunch or devout religious editors. (talk) 23:21, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

 Declined again: This is clearly a contentious issue, and {{edit semi-protected}} is not intended for such issues; you may well make the same points in the ongoing discussion above here, but making an "edit semi-protected" request cannot, and will not, bypass or override that discussion. With the best will in the world, one editor responding to such a request would be foolish in the extreme while consensus is still in flux to accede to such a request. Rodhullandemu 23:30, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request

{{edit semi-protected}} He will be forever a Jew but at least categorize him in the infobox and at the bottom of the page as Atheist Jew. -- (talk) 15:52, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


Is it ok in a BLP to label a subject as an Atheist in the infobox and to categorize them without a clear supporting personal declaration.Off2riorob (talk) 22:19, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's clearly BLP material, since characterizing someone's religious beliefs incorrectly could clearly cause harm. We need a good, reliable source: not necessarily a "clear supporting personal declaration", but if e.g. Time or the WaPo does a profile on someone, calls them an atheist (or whatever other religious orientation is appropriate), but doesn't use a direct quote from the subject, that should be good enough. We don't need to make the rules any tighter, IMHO: BLP as written works just fine. Jclemens (talk) 22:39, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Patently dishonest question The actual question is whether the text, infobox, and categories can say Ed Miliband is an atheist based on the following sources:

  • The Press Association on 29 September (and hundreds, if not thousands, of others already), citing a BBC Radio 5 interview: "I don't believe in God personally, but I have great respect for those people who do."
  • The Daily Mail on 1 September, citing its interview with him: "But [Ed Miliband] confirmed that he is an atheist and revealed that he intends to marry his long-term partner Justine, who is expecting their second baby."

A sub-question is whether, given that the dictionary definition of atheist is "a person who denies or doesn't belief in God or gods", the first source sufficient even on its own to support saying he is an atheist. My answer to both is, of course, yes. -Rrius (talk) 22:39, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

  • - This was lengthily discussed on David Miliband's article and only added when there was a clear self declared cited comment.. we don't have this at all with this subject and labeling a living person as such that they have not clearly accepted is undue indeed, we have added the strong citable comments but adding our own ideas to his comments is of no value at all. This is the level of personal self declaration that imo we need for such labeling of living people, quote ...My parents and grandparents -- all of them Jews -- went through huge trauma. They went through the trauma of the Holocaust. I don't know if it's for that reason that, by 1965, when I was born, my grandparents, who were alive, my parents were secular. But I've grown up in a secular way. I've thought about this, and I'm an atheist. I say that. I'm not a person of faith myself.... with this cite we strongly added the athiest cat to the infobox and cats for David Miliband, we do not have anything close to this strength of personal affiliation for this subject. Off2riorob (talk) 22:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • First, so what if it was discussed at Talk:David Miliband? Just because that article was held to a higher standard than reality and Wikipedia policy and guidelines actually dictate does not mean that this one needs to be as well. What's more, we don't just have a clear "self-declared" cite, we have two. There is no question of "adding comments", and I'm not sure what you mean. He said, "I don't believe in God". That means he is an atheist, and we are allowed to translate his definition into the appropriate term. What's more, we have a news source reporting that he "confirmed that he is an atheist" in an earlier interview. If we can't use those to say he is an atheist, then most of Wikipedia should be deleted immediately. Now, I hope will either express your as yet unarticulated reason for believing that "I don't believe in God", especially in the context given, does not mean that he is an atheist, or why a news source cannot be trusted when it makes a direct statement of fact like "he confirmed that he is an atheist". If you choose not to, I would ask that you let this RfC be what it is supposed to be: a chance for uninvolved editors to weigh in. -Rrius (talk) 22:57, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Jclemens is right, Miliband is an atheist according to the dictionary definition (which is mirrored in his statement) and a multitude of independent newspapers, that's good enough. Hekerui (talk) 22:51, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Agreed that the original question is biased. Miliband's statement, widely reported in the press and since reiterated in a BBC Newsnight interview, that "I don't believe in God" cannot be taken as anything other than a declaration of his atheism (as it is defined in the dictionary). Catiline63 (talk) 23:04, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Agreed also. The 'reliable source' is there to give lasting testament to Ed's declaration, does this really need further discussion?--Topperfalkon (talk) 10:11, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that there there sufficient sources for "atheist" in the infobox. I too believe it is sufficient to follow BLP as it is written rather than insist on a more stringent approach according to the wishes of particular editors. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:44, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Did my eyes and ears deceive me or did Ed Miliband not tell Newsnight last night that he was an atheist? And the press interview previously cited is not a controversial one that the subject has disputed. The subject of religion may be a sensitive one but some people seem to be implying that calling someone an atheist is akin to claiming they once threw a cat in a wheelie bin. Sam Blacketer (talk) 15:39, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Not exactly. Paxman called him an atheist, but not in Ed's prescence. What Ed actually said was: "I dont believe in God, no. I have great respect for those who do." His statment makes him an atheist by some dictionary definitions, but not by common useage. While the broad use of the term atheist is becoming more common, its still often taken to mean someone who not only has no belief in God but who actively takes a view God doesnt exist (i.e. atheism is a stronger form of unbelieve than agnosticism) "Atheist" is often associated with materialists who dont believe in any form of the supernatural and by some its associated with a militant anti religious attitude. Youd be hard pressed to find a survey of religious affilion that doesnt classify atheists seperatly from the weaker forms of unbelief. Its not an insult to label someone an atheist but its not helpful for a politician. In the US, Gallup polls over the last decade has consistently showed a majority would refuse to vote for an atheist president even though ~80% would vote for all other minorities. Here in the UK its much less of a handicap but there are those see atheists as being just as unenglishly extreme as religious fundamentalists. Maybe in a few more years atheist will have entirely lost its negative connotations but untill then Id prefer we dont apply the label unless he self identifies as such. FeydHuxtable (talk) 16:38, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Notice it is mostly theists that take that view. Most atheists and agnostics recognise that an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God. This 'common usage' rubbish is typical apologist nonsense. The sense of atheism used on Wikipedia's article (will finish in a bit) also concurs with the dictionary definition.--Topperfalkon (talk) 22:19, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
@Feyd: I'd like to see you source on your statement that Miliband not an atheist "by common useage" of the word. Seems borderline OR otherwise. Anyway, two facts remain: 1) That multiple reliable written media sources, reporting on interviews with Miliband, have stated that he's an "atheist" (and not, for example, an agnostic or a Buddist); 2) That these descriptions chime with his statements as broadcast by other reliable media source, BBC radio and TV. Catiline63 (talk) 21:58, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
The dictionary definition is common usage. People like Dawkins and Stephen Fry use terms like "militant atheist" to convey what you are talking about precisely because the word itself does not convey that added meaning you ascribe to. In the end, when most people use the term "atheist", they mean that the person does not believe in god. -Rrius (talk) 02:20, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the dictionary definition is the most common, but the narrow defintion seems to be most often used by folk interested in religion, e.g. see chapter 2 of The God Delusion where Dawkins seperates out atheists from agnostics or check our articles on Atheism and Demographics of atheism where the linked surveys use atheist in the narrow sense, with seperate figures for people who dont believe in God but who dont identify as atheist. So to some the atheist label could be misleading and its those people for whom the label might influence their voting hence it could be harmful. FeydHuxtable (talk) 16:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Notice: if no further valid objection is posted within the next 2-3 days, then I recommend the addition of the 'atheist' tags. Note that a valid objection, in my mind, would be equally (or better) verifiable sources that show Ed Miliband is a practising theist. Thank you. --Topperfalkon (talk) 22:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Someone jumped the gun a bit. As per WP:BRD if you do take issue with the edit and revert, please discuss it here. --Topperfalkon (talk) 22:38, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Should require a clear source where he states he is an atheist, just to be safe. Better to deal with this matter in the article text than the infobox if there is not a specific source clearly stating it. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:45, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Agreed in principle. But he's been added to the 'English Atheists' category and the "I don't believe in God" quote was already brought up in the article. Plus, the infobox isn't really well enough developed yet to justify putting lower priority information in it, imo.--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:15, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
My thinking is directly in line with BritishWatcher and Topperfalkon. Donama (talk) 00:28, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
But we do have that. There are thousands of articles that say something to the effect of "Ed Miliband is an atheist", an article quoting Miliband as saying he doesn't believe in god, and further article from a month before that quote was given saying that in an interview he confirmed he is an atheist. If those aren't clear sources supporting the proposition that he is an atheist, I'll eat my hat. As for how "developed" it is (as Topperfalkon mentions), the question is whether these sources are enough to say he is an atheist in a Wikipedia article. Inclusion in the infobox and use with categories follow from that. The edit warring surrounded the infobox and categories, but the issue was in the text as well. -Rrius (talk) 02:20, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, here how I'd handle this: a reasonably obvious inference from a reliable source that he's an atheist, especially when that inference has been discussed as such by secondary sources, is perfectly legitimate material for a brief discussion in the article, though probably not worth more than a sentence or two. Perhaps something along the lines of "In ---, he gave an interview in which he said ---, etc", perhaps tying it in with a note about him and Clegg both. It's also fair to categorise him as such, assuming that fits with our normal policy on the use of that category.
However, it doesn't seem appropriate to use it in the infobox or the lead of the article; that'd really only be worthwhile for people who were in some way defined by their atheism, which he isn't, and otherwise we'd be giving undue weight to a relatively small aspect of his personality. Shimgray | talk | 00:38, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree about the lead, but not the infobox. If infobox mentions of religion are only to be included for people "who are in some way defined by" their religion, then almost every use of religion in infoboxes should be removed. Since that standard doesn't apply to Catholics or Buddhists, it shouldn't apply to atheists—there is no reason for holding that a person's religion is more important in itself than another person's lack of religion. -Rrius (talk) 02:24, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, yes, that is a fair summary of my position :-). Outside of a context where it's actively bound up with politics, such as in Northern Ireland, or where their politics is influenced by their religion (Blair, perhaps?), or where it makes them in some way notable as an oddity ("one of only two Hindu MPs")... then making a point of noting that an MP is of any particular religious tradition seems tangential at best and of undue weight at worst. (This is a lot less true for the early modern period and before, of course.)
I confess I haven't actually gone and removed it from other articles, but until I stumbled across this discussion it hadn't even occured to me that we would be doing this. Is "religion" really considered a default-include infobox field? Shimgray | talk | 11:14, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
That's a bit of a separate issue but there are certainly different standards operating in different countries. In the US, almost all published biographical guides to public figures, especially politicians, routinely include their subjects' religions. In the UK, it is highly unusual for the equivalents to do so. Only one published guide to British MPs includes religion and that is the highly informal 'Parliamentary Profiles' series which appears to have ceased publication (its founder and editor Andrew Roth died recently). Religious affiliation (or lack thereof) simply isn't seen as important information for British public figures. Sam Blacketer (talk) 12:06, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Our BLP policy says "Categories regarding religious beliefs and sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question; and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to his notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources. " This should be the focus of our discussion here, not whether reliable sources call him an atheist. Dougweller (talk) 13:03, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. As Sam implies religious affiliation isnt important for the majority of voters here in Britain but there are still a few for whom the label atheist has negative connotations especially after the new atheist publicity we had back in 2006 - 2007, so the label could do slight but still significant harm in the infobox. Not so sure theres much harm adding him to the Cats though and for sure we should mention his lack of religious belief somewhere in the body of the article. FeydHuxtable (talk) 16:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
We presently have this content in the article in the personal life section .. After previously commenting that his religious views were a private matter, in an interview with Radio 5 Live in reply to a question from Nicky Campbell he was quoted as saying, "I don't believe in God personally, but I have great respect for those people who do."[1]
I also don't support adding it to the infobox, its a simple I don't believe in god comment, no assertion of any affiliation to any group and no sign that it is something or anything he feels strongly about, neither is it reflective of something that is part of his notability, remove from the infobox. Peopple that feel strongly about it state their affinity clearly, I am an atheist, this subject has not done that at all. Looking at the commenters position, I see a small preference for the removal from the infobox. Off2riorob (talk) 18:23, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
You keep saying that, "group". It isn't a group; it isn't an affiliation. Rather, it is a noun or adjective used to describe people who do not believe in a god. Someone who hates other races doesn't necessarily belong to any group, but the term still fits by virtue of the hatred. So it is with atheism: because one doesn't believe in any god, one is an atheist. Despite all the pointless agonizing you are doing over the supposed application of BLP (even though we have thousands of sources that would keep Wikipedia out of legal trouble, which is the point of BLP), this is very simple to verify with reliable sources in complete satisfaction of that policy. -Rrius (talk) 02:00, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - Shall we have a straw poll? I would say as a BLP we would require a consensus level of support to add the claim in the infobox.Presently we have the false situation, where the word Atheist is in the infobox and added as a cat but the word does not appear in the article body at all?
  • - Support removal - from the infobox. Off2riorob (talk) 18:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC) Off2riorob (talk) 18:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal. (Well documented) religious affiliation/orientation not important to a politician's career? Are you kidding me? Tijfo098 (talk) 03:38, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
    • The unreferenced assertions above that religion doesn't matter in the behavior of UK voters are disproved by data, even for England. [2]. (Never mind the obvious fallacy of that statement in Northern Ireland.) Tijfo098 (talk) 08:19, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
      • I believe I did note above that NI is a case where individual religious affiliation is inextricably linked with politics! Your link shows a correlation between religious affiliation and the general party voted for - though there's obviously strong class effects which contribute to the observed differences as well - but it doesn't seem to attempt any significant connection betwen religious affiliation and that of the individuals voted for. Shimgray | talk | 15:22, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - Support removal - from the infobox. Atheism is not a simple subject and does not only mean "not believing in God" as in EM's published statements - it is often seen as more active than that, an active opposition to belief in God. Note EM's immediate qualification with interest - "I have every respect for those who do". Atheists, non-theists, agnostics and humanists live on a wide spectrum of beliefs with many delicate shadings between them. He is apparently making a statement that he respects belief in God. That is not quite what I suspect most people who think of as active atheism. I suspect the truth is that at present we do not know precisely what EMs position is. In the sense that it is somewhat ill-defined, it is invidious to make a clear statement that such a significant UK politician is classified as "atheist" in the infobox - with all the superficial finality that entails. I therefore suggest we take it out until such time as more information becomes available. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:29, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
"That is not quite what I suspect most people who think of as active atheism." what you suspect and what the dictionary says atheism is are divergent. Hekerui (talk) 19:38, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I suspect you know perfectly well that this isn't a simple matter of dictionary definitions, but if that's the game, my copy of Chambers 20th Century says it is "disbelief in the existence of a god"... and "active disapprobation of the belief in deities". Is that what EM has said? In fact, has he announced that he is an "atheist"? Until he does, I suggest the definition in the infobox is against BLP rules straight away for something so important. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:45, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
@James. First, I'd say that EM's statements "I don't believe in God" conform to both of the dictionary definitions of atheism you provide. Hence the first definition, "disbelief in the existence of a god" is essentially identical to "I don't believe in God". The second definition focuses on the issue of active disbelief. I'd say that public stating one's disbelief twice on the BBC and in the nation's press is pretty active. Second, how exactly would you like us to define atheism if not thorough the dictionary? WP is not the place to redefine the language. Catiline63 (talk) 01:30, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Well partly because EM has not himself stated that he is an "atheist". Religion (and "atheism") are complicated and simple dictionary definitions are always ambiguous when it comes to religious belief. Secondly, atheism is the lack of belief in religion. Therefore the infobox is itself wrong and internally contradictory, because "Religion" cannot be "atheist" by definition. So it should be "none". However, I think it would be better to take it out altogether for the time being. We don't have to have it there and it gives POV motivations room to play here.

Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 11:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Actually, "None (atheist)" is what is proposed for the infobox, so that point has already been taken on board. -Rrius (talk) 01:46, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
  • oppose removal, first because there is ample support in sources for this and second because a number of people contributing here are trying to bend BLP policy to their own views. In my view this is entirely the wrong place for much of this discussion: if you want to make BLP more strict, then off you to go WT:BLP. As things stand, there is no requirement for a positive affirmation by the subject himself in order to include something like this in the text or an infobox. Someone quoted above to this effect, overlooking the fact that the passage in question refers to categories. Again, if you want to see WP:BLP edited to extent that provision to article text and infoboxes, this is not the right place to discuss it. For now, the article should be edited according to BLP policy as it stands. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 11:46, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - comment - actually, yes there is. This is not people trying to bend blp to their own purposes at all. Current policy already leans towards a requirement for self declaration and cited affiliation tp any group of people, religious and genetic labeling needs strong clear self declaration. to add such to the infobox Off2riorob (talk) 11:52, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - BLP statement - our actual BLP policy statement "Categories regarding religious beliefs and sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question; and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to his notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources."
Off2riorob is right, this is a clear breach of BLP because EM has not self-identified using the term "atheist". We also seem to be breaching the categorisation rules for religious cat as this requires direct relevance. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I need to start using the term "reading comprehension" again. The passage some of you keep quoting is about CATEGORIES. If you want the requirement extended to include other elements of articles, then I recommend WT:BLP. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:04, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes. In which case it takes us back to definitions. Atheism is not a religion, it's the lack of one. So the infobox needs to read either Religion = None or else be withdrawn. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:34, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
If Ed Miliband thought of himself as an Atheist he would of said that clearly, I am an Atheist. As his brother did, and as some other politicians have done and I have added many of those indisputable self declarations to infoboxes. What is happening here is words are being placed in his mouth and affiliation to groups loosely claimed without a self declaration. This is being done by users that want him to be an Atheist and demand even though he has not said he is an artiest that he is labeled in a high profile manner as what they want him to be, clear violations of our neutrality , Off2riorob (talk) 17:56, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • comment - this content is disputed and there is no consensus here to include the content in the infobox, as it is contentious It requires removal as per BLP. Geet Wilders I am an Agnostic - David Miliband I am an Atheist - this is clear self declaration of attachment and affiliation that is strong enough for the infobox. Me, I don't give a damn if he is a two headed whotsit, but I want that claim to be strong and clear. The weakening of our standards for such contensious issues should be avoided.Off2riorob (talk) 18:09, 3 October 2010 (UTC) Off2riorob (talk) 18:03, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's actually a species of Synth to take his current statement and turn it into Religion = Atheist. I suggest this field be removed from the infobox until such time as EM makes a statement that can be appended to a Religion field with accuracy that meets BLP requirements and is not Synthesis. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:36, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
That is patently ridiculous. Using a word in place of its definition is not synthesis, and you should actually read the policy before pontificating about it. -Rrius (talk) 01:52, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I will insist that we apply WP:BLP as it is written and insist as well that any attempts to make it more stringent take place at WT:BLP, not here. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:48, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

There needs to be consensus support for the addition to the infobox and there clearly is no consensus support here at all. For the broader picture there may well need to be a discussion on a policy page but that matters not, this discussion has no consensus and as is disputed and reverts to remove. Off2riorob (talk) 18:50, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Weakening of standards? Nikita Khrushchev is an FA from last year and it's not even spelled out and he is still in the atheist category, because it's clear from his background. For Miliband we have him saying "I don't believe in God", which is even more, and we have numerous reliable newspaper call him an atheist and refer to him as coming out as an atheist after his statement. But all that is inconclusive? I would give this more credit if there was a reliable source questioning his atheism anywhere, but there is none. Ever heard of the duck test? Hekerui (talk) 18:53, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, quack quack is absolutaly part of BLP policy, other issues you need to deal with at their articles. wp:duck does not apply to disputed weak claims that affect the portrayal of a living person. Tere is clearly some degree of quacking objection to the addition in the infobox and is no consensus to include it, it requires removal from the infobox. As I see the comments here there is slightly more support for removing the claim from the infobox..when it is disputed and clearly contensious you really need a consensus to keep it there. Off2riorob (talk) 18:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Disputed by any reliable source? Disputed by a dictionary definition? Disputed by Miliband? No. With the amount of evidence we have (some of which you deleted from the article) this should not be an issue, because it is not a weak claim, it's a sourced fact and the existence of controversy can't be verified using reliable sources (prove me wrong). Oppose removal. Hekerui (talk) 19:03, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if those last two points before Off2riorob's point are even worth taking seriously, but I will try. (1) Kruschev, in case you may not have noticed, is dead. So that rules out BLP. (2) Saying he maybe sounds like an atheist and some people say he might be (do they even say that reliably in the case of Ed M?) is not, and I will embolden this just so that there is a chance you will perhaps not miss the point, emphatically not the same as a declaration from Ed Miliband that he is an atheist. He hasn't said that. Finally, atheism is not a religion. So the current infobox field, which says religion, is plainly wrong for the information "atheist". Alles klar? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
"do they even say that reliably in the case of Ed M?" Check these references Rob removed: John Milbank, Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham, says Miliband "is a genuine atheist", among writers for many reliable sources. Hekerui (talk) 19:11, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh please. Some media-friendly professor declares the new leader of the Labour Party an "atheist" and in a BLP context we have to roll over and treat that as sufficient. This is an article about the number 2 politician in the United Kingdom. We are not going to have every random comment about him from academics interviewed on TV programmes as basis for defining his religion. He needs to define it himself for us to do that. At the moment, he hasn't done that sufficiently to use the declaration "atheist" in the infobox way currently proposed. If he says he's an atheist, fine. Until he does, not fine. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:17, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
In his opinion, we don't label people religiously like that, its totally undue in the infobox as was your adding that the sun and that bloke and others are calling him an atheist, we are looking for a genuine self declaration, and we have not got one. the moment we have I will be adding it and supporting its inclusion. The fact that some users are demanding its inclusion in the infofox is silly and all this bla di bla is such a waste of time. He hasn't made a clear declaration and as such we are npov and should not insist it is added to the high profile infobox, there is no hurry, let him speak for himself, he will comment some more and then if and when we have a clear declaration we can add it.Off2riorob (talk) 19:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
That's flummery. We have at least three self-declarations: First, we have him "confirm[ing to the Mail that he is an atheist. Second, we have his Radio 5 interview in which he says, "I don't believe in God." Finally, we have the Newsnight interview in which he states, "I am not a person of religious faith," and goes on to say, "I don't believe in God. I have great respect for those people who do, and I think in a way it might make life easier if you do, but I'm not someone who believes in God." On the one hand, some of you argue that we can't call that atheism despite the hand-in-glove fit with the dictionary because some people think it means something militant. On the other hand, you say you would support inclusion if he happened to use the word "atheist" even if he meant it in the simple, dictionary-definition (read "real") sense of the word. That just doesn't square. That's like saying that you would reject basing an assertion that a person is Christian based on her saying, "I believe Jesus is my lord and saviour," because she might actually mean Jesús Sánchez. It is clear from the sources that he is in fact an atheist.
It is, in other words, verified by reliable sources, which is exactly what BLP calls for. If there is some heightened standard for categories, so be it. That does not mean that it is forbidden for the text and infobox.
Rob seems to think that even a compromise of simply "None" was somehow controversial. I hope that with the extended quote from the Paxman interview where he says, "I am not a person of religious faith," we can at least agree that he has no religion, and therefore "|religion=none" is acceptable.
Finally, one of the editors above said that he does in fact believe that the religion parameter shouldn't be used at all for British politicians unless they are Northern Irish or religion is otherwise specifically important for them. That's nice and all, but it would be absurd to hold Miliband to that standard when other British politicians, including his brother, are not. -Rrius (talk) 01:46, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

if this is not deemed worth mention of 'no religion' (if not 'atheist') in the infobox, wikipedia editors really does appear to be uncomfortable that some prominent figures like deputy prime minister of the uk nick clegg and the british opposition leader are not religious. hmmm. why, i wonder... perhaps becuase theyre God fearing neo cons?... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose inclusion of Atheist in the infobox. Dougweller said it well: "Our BLP policy says "Categories regarding religious beliefs and sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question; and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to his notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources. " This should be the focus of our discussion here, not whether reliable sources call him an atheist." Miliband needs to have self-identified as an atheist, making a clear, unequivocal statement calling himself that. Until and unless he has done so, it should not be in the infobox. If he has said he does not believe in god, we can mention that in the article, but we should not call him an atheist unless he has done so himself. --JN466 03:03, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
The fact that you can quote policy as above and write what you write puzzles me deeply. The passage you quote is about categories, and so it doesn't govern what we do in infoboxes or the rest of the article. If you want that principle to extend beyond categories, then you should make that argument at WT:BLP. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:10, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
If this is really policy, how can it be right. How can Religion = Atheist not be "categorisation"? However, the more general rule is that on key questions of self-identification, BLP subjects must themselves make statements. You are just taking his statement "I do not believe in God" and reading across to the word "atheist" - an invalid leap. In addition, the actual usage in the infobox "Religion = atheist" cannot be right, since atheism is not a religion. If there are no further points from you, we are done. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 10:20, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Have you even tried bringing this up at WT:BLP? If not, then I doubt you will be able to produce a "general rule". Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:59, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose atheist in infobox as per Dougweller and Jayen466. The norm on BLPs is when it comes to something like the infobox or categories, we generally require clear statements if there is dispute. In this case, while clearly a few sources consider him atheist based on his statements, from what I've seen so far, he has never said he is atheist nor has anyone even asked him whether he's agrees with the label atheist (or anything similar like asking him questions relating to this atheism). Note that this does not preclude mention of his statements in the article. As for the infobox, I'm semi-okay with saying religion: none from the sources so far. Nil Einne (talk) 08:22, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly support use of atheist in infobox as per Rrius and my previous arguments. The statements that Rrius previously quotes, which are reliably sourced, correlate directly to both most dictionaries' and Wikipedia's own definition of atheism. As per WP:DUCK, he is clearly an atheist unless he directly states that he is not. Religion=Atheist ≡ Religion=None! --Topperfalkon (talk) 17:28, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
    • We shouldn't make that leap from "doesn't believe in God = atheist". Buddhists and Jains don't believe in god, either, yet they are religious. People may have all sorts of personal philosophies -- pantheism or what have you -- which do not involve a god, but are not correctly described by the label atheism. Let's rather wait for a quote from the man himself, if one is ever forthcoming. --JN466 19:12, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh please, he's not a Buddhist. Hekerui (talk) 19:31, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
You did read the "people may have all sorts ..." part as well, didn't you. It simply doesn't behove us to tell him what kind of philosophy he follows. It's up to him to say; per WP:BLP, and just plain respect.
Note that there is also such a position as agnostic neutralism. While such an agnostic doesn't believe in God personally, he does not claim any certainty that there is no god (which atheists do claim). If anything, given his professed respect for those who do believe, Ed Miliband sounds more like an agnostic than an atheist. --JN466 19:51, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Your claim that atheists claim dogmatic certainty in the non-existence of god is false - everyone knows nothing can be strictly disproven. Perhaps your misunderstanding makes it hard for you to see how Miliband's statement is in line with the dictionary definition of atheism? Apparently every reliable source that ever talked about his religion calling him an atheist isn't enough as long as BLP is invoked, which is a bizarre. Hekerui (talk) 21:00, 9 October 2010 (UTC) --JN466 21:24, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Read the first sentence of atheism, which is (obviously) from Wikipedia itself. An atheist is simply someone who does not believe in God. Don't complicate the matter.--Topperfalkon (talk) 21:48, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
First, Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Secondly, WP:BLP requires explicit self-affiliation from the BLP subject, which we haven't got right now. This is really all that need be said here. But thirdly, and this is just armchair philosophy now, the first sentence of atheism is, Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. I can, personally, be agnostic about the question whether God exists, saying "I don't know", without outright rejecting the idea that deities may exist. Belief implies certainty, just as rejection does. The second sentence of atheism is, In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Again, I can just happily live my life, ignoring the question of whether God exists, and not engaging in any positive belief, without taking up "the position that there are no deities." I can leave my options open. Hence the distinction between agnosticism and atheism. The third paragraph of the lead in atheism begins, Today, about 2.3% of the world's population describes itself as atheist, while a further 11.9% is described as nonreligious. Again, according to your reckoning, "atheist" and "non-religious" should be the same; the article on atheism makes clear that they're not.</armchair philosophy> All of which is beside the point, as it is up to Miliband to identify himself as whatever he wants to be identified as. --JN466 00:37, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Apparently some very experienced editors are willing to abandon the BLP principle of self-identification here when it's a leading politician who is the subject. A puzzling attitude. On the question of atheism, the obvious point is that atheism is more complex than simple personal "non-belief in God". There is something active about atheism that includes a measure of denunciation of the idea of God; it's a more positive attribute than simple personal non-belief. This is why (strangely, at least superficially) there can be "Anglicans who don't believe in God", "Jews who don't believe in God" and so on. Dawkins-style positive dislike of the act of believing in God is a different matter. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 07:50, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I would agree. I don't believe in God is not the same as a disbelief in God....imho. Our/wikipedia's definition of atheism seems to cover a "range" of folks, from non belief, to folks who believe that God does not exist. Unless Miliband has said "I am a card carrying atheist", I would be careful with "labeling" him. Also, I support not using the religion parameter, rather that listing none. Cheers, --Threeafterthree (talk) 14:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Ethnoreligious Group

It is high time we clarified the controversy on his religion or ethnicity. The problems we have encountered have stemmed from one crucial source: the unique characteristics of Judaism/Jews as both a religious and an ethnic group. The article Jews defines it in the following way: "Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation." The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom also made apparent that Judaism is a religion of the Jewish people, a people that exists independently of that religion, citing traditional religious sources and the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. ( We have established that being Jewish is comprised of national, ethnic, and religious components, and therefore defies simple classification. Now, we turn to Ed Miliband.

Miliband was born into a Jewish family who, in all probability, were atheists or significantly atheistic in their outlook. Consequently, Miliband is a confirmed atheist, so lacks one of the three established components of Jewishness. He does, however, hold the other two; being ethically and nationally Jewish, he is considered, both genetically speaking and by the relevant authorities, to be a member of the Jewish people that is also a crucial component of the Jewish national and religious story. As I have stated earlier on in this discussion page, it is a true milestone that a Jew has been elected as leader of the Labour party, and is also an important electoral factor. It merits inclusion on this page.

The question now is how to categorise him on the page. I propose two options: one, to identify him as ethnically Jewish under a separate category of 'ethnicity'. Secondly, we could create a new category, titled 'ethnoreligious group' and identify him in this way. What are your thoughts Wolfehenson —Preceding undated comment added 00:34, 15 October 2010 (UTC).

It's simple enough in my mind. Any references to ethnicity would have him as a British Jew. Any references to his religious beliefs should have him as an atheist.--Topperfalkon (talk) 20:03, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I think references to Miliband being Jewish ought to be qualified at each instance it is raised. So for example, in Leader of the Opposition it should perhaps say "Miliband is also the first leader of the Labour Party of Jewish ethnicity", rather than the currently unqualified sentence. -- Fursday 00:42, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I dislike all this, its a bit pointy imo. His recent genetic history has some jewish people in it. If he is following the Jewish religion we can add some content about that. (hes not so .. ) anyways, when you see , Jewish, what makes you think religion? I don't , content is king, simnple clear content, it is clear from reading the article that he is not a follower of the jewish religion/faith. Ethnicity is a dodgy area and adds nothing or at least almost nothing of any encyclopedic value. He is first and foremost the leader of the opposition, that is worthy noting, and to be honest, he is British, born in britain educated in britain a british politician, married to another british person who was born in britian and educated in britain and their children are british, born in britain educated in britain and so on. He has a British passport as does his wife and children. He speaks only british as does his wife and children. Off2riorob (talk) 18:08, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
It's only clear he's not Jewish because of his links to atheism, and the infobox claiming his religion as 'None' (although it should be 'Atheist' imo). That's what this whole argument is about anyway! I don't care if his Jewish ethnicity is mentioned on this article as long as his irreligion is too!--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:39, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
His recent genetic history is jewish, thats all, Content is King , his personal comments about God are in the article for all to see. Is irreligion a real word? Its all POV and opinionated editing, better explain the issue in content than adding labels to living people.. Off2riorob (talk) 18:54, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
If someone identifies themselves with said label then adding the label for quick reference is more than justified, because the content is there to back it up.--Topperfalkon (talk) 19:17, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you atheist? This is the question that has not been asked and has not been answered, users opinions and the opinions an partisan labeling of newspaper hacks looking for anything but the actual facts is also no excuse to label living people, imagine, you never said your were an atheist and wikipedia labeled you as such in their article about you , you would think as many people do because of such weak claims and additions in reference to living people that wikipedia was not worth the server space it was written on. You are very welcome , and I will likely add it before you , that if Ed Milliband is actually asked the question and says he is an atheist to add it immediately and I will support you 100 percent. Off2riorob (talk) 19:29, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

There is no small amount of ignorance being displayed in this thread. Has Miliband asserted that he is not Jewish? Per this source he is Jewish. If you have a difficulty understanding how this is to be reconciled with the phrase "he professes no religion", then again you simply don't understand Judaism. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 20:15, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

He is British by all descriptions, does he speak jewish, was he born in Israel, ,, and on and on, he is British through and through, jewishness is his historic detail only. Off2riorob (talk) 20:30, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused Off2riorob - the article says he was born in London. In that case, why did you delete the bit that said he was English? Please explain because I'm getting increasingly stumped to know what point you are trying to make. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 20:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Ed Milliband is British. not English at all. Off2riorob (talk) 20:42, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


Ed miliband is not English and he is not Jewish, he is British. As regards cats. He can't be Jewish because it is undefined and alleges religious affiliation which he has clearly stated he does not have. Off2riorob (talk) 20:38, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

What in your opinion is the key fact that makes him "British" rather than "English"? Is it by any chance his Jewishness? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 20:46, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
No, its his passport British passport and the fact that I wouldn't put him in this article' English people - He is clearly more fitting here - British people Off2riorob (talk) 20:48, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
He is undoubtedly British by nationality, and by being born in England he also fits into most people's definition of "English", certainly within the definition at English people (specifically: "Today, English people are also descended from more recent immigrants from other European countries and the Commonwealth".) Obviously, the two are not mutually exclusive. What we don't know is whether he self-identifies primarily as British or as English, or as both (or indeed neither). Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:55, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, we are unsure as to his position, imo this comment Today, English people are also descended from more recent immigrants from other European countries and the Commonwealth. in our article is weak and disputable and a bigger discussion than can be had here. British people is indisputable. Off2riorob (talk) 21:11, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
It isn't certain which is best, the meanings of both "British" and "English" are complex, particularly in the case of people descended from families who have recently migrated in. But can we please discuss it properly and obtain some kind of consensus instead of pointlessly edit-warring over it? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:13, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, a little warring is not the end of the world. As for discussion there is plenty here. As for citations, we have the Jewish post saying he is Jewish, do we have citations saying he is English, or British for that matter? Off2riorob (talk) 21:17, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't yet know my way around every rule in Wikipedia, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Off2riorob done a 3RR on the Cat: English Jews today? Is this allowed? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:47, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I edited the actual content ..from this Miliband is also the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party to this Miliband is also the first British person with two parents of Jewish ethnicity to be leader of the Labour Party. and it didn't even get a comment, but remove a silly cat and people go awol, content is king cats imo are close to valueless, simple worthless labeling - why label someone when you can add content about it. If her is an English politican add some content about it, and then the cat will be indisputable. Off2riorob (talk) 21:25, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Agree in principle but sourcing matters most as you said above. Cats are fine provided they match sourced content - if we don't have reffed content to back them up, we should remove the nationality tags altogether from the cats as otherwise they are just editor's suppositions. I've just done a quick go-through of newspaper interviews with Ed M and so far can't find any place where he specifically says either he is "English" or "British". However, if the consensus is that we insist on having nationality cats, "British" would be better for the time being as it is more neutrally-loaded than "English", unless EM comes out and describes himself as one or the other openly. Much like the religion debate. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Added him to cat British Jews ref to British Jews which seems to govern that cat. I hope this alleviates some of this debate.--Topperfalkon (talk) 21:44, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
(to James)Yes, agreed, it is another question I would like to see put to him.. do you consider yourself to be English or British or Jewish or a combination of both/all three .. Off2riorob (talk) 21:49, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Not really but I have had enought of such issues, the cat Jew , adds inference of religiousness which he has clearly stated he is not, (I said that just recently, oh well) - enjoy. Off2riorob (talk) 21:49, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
What is your reference for him clearly saying he is not Jewish? I can't locate that... Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:52, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
It's a pointless question, really -- that editor has shown that he simply doesn't understand the various ways in which people can be Jewish. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:54, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
According to our article, "British Jews...are British people of Jewish descent who maintain a connection to the Jewish community...." He's British and he's of Jewish descent, but does he "maintain a connection to the Jewish community"? If not, he shouldn't be in that category, irrespective of his religious beliefs (or lack of them). Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:56, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
User Ghmyrtle has it correct, Ed Milliband does not fit the cat. I am going offline, but I meant, Jewishness catagorisation is attached to both...and not specifically defined to ethnicity or religiousness, he has clearly stated he is not a follower of the Jewish faith/religion and so should not be added to such undefined cats, he is only Ethnic Jew and for some reason as yet there are not relevant cats that define that, perhaps they need creating. Thanks for the discussion, regards. Off2riorob (talk) 22:01, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
It's a funny thing, the provision of WP:RS that says we can't use other wikipedia articles as sources. That provision seems particularly relevant here in light of the fact that the statement you quote is itself unsourced. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 22:07, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. There's little if any evidence that most of the members of that cat are actually active in the 'Jewish community'. What does it even mean to be in a Jewish community if you don't follow Judaism. Most Jewish culture seems to stem directly from Judaism, so if that's the case then it's somewhat contradictory. Or at least as meaningful as being part of a Caucasian community.--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:22, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Just to add a comment that I think I meant but didn't say .. I consider Ed to be British but if he was to comment and say he sees himself as English and as he was born here and self identified as such I would then happily accept adding that comment to the body of the article and then adding him to all the English whatever categories. Off2riorob (talk) 16:32, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
He's a politician. It would be quite surprising if he were to make a statement like "I'm proud to call myself English" if he's hoping to attract votes in Scotland and Wales. He's more likely to say something like "I am who I am." So, best to describe him as British, which is certainly his legal nationality. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:07, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, a politician, they are usually careful what they say, I agree we are clear that British is certainly his nationality and there are no English cats remaining in the article now.. The only one I want to get clear is British Jew and I think there may be better places to work that out than here. As I see it he is a British person of Jewish ethnicity and I see calling him a British Jew a step to far, imo. I accept all the facts, his parents are ethnic jewish people but is that enough to call him a british jew? I find this a bit hard to be honest, I was taught that Jew was attacking and only to refer to people as A Jewish person. Also wiki seems to have unclear lines between the religious Jewish person and a non religious person of Jewish ethnicity. I don't agree that to be Jewish you have to accept the faith and if this is the case then Ed doesn't fit anyway. Off2riorob (talk) 17:29, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
"I was taught that Jew was attacking" -- you were taught wrong, then -- there's nothing at all wrong with being a Jew. To the extent that your difficulty here derives from that notion, it's thoroughly misguided. I'm really astonished, I barely know what to say, except to repeat it: there's nothing wrong with being a Jew. I was starting to get the sense that your main impulse here is to "protect" him from being called a Jew, as if it's somehow a problem. As a Jew myself, I'm thoroughly annoyed by this, I think it verges on anti-Semitism. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:38, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I know you don't like me from your constant attacks on me, and I see this as yet another, yawn. Also your allegation of me being an anti semite is a personal attack and sickening and you should remove it. Never mind I have struck it for you. Off2riorob (talk) 17:42, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Everything in my post was about what you wrote, not about "you". I have no intention of striking it, I think it conveys some insight into what is going on here. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:52, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems that this may have arisen because, historically, in some contexts, the word "Jew" has been used in a derogatory sense. So, people who do not wish to use it in a derogatory sense would hesitate to describe someone as "a Jew", even if the person being described is of Jewish cultural or ethnic background. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:47, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - Comment. - This is very interesting to my mind and would like to clear this up a bit and get some community feedback, any ideas as to the best location? Off2riorob (talk) 16:26, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

There should be a clear difference between being of Jewish ancestry and being religiously Jewish, there is a big difference between the two. As for English / British. He is a UK politician, it should absolutely simply describe him as British rather than English. British should always have primacy in such cases and by default. Sadly there is a huge level of appeasement on wikipedia thanks to Welsh and Scottish nationalism which has caused a lot of problems. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:53, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Ideally sub-national cats should only be used in an instance where the person can be verified as identifying themselves primarily with that nation, rather than the overall nation. The same goes for Americans in my opinion. If a person specifically identifies themselves with, say, Texas over the whole USA then that connection should take precedence. Otherwise it should be the overall USA.--Topperfalkon (talk) 19:42, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Ed Miliband is English and British and Jewish

Having read the above, I would like to stress that these are not exclusive categories. You can be an English person of Jewish descent in the same way you can be English person of Indian descent (see "Category:English people of Indian descent", or an English person of Japanese descent (see "Category:English people of Japanese descent"), or an English person of Jamaican descent (see "Category:English people of Jamaican descent"). Anyone who is English is, by definition, also British.

Ed Miliband is of Jewish descent, was born and raised in England, and is of British citizenship, in exactly the same way that I am also English, British and Jewish (although, like him, I am also a non-believer). This should be straightforward and obvious, and certainly shouldn't be controversial in this day and age. The Celestial City (talk) 21:41, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

British Jews is a a parent category to English Jews. So you don't really need both for a start. He's also more directly of Polish descent too, but for simplicity's sake we're trying to keep the amount of cats referring to his Jewish ethnicity down. Otherwise it just becomes a mess.--Topperfalkon (talk) 22:05, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
All we need now is some reliable sources to back this up, and we might have a point. WP:BLPCAT is also worth a look. Until then, --John (talk) 00:37, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

section NPOV

User:Nomoskedasticity has added this

Miliband is also the Jewish leader of the Labour Party

I think that is basically a false addition and an attempt to assert his jewishness is a big aspect in his life. There appears to be nothing Jewish in his life at all, even his parents rejected their faith and way of life and milliband was brought up in a non jewish environment. Off2riorob (talk) 09:22, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

To refer to him as "...the Jewish leader..." is clearly giving undue weight to one aspect of his life. Not necessarily false (it's established that he falls within the definition of "Jew"), but undue weight, and likely to be misleading. To refer to him as having Jewish parents, or Jewish ethnic background, is worthy of a brief mention, but no more. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:28, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:30, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
It's now been clarified as "...first Jewish leader...", which is supported by the sources. However, I think the word "Jewish" should be linked to British Jews, which makes it clear that the group includes people (such as Miliband) who do not practise the religion. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:33, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Apologies for omitting "first", which was one of the main points of that revision. I have no problem with the suggested linking. I do have a problem with the on-going effort of Off2rio to mask or resort to euphemisms when it comes to his being Jewish. There are literally hundreds of sources that refer to his being Jewish and there is nothing controversial about it unless one believes it is somehow lacking in respectability. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 09:37, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
The problem is there is a difference between being of Jewish ancestry and being religiously Jewish. To state he is the first Jewish leader implies hes religiously Jewish, we need to qualify it with the fact this is based on ancestry, not his religion. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:40, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Wording such as "...the first Labour leader of Jewish background...", or similar, would be clearer and more correct because it would convey less of an implication about his religious beliefs. The word "Jewish" has more than one meaning. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:45, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
No, this is precisely what is not needed here. What is needed here is to stick closely to what the sources say about him. What you propose is textbook WP:OR. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 09:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Should we put in the infobox, Religion : Jewish? BritishWatcher (talk) 10:13, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
@BW, read the discussion, please. He is clearly not of Jewish religion - he has no religious beliefs. @Nomoskedasticity - no, the issue is one of clarity. To say he is "Jewish", without clarifying further, is misleading - there are sources to state his parents were of Jewish background, and sources to state that he has no religious beliefs. It is not OR to use those sources to prevent confusion. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I know, but the fact we can not put Religion : Jewish in the infobox highlights exactly we cant just say hes the first Jewish labour leader. Its misleading. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ghmyrtle, if you want to use reliable sources to add those clarifications, I see no problem at all. They will not alter the appropriateness of drawing on the wealth of sources to note that he is Jewish -- but again I have no problem with the clarifications you suggest. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 10:55, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Lets add the clarification suggested, hopefully that will resolve this issue. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:11, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Firstly, the "Ephraim Hardcastle" citation should be removed. "Hardcastle" is the pseudonym of Daily Mail diary columnist Peter McKay, described here as "a mischievous diarist, formerly of Private Eye", here as "waspish"...etc. He clearly has issues over Jewish identity, and is self-evidently not a reliable source. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:18, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Now removed. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:42, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed with Nomo here. I doesn't make sense to cover up his Jewish origins. However, I also agree that some clarification is needed to ensure that it is clear he is ethnically Jewish and not religiously Jewish.--Topperfalkon (talk) 11:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't see anyone here suggesting that we "cover up his Jewish origins." However, we serve readers best when we clarify the meaning of words that have more than one connotation. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:30, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, haven't we already reached that conclusion here? Why is it not being implemented? --Topperfalkon (talk) 12:29, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Because one of the participants in this discussion made this edit, and we are trying to achieve consensus by discussion rather than by edit warring. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:36, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the second citation, from this article in the Jewish Chronicle. The problem as I see it is that the readership of the Jewish Chronicle is, essentially, the Jewish community, which is a community which has a strong self-identity encompassing ethnicity, religion, culture etc. as inextricably bound up together. Essentially, to that community, a person is either Jewish or not - irrespective of their personal religious beliefs. That is a different use of the word "Jewish" to that employed outside the Jewish community, where the word may convey connotations of religious belief, unless it is specifically qualified to the contrary. So, the use of the terminology "Labour’s first Jewish leader" by the Jewish Chronicle is, in my view, capable of being misinterpreted by the wider WP global readership, and a less confusing form of words should be used here. Do we agree? Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:07, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I've added another source. If you have a problem with either one, perhaps WP:RSN is the place to go, though I doubt you'll find people arguing that these sources do not meet WP:RS. Apart from that, I have the strong sense that you want to do some interpreting of the sources, and if that is indeed what you want then perhaps WP:ORN is the place to go. In any event I do not agree that there is any confusion here. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:25, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Apart from the fact that Haaretz is subject to the same limitations as a source as the Jewish Chronicle, it is interesting that the article states: "Both siblings are self-proclaimed atheists, they did not participate in Jewish community activities in their youth". That must surely mean that they do not fall within the category of British Jews (which states that "British Jews ... are British people of Jewish descent who maintain a connection to the Jewish community.") In many respects both journals are of course WP:RS; but they do not necessarily use words relating to the Jewish community in ways which are the clearest possible to those outside that community. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
More interpretation. And I'm not sure about this notion that newspapers with Jewish readerships are somehow unreliable in this context -- I think that's an unsavory view. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:40, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
You should lay off your false accusations and unsavory claims. Apart from the blood in his veins he has no other connection to Jewish at all. He was brought up in a secular household by parents that had rejected their Jewish way of life and Jewish faith as he himself also does.Off2riorob (talk) 13:44, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, mate -- we now have people arguing that Jewish newspapers somehow lack authority with regard to the Jewishness of the leader of the Labour Party. This is another one that I will not be retracting. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
You are not my mate at all. You keep your retraction, I imagine it would be as valueless as your insults and personal attacks anyway. Your unwillingness to retract exposes you as the bigot that you are. Off2riorob (talk) 13:51, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I am not for a moment suggesting that they are "unreliable" or "lack authority", in any general sense. I am suggesting that their use of words is capable of being misinterpreted outside the community of their readership. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know that's what you think -- hence you want to interpret what they say. A straightforward reading of WP:OR tells us that this is not allowed. As I have indicated above, if you want to use other sources to clarify, by way of addition, then by all means. But we have reliable sources telling us that Ed Miliband is Jewish, and the fact that some of those sources have "Jewish readerships" is not an argument that tells us anything useful at all, in my view. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
What I'm saying is that the issue can be confusing, and it is our role as editors to minimise any possible confusion. There are equally strongly held views, supported by reliable sources, that John Prescott is Welsh and that Dafydd Wigley is English, but it would be confusing to state those as unarguable facts without clarification. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Per Off2riorob and Ghmyrtle, this claim needs better, mainstream sources. For this UK politician, this would mean mainstream UK sources like the BBC. Per WP:BLP we need to be extremely careful in adding information that could be seen as ethnic profiling. These sources aren't it. --John (talk) 14:00, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Again, anyone who has doubts about Haaretz or The Jewish Chronicle can take it up at WP:RSN. The idea that they are not mainstream because they have "Jewish readerships" is becoming highly offensive. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 14:06, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I think it's taking rather a narrow view of how to use a source to say that we cannot challenge the relevance or context of the way a source is used. Clearly in this instance it is contextually interesting and relevant that two leading Jewish newspapers refer to Miliband's Jewishness - we could use these sources but we need to be cautious in a BLP context of someone who may or may not closely self-identify as "Jewish" (we still don't know for sure what his views are on that) - so I would suggest phrasing like "of Jewish origin" or "of Jewish family background" might be best and yes, by all means reference Haaretz/JC as well. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 14:15, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
But that's not what these sources say... Nomoskedasticity (talk) 14:16, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Do you think that the article on Who is a Jew? is unnecessary? Clearly there are alternative interpretations. WP:NOR says "Passages open to multiple interpretations should be precisely cited or avoided" (my emphasis). Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:23, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(E/C)Just for context for someone totally unfirmilar with this bio, has Milband's ethnicity/religion been some huge story or contested or covered or whatever?? It seems the family section covers his background pretty well. Is there some "reason" for highlighting/focusing on his ethnicity or religion?? As far as being the first Jewish whatever, that might be notable and worthy of inclusion, but would agree that the "wording" should be crafted in a NPOV since it does seem that "Jewish" can have muliple meanings/contexts depending on how it is used/applied. Anyways, good luck with this :)...--Threeafterthree (talk) 14:17, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Sources are saying he is Jewish. We do not have to add original research that departs from that simple assertion, as articulated by reliable sources. Bus stop (talk) 14:19, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
If we can find reliable mainstream sources that the subject self-identifies as Jewish and if a consensus can be formed here that it is significant in terms of his notability, we could include this claim. Otherwise, per WP:BLP it has to be removed. --John (talk) 14:22, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
BLP does not require self-identification for article text; you want BLPCAT to apply to text, but it simply doesn't. So self-identification is irrelevant to this discussion. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 14:23, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
The infobox should also be saying he is Jewish in keeping with sources. Bus stop (talk) 14:24, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Where? There are multiple reliable sources stating that he has no religious views or identifies as an atheist does not believe in God, and in that case it is hard to see how he is Jewish by religion. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:28, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
BLPCAT now applies to infoboxes, so there self-identification is required. But it is not required for the text. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 14:27, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
For the sake of this article, I suggest that Bus stop and O2RR take some time to cool off and stop edit warring.--Topperfalkon (talk) 14:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
It is not edit warring at all to remove a clear BLP violation, which I just did, Bus stop seems to think he follows the jewish religion which is clearly false.Also your edit summary as you again added religion none He self-identifies as NOT BEING RELIGIOUS. is not true at all. He said, I don't believe in God'. That is a different thing. Off2riorob (talk) 14:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Please read this article. It's from a mainstream UK news source and gives EM's personal identification regarding both his ethnicity and his religious views! I also have to disagree with you proclaiming that the tagging is wrong, as the UK Press Association also regard him as an atheist.--Topperfalkon (talk) 15:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
We already have Millibands comment in the article saying that he doesn't believe in God. what are you suggesting that we add, that after he said this the press called him an Atheist and claimed that he had no religion. Off2riorob (talk) 15:43, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes! As per WP:RS, we use secondary sources for this kind of judgement. It is not done on Wikipedia.--Topperfalkon (talk) 15:49, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
You can not attribute it to Ed Milliband though even if you add all the sources that call him an atheist. Off2riorob (talk) 15:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

I concur with Topperfalkon 100% and fully back up the request. All parties read WP:COOL, WP:DICK and WP:DENY right away. Next steps may be WP:RFC/U and/or WP:ANI and/or a request for administrators to enforce some basic decorum on this page, using the sanctioning powers at their disposal such as blocks and bans. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:16, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you!--Topperfalkon (talk) 15:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I see you have reverted again back to your favored position of the disputed content in the infobox. Yawn, there is clearly no consensus for your desired addition and as I see it here, more people objecvt to it than support it and yet you add it again and after all the groaning s and linking to multiple essays and yopur warning other users to please stop edit warring, this discussion is a joke, all of it is just aggressive over labeling, one insists he is labeled as a Jew and the others insist he is labeled as an AtheistOff2riorob (talk) 15:50, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Per Chumchum7, I am an admin and would be happy to enact blocks on anyone edit-warring to insert unreferenced or poorly-referenced material on a living person. I would then ask for review at AN/I. I would rather not do this of course; it would be great if folks could just adhere to the spirit of BLP, which is do no harm. But if anyone needs an enforced break to think about it, I am just here. --John (talk) 16:36, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
John—you have not brought a source saying he is not Jewish. You have exchanged sourced material for your own personal opinion for which you have not provided a source. You are saying that in the infobox it should not say that Ed Miliband is Jewish—this despite several sources stating just that, and you are replacing that with "none" for "religion" despite the fact that you have not brought a source saying that he is not Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 16:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry but as I said in BLP we just got over discussing whether to put his religion in the infobox as atheist or not. Are we really now going to need a discussion on whether it's appropriate to label someone who doesn't believe in god as religion: Jewish? What next a discussion on whether to label Muhammad as religion Christian? Nil Einne (talk) 17:00, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if this will help or not but people may be interested in John Key who also has Jewish ancestry but is agnostic. Nil Einne (talk) 16:57, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
See discussion here. Bus stop (talk) 17:15, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
It might be worth reminding folks that we don't need a source to remove information as the burden is on those wishing to add or retain information to establish a consensus that it should be included. For BLP subjects we interpret the policy very conservatively and the default is not to include. --John (talk) 17:22, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the way the issue is addressed at the John Kay article is really good Nil Einne and with no labeling just a neutral coverage, totally compliant with policy and guidelines, a WP:GA. Off2riorob (talk) 17:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Off2riorob. See also this discussion. --John (talk) 17:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
John—you are replacing sourced material with unsourced material. You are asserting in the infobox that he has no religion despite reliable sources saying that he is Jewish. Yet you have not brought a source saying that he is not Jewish. Nor has any other editor brought a source saying that Miliband is not Jewish. You and others are replacing personal opinion for sourced material. Bus stop (talk) 17:49, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(E/C)I agree as well. That bio looks fine. Maybe the folk(s) who crafted that could "help" here? I also agree that there should be consensus for inclusion rather than the other way around. I know about no votes, but it looks like 5 are for using info box and 7 against when it comes to religion as none. I am sticking to 1RR myself for this....anyways, --Threeafterthree (talk) 17:50, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
John, since you have been editing this article and participating in the discussion, I would have thought it would be inappropriate for you to act as an admin here. I'm still waiting for an answer to the question I posed on your talk page: in what respect is his being Jewish "negative information"? Particularly in light of the fact that he has, after all, self-identified as Jewish: "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:51, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
For the benefit of those who missed it the first time: "Please read this article. It's from a mainstream UK news source and gives EM's personal identification regarding both his ethnicity and his religious views! I also have to disagree with you proclaiming that the tagging is wrong, as the UK Press Association also regard him as an atheist."--Topperfalkon (talk) 17:55, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
But you know the media topper, they all copy one story and no one checks their facts in the rush to publish. The only person that has not said they are an Atheist is Ed Milliband. Please allow him the pleasure of self declaring without adding words to him. Off2riorob (talk) 18:22, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Try reading WP:RS. The duty of Wikipedia is to construct articles using reliable sources, not personal interpretation. Given that he proclaims to have no belief in God (bearing in mind the state religion of the UK is Christianity) then if said news sources interpret that as meaning he is an atheist, then it is correct. If the statement was made to a theological conference then the statement would probably require further clarification, but the intended meaning is that he is not a follower of religion. I have to ask you this, but do you have some issue with him being an atheist? My biases are already out in the open, what about yours?--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
There is no BLP issue here. The only role we have, as concerns the individual who is the subject of this article, is drawing upon impeccably sourced material to articulate that which is applicable. We know from reliable sources that he is Jewish. No source whatsoever has been presented asserting that he is not Jewish. If some would like to flesh out that description with qualifying insights such as that he is an atheist, or that he doesn't go to synagogue—that information can possibly be included. But all wording should adhere closely to that found in sources. Bus stop (talk) 18:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I've already provided relevant links twice--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
We already have the whole of his Jewishness in the article in the background and early life section, he was born to Jewish and Polish parents, that is it the whole of his Jewish story. He never went to Synagogue, he was brought up in a secular ho,e by secular parents, what else is Jewish about him? Off2riorob (talk) 18:25, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I've read the Guardian and This is London sources and they confirm what I had already thought, which is that in this case we absolutely cannot just call him Jewish as it is a more nuanced situation than this. As regards my own involvement, I have just double-checked and the only edits I have made to this article have been minor formatting fixes a long time ago, and my recent edits to enforce our most important policy. I therefore do not regard myself as "involved" on this article and will definitely feel free to block if it should become necessary. I would post any blocks at AN/I for review, as I already mentioned, but would obviously prefer that such action not become necessary. --John (talk) 18:13, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
On which point I agree John. I was also hoping this would be a simple matter. My main concern here is preserving the information that is Ed's lack of religious belief, which is inevitably deeply intertwined with this discussion. I of course would prefer his ethnicity to be represented accurately as well.--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:25, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Ed,s not believing in God is well cited and covered and quoted in the body of the article already. You keep only adding it as high profile as possible in the infobox, where to be quite honest, religion none is uncited, also he has never said that. , which there is absolutely no consensus for. I realize Atheism is important to you but please don't pass that on to this living person, allow him to speak for himself. This is already in the article and covers his ethnicity. ...Born in London, Miliband is the younger son of Polish Jewish immigrants. His mother, Marion Kozak,[2] survived the Holocaust thanks to being protected by Polish Catholics.[3] His father, the Marxist intellectual Ralph Miliband[4] (a Brussels native whose parents were from Warsaw, Poland) .. Off2riorob (talk) 18:27, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I didn't add it actually, I simply retained it after unqualified edits were made to remove/change it. Oh, and it is cited, take another look.--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:38, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
It is not cited in a self declaration BLP manner. Also , anything you add, is your addition, the fact that it was there previously is irrelevant to that. Off2riorob (talk) 18:44, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(E/C) He is Jewish. Sources say he is Jewish. We should go by what sources say. You would making a reasonable argument if you were arguing for the inclusion of more information. But you would be making an incorrect and unreasonable argument if you were to say that well-sourced material should be left out. No source is saying his Jewish identity is defective. If an editor wishes to add material that the man is atheistic or doesn't go to synagogue—I think the addition of that material is reasonable. But omitting material is not reasonable. Also the addition of the aforementioned should be with close adherence to sources—not going off on a tangent of personal speculation. Bus stop (talk) 18:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry but since you added to the infobox that he is religiously Jewish I am struggling to see your points as NPOV. Off2riorob (talk) 18:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Rob, the citation is acceptable under WP:RS. You may not like it, but you don't seem to be in the majority on this view.--Topperfalkon (talk) 19:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Did you not read somewhere that I am not from the school of users that assert they can add whatever they want if they have a cite, in our articles about living people we apply our highest standard of editorial judgement and as foe religoius labeling and so on require such as self declarations from the living person, as for you other comment that I am not in a majority, perhaps I am not but IMO having been involved in this whole talkpage there is clearly plenty of editors that like me object to the religion = none in the infobox, I am actually interested in the whole article and its improvement not just keeping something I like in the infobox. The outcome of the comments is that ... There is no consensus and the content is disputed and in a BLP that reverts to removal. Off2riorob (talk) 21:12, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
My interests are in making Wikipedia relevant and informative. Some, if not all, people judge politicians by their religious backgrounds, as it nay influence their motives. So it's certainly relevant. There are countless reliable sources that also label Ed as an atheist, and he himself has identified himself as a non-believer. Are you being stubborn, or do you have some good reason for trying to railroad this otherwise completely trivial addition to the page?--Topperfalkon (talk) 21:32, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

reality check and proposal

We need a reality check here, folks. There are multiple reliable sources stating unequivocally that he is Jewish, and he has publicly identified as such. The qualifications that people want are important, but NPOV requires balance which means covering the sources that state he is Jewish as much as covering the qualifications. I would therefore propose: "He is the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party, though he has said that he does not believe in God and is not Jewish in a religious sense." I could add the relevant sources, but by this point we all know what they are, I hope. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

I think a simpler clarification would be "He is the first leader of the Labour party with (or 'to have' or 'of') Jewish ethnicity (or 'background'). His lack of religious belief is already covered elsewhere in the article and therefore doesn't need to be repeated.--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:49, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that seems to be the most neutral and clear way of handling this. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I also support Topperfalkon's suggestion. One brief mention of his family heritage, coupled with a mention of his religious views elsewhere in the article, would give due weight to those aspects of his life. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:00, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(ec)We already cover his comments about God in another section, its pointy and just a way of calling him Jewish with disclaimers. This is the NPOV version that I wrote that covers the real detail. Miliband is also the first British person with two parents of Jewish ethnicity to be leader of the Labour Party. Off2riorob (talk) 18:51, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Id support something like that too. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't support this as it gives undue weight to his ethnicity. If it became the subject of serious coverage, or if such coverage could be shown, I might change my mind. Why is it so important for some editors to add this ethnic profiling information? --John (talk) 19:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm still waiting to hear why you think being Jewish is "negative information". As for sources, is the Guardian good enough for you? [3] and [4]. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 19:28, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Good enough for what? To label him as "Jewish", definitely not. --John (talk) 19:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Because you think it is "negative information"? Why is that, exactly? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 19:50, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Any detail given undue weight or excessive labeling of a living person can be viewed as negative content or portrayal. Off2riorob (talk) 20:01, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - ethnicity Often, ethnicity also connotes shared cultural, linguistic, behavioural or religious traits. For example, to call oneself Jewish or Arab is to immediately invoke a clutch of linguistic, religious, cultural and racial features that are held to be common within each ethnic category.

I think this is the problem, Ed Miliband sits in only one of those traits. Off2riorob (talk) 19:36, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

I've full-protected this article for a week. Please try to come to a consensus here in accordance with our policies on WP:BLP (contentious material on living persons needs good sources) and WP:UNDUE (don't assign too much importance to minor details). Edit warring is unproductive. Ucucha 21:14, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Good decision. Once the the protection is lifted, I expect administrators will attend to individual editors who continue to cause trouble, on a case-by-case basis. -Chumchum7 (talk) 21:42, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Motion to remove "Religion" from the page

There has been a lot of discussion on this page regarding his religion. Whether he is Jewish, Athiest, a Jewish Athesit or None.

In truth, the definition of religion and being Jewish means different things to different people, as is highlighted by the discussions here. Therefore, I propose to remove "Relgion" currently it says "None" but this could misleading.

I think it is pointless for people to argue what they think Religion means, because the readers of the page will have different views and they may not take the same approach as you. --Exfrum (talk) 16:27, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Let's be clear, atheism 'is not' a religion. GoodDay (talk) 22:04, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, we don't refrain from addressing issues like this simply because some editors think the topic is too difficult. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 16:40, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose He has declared himself not to be a person of religious faith, despite being Jewish. "Religion=none" fits. In terms of categories, the "Jewish Atheist" category should probably be changed to "Secular Jews" or something of that sort, but it either way it doesn't have to do with whether he has a religion; he doesn't, and he's said he doesn't. -Rrius (talk) 17:18, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The statement of his lack of belief is well sourced and certainly a defining personal characteristic, so it should not be censored. Hekerui (talk) 22:44, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per Julia Gillard consensus. Lack of belief can be noted in article but to do so under the heading of religion is POV (although rife on Wikipedia). Donama (talk) 01:03, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Infobox is better without; cover it in the article where context can be given. --JN466 14:36, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Wikipedia:Verifiability. We have citations about his position on religion, we use them. I don`t see any POV problem with "Religion:None" if he has said himself he has no religion. Moreover that isn't incompatible with putting him into the British Jews category, the threshold for inclusion there is race as well as religion. He also happens to be included at Poles in the United Kingdom, having also spoken of his Polish roots. -Chumchum7 (talk) 15:02, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - Support - the question seems a bit vague, perhaps it means from the infobox. I religion, none.. he has never ever said that. I don't believe in a bearded all powerful person in a fantasy place referred to as heaven and a comforter for simple people, but I object to the labeling of names and allegations and affiliations to any group, also I object to the POV labeling that because I don't believe in a bearded fantasy god that I have no religion, all POV labeling, please do not label me like that, if I have affiliations I will clearly say... I have no religion .. until I do, leave me alone and move along. Off2riorob (talk) 21:22, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Off2riorob is right. He hasn't said "I have no religion"; "No religion" is a label like any other, and doesn't belong in the infobox unless explicitly endorsed by the BLP subject. --JN466 15:17, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose as per the post by Chumchum7 with the addition that Miliband has himself stated that he 'does not believe in God'. Personally, I would move to change his 'religion'

to Atheist (because in the broad sense and the sense by which the word is etymologically defined it is correct) but that is already being covered in the section above. In reference to the original discussion of this section, if confusion really is a cause for concern then the removal of links to Jewish ethnicity should take priority, as he is not Jewish by belief. --Topperfalkon (talk) 22:16, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

He is ethnic jew, as per his mummy and daddy. Off2riorob (talk) 22:23, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know that. But he is not of Judaism, which is what most people commonly attribute being a Jew to. --Topperfalkon (talk) 23:26, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, as religion is irrelevant to the infobox. If he were a preacher? then inclusion would be more understandable. GoodDay (talk) 21:59, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Why don't we just define him by the standards of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, who takes the traditional Orthodox perspective and considers anyone to be Jewish if they are first ethnically Jewish, and only secondarily religious. This is also the dominant perspective within all Jewish denominations,

with some degrees of insignificant variation. User:Wolfehenson —Preceding undated comment added 01:59, 14 October 2010 (UTC).

He's now a prominent public figure and a politician, so I dare say that actually his religious beliefs are somewhat relevant. They're certainly in the public's interest. Barack Obama isn't a preacher either, but his religion is featured in the infobox. I find it somewhat amusing that this is not a frequent case for discussion on that article, whereas here it is. Is it just because Ed Miliband happens to be an atheist (or non-religious if you must insist). I hope not.--Topperfalkon (talk) 20:11, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. We've been all round the issues and looked at the from every angle, but it remains clear that he has not completely self-identified as having a religion; atheism is by definition not a religion but he hasn't said he's an atheist; not believing in God is not definitively non-religious; therefore at the present time, we cannot say for sure what his religion is and so we should remove the field until he makes it clearer. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 17:46, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

*Support - As per James and Jayen, multiple users object that according to guidelines and as such consensus is required to keep it, there is clearly no consensus for that, so .. time for it to go. Off2riorob (talk) 17:49, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

    • You can hardly expect it to escape people's notice when you !vote more than once in a thread like this...(unsigned)
      • If you meant to say..Rob, you have mistakenly voted twice then , thanks I missed that and I have struck it. Off2riorob (talk) 16:28, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Off2riorob, let me ask you to reconsider "consensus is required to keep it, there is clearly no consensus for that, so .. time for it to go." This is is fastest way to start an edit war. In fact WP:CONSENSUS is required both to remove or it to keep it. If consensus cannot be gained, we go to the next stage of WP:DR, we don't make unilateral edits based on a rationale that might be construed by someone as WP:WIKILAWYERING, and retaliated against. I'm kindly asking you to reconsider and give this a second chance. -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:42, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, it was added out of process, someone comment they jumped the gun and added it, so it can also be removed. Just because it is important to you you doesn't mean it is important at all to him or to his notability in his BIO. Off2riorob (talk) 07:54, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Please don't assume what is important to me. Whether I, you or Miliband thinks it is important takes second place to WP:VERIFIABILITY. If we can cite it, we keep it. As it happens, I believe keeping to WP policies is important; I don't think statement of belief and/or ethnicity is important per se. Editors' personal opinions are subordinate to WP guidelines. A constructive way forward is to file a request at WP:BLPN. -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:45, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I do not support your claim that a cite is king and anything with a cite can and should be added. Do you have a cite with Ed Milliband saying, I have no religion? As for a constructive way forward, there has already been far to much bla di bla about it, you know you can open a thread at any location you want. The addition in the infobox is disputed and the way to go is to remove it, the atheist labeling has gone, just now is left the putting the words I have no religion into his mouth. Off2riorob (talk) 09:06, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Cover his ethnicity and religion(or lack of)(if sourced of course) in family/personal sections, but leave out of the info box considering all the rigamaroll we have seen....--Threeafterthree (talk) 14:57, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Unless or until he makes his views known, we have no information on this. His cultural background is not relevant. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:02, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

This issue is being discussed at Talk:Ed Miliband#section NPOV. Do not make further context-changing edits until consensus has been reached there. Your edits will be reverted.--Topperfalkon (talk) 15:47, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

As per established consensus the entry into the 'Religion' infobox field has been removed.--Topperfalkon (talk) 10:44, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Main image

Rather than continuing to use 'Image A', Ed Miliband on August 27, 2010 cropped.jpg, which is currently used as the main photograph on this article, I would like to suggest that we use 'Image B', Ed Miliband (2010).jpg, instead, which was previously used in this article. In Image B, Miliband is directly facing the camera, and looks articulate and focused. In Image A by contrast, Miliband is looking away from the camera and looks unfocused, and his face appears very red because of the light. Image B, in short, would appear to be a more suitable image for this article. (talk) 20:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Its not very red, if red is the issue I will less red the pic, its a cropped portrait style pic and at least he doesn't have the funny wide eyes look about him and the hands, portrait style is preferable, if red ness is an issue I will look at reducing the red ness. Off2riorob (talk) 21:38, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

The tinting and angle is a bit of an issue, but the first image is substantially less awkward as a portrait; basically, it doesn't make him look a bit silly, which is something we should probably try and avoid where we can! Shimgray | talk | 00:03, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Rob and Shimgray. Image A is more aesthetically pleasing. If the redness is seen as a big issue, we can deal that. Image B just doesn't look very good. -Rrius (talk) 01:50, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I also agree A looks better. FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:07, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think either picture is particularly flattering, but Image B is definitely the better. In Image B he merely looks surprised and slightly dorky, captured as he is unposed and in conversation. At least Image B is well-lit and the colour balance is more or less correct. Image A on the other hand looks like a caricature - the angle at which it is taken does extremely unflattering things to his nose and chin - it makes him look like a particularly uncharismatic Simpsons character. --Stroller 04:11, 30 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Strolls (talkcontribs)
Sorry- can't seem to log in, but to compromise between the two, have put up the original 2007 photo, as used on the other language versions of wikipedia? Also, is there any way we could find a public domain portrait picture elswhere? Perhaps on the offical mp/labour website? (How do I sign in unsigned? four tildes?) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 22 October 2010 (UTC) (talk) 00:34, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm a bit late in discussion but I have to say Image B looks better. Saying that neither is great and we really need a better image asap. Shaunthered (talk) 00:47, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Unsinged IP here - Fair enough. Seeing as the 2007 seems to be too old, Is it okay if we stick to Image B for now, and find a better, more "profile" like picture on either the labour website or his own website, pending copyright checks and all that? The problem with the cropped image of A is that the askew glance and the odd angle of the teeth make it look like a picture taken by surprise, not a portrait —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 22 October 2010 (UTC) (talk) 09:16, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
The balance seems to prefer image A. And I think it is marginally better.--Scott Mac 09:20, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, me too, its the best we have right now. Subject is looking into the article as per MOS and his teeth look good a decent smile. Off2riorob (talk) 11:37, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Prefer A as well. --JN466 16:01, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Also prefer A, but alter the image to remove some of the excessive redness.--Topperfalkon (talk) 16:18, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I prefer B by a long shot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I think "B" is clearly the better image. It captures him in the midst of articulating an idea. Image "A" may prove him a good "listener", but the dynamism of speaking and gesticulating is in general more flattering to the man depicted and that is only found in image "B". I especially think the hands are expressive in image "B". Bus stop (talk) 20:22, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

The infobox problem

Can I suggest what lies at the heart of this is the infoxbox? Infoboxes tend to simplify things into binaries so he is/is not Jewish or Atheist. That doesn't work where there's nuance.

The problem doesn't emerge if you do this in text. There you can record his Jewish ancestry and Marxist upbringing (and let the reader decide whether that makes him Jewish or not), there you can narrate his comment about not believing in God (and let the reader decide whether that makes him an atheist or not).

I'd always suggest where something is disputed, the best thing is to remove the field from the infobox and don't have any zero-sum labelling game. Narrate the facts and let the reader make the judgements.

I am also wondering about unprotecting the article - and simply blocking anyone changing the contentious issues without consensus. It seems piss lock a high profile article over such a lame dispute? --Scott Mac 21:40, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

well said/explained. --Threeafterthree (talk) 22:38, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd be open to trying that (blocking anyone who continues to editwar). Ucucha 21:45, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've unprotected. Just to make it clear, any further edit warring about Miliband's religion will get you blocked. Ucucha 21:58, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
No longer. To be clear, excessive edit warring may still land you a block, but I won't be doing that for every edit about his religion. Ucucha 14:47, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, can we have it removed from the infobox please, the section above (straw poll) is seven to remove and five to keep, in a BLP that level of objection supports removal of the content. Off2riorob (talk) 22:15, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Really? Are those the official numbers then? Because it's definitely not consensus.--Topperfalkon (talk) 22:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Well there certainly isn't consensus for inclusion which it seems is what is required in these cases. Anyways, --Threeafterthree (talk) 22:38, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, onus of consensus (in a BLP especially) is on those who want to add/keep controversial content/style, not those who want to avoid/remove it. So Off2riorob is right, it should be removed from the infobox. Donama (talk) 22:39, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
(ec)I can count at least with small numbers, we don't need consensus to remove something from a BLP, enough objections is plenty, we err on the side of caution in BLP articles. Its not even cited, it says religion = none .. the cite doesn't support that claim at all. Our religion article says Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe. - so simply saying you don't believe in god does not assert you have no religion. So it is basically uncited , and disputed by more editors than support it on this talkpage. Off2riorob (talk) 22:15, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Are there any sources that are saying that Miliband is not Jewish? Every source without exception that addresses that question asserts that Miliband is Jewish. Additionally, Miliband himself asserts that he is Jewish. What is the issue here? It is obvious that since there is a field in the infobox that calls for "religion," that "Jewish" should be in that field. Can someone explain where the supposed controversy arises? Bus stop (talk) 23:00, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
You are totally isolated in this position. No one else agrees with you at all. Off2riorob (talk) 23:02, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Rob is right. Bus stop, reading WP:BLPCAT may help you. --John (talk) 23:05, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you both saying that policy doesn't matter? At WP:NPOV I find :
"Neutral point of view" is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies, along with "Verifiability" and "No original research". Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. They should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should therefore familiarize themselves with all three. The principles upon which these policies are based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus."
Note the wording near the end. I don't think WP:consensus is above and beyond all basic and fundamental Wikipedia policies. And there has been no WP:BLP concern articulated here: his being Jewish is asserted by him in addition to all other sources. Bus stop (talk) 23:14, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
dear dear dear, it is hard enough debating the real issues without being bothered to comment about clear failures to understand. Off2riorob (talk) 23:19, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
@Bus stop: He is of Jewish ethnicity, not religion. Adding that to said field would be completely inappropriate. @Rob: I'm still confused as to why you refuse to accept reliable sources.--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:24, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—can you please show me the source that says anything about "ethnicity" in relation to Miliband? I have seen no such source. We should be adhering closely to assertions of sources. Bus stop (talk) 23:31, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Rob is right again. When everyone else disagrees with you, it may be time to consider that you may be wrong. --John (talk) 23:25, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
@Bus stop: try reading them then. It's mentioned on more than enough occasions. @John: I'm not convinced he is right, and I'm not the only one. I'm not going to drag this into the article, but I do object to the removal (planned or otherwise) of 'Religion=None' from the infobox.--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:39, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—no source can be found referring to ethnicity or ethnic in relation to Miliband. But feel free to prove me wrong. The term has been bandied about on this Talk page so much that one would think it was a sourced reference to Miliband but it is not. Sources are what should matter, and sources are clearly stating that Miliband is Jewish. I checked the sources that have been mentioned near the lower portion of this Talk page—no reference could I find to ethnic or ethnicity. A google search turned up some fairly obscure references using such terminology. But if you think that sourced information exists characterizing Miliband's relation to Jewishness in terms along those lines, then I think the burden is on you or others to bring such sources to the attention of this Talk page. I am not unwilling to change my position based on new information, but I would contend that sources are of paramount importance. Sources are all pointing to Miliband being Jewish. Approached from the opposite direction—no source is saying that he is not Jewish. This clearly relates to what the "religion" field should read in the infobox. Bus stop (talk) 00:04, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Looks, no one disputes Milliband has Jewish ancestry, nor is anyone suggesting he's a practising Jew. The problem with the infobox is that is you put "Jewish" in it, is that people we take that to mean he's observant. Thus you will mislead at least some readers. The facts are not in dispute here. What's in dispute is whether those facts make him Jewish. For some sources it does - under their definition of Judaism - but plenty biographies are not calling him Jewish and don't consider that a pertinent part of his identity YMMV. So let's not debate "who is a Jew?" which (as you well know) is a debate without consensus. Lets narrate facts. What is it that makes some people consider him Jewish? Make sure that information is in the text.--Scott Mac 00:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Scott MacDonald—you say that, "plenty biographies are not calling him Jewish." Please present those sources. I have not seen any sources of that nature. Bus stop (talk) 01:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
The Telegraph makes no mention of it. The Guardian states his father was a Polish Jew. Neither call Milliband Jewish.--Scott Mac 01:16, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Those are two sources that neglected to mention that he is Jewish. Thank you for providing them. The threshold for inclusion is not that all sources mention Miliband being Jewish. There are many other sources that assert that he is Jewish. No source has suggested that he is not Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 01:56, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

The correct response is not to debate whether he's Jewish or not, which is obviously somewhat subjective. It is to narrate the hard facts on his descent, such as the sources give. Same with religion, narrate what he said about God, and don't have any field in the infobox whatsoever. Do this, avoid labels, and the problems evapourate. Don't argue about whether the religion field in an infobox says none, Jewish or athiest, just don't have a field. Don't label his ethnicity either, just narrate who his parents were. There is only a problem when people simplify to binaries.--Scott Mac 00:48, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Beautifully said, Scott. The binary mindset is the problem here. --John (talk) 00:50, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Scott MacDonald—there is no "debate." The man (Miliband) is 100% Jewish. That fact does not emerge from or hinge upon any debate. Sources are unambiguously stating that Miliband is Jewish. Omitting information is uncalled for. But adding information could be a good idea. There are sourced indications of atheism. Those can be added to the body of the article if you feel it important. There are sourced indications of not being observant and/or not attending services at synagogue. Those are characteristics that can be brought out in the article if you feel it is called for. But the sourced fact that Miliband is Jewish should not be omitted. The infobox has a field precisely for inclusion of religion which is what "Jewish" is. No source has yet been presented saying anything about "ethnicity" in relation to Miliband. That terminology I have only seen on this Talk page in relation to the subject of our article. Bus stop (talk) 02:09, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
As I said at WP:BLPN I can support not having the religion field in the infobox. The absence of the attribute is in my view the best way to provide consistency with his statements. Whether he is Jewish has already been confirmed by his statement "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." and it is very clear in what sense he is using the word. So, we can include that in the article (not the infobox) fully confident that we are complying with BLP and not misrepresenting him. Insisting however that self-identification as Jewish is the same as religion = Jewish makes no sense whatsoever. They are not connected at all in his case (just like for many other people) and Miliband has gone to the trouble of making that very clear indeed by explicitly disconnecting the identity and religious components with his own words. In a way this reminds me a bit of Alan Dershowitz who self identifies as Jewish in an identity sense, as 'agnostic' in a religious sense but for added complexity as someone who is 'comfortable with the traditions of Judaism' i.e. he regularly attends services at synagogues etc. The infobox attribute entry for religion was dropped in his case which seems entirely sensible. Miliband's situation strikes me as less complex but what is very clear is that the infobox cannot under any circumstances say religion = Jewish. Sean.hoyland - talk 02:26, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Sean.hoyland—are you not arguing to disregard the multitude of sources that are saying unambiguously that Miliband is Jewish? Judaism and Christianity share similarities but have differences too. Judaism is not Christianity with "Jewish" beliefs in place of "Christian" beliefs. In fact Jewish identity is not a function of beliefs at all as is the case in Christianity. Jewish identity is primarily a function of either being born Jewish or converting to Judaism. Christian identity is primarily a function of accepting the Messiahship of Christ. The acceptance of Christ as Messiah is of course a belief. Miliband need not practice the religion, and no reliable source would say that he was not Jewish because he was nonobservant. The same thing for atheism. Atheism does not change a formerly Jewish person into someone who is no longer a Jew—and no reliable source is going to say or imply anything of the sort. We should be consistent in our application of sources. If the infobox contains the field "religion" then the "Jewish" religion is obviously the word that belongs in that field in the instance of Miliband. Bus stop (talk) 03:18, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
re..."are you not arguing to disregard the multitude of sources that are saying unambiguously that Miliband is Jewish?" is correct. I am not arguing to disregard the multitude of sources that are saying unambiguously that Miliband is Jewish. Why ? Because he says "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." He is Jewish. He says so. He also says what he means by that. I have heard all these arguments before where people try to impose their favourite taxonomic systems on living people and I'm well aware of the issues related to Jewish identity. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, irrelevant nonsense when it comes up against the BLP policy. The only taxonomic system that matters in a BLP for identity related issues like this where the subject has discussed the issue is the taxonomic system employed by the subject of the BLP. It trumps everything. If they don't say religion = Jewish and they say "not in a religious sense." we cannot possibly say religion = Jewish. As entertaining as it is to read Wiki editors explain why someone is wrong about the way they describe their own identity and watching editors try to pin a badge on someone via an infobox per the Wiki obsession with imposing order on complexity via labels, it really is pretty unconstructive. Miliband's own words are crystal clear. Sean.hoyland - talk 04:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Sean.hoyland—not being religious is the absolutely standard language for not being observant. How else would he say that he is a nonobservant Jew? Miliband says, "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." That is standard terminology for nonobservant. The "religious sense" that he is referring to is the involvement in what are thought of as "religious" activities. He states that he does not go to synagogue—he is not "religious." That is common terminology. How else would he say that he is not observant? Can you please respond to that—how else would he say that he is a nonobservant Jew, other than the simple and succinct way in which he said it? Bus stop (talk) 05:18, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
If he wanted to say that he is a nonobservant Jew he would have said that he is a nonobservant Jew. If he had wanted to say he is an atheist he would have said he is an atheist. If he had wanted to say that his religion is Judaism or Jewish he would have said that his religion is Judaism or Jewish. He decided not to use these words in these ways in these cases. Transforming people's words about their identity, something that belongs to them and is for them to define, in a BLP article into different words using implicit, non-deterministic rules that are not specified in the source, when the person's words are already perfectly clear is not something I can support. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Sean.hoyland—religious is synonymous with observant. To say that you are not religious means exactly the same thing as saying that you are not observant—in most contexts. Again—you must bear in mind that we are referencing Judaism—a Christian would not be a Christian if they said something along the lines that they did not accept the Divinity of Christ. Judaism does not have any counterpart of identity dependent upon belief. The two religions are different in this regard. A Jew being not religious means a Jew being not observant. Furthermore you seem to be overlooking the first half of the sentence which says, "I'm Jewish." What do you suppose "I'm Jewish" means but "I'm Jewish"? And one more thing—WP:BLP has nothing to do with what we are talking about. Many sources say he is Jewish, he says he is Jewish, his brother is stated by sources to be Jewish, his mother and father are stated by sources to be Jewish—do you think Ed Miliband is going to be offended that Wikipedia refers to him as being Jewish? He is obviously a nonobservant Jew. If he is an atheist, which is a way that he seems to sometimes describe himself—that does not make him no longer a Jew. Many Jews are atheists, just as many Jews are nonreligious. You are applying standards that are applicable to Christianity, to Judaism. Many if not the majority of Jews in the world are not religious. Miliband is not unusual among Jews. Our encyclopedia should be using the words that sources use. That includes "Jewish" as applicable to Miliband. You can certainly add more material that relates to his identity as a Jew. But omitting material is highly questionable in a responsible encyclopedia. What is called for is close adherence to sources. But that would allow for mention of "atheism" and the absence of synagogue attendance, as I think that is found in sources. If there are other factors that are well-sourced, they can be brought out in the article too. But basic Jewish identity is not obviated by nonobservance or failure to believe in God. That is probably based on a misunderstanding of Judaism. But it is certainly a misreading of sources. Bus stop (talk) 07:50, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
That's just nonsense. It is completely bizarre to say that when a person describes himself, we can't use words that encapsulate that description. That exact same logic would say that when a person says, "I think, on balance, other races are inferior to the white race," we can't say the person is a white supremacist. An argument that produces that result is just bonkers. I agree, as I say below, that it makes no sense to say religion = Jewish when he has said he doesn't believe in god and is not a religious person. But to assert we can't say he has no religion and is an atheist (i.e., a person who does not believe in a god) while citing direct quotes of his disbelief in god just doesn't make sense. -Rrius (talk) 06:08, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
It's not bonkers. We (wiki editors) can't say a living person is a white supremacist as a statement of fact based on them saying "I think, on balance, other races are inferior to the white race," but perhaps that wasn't the best example to pick as an analogy. I've already said in the BLPN discussion that I personally take the view that 'I don't believe in God' is literally the same as 'I am an atheist' for all practical purposes (as do many reliable sources) but it doesn't matter what I think and I don't think the RS should get to label people without attribution. Also, 'I don't believe in God' is not the same as 'religion = none' in a strict sense (unless all the non-Ambrahamic religions that don't need a "God" have been eradicated by missionaries while I was having lunch). He didn't say that he has 'no religion' and he didn't say that he is an 'atheist'. We don't need to add or transform information or apply labels to him that he hasn't applied to himself. What would be the point ? We can simply quote his words about his identity. Maybe he will say he's an atheist in another interview. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:57, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

There are two issues: Jewishness and atheism. There are three sorts of Jewishness: religious, cultural, and ethnic. Miliband has said he is culturally Jewish (without using that word), may be ethnically Jewish (I haven't seen any sources), but he is certainly not of the Jewish faith. As such, noting his religion as any kind of Jewish simply doesn't make sense. As for atheism, Rob and others seem to believe that BLP has something to do with how the straw poll above should be understood. They are wrong—it is a simple matter of consensus, and BLP should not be waved around like a magic wand to suggest anything else. The status quo ante did not include references to atheism and a month (or at least it feels like it) of edit warring then talking about it has not produced a consensus in favour of inclusion. On the basis of WP:Consensus, and that policy alone, the word "atheist" should be removed from the article until such time as consensus develops in favour of the rather obvious conclusion that if a word defines something as X, and a person defines himself as X, we can describe him with the word in question. -Rrius (talk) 03:24, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

There is simply no need to over-interpret. We include both the "I don't believe in God" and the "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." quotes in the article. Both are important and informative. Both speak for themselves. We can also narrate his father was a Polish Jew and a Marxist academic. When we've done that, we've done enough. Nuance is always better than binaries.--Scott Mac 08:04, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Agree with Scott Mac. No infobox statement please, given present sources. Not "Religion: Atheist", not "Religion: Jewish", not "Religion: None". Just cover it in the text, with the appropriate context, and leave the rest to the reader. --JN466 08:05, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
    • I also agree with Scott Mac -- but in particular that it is appropriate to use the quotations he identifies. When someone says, in multiple interviews, "I am Jewish etc.", it is not only appropriate information for a BLP, it is a violation of NPOV not to include it. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 09:08, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
      • I think there's no BLP problem in calling him "Jewish" since he calls himself that. The problem is what it conveys to the reader. Even as Milliband identifies himself as Jewish, he implicitly acknowledges that that identifier could mislead people to making assumption about his religiosity, thus he clearly qualifies the "I am Jewish" statement ("Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense."). Since the subject is at pains to make this clear, for his to simply label him Jewish without the nuance invites the reader to make exactly the false assumption that Milliband is trying to avoid. The most accurate thing then is not to identify him as "Jewish" without qualification, but to identify him as he identifies himself which is "Jewish (but not in a religious sense)". The important thing to convey is what Milliband is saying about himself, not to grab the label and then leave the reader to (mis)interpret it. We can do that in text easier than in an infobox (unless we put "Jewish (but not in a religious sense)" into the infobox, but that's clumsy).--Scott Mac 10:17, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Scott MacDonald—the infobox should simply say "Jewish" in the field for religion. He says he's Jewish. Sources say he's Jewish. The infobox is supposed to be supplied with a religion in the field for religion. The infobox was designed to be used that way. In the body of the article the additional points that you wish to bring out find ample space for expression. In the infobox the word Jewish satisfies the need of the "religion" field. Not one source has been presented indicating he is not Jewish. Therefore there is no cause for deviation from standard operating procedure concerning the listing of his religion in the infobox. Sources are supposed to be the arbiter of any questions of this nature. Bring a source to support that Miliband is not Jewish if you want to present the argument that the religion field in the infobox should not list his religion according to the many sources we have. Bus stop (talk) 10:42, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
This is silly. but .. have you got a citation to support your claim the Ed Milliband is Religiously Jewish? Think about it, I removed it when you added as a BLP violation. Off2riorob (talk) 10:49, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Please explain to me how Ed Miliband fits in this ...Judaism is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...... it is considered by Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God developed with the Children of Israel. .... Miliband has said he does not believe in God. He has no Jewish upbringing and therefore follows no Jewish philosophy and does not follow the way of life of the Jewish people.Off2riorob (talk) 10:55, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • - - ethnicity Often, ethnicity also connotes shared cultural, linguistic, behavioural or religious traits. For example, to call oneself Jewish or Arab is to immediately invoke a clutch of linguistic, religious, cultural and racial features that are held to be common within each ethnic category....
Mlliband has not Jewish linguistic, nor Jewish cultural, nor Jewish behavioral history, nor Jewish religious history or upbringing .. the only way he is Jewish at all is racially, that is not something you want to put in the infobox, actually it is already covered in the early life section. Off2riorob (talk) 10:30, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
On the basis of the continued non-productive discussion on this page, I'm happy to concede support for removal of religion from the info box, on the condition that the related text in the article remains. @Bus stop: the sources say he is of Jewish ethnicity not religion. He himself has claimed that his interaction with the Jewish community was minimal and that he is not a believer in deities.--Topperfalkon (talk) 11:02, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—you say, "sources say he is of Jewish ethnicity". Can you please show me such sources? Thank you. Bus stop (talk) 11:28, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I have already provided sources twice. I don't see why I should have to provide them again.--Topperfalkon (talk) 11:41, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—I haven't seen you provide any sources saying that Miliband is "of Jewish ethnicity". But I am not infallible. Perhaps I overlooked them. I just looked in the immediate vicinity of this Talk page. I haven't seen them. Could you please provide them again? Bus stop (talk) 11:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
user Bus stop, this is silly, is User:Fred_Bauder still your mentor? If so perhaps you could ask him to point you in a direction. Off2riorob (talk) 11:43, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Off2riorob—my aim is not to prove anything or achieve any predetermined results, concerning the Ed Miliband article. Honestly I could be content with any results, given the appropriate input from reliable sources. I am trying use the Wikipedia process to attain balanced text for an article. I just wanted to make that clear, as you seem to be talking to me in an off-base manner—for instance—my earlier mentorship with Fred Bauder is hardly relevant to this discussion, is it? Bus stop (talk) 12:05, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
As fred has mentored you previously and you appear to be unable to grasp the situation here I thought you may well benefit from your mentors guidance. You seem to be just not accepting the generally held position. Ed Milliband does not believe in God and was brought up in a secular family, you keep asserting he is religiously jewish and there is no support for that at all. Off2riorob (talk) 12:32, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Ok Bus stop, why don't you provide us with the sources you believe verify Ed as being an active member of Judaism.--Topperfalkon (talk) 12:20, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Bus stop says "the infobox should simply say "Jewish" in the field for religion". Milliband has explicitly denied that he's "Jewish in the religious sense". End of Story. Frankly this is becoming tendentious.--Scott Mac 12:35, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Scott as you can see in this section this morning, User Topperfalkon has very magnanimously agreed to accept the removal of religion = none from the infobox, as in section the vote comments were seven five to remove and now topper has moved that leaves eight four for removal , could you consider the vote comments and make a decision as there has been already extensive discussion. Off2riorob (talk) 12:44, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Since I've stated I think the field should be removed, I don't think I'm a disinterested party. However, that does make it 9-4! It isn't a critical BLP issue that needs rushed.--Scott Mac 13:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I was wondering whether to add you to the numbers as you had suggested a removal, fair enough. I do see a consensus has arisen on this talkpage and although it is not a must be done quick issue, there has been extensive discussion for a couple of weeks and I think it is time for closure. Off2riorob (talk) 13:47, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
It might be appropriate to request the judgement of Uchuca (sp?) or John here, as they are far enough removed from the discussion.--Topperfalkon (talk) 13:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Done , thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 14:04, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
(E/C)Also, there is no need to remove the entire religion parameter, just leave it "blank" for now until/if Milband declares more, ect. --Threeafterthree (talk) 14:05, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the piece from the infobox. Clearly it would make no sense to say "Religion: Jewish" for someone who has said he is not Jewish in a religious sense. "Religion: None" is more sensible, but from a BLP standpoint I'm sympathetic to Scott Mac's view that we should tell the reader what he has said about his religious identity, not attempt to apply a label to it. (For that matter, not believing in God does not equal having no religion.) That is the view that seems to be the consensus here. Ucucha 14:37, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Ucucha—you say, "Clearly it would make no sense to say "Religion: Jewish" for someone who has said he is not Jewish in a religious sense." The word "religious" is virtually synonymous with "observant" in this context. Bear in mind that we are not talking about Christianity—we are talking about Judaism, where nonobservance is commonplace. The opposite is true in Christianity. In Christianity, to be not "religious" detracts from being Christian. But getting back to what I was saying when I began this post, "religious" equates with "observant" in the context of a Jew qualifying his Jewishness to a complete stranger—someone who knows nothing about him. In the first half of that sentence he says, "Obviously I'm Jewish." In the second half of that sentence he distinguishes between "observant" and "nonobservant." That is what the word "religious" means when used in this context. Jews commonly speak of Jewishness in "Christian" terms when speaking to unknown people. This is for the sake of communication. Christians outnumber Jews by considerable ratio in most societies—certainly in secular London. But within the context of Judaism, nonobservant never equates with not Jewish. Nor would atheist ever equate with not Jewish—in a Jewish context. The full sentence that we have been scrutinizing is, "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." All that he is saying is that he is Jewish but nonobservant. By the way, also to be mindful of, Miliband's parents are Holocaust survivors. I would not be bringing this up if so many other non-essential factors were not being taken into consideration here. This source says of his parents, "Both of them Jewish, they separately fled the Nazis, avoiding almost certain death in the concentration camps that claimed the lives of millions of Jews." Of his mother I read, "Hers is a journey of survival through occupied Poland that relied on help from a German factory boss, nuns in a convent and other Jews and non-Jews alike. Some of those that helped her perished in the war." Why am I mentioning this? Ed Miliband's parents came close to being murdered for being Jews. This didn't happen on one day—but over several years. Do you not think the experience of the Holocaust left an imprint on Ed Miliband's parents? And do you not think that sense of Jewish identity was passed on to the sons? The editors that I have been arguing with here have been reaching conclusions that are not supported by sources. Bus stop (talk) 15:31, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Bus-stop, there's no question that you are right about this, and those who persist in not getting it simply show that they are unwilling to learn more about Judaism. All the same, it's not going to fly -- even I am not going to support it -- quite simply because WP:BLPCAT requires self-identification, and when Miliband has said he is Jewish but not in a religious sense, it really isn't going to work to put Religion:Jewish in the infobox. This is purely an artifice of Wikipedia rules, which as we all know sometimes make a mockery of the project of presenting encyclopedic knowledge. But that's just the reality we face around here. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 15:36, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
And it's completely unnecessary if we just report what Milliband has said. There's no need for this article to define Jewishness at all, or indeed religion at all. We just state the facts, not the categorisation. It is ridiculous to think we'd say "Milliband says he's 'Jewish but not in the religious sense', however he is wrong about that."--Scott Mac 15:42, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Reposting here what I said yesterday at WT:JEW: "Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe." Unless that statement is false, it follows that someone who states that they do not believe in or worship a god who is central to a particular religion cannot reasonably be described as an adherent of that religion. We can say things about their identity, their cultural background, their parents' or grandparents' beliefs, etc., but we cannot characterise that person as being an adherent of that religion - which is the wording used in infoboxes. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:47, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I would consider the religion: Jewish issue dead. Bus stop keeps saying the same thing. The discussion doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and so far no one appears to think Bus stop has come any way to explaining why given the statements we have and the commonly accepted understanding of religion it makes any sense to label the subject as Religion: Jewish. I perhaps should mention I agree with Scott, and in fact I think something similar when the issue first arose of atheism, the best way to avoid the infobox dispute is by avoiding unnecessarily simplistic labels (the cat issue is slightly different since cats are intended to help people find the person). Nil Einne (talk) 17:51, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I want to emphasize though that the thing that Busstop keeps saying is absolutely correct, and the only difficulty is the fact that people edit this article with a rigid understanding of policy and a woeful understanding of the subject. What you refer to as the commonly accepted understanding of religion is highly defective in relation to Judaism. So I wrote what I wrote above with no small amount of regret and frustration -- I'm simply giving up. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:56, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that many WP readers will have an even more "woeful understanding of the subject" than most editors here. We should cater for them by explaining things as plainly as we can, rather than by using terminology that, in some respects, is likely to be confusing. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:46, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
No, that's called "dumbing down". In this case, all we would need to do is to wikilink to Judaism and Jewish People, such that interested persons who go to those articles would end up not being confused at all. The bigger problem, in my view, is that we have a number of editors on this article who simply don't know what they are talking about. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:50, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is an international encyclopedia. People who read Wikipedia have different backgrounds, education and opinions. Make your article accessible and understandable for as many readers as possible. Assume readers are reading the article to learn. It is possible that the reader knows nothing about the subject: the article needs to explain the subject fully." Et cetera. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:59, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Plenty of people who've read those articles do not agree with your views that religion=Jewish is correct. I'm doubtful that even Ed Miliband would agree. You are obviously entitled to your opinions but all the relevant wikipedia articles make it clear someone who is of Jewish descent and considers themselves Jewish does not necessarily considering themself being religion=Jewish. Nil Einne (talk) 23:59, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd support using the direct quote - "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense" - as an addendum to the third para of the section on Personal life. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:42, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
That seems reasonable. Also, I will not be blocking for making edits about his religion from now on (also noted above). Ucucha 14:47, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that seems pretty reasonable to add that there Ghmrtle, atlthough I don't see that his comment and its addition as a reason to add him to all the category as they are so poorly defined. Off2riorob (talk) 15:03, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Now added. If others think the full quote should be pruned (but not removed), I would not necessarily object. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:35, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I still support his addition to Cat:British Jews, as it includes those that are ethnically Jewish (otherwise I reckon that cat would need a bit of a sorting out). However, I will not do anything further to destabilise this article.--Topperfalkon (talk) 15:12, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Those cats do need defining , they are a mess, who are they comparable additions Topperfalkon Off2riorob (talk) 15:19, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
He should indeed be added to that category, he has publicly self-identified as Jewish. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 15:21, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I have added him to this cat which I think is indisputable Category:British people of Jewish descent - Off2riorob (talk) 15:47, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
No, that's not appropriate. He needs to self-identify, and I'm not aware that he has said "I am of Jewish descent." What he has said is, "I am Jewish." Nomoskedasticity (talk) 15:51, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
As well you know, Jewishness is a complicated issue and I am Jewish asserts many different things, all of which apart from racial Ed doesn't fit in at all. Off2riorob (talk) 15:57, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
So when Ed Miliband says "Obviously I'm Jewish", you think he's wrong and we should discard what he says?? This is getting tiresome. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 16:00, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
user Nomo has removed it again, he keeps removing good faith compromises and wonders why there is nothing at all there, hilarious. I am afraid Ed and his brother fit in exactly that cat, just like Peter Mandelson - right beside the cat - British people of Polish descent - British people of Jewish descent - indisputable. Off2riorob (talk) 16:16, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
So the dispute now is whether it's okay to label him as being of Jewish descent even after he's said [5] "I am the child of Jewish immigrants and that is a very important part of my identity" and [6]? If so I guess the only option is to remove the Jewish cats completely and let the article stand as is. (Although from my experience, interpreting things in this manner is one area we usually accept.) Nil Einne (talk) 17:41, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh, if there's a sourced self-identification, then no problem. But then, there are sources for "Obviously I'm Jewish" as well. I'm perfectly happy for both to be added, in that case. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:45, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Not a big deal but just an FYI, "I am the child of Jewish immigrants and that is a very important part of my identity" was said by David Miliband, not Ed Miliband. -Chumchum7 (talk) 18:06, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, then the category should be removed. Nil Einne, perhaps you'd like to take care of that. I was simply taking it on faith, I should have checked. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:16, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion although I would point out I got the reference from this very article. I'm not sure why we were using an article on David in this article even if he is his brother, in any case I've removed it. Nil Einne (talk) 23:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
BTW, you may notice the independent ref as well. I didn't end up using it because I realised it was more confusing then I thought (the part I was planning to quote is the article voice nto Ed). But anyway since the other ref is wrong, turning to the independent ref or [7] which is the same speech. It's definitely about Ed this time. He didn't directly say his parents were Jews but did say about his parents "Two young people fled the darkness that had engulfed the Jews across Europe and in Britain they found the light of liberty". This would seem to imply to me that in his opinion his parents were Jewish and therefore he is of Jewish descent. But again, if you disagree with that, I guess removal of all the Jewish related cats is the only option. Nil Einne (talk) 00:05, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Cats again

  • - Are there any content additions still desired related to these cats? Perhaps a straw poll to see about the consensus of the cats. We have Off2riorob (talk) 17:58, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Or both which seems a bit incorrect as I think one is a sub cat. Off2riorob (talk) 18:04, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Suggest the former option, as it conveys the intended categorisation without the troublesome addition of the ambiguity of "British Jew." Yes, he is a British Jew, but he doesn't practice Judaism. Yet 'British Jew' would imply that he does. The former option makes the extent of his self-declaration clearer.--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:19, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Topperfalkon. The first category is the description that would be clearer to most readers. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:48, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
And yet it is not clear that it is in conformity with WP:BLPCAT. While "British Jew" is fully in conformity. You two are expressing views on the basis of personal opinions, nothing more. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 19:02, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't have a personal opinion on the matter, but I support clarity. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:07, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
The former complies with WP:BLPCAT also. However, WP:BLPCAT is not important. What is important is that the content of the article (including categories) is both clear and accurate and that it conforms to the same high level quality expected of any encyclopaedia. By adding a category riddled with ambiguity you go completely against that.--Topperfalkon (talk) 19:09, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, if you are going to assert that BLP policy is "not important" on a BLP, I will ask that you be banned from this page. "Clarity" that is not in conformity with BLP policy is not acceptable here. Anyway, what I mean (and I would have thought it is obvious) is that you have a personal opinion on clarity. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 19:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Re: clarity, this ongoing discussion may be of interest. Sean.hoyland - talk 19:12, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Nomosk, if you insist on being blinded by policy and personal bias, then I have no choice. Firstly, WP:IAR is as much a part of editorial guidelines as WP:BLP. Secondly, you seem to think that the sources support your choice of category. Having apparently failed to convince you otherwise, I am now trying to impress the importance of clarifying the difference to the average reader of being ethnically Jewish and a religious practicing Jew. Yes they go by the same name, but there is a significant difference. Given that the BLP here is that of a politician, it is especially important that his potential biases are made clear. If people are using Wikipedia to make a judgement on how a politician might affect the future of the country, then the difference between being an ethnic Jew and a practising Jew is pretty large.--Topperfalkon (talk) 19:24, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—you say you are, "trying to impress the importance of clarifying the difference to the average reader of being ethnically Jewish and a religious practicing Jew." You are an experienced editor, therefore you know that you are required to use sources if you wish to clarify anything of that nature. Does it not occur to you that what you are considering clarification someone else might consider a muddying of related information? There is an emphasis placed on fundamental wiki policy such as No Original Research and Verifiability. You are mentioning Ignore All Rules. That, as I understand it, is a wiki principle that must be justified for a particular use. Its use is not in the ordinary course of events. As concerns Miliband's religious identity, I see no reason to deviate from the strictest adherence to Reliable Sources. I think the onus would be on you in this instance to present a good reason why you should be able to "clarify" for the reader something that is not found in sources.
You go on to say, "they go by the same name, but there is a significant difference." The "name" that the sources are using for Miliband is "Jewish"—the sources are not providing elaboration on that designation. Therefore that is the terminology that we should be using in our article.
And then you go on to say, "the difference between being an ethnic Jew and a practising Jew is pretty large." Have you found a source that conveys that, and more specifically—in reference to Miliband? The sources are simply saying Ed Miliband is "Jewish"—no source characterizes him in the way that you are expressing that he should be characterized in our article. Standard policy says that the onus is on the editor adding material to provide a source that supports that material. Bus stop (talk) 22:26, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Miliband makes that distinction himself, in the interview included here. --JN466 10:35, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Totally agree with you Topperfalkon. This revert from user Nomo remove per BLP, pending on-going discussion is so false, the fact that he is a British person of Jewish descent is absolutely indisputable and has no BLP issues at all. This continuation is just some childish silly pov game that does nothing but waste useful editors time. The time wasting has been going on since user nomo added this opinionated POV addition,Miliband is also the Jewish leader of the Labour Party - laughable non npov additions, with no care for anything apart from his bias, better keep anything about it out of the article altogether, that is the best when users attempt such biased portrayal. Here alone, there are already three editors opposing user nomo's POV and he still reverts. Off2riorob (talk) 20:19, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—why "of Jewish descent"? Sources are saying he is Jewish in the present. The terminology "of Jewish decent" refers to someone who was Jewish and no longer is Jewish. Or, it could refer to someone whose parents were Jewish, but ceased being Jewish, probably as a result of conversion, prior to the birth of the individual. But in the case of Miliband reliable sources are saying that he is Jewish. Why do you think "of Jewish descent" is applicable? Bus stop (talk) 22:48, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Reliable sources, including those sourcing from the individual's own declarations, state that he is not a practising Jew. Honestly Bus stop, if you intend to contribute to this article you need to read the discussions! Otherwise we just end up repeating ourselves (yet again) for your benefit. Because he is not a follower of the Jewish faith by his own proclamation the choice of 'of Jewish descent' is preferred because it removes any lingering ambiguity.--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:13, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Nor need he be an observant Jew. He is a Jew nevertheless. He is not a "former Jew." He is presently a Jew. "Of Jewish descent" would apply if he were no longer Jewish. Now, can you please provide a source that says that he is not Jewish? Every source that addresses this topic says unambiguously that Ed Miliband is Jewish, yet you wish to categorize him as being "of Jewish descent." Therefore it would be my opinion that you should provide a source relating to Ed Miliband no longer being Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 23:28, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry who gave you the idea of Jewish descent means he is no longer Jewish? I am of (Malaysian) Chinese descent and Pākehā descent. That doesn't mean I am not Chinese or Pākehā any longer. I am. Similarly this applies to all living people in Category:People of Chinese descent (dead people are arguably no longer of Chinese descent, since they are no longer anything). Nil Einne (talk) 00:12, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Per Off2riorob below. Miliband has spoken about his parents being Jewish, and has said that he is "Jewish, but not in the religious sense". Even if he were not practising Judaism, calling him a "British Jew" might have some justification if he had a strong cultural or political involvement in the Jewish community. However, according to the Jewish Chronicle, Britain's largest Jewish newspaper, which is read by about half of the total UK Jewish population, Jewish community leaders have reacted with "serious consternation" – not celebration – to his appointment as Labour leader, deploring the anti-Israel views he expressed in his acceptance speech. Miliband's kid goes to an Anglican school. The Guardian notes that he has "never identified with the British Jewish community". So neither do we have religious affiliation, nor do we have strong political or cultural identification with the Jewish community, which would have been the only other criterion which might have justified his inclusion in British Jews, per British jews, the article that the category definition refers to. I regret that I cannot see it your way. --JN466 23:38, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—you say, "I regret that I cannot see it your way." But the sources you are providing are showing you that Ed Miliband is Jewish. I am not asking you to see it my way. Our article should be following the assertions of reliable sources.
For instance you link to an article which says:
"Now that Ed Miliband has been elected as the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party, what does this tell us about Labour and its Jewish constituency?"
The same article says the following:
"In spite of his much-trumpeted atheism, Ed's Jewishness is obviously important to him. He seeks neither to hide nor to belittle it. In a conference speech of around 6,000 words, he devoted no less than 300 to a retelling of the story of how his Jewish parents had to flee Nazism, and to the "encouragement and the aspiration to succeed" that he had derived from the obviously caring Jewish home in which he had grown up."
The headline of that article is: "Proud Jew Ed strong on Israel"
That is the article that you linked to. There are many others. They are all saying that Ed Miliband is Jewish, that is, if they address the subject at all. Not one article presented on this Talk page has said that Ed Miliband is not Jewish.
You say that, "Jewish community leaders have reacted with 'serious consternation' – not celebration – to his appointment as Labour leader, deploring the anti-Israel views he expressed in his acceptance speech." But his popularity with certain other Jews has no bearing on him being a Jew—he is a Jew whether he is popular or unpopular with certain other groups of Jews. According to Judaism, a person is a Jew if they were either born a Jew or they converted to Judaism. For Wikipedia purposes a person is a Jew if reliable sources confirm that the person is a Jew. That is the case—every source (that addresses the topic) confirms that Ed Miliband is Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 02:58, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
He seems to spend a lot of time talking about a care worker from Durham and the Middle East conflict too. Should we cat him about these? Nil Einne (talk) 04:54, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
British jews defines the term as "British people of Jewish descent who maintain a connection to the Jewish community, with or without actively practising Judaism." As the Guardian piece says, he has "never identified with the British Jewish community". This is borne out by what he has said himself, “Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense. I don't wish I had had a more religious upbringing but I have Jewish friends who were part of the Jewish community growing up, going to Jewish youth clubs and other things. I think I felt slightly jealous. My parents' community was the Left community.” Also note the interview posted above (0:50 onwards), where he comments on his Jewish family background, says "Yes I am Jewish but I don't consider ..." (Paxman interrupts him) when asked if he is "a Jew", and a little later qualifies it by saying that he is "not a practising Jew", and also says the Jewish tradition is not the tradition in which he was brought up. So -- not practising Judaism, not part of the Jewish community, what remains is ethnicity, which is covered by the Jewish descent category. It's the only category that is undoubtedely, unambiguously correct, without implying more than is warranted, and without casting the BLP subject in a potentially false light. --JN466 10:17, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—you as an editor are probably not empowered to define "Jewish." For you to do so would probably entail original research. The working assumption at Wikipedia is that reliable sources responsibly exercise fact-checking. I thank you for the link to the interview video—I hadn't seen it before, and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. In response to your expressed concerns about Miliband's failure to practice Judaism—he need not practice Judaism. His practice of Judaism is utterly irrelevant to his being a Jew. Nonobservant Jews are perhaps more numerous than observant Jews. More importantly—reliable sources have not found Miliband's failure to practice Judaism to be an impediment to their publications' stating that he is Jewish. Moreover, reliable sources cannot be seen breaking down Miliband's supposed components of Jewishness. That exercise is only practiced on this Talk page; that is original research. Reliable sources refer to him as being "Jewish," and we are expected to follow suit. Why would he most appropriately fit in the Jewish descent category? Yes, he is clearly of Jewish descent. But he has not ceased to be a Jew. Yes, it would not be logically incorrect to place him in both categories, though I see little point in doing that. The one meaningful category for Miliband is British Jews. Sources are supporting that he is Jewish and certainly that he is British. Bus stop (talk) 16:23, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I should make a comment here. I don't know if Miliband has ever spoken about his parents being Jewish. I earlier included a ref which I got from this article which may have caused some confusion here. It concerned David not Ed. The best we have so far that I'm aware of is "Two young people fled the darkness that had engulfed the Jews across Europe and in Britain they found the light of liberty" which would seem to imply he felt his parents were Jewish but I guess it's not a direct statement. Nil Einne (talk) 00:08, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment - He is certainly a British Jew given that he is both British and a Jew. This seems indisputable. But he's also a British MP and yet we put him in the Category:Labour MPs (UK) rather than Category:British MPs despite the traditions of BritishMPism saying that someone is still a British MP despite being non-observant with respect to the non-Labour aspects of BritishMPism. Go figure. The problem is that the category British Jew is inconsistent with the way Miliband describes himself because the category does not distinguish between the religious and non-religious identity components of being Jewish whereas Miliband's statements do (as others have pointed out). That distinction is his choice. Placing Miliband in a set that contains members whose self-declarations are different from Miliband's is clearly a bit problematic but it's not wrong. There are hundreds of people in the British Jew category and I doubt that Miliband's inclusion is any more problematic than hundreds of other people. It's a pity that he hasn't self declared as an atheist so we could add him to both the British Jew category and the British atheists category for clarity. Sean.hoyland - talk
    • It is really inconvenient when living people won't label themselves. It prevents us sticking them in the right little box.--Scott Mac 08:16, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
      • But let's remember that he has: "Obviously I'm Jewish..." What is going on above is nothing more than WP:OR about the meaning of the category. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:34, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
        • Now finish the sentence. He said he was Jewish, and then realising that some people would take that to mean he was "religiously" so, qualified his label with "not in the religious sense/". But you want to ignore his qualifier, and still an unqualified label on him, which will make some readers make assumptions about his religiosity that he has explicitly denied. That is clearly not in the spirit of BLP. I've no objection to you putting him into the category Category:Non-religious Jews since that's how he self-described. Don't using his quote out of context please.--Scott Mac 09:00, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
          • What Scott Mac said -- that's it in a nutshell. --JN466 09:57, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
            • As has been pointed out several times, the category British Jews contains a large number of people who are not "religious". That's just what Judaism is: it isn't just religion in the sense that people familiar only with Christianity think about the word religion. It makes perfect sense (in line with WP:BLPCAT, anyway) that we would refrain from putting Religion:Jewish in the infobox, given the way he qualifies his statement. But "British Jews" is not only about religion (certainly not in the way it is commonly used in other articles), and given the way he has self-identified it is NPOV not to be governed by his own statement here. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 11:06, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
              • As per Sean's statement above, Ed Miliband may still hold on to his Jewish heritage, but in all other respects he has abandoned the Jewish community. His actually ties to the Jewish community are only through heritage, so putting him in the British Jews category may give a false impression to readers.--Topperfalkon (talk) 11:32, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
      • @Scott, well, quite. Wikipedia's campaign to categorise every person based on shoe size, hair color, ethnicity (what does that even really mean?), religion (both their own opinion and the right opinion), nationality, sexuality, political views, favourite color and whether they have a nut allergy is of vital importance to mankind. Perhaps we should just post their DNA and a link to their Twitter account to fully cover the nature/nurture aspects of them as a person. Oh well, c'est la vie. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:42, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
        • See categories of Albert Einstein, I rest my case. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:53, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
          • What case, exactly? One can't help but notice that the infobox says Jewish and there are several "xxx Jews" categories. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 16:09, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
            • Where you see 'Jewish scientists' I see 'Swiss Vegetarians'. Yes, there are multiple Jewish, German, Swiss and American categories and all sorts of other things. I believe someone was arguing for Albanian recently. I forget why. This is the nature of many Wikipedia editors and their over-eagerness to categorize people. That is my case. He is a perfect example of how editors fight over identity and all sorts of other over simplifications of complex issues. Einstein himself, a wise man, predicted that this would happen to him. I recommend you look at the entirely pointless long term arguments in the talk page archives about whether he was ethnically German or ethnically Jewish and the enormous amount of effort it took to get a stable infobox. Look at all of the identity categorizations/intersections. I wish Einstein was still around so he could see it. Of course in Einstein's case his Jewish identity is central to his life, telling his story, understanding his Labour Zionism, understanding his part in the history of Palestine and Israel and so many other things about him and his part in history. That is not the case for Miliband of course. I can think of no better example than the article on Einstein to provide a cautionary tale about what happens when people categorise other people. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:02, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
              • Ah. Well, I would respectfully suggest that you might be working with a misconception of what it means to categorize someone. We're perfectly happy to describe people in various ways, and there is no significant difference between describing and categorizing. As for whether being Jewish is important to Miliband, perhaps we should listen to his own statements on the matter, e.g. " I feel Jewish because it's an important part of my heritage..." Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:14, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
                • Sean.hoyland—Miliband is both British and Jewish. The infobox has a field for "religion." Obviously "Jewish" goes in that field. There is a category for "British Jews." Miliband is both British and Jewish. Obviously he goes in the category "British Jews." I think you are over-thinking this. The reader's education is never over. One "fact" leads to another "question." You can't answer every question in every action that you take at Wikipedia. No "system" is perfect. The "most perfect" part of an article page is the article itself—that is—the prose portion of the article employing common language in full sentences. "Perfection" deteriorates as you move on to "infoboxes" and "categories." But they are seen to have some value. I think the jury is out on the absolute value of infoboxes and categories. Bus stop (talk) 17:27, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
                  • @nomo, putting people/things in sets is significantly different from descriptive writing about those people/things especially when the set membership rules haven't been specified, as is often the case in Wikipedia. As for Miliband, I say just let him speak for himself, use his words in the article on personal issues. That should take precedence and be the focus rather than categorization. Of course his Jewish heritage is important to him but that doesn't map to things like 'religion = Jewish' in an infobox. Many things are important to him. He's a human being (maybe we should add that cat). @bus stop, as for categories, I've already said that 'British Jew' is not wrong as far as I'm concerned, I don't oppose it and I'm not overthinking it. It is what it says. It's not ideal precision/clarity-wise but it's not wrong. Like Scott, I would rather use a category like Category:Non-religious Jews or something similar both for clarity and to more consistent with his sourced statements. Actually, I would rather use Category:Jewish atheists but we can't source it strictly speaking. One of those categories in addition to Category:British people of Jewish descent but Category:British Jews is a legitimate categorization instead. Mostly though I think we should focus on informative, descriptive writing about people rather than categorizing them. Sean.hoyland - talk 19:02, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
                    • Sean.hoyland—you are doing too much thinking for the reader. The reader is cognizant of the limitations of "infoboxes" and "categories." Our responsibility is to be consistent. You say that, "Of course his Jewish heritage is important to him but that doesn't map to things like 'religion = Jewish' in an infobox." That is completely incorrect. Miliband's religion is Jewish—not figuratively, but rather literally. Sources are aware of the definition of the word "Jewish." It is a person who either was born Jewish or converted to Judaism. Sources are cognizant of this and they are stating unambiguously that he is Jewish. The Jewish religion is unlike the Christian religion in some ways that you may be overlooking. To be a Jew does not mean to hold a specific belief. (Contrast this with Christianity, where the holding of the belief that Christ is Savior is virtually synonymous with being a Christian.) Sources don't make distinctions based in inapplicable factors. We should be assuming that reliable sources do their own adequate fact-checking. Bus stop (talk) 19:53, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
We also are required to think for ourselves, your suggesting adding an unexplained comment as clear fact which it absolutely is not, this is just circular, the cite , the cite, that sort of blind claim is closer to adding false content and false claims than anything else. Ed Milliband is British, was brought up in a secular house, and his jewishness is racial only, if this insistence continues I suggest creating a Racially Jewish cat, which is his singular jewish attribute. ..oh, theres no need we already have - British people of Jewish descent - Off2riorob (talk) 20:01, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Off2riorob—sources of course matter. Multiple sources claim he is Jewish, and they are fully aware that he grew up in a "secular house." This has nothing to do with Jewish identity. Sources are to be understood to be knowledgeable of the material they write about. That is our working assumption. Sources no doubt know that growing up in a "secular house" has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a person is a Jew or not. One cannot expect to fit the aspects of Judaism into standards applicable to Christianity. The two religions share similarities, but one should be aware of their differences as well. And I think it has to be our assumption that reliable sources are fully informed on all these matters. Bus stop (talk) 20:18, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Nonsense, they post without explaining, that is how they work, hes an atheist, but that is their words, hes a Jew says the Jewish times, and he said, oh yes I am jewish but, and that but is what I care about, what I care about is the correct portrayal of a living person, personally I hate cats, and this whole discussion makes my skin crawl, POV identification, it is easy if you are NPOV. Ed Milliband was born in Britain, he has a British passport and speaks only English he went to British schools , he was brought up in a secular household and does not believe in God and has a English partner and a British child, his parents were jewish but non practicing and godless, he is a British person of Jewish decent. The idea that he is the Jewish leader of the labour party is laughable. Off2riorob (talk) 20:35, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Reliable sources say he is the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party; laugh if you want, but that's what the sources say. You keep saying that he speaks only English -- what does that mean in this context? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 20:43, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
In the context to show the only thing about him that is jewish is racial, that is in this case a minor issue unworthy of labeling him as the Jewish leader of the labour party, that is a POV undue false statement. The trouble is that jewish cats are in need of disambiguation, to genetic and religious, and in such cases as ED the cats assert false claims. Genetic Jew - bit labeling, much better and neutral, although you removed it as a BLP violation, British people of Jewish descent - all of this discussion is a waste of even typing, like a game, wiki is not a game.Off2riorob (talk) 20:56, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
But how does his speaking only English support your notion that he isn't really Jewish? And if you think it's all a game, then don't play -- others here are taking it more seriously. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:05, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Hes not a Polish person, is he, and fair play to the Polish users for not attempting to say , in millions of words and weak claims that he is the Polish leader of the Labour party, no he sits happily and neutrally as a British people of Polish descent - Off2riorob (talk) 20:56, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Oddly enough he is listed at Poles in the United Kingdom. I've tried to restore the old title of that article to Polish British, to emphasise the included persons are British, and not Polish visitors. But I haven't succeeded in convincing other editors there that it is the right thing to do. -Chumchum7 (talk) 10:14, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:NOR could also stand for 'No Opinion Required'. WP doesn't care about WP editors' personal opinion about the identity of the living person (nor do we care what some WP editors' think the opinion of other WP editors is); WP does care what a WP:RS states about the identity of the living person. Failure to understand this cornerstone of WP is causing this massive waste of time. -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:48, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
That's true but it often doesn't help in practice because of selection bias. Editors can usually select from a variety of reliable sources to suit their objectives in cases like this and reporting about identity is source dependent e.g. someone like Anish Kapoor for example is more likely to be Indian or British based in Indian sources, British or Indian born in British Sources and Israeli/Iraqi sources are more likely to mention his Iraqi Jewish heritage because his mother was an Iraqi Jew and he studied for a time in Israel. I suppose this is just the nature the media and wiki editors and why self declarations about identity are important. Sean.hoyland - talk 19:16, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Sean.hoyland—you are talking about "selection bias" and "source dependent" information but how is that related to this article? All sources are saying that Miliband is Jewish and Miliband confirms that he is Jewish. No source has been presented by any editor on this Talk page saying anything at variance with that. Bus stop (talk) 23:40, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Bus stop, how many times do we have to go through this? Said same reliable sources also confirm that Miliband is an atheist (or otherwise non-religious) and ethnically Jewish only. It is this that Ed Miliband himself has confirmed. He is ethnically Jewish, but not active in the community and not religious. Therefore as per previous discussion 'religion=Jewish' is completely inappropriate, and from the point of clarity the category 'British people of Jewish descent' or something along that line is far more appropriate than just 'British Jew' as it doesn't carry the assumed implication of being a follower of Judaism with it.--Topperfalkon (talk) 00:49, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

arbitrary break 1

Well, of course one cannot say his religion is "Jewish", since (a) he hasn't said his religion is this, and (b) "Jewish" isn't a religion anyway. On the other hand, he's quite obviously a Jew; his parents are Jews, and he's said he's Jewish. There are lots of Jews of no religion, or even religions other than Judaism. "Jew" encompasses both a religious identity and a cultural/ethnic identity. Both are valid. So, what's the big deal? Jayjg (talk) 07:09, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

If you've read the comments above you wouldn't need to ask that question. By labelling as a Jew, that implies that he is either actively part of the Jewish community (which he claims he is not) or that he is a follower of Judaism (which he claims he is not). By labelling him as a British person of Jewish descent however, you keep to what he himself has proclaimed whilst removing the ambiguity of a generalised categorisation such as 'British Jews'. It worries me the level of bias that some editors have that we are still arguing over such a trivial difference.--Topperfalkon (talk) 10:41, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, you persist in offering arguments that you believe support your right to engage in original research on this topic. There's nothing more to it than that. It's time for that to stop, so that this page can be edited according to BLP policy. I also advise you to stop making generalized accusations of bias: if you don't have something specific to say that can be supported with reference to specific editors' contributions, then lay off it. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 11:09, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
It is perfectly plain that the page will not be edited according to Nomoskedasticity's views, because his (and Bus stop's) interpretation of the meaning of the word "religion" is not generally shared. So, for how much longer will this discussion go on? Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:36, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
As long as it takes, my friend. I'm not discussing my definition of "religion" -- the fact that some people are doing that is another sign of some editors' desire to engage in WP:OR. I'm discussing sources, self-identification, and BLP policy. Also please note that Jayjg and Chumchum7 agree with the position embraced by Bus-stop and me. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 11:40, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that some editors are applying a definition to Jews that is based on how Christians are defined. We should be adhering to reliable sources. When a responsible journalistic organization says that someone is a Jew it is first vetted by their fact-checking staff. While they might not be infallible they are the means we have of verifying the information we use. All of those news outlets are saying that the subject of this article is Jewish. They are obviously completely cognizant that he may be nonobservant and may not even believe in God but they don't find that an impediment to referring to him as a Jew.
This is the definition that Judaism 101 provides for a Jew:
"A Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism. It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do."
Notice the point made that the definition of a Jew has "nothing to do with what you believe or what you do." This is different than what might be a definition of a Christian, where belief in the Messiahship of Christ is the sine qua non of a definition of a Christian. You can't fit a person of one religion into a standard based on the definition of another religion. Reliable sources are defining a Jew according the definition appropriate to that religious group. We should be following their lead. Bus stop (talk) 13:55, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Topperfalkon, I have read the discussion above, and there's still no big deal here. Jews are an ethnoreligious group, and Jewish is an ethnic/cultural identity. A large percentage of Jews are agnostics/atheists, or even follow religions other than Judaism. Saying they are Jews does not "imply... that he is either actively part of the Jewish community (which he claims he is not) or that he is a follower of Judaism" - that's just your personal WP:NOR, which, to be very frank, is irrelevant. We go with what reliable sources say, period; and in this case, the reliable source is his own, public self-identification as a Jewish. We don't dismiss his statements and rob him of his cultural self-identity because you have an issue with it. And we don't ignore policy because of your own personal views. This is basic, simple adherence to policy here, and we'll have to adhere to it. Jayjg (talk) 18:57, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

He self-admittedly doesn't identify as culturally Jewish, as indicated by his statements that he is not active in the Jewish community. He has self-claimed Jewish ethnicity however, which is what we intend to honour in this article by adding him to the category "British people of Jewish descent". Putting him in this category above simply "British Jews" does not rob him of anything he hasn't already abandoned. As for WP:RS, reliable sources say he's an atheist too, but we've all seen that one all but swept under the rug. Had the infobox entry been retained I would have less issue with what the categories state, but its removal means that the categories will now need to be more clear in regards to his ethnic and religious background. Furthermore, it's clear this is an issue. If "British Jews" was clear enough to not lead to any confusion as to Ed Miliband's beliefs then there would already be consensus to that fact and it would be a category listed at the bottom of the article.--Topperfalkon (talk) 22:50, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—you say, "If 'British Jews' was clear enough to not lead to any confusion as to Ed Miliband's beliefs then there would already be consensus to that fact and it would be a category listed at the bottom of the article."
How could "British Jews" lead to any "confusion" as a "category" for Miliband? Are you saying that Miliband is not a Jew? Bus stop (talk) 00:38, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, it astounds me that you can invent his identity for him, and deny his own words on the subject. He doesn't say "I don't identify as culturally Jewish", or that he is "of Jewish descent". He says clearly and plainly Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity. Stating someone is a Jew in no way implies he practices Judaism, just as stating someone is Greek in no way implies he practices Greek Orthodoxy. Your original research attempts to deny him his own self-stated identity are a rather obvious violation of WP:BLP, and I think you should reconsider what you're saying. Jayjg (talk) 01:42, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg this is nonsense. You are misquoting the subject. Milliband didn't simply say "I'm Jewish", he said "“Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense." Milliband recognised that simply saying "I'm Jewish" would lead many hearers to make a religious assumption, so he qualified it. You say "but saying you are Jewish doesn't imply religiousness" and I immediately accusing you of doing exactly what you accuse others of doing - imposing your meaning of what "Jewish" means. That's what you said was original research, isn't it? Milliband obviously recognised that simply saying "I'm Jewish" would mislead at least some hearers into making a religious assumption - which is why qualified his self-identity. Now if you label him as "Jewish" - and stick him in an unqualified Jewish box, you leave open the very misinterpretation that he was at pains to exclude. And you do it by saying "here is how I define Judish identity" and worse by ignoring the fact that some/many people hearing "Jewish" don't share your preconception. The subject has said what the subject has said. We should record it. We should not qualify it, truncate it, ignore it - or say "your fears of misinterpretation are ill-founded, and thus your qualification unnecessary".--Scott Mac 06:52, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Scott, your interpretation of why Milliband said what he did may be true, or may not be true, but it doesn't really have an impact on Wikipedia. And I certainly haven't "imposed" any definition of Jewish at all; Miliband himself says he's Jewish, and that's pretty much all that matters, we can't deny him his self-identification. Now, of course, we can't claim he practices Judaism, since he's made it clear he doesn't; indeed, the article should make that clear too. But as for being Jewish, well, that's what he says, and that's what Wikipedia must replicate. We don't get to decide we can't say he's Jewish simply because we're concerned some hypothetical reader might misunderstand his own plain words. Jayjg (talk) 22:25, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Scott Mac—Miliband simply said that he was nonobservant—that is the plain meaning of "not in a religious sense". (If you believe otherwise, can you please tell me what "not in a religious sense" means to you?) Nor would it matter if he is nonobservant. That is because a nonobservant Jew is just as Jewish as an observant Jew. Therefore he would still belong in a category designating "British Jews". He hasn't ceased being Jewish, so there would not be a strong reason to place his name in a category for "British people of Jewish descent." Bus stop (talk) 12:20, 26 October 2010 (UTC) Bus stop (talk) 10:43, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
He has said more than that he is non-observant. He has said that the Jewish tradition was not the tradition in which he was brought up; that his parents were not part of the Jewish community, but the Left community; that he was different from friends who were part of the Jewish community growing up; and that where he does feel Jewish is in terms of his family history – because his parents had to flee the continent to escape Nazi persecution. When asked if he was "a Jew", he said "Yes I'm Jewish, but I don't consider m..." So it is a "yes, but" response, and I am uncomfortable with ignoring the "but". We have the "Jewish descent" category; it appropriately covers this. --JN466 12:54, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—what you are saying is original research but even as WP:OR it is flawed: a Jew does not cease being a Jew if their behavior patterns diverge from any expectation anyone might have of what their behavior pattern should be. For instance you refer to "Jewish traditions." It is not "Jewish traditions" that matter in this instance. (Not that we really know what Jewish traditions refers to, unless you are referring to religious observance, and as I think we have already established—religious observance/religious nonobservance has no bearing on whether someone is a Jew or not.) A Jew is by definition a person either born Jewish or who converts to Judaism. Ditto for being a member of the "Left community," etc. Factors such as that are extraneous to what we are discussing. Miliband is completely consistent with all known definitions of the term when he confirms that he is a Jew. I think the onus would be on someone such as yourself to present a verifiable source stating that he is not a Jew. Bus stop (talk) 14:24, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
The point is that the ideas that "a Jew does not cease being a Jew if their behavior patterns diverge from any expectation anyone might have of what their behavior pattern should be", and that "A Jew is either born Jewish or converts to Judaism", may be significant or indeed prevalent views within the Jewish community, but are not necessarily the views accepted outside that community. WP cannot assume either that that position is known and understood, or that it is accepted globally. We do not accept, for example, that a nation that calls itself "democratic" is democratic in the sense that most readers would understand. Most readers - which is who we write for - are likely to assume that a reference to a person belonging to a religion accepts the basic tenets of that religion, including a belief in the existence of that religion's deities. Those readers are not "wrong" - they simply use a different definition of the word. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:46, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle—he is Jewish according to every reliable source that addresses the question. No WP:Reliable Source suggests that he might not be Jewish. This is not a view merely "prevalent...within the Jewish community"—all reliable sources are saying that Miliband is Jewish. I think the burden would be on you or other editors arguing for the position that you take, to bring sources suggesting that Miliband might not be Jewish. I think you are giving the reader far too little credit to understand that different terms have different definitions. "Jew" and "Christian" clearly are defined differently. A Christian is defined as a person who holds a particular belief—specifically involving Jesus as Savior. There is no belief which is associated with defining a Jew. A Jew is defined as a person born to Jewish parents or who converts to Judaism. I can't think of any justification for not presenting the unvarnished truth to the reader. (All reliable sources present their readers with the fact that Miliband is Jewish. Obviously we should be following suit.) I hardly think a reader comes to an encyclopedia to be lead astray. Miliband has not ceased being Jewish, therefore the proper category for him is "British Jews". Bus stop (talk) 15:00, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Bus stop, just so I understand your position better – is there anything that would cause you to class a person born to parents of Jewish descent as anything other than "a Jew"? --JN466 16:36, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Bus-stop will no doubt answer for himself, but: surely it depends on what reliable sources say about such a person... Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:01, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—I have seen no source characterizing Miliband's parents in any terms other than as being "Jewish". I have seen no source characterizing his parents as being "of Jewish descent." If you know of a source characterizing his parents as being "of Jewish descent" please bring it to my attention. Bus stop (talk) 17:06, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
That was not actually my point; I am just trying to understand your reasoning. Let me rephrase the question: is there any circumstance you could imagine where you would not classify a person born to a Jewish mother as "a Jew"? (By the way, here are some sources characterising Miliband as being "of Jewish descent": Daily Telegraph, New York Times: "Although of Jewish descent, both brothers have said that they are non-religious", Times of Malta, Tablet Magazine) --JN466 21:29, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—you say, "is there any circumstance you could imagine where you would not classify a person born to a Jewish mother as "a Jew"?" Yes, I think I can imagine such a circumstance: if the individual clearly disavowed being a Jew that would suffice to not classify him as a Jew. Bus stop (talk) 23:05, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, that helps. I appreciate this is a question of "Is the glass half full or half empty". To my mind the Jewish descent category better reflects the caveats he expressed, but I see that one can see it either way. --JN466 23:01, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—He didn't say anything even remotely like "I'm not a Jew," so I don't know how you are seeing a "glass half full or half empty." Bus stop (talk) 23:47, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

arbitrary break 2

Bus stop, could you reduce the number of edits and clarifications you're making to this talk page? It's clogging up the watchlist and makes it hard to follow the conversation through the watchlist. And from your point of view, it might make you look more interested in the issue than you perhaps really are. [[User:|Christopher Connor]] (talk) 18:36, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Christopher Connor, I admit I am not interested in any particular outcome aside from what reliable sources indicate. If anyone can bring reliable sources to indicate that Miliband is not Jewish I think that would count for a lot. But mostly what I am seeing are musings that are just opinion and therefore original research. I will try to reduce the number of edits. Sorry if it is causing annoyance. I think this should have been resolved by now, based on the dearth of sources indicating that Miliband is anything other than Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 18:44, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Bus stop. What purpose do you believe the 'British people of Jewish descent' category serves if British Jews can be considered an authoritative catch-all for all elements of Jewish culture, ethnicity, and religious beliefs? It's totally redundant if that is the case, but it isn't, clearly. That category serves the purpose of people belonging to only one of the three types of Jewish identity; ethnicity. A good example of this in practice, and in accordance with that prior example of Greek people, Marina Diamandis is British, and was born in Wales. But she's also ethnically half Greek. So she's categorised as 'Welsh x' as well as 'British people of Greek descent'. The reliable sources you are so obsessed about have already shown that Ed only identifies as a Jew through ethnicity, and not culture nor religious belief. This is exactly what we should be using "x people of y descent' categories for!--Topperfalkon (talk) 20:49, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, being "of Jewish descent" obviously doesn't preclude being a Jew; in fact, the latter is a sub-set if the former. However, Wikipedia has specific categories for specific reasons, and that includes both people "of Jewish descent" and "Jews". As long as the "Jews" cats exist, we must use them accurately. Now, if you want to put them all up for deletion, and propose that the members all be moved to the comparable "of Jewish descent" cats, you're free to do so. But until that happens, Wikipedia must, in fact, include him in the category he himself embraced. He didn't say "I'm of Jewish descent", he said "I'm Jewish". Jayjg (talk) 22:29, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg, he did not say "I am Jewish". You are misquoting. He said "I am Jewish but not in the religious sense". You have no right to take the first part of that statement without the latter. We should be recording accurately what the subject has said and not selectively to justify the agenda we are pushing.--Scott Mac 22:51, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Scott MacDonald—do you think that constitutes a disavowal of being Jewish? Do you think the second half of the sentence constitutes a disavowal of the first half of the sentence? Or does the second half of the sentence constitute a qualification of the first half of the sentence? Isn't the second half of the sentence simply saying that he is nonobservant? And if he is nonobservant—does that make him not Jewish?? What do you think the second half of the sentence means? You are making such a major issue of the second half of the sentence that I have to assume you feel it has some important significance. Can you please tell me what you think that significance is? Bus stop (talk) 23:00, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
It is clearly a meant either as a qualification or as a clarification (which means he felt it needed such). If one wants to record what he said, it is more accurate to record the entirely of his qualified/clarified affirmation, than to truncate it. If Milliband felt it necessary to clarify/qualify, then we should follow what he said. --Scott Mac 23:22, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
He was explaining that he is an atheist. The article says "There was no religion at home and Mr Miliband confirmed for the first time that he is an atheist. 'Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense.'" We can—and certainly should—include that he is an atheist, and that he had no religious upbringing; but we can't excise the Jewish identity he himself claims, that would be a misrepresentation of the sources, and of Miliband himself. If the article lists him as a British Jew and an atheist then we have accurately described him, without any WP:NOR or WP:BLP issues. Jayjg (talk) 23:45, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Jay, I'm not asking for the deletion of the 'British Jews' category. I am, as you claim you yourself are, seeking to ensure that the categories are used accurately. Ed Miliband has claimed Jewish ethnicity only and disclaimed both the religious and cultural aspect, as per reliable sources.--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:49, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
And as per your latest comment, he's also stated he was never part of the Jewish community. Hence the only identity he claims is his heritage/ethnicity. Which is what I've suggested the purpose of 'British people of Jewish descent' is intended for!--Topperfalkon (talk) 23:52, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, the category "British people of Jewish descent" is intended for people who are not Jewish themselves, but who have ancestors who were Jews. The category "British Jews" is for people who, like Miliband, are "Jewish". And that doesn't mean solely people who are practitioners of Judaism; the category includes many people who, like Miliband, embrace their Jewish identity, yet are atheists - for example, Nigella Lawson. There is no confusion with any of them, nor is there any here. We can't put Miliband in a category that denies his own self-identity, that would be a WP:BLP problem. Category:British Jews and Category:British atheists together define Miliband exactly how he describes himself. Wikipedia can, must, and will describe him that way too. Jayjg (talk) 00:50, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh, for good measure, we'll add him to Category:Jewish atheists. He'll be in good company with the almost 200 other people there. Jayjg (talk) 00:55, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
He hasn't used the word "atheist" about himself. As outlined in the recent RfC on this topic, the equation "I don't believe in God personally" = "I am an atheist" is no more compelling than other such equations, like "I don't believe in God personally" = "I am an agnostic". Let's wait until he self-declares as either. As for identifying as Jewish, he has made it clear that he considers it limited to his family history. The British Jews category links to the British Jews article, which defines the term as those "who maintain a connection to the Jewish community, with or without actively practising Judaism"; he doesn't do either, and never has, according to what he has said. --JN466 23:09, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
While he didn't use the word himself, reliable sources have described him using exactly that word, "atheist". As for being Jewish, he's made it abundantly clear that it applies to him , and it is not just limited to his family history: he says "Obviously I'm Jewish", not "Obviously my parents are Jewish" or "Obviously my ancestors are Jewish". And, of course, what the British Jews article happens to say today is irrelevant; that could change tomorrow, and in any event we rely only on what reliable sources say, so Wikipedia articles don't qualify. The irony here is that 95% of the time I'm the one who is removing these claims and categories from articles, and these names from the related lists; however, this time, when he's clearly claimed the categor(ies) for himself, we're going to have to respect both him and Wikipedia policy. I wish it were not so. Jayjg (talk) 01:41, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I actually have no problem with calling him a "Jewish atheist". Yeah, technically "not believe in God" isn't necessarily atheist - but he's didn't add some qualifier about "spirituality" or "higher power" which would indicate he's not. What he said would be taken in a UK context to mean atheist - and he'd know that. When he said he was "Jewish, but not in a religious sense" - it is a qualified or clarified statement. For us to put "Jewish" without clarification invites some readers to presume a religious sense (no I'm not saying that's what Jewish means - ymmmv on that - I'm simply saying it's not an outrageous or objectively "wrong" understanding of "Jewish"). If we say he's a "Jewish atheist", we preclude the reader making a religious assumption of meaning - thus we preserve the subject's qualification.--Scott Mac 01:54, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
As was discussed in the earlier RfC, atheism is commonly understood to involve allegiance to the philosophical position that there is no God. Agnostics don't believe in God either, but hold no belief one way or the other. It's up to him to say, not for us to deduce or interpret into what he has said. If we sanction editor interpretation, we will have men categorised as "bisexual" in WP if they say they had a couple of homosexual experiences in boarding school. --JN466 02:34, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg, there is an obvious logical contradiction in your statement 'While he didn't use the word himself, reliable sources have described him using exactly that word, "atheist"'. He either used the word, or he didn't. If you are aware of a source that says he did, please post it. As far as I am aware, he hasn't, and until he has, WP:BLPCAT is policy. As for "Jew", when Paxman asked him "Are you a Jew", he said, "Yes I am Jewish but I don't consider m...", and then Paxman interrupted him, asking, "A practicing Jew?", and he denied that. He has also said, explicitly, that he did not grow up in the Jewish tradition, or the Jewish community. According to the Guardian, he has never identified with the Jewish community", which is the inclusion criterion our own category definition gives for non-observant Jews. This is a BLP, and we should err on the side of caution. That applies both to "atheist" and "British Jew" categories. We either do such things by BLPCAT policy, which explicitly asks for self-identification, not identification in reliable sources, or we don't. --JN466 02:27, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
The statement about the "Jewish community" is irrelevant, as the inclusion criteria for all categories are WP:V and WP:NOR, not what the sentence at the top of the category happens to say on any particular day. The statement about denying being "practicing Jew" is also irrelevant, for reasons already abundantly stated above; everyone knows he doesn't practice the religion of Judaism, and we're not including any categories claiming or implying that he does. So, please don't waste time by bringing them up again, ok? Now, back to the relevant issues: Regarding being a Jew, again you have brought a source where he states quite clearly, "Yes I am Jewish", though, as we all know, he is quick to note that he doesn't practice Judaism. Regarding being atheist, he states "I don't believe in God personally but I have a great respect for those people who do"; see also Scott's point directly above. It's clear at this point that WP:BLP demands we include him in the Category:Jewish atheists. Now, what other categories should be be in? I would assume both Category:English Jews and Category:British atheists, ideally side-by-side. Any other relevant categories? Jayjg (talk) 03:48, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Please read WP:BLPCAT. WP:V is irrelevant without self-identification in a reliable source. Until he has called himself an atheist, as his brother has done, there is no basis in policy for adding the "Jewish atheist" or any other "atheist" cat. Policy asks for self-identification, and the article can live quite happily without these cats, honestly. As far as the ambiguity of the naked term "Jew" is concerned, this has been amply discussed. --JN466 03:59, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—please elaborate on the "ambiguity" that you see in the term Jew, especially as it relates to this article. Countless sources assert that Ed Miliband is a Jew, and Ed Miliband himself asserts that he is a Jew. What is the applicable "ambiguity" in this instance? Bus stop (talk) 04:19, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466, he's publicly self-identified as a "I'm Jewish" and "I don't believe in God"; WP:BLPCAT is fully satisfied for Category:Jewish atheists, Category:English Jews and Category:British atheists, so we're moving on from that. There's a consensus developing here, and WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT won't get you very far. The only issue left is the additional categories; do you have any to suggest? Jayjg (talk) 05:08, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree that both categories are appropriate. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:15, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I see no sign that "consensus is developing" here - it seems more likely that other editors who have a position on this have decided, for the time being, to spend their time more productively elsewhere. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:35, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Jayjg, just for reference, the definition of British Jew, involving the "maintaining of a connection to the Jewish community", which Miliband by his own assertion has never had, has stood for more than four years, and goes right back to the article's creation. Not believing in God is not the same as being an atheist; we had an RfC on that three weeks ago, and that appeared to me to be its outcome. It also appears to be the position of the atheism article you're linking to, which contains the sentence, "Today, about 2.3% of the world's population describes itself as atheist, while a further 11.9% is described as nonreligious" (sourced to Encyclopædia Britannica). That means only about 16% of people who don't believe in God identify themselves as atheists. If a consensus develops on either issue, I'll bow to it, but there haven't been a great many people posting here of late, and last time I looked Topperfalkon was as little inclined to subscribe to that consensus as I am, as were Ghmyrtle and Off2riorob. I generally think highly of you as a Wikipedian, but I think you'll readily admit that your judgment has been off a few times in regard to Jewish matters, at least in the eyes of your peers. --JN466 07:46, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—you say to Jayjg that, "your judgment has been off a few times in regard to Jewish matters". We are hardly discussing Jayjg. At issue are the sources supporting that Miliband is a Jew—and they are overwhelming. Unanimously sources say that Miliband is a Jew—you have not brought one source that suggests otherwise. Please correct me if I am wrong, and bring a source here which might suggest that Miliband is not a Jew.
You also mention the "British Jews" article. That article contains misinformation. You point out that an assertion has been there for "four years." That assertion has also been lacking a citation for four years: it happens to be incorrect that a Jew must "maintain a connection to the Jewish community" in order to be a Jew. From where would that be derived? Can you provide us with any source saying any such thing?
Wikipedia is not here to create reality. Sources are what matters. Miliband says, "I am a Jew." It doesn't matter one iota that he qualifies that with, "but not in the religious sense." He, Miliband, is saying the same thing about himself that sources are unanimously saying about him—that he is a secular Jew. Are you of the opinion that "secular Jew" equates with "not a Jew"? Please explain. Bus stop (talk) 14:20, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
  • If I may make a suggestion: It seems this discussion might potentially be interminable. If I e-mail Ed Miliband and enquire what he would prefer, would editors be prepared to abide by his self-identification if he replies? I can have him send his reply to OTRS. --JN466 08:14, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that would work. Even if he had time to give a response, I doubt if he has time to acquaint himself with WP policy - and we are bound by published sources. We could go to WP:RFC. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:36, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
We've already had one RFC that did next to nothing itself, I don't think another one is really going to make a great deal of difference. I'll re-affirm my support for Jayen's arguments so far though. Whilst I do consider Ed to be an atheist (a view I shall not change until he states otherwise) I have conceded that point on the basis of good editing standards and the desire to reach some kind of consensus to stop the constant back and forth bickering. In this instance I believe that not only is Category: British people of Jewish descent most applicable, but it's also the only reasonable middle-point between having the category the dissenting editors request and not having any at all.--Topperfalkon (talk) 22:37, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—you say, "In this instance I believe that not only is Category: British people of Jewish descent most applicable, but it's also the only reasonable middle-point between having the category the dissenting editors request and not having any at all." My question to you is: Why do you prefer Category:British people of Jewish descent for Ed Miliband instead of Category:British Jews? Please present your reasons. We should not be taking votes here. The reasoning behind the positions that editors take should be what matters. My reasoning behind my preference for Category:British Jews is that sources all say that Miliband is Jewish. Additionally we have confirmation from Miliband himself that he is a secular Jew. That, in a nutshell, is why I favor the category I mentioned. Can we please use this Talk page properly and present our reasons for our preferences in categories for Ed Miliband? I am asking you, or anyone supporting your view, to please present reasons for preferring Category:British people of Jewish descent over Category:British Jews. Bus stop (talk) 01:33, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. If some people wish to interpret "...people of Jewish descent" as "...Jews", that is a matter entirely for them. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:38, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle—you say, "If some people wish to interpret "...people of Jewish descent" as "...Jews", that is a matter entirely for them." My response to that is as follows: it shouldn't be necessary to "interpret "...people of Jewish descent" as "…Jews"". Nor are "people of Jewish descent" necessarily Jews. A person who disavowed their Jewish identity would not be a Jew. That person might be "of Jewish descent," but not a Jew. But in the case of Ed Miliband we do not have disavowal of Jewish identity. Or—is that your argument? Is it your stance that Miliband has disavowed, or denied, being a Jew? I don't think we are taking votes on whether or not Miliband is a Jew. He has said he's a Jew and every source that addresses that question says he is a Jew. What is missing here is a reason why some of you wish to categorize Miliband as if he were not a Jew. Is it because he is secular? That would clearly be a misunderstanding of Jews. Multitudes of Jews are secular. The argument is never heard that such people are not Jewish. Sources referring to Miliband simply call him a Jew. Yes, they make note of the fact that he is not religious. But never do sources assert that he is not Jewish. Therefore the onus is on those of you arguing that Milband is not Jewish to show some reason that the rest of us should be convinced that he is not Jewish. The category that I am arguing that Miliband should be in is Category:British Jews. Sources seem to support that completely. Apparently some of you prefer that he not be in that category but rather the Category:British people of Jewish descent. Please present a cogent argument as to why one category is preferred to another. My reason for preferring the Category:British Jews is because it is more specific, and therefore of greater usefulness to the reader. I believe placement in that category is completely supported by sources. If any of you disagree that placement in that category is completely supported by sources—please present that argument. Bus stop (talk) 00:08, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

arbitrary break 3

Topperfalkon, Ghmyrtle, JN466, your personal opinions about what Miliband is or is not aren't really relevant here, since they aren't based on policy, nor do they match what Miliband says. He's self-identified as Jewish, in more than one source. Not "of Jewish descent". Wikipedia must reflect that, per WP:BLP, and it actually will. All the arguing in the world won't affect that, and the only consensus that matters is the consensus of those making policy-based arguments, which doesn't include people claiming we cannot accept his own self-identification. Please review WP:NOR and WP:BLPCAT for more detail. Jayjg (talk) 02:15, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Let's look at what Miliband actually said:
Paxman: Are you a Jew?
Miliband: Yes, I'm Jewish, but I don't consider ...
Paxman (interrupts): A practising Jew?
Miliband: I'm not a practising Jew, no.
Paxman: Why not?
Miliband: I think it's partly because it wasn't the tradition in which I was brought up. My parents were part of a Left tradition, a sort of Left community if you like, not so much a Jewish tradition. And so, you know, I feel very kind of Jewish in terms of my family history, as I talked about yesterday [he had talked about his parents, both of Polish-Jewish heritage, coming to Britain as refugees in 1940, escaping the Nazis, and of how much he loved Britain for having welcomed them and given them a new life], but not ... I'm not a person, I don't consider myself a person of religious faith.
Paxman: So you don't believe in God?
Miliband: I don't believe in God, no. I have great respect for those people who do, um, and I think in a way it some... 'cause ... it might make life on earth easier if you ... if you do, but I'm not someone who believes in God.
He has also been quoted as saying, "Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense. I don't wish I had had a more religious upbringing but I have Jewish friends who were part of the Jewish community growing up, going to Jewish youth clubs and other things. I think I felt slightly jealous. My parents' community was the Left community."
Neither of these is a clear, unqualified self-identification. I am not actually aware of him ever having said "I am a Jew"; he said here he feels Jewish because of his family origins, and limited it to that, explicitly denying being a Jew in the religious or cultural sense. That's really all anyone in his position can do, if he has Jewish family origins, but doesn't identify as a Jew culturally and religiously. Under the Nazis, of course, none of that would have mattered, and Miliband would always have been "a Jew", just by dint of his birth; but that type of reasoning, which restricts social identity to genetics, is not the one we should seek to apply here. --JN466 03:26, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
The book "What is a Jew", by Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer and Rabbi Lawrence A. Hofman, addresses the question posed in its title in its opening chapter. Noting that it is hard to find a single definition of a Jew, it begins by describing the religious definition -- someone who accepts the faith of Judaism. It follows this up with a spiritual definition -- someone who looks to Jewish wisdom for answers to the big questions in life. It then gives a cultural definition: someone who without formal religious affiliation regards the "teachings of Judaism – its ethics, its folkways, its literature – as his or her own". Lastly, it gives the ethnic definition, saying that people used to be born as Jews; but noting the increasing number of converts to Judaism, as well as the increasing number of Jews who are "raised with no ethnic identity whatsoever", it concludes the ethnic definition "is going the way of the dinosaur", and that "in a sense all Jews are Jews by choice today": "A Jew is therefore a member of a people, by birth or by conversion, who chooses to share a common cultural heritage, a religious perspective, and a spiritual horizon derived uniquely from Jewish experience and Jewish wisdom." (This is, incidentally, quite close to what we have as our definition in "British Jews".) Miliband's statements above touch on several components of this definition, stating that they do not apply to him. --JN466 04:06, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────JN466—a secular Jew is still a Jew. Miliband can still be a Jew without practicing the religion. Millions of Jews do. Miliband did not deny he was a Jew—he affirmed he was a Jew. He said, "yes, I'm Jewish," in the audio interview, and he said, "Obviously I'm Jewish," in the print interview. In both instances he adds qualifiers, indicating that he does not practice the religion. So what? Millions of Jews in the world do not practice the religion. It is extremely commonplace. Perhaps 50% of Jews worldwide are non-practicing. This does not make them not Jewish. When he says that he is Jewish we should accept him at his word. We should not assume he is speaking figuratively. We have no basis on which to conclude that he is speaking in any way other than literally. Merely qualifying his assertion of Jewishness with the clarification that he is non-practicing does not constitute a denial, or a disavowal, of being a Jew. He could have done that easily if he wished to—he could have responded, "no, I don't consider myself a Jew." That would constitute a denial, or a disavowal. We do not have that. That is the threshold that must be crossed if you are to present us with a convincing argument that Miliband should be considered not Jewish. In my opinion you will not be likely to find such a quote. For you to find such a quote would constitute finding Miliband contradicting himself on what is likely a sensitive subject. His parents barely survived the Holocaust. When he says in the above two quotes that he is Jewish, I don't think those are likely to be emotionally empty words. He is not likely to contradict himself on such an emotionally-laden identity. Therefore we should accept his words at their most plain meaning. You are interpreting this too much and reaching unsupportable conclusions. You need sources to substantiate what you are saying. They should ideally be sources speaking directly about Miliband, or they should be Miliband speaking about himself. We presently have agreement between sources speaking about Miliband and Miliband speaking about himself. Therefore I do not think you have even begun to make a case that Miliband is not Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 06:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

You seem to think that "Jews" should be defined here as "people who Jews define as Jews". Why? "Jews" should be defined here as "people who the world as a whole defines as Jews". You refer to some people as having a "misunderstanding" of what it is to be a Jew. No - it is their understanding. It is not wrong, it is different. No group, whether it is Jews or any other group, have a right to define themselves in their own terms. What is important is how they are defined by well-informed people in general, regardless of whether they themselves are Jews or of Jewish descent. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:15, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Bus stop (cool user name ...), you are going by the ethnic, or genetic definition, aren't you? The book I quoted above makes clear that, at least in the view of its authors, that definition is outdated, and there is more to being a Jew than that. I understand him saying "I am Jewish" to refer to his family origins (Jewish descent). Culturally and religiously he doesn't identify as a Jew. --JN466 11:30, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle, JN466—I personally don't think we should be interested in obscure texts on Judaism. WP:RELIABLE says that, "Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article, and should be appropriate to the claims made." What matters here are two general realms of sources: 1. ) we are concerned with what sources other than Miliband have to say about Miliband, and 2. ) we are concerned about what Miliband has to say about himself. I think it is farfetched original research to attempt to apply some tidbit of commentary found in some text that is only tangentially related to the topic being addressed on this Talk page. There are ample sources addressing directly the topic of Miliband's Jewishness. Such sources take the form of Miliband's statements, and such sources take the form of primarily journalistic outlets following that politician's career. Sources external to Miliband all refer to him as Jewish. He himself says that he is Jewish but "not practicing." The phrase "not practicing" is not a denial of being Jewish. If he wanted to say that he were not Jewish he could have said that in a variety of ways. He says that he is Jewish but not practicing as a simple way of saying that religious ritual does not play a role in his life. But there is no implication of a disavowal of being Jewish. You are going far afield to try to make that case. Please find sources that "directly support the information as it is presented in an article." Thus far you have not presented any sources that directly support your thesis that Miliband should not be considered a Jew, but merely "of Jewish descent." The onus is on you to find and present such sources.
One more thing: the category for Miliband in accordance with presently available sources is Category:British Jews. You would need to bring to bear sources other than those presently available if you wished to present a credible argument that Miliband belonged in the category Category:British people of Jewish descent. That is because you have not presented the case that Miliband is not Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 16:23, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, he can't say that he is "not Jewish", because in terms of ethnic descent he is Jewish. By the way, I presented sources describing Miliband as being of Jewish descent earlier. [8][9][10][11][12].
I think there are several reasons why this dispute is so intractable.
  1. There are so many competing -- genetic, ethnic, cultural, religious -- definitions of the term Jew (we are not the first people who have stumbled over this; we even have an article Who is a Jew?).
  2. There is the present definition of British Jew, demanding ethnic descent and cultural identification, which doesn't apply to Miliband. (This definition is not accepted by some editors here.)
  3. There are the misgivings other editors here have that the category "British Jew" will be understood by the reader to imply a religious identification, which Miliband has expressly denied.
  • Now to be clear, as far as ethnic origin is concerned, we don't need self-identification. Reliable sources will do just fine; in terms of ethnic descent, he is Jewish. Both his parents were Jewish, by all accounts.
  • But when it comes to religious identity, WP:BLPCAT comes into play, and he has expressly denied identifying as a Jew, religiously.
  • He has also denied being a Jew culturally, which rules him out of British Jews, as presently defined. I note that the definition of Category:American Jews is different, and that we even categorise Madeleine Albright as an "American Jew", even though she was raised Catholic, is now an Episcopalian, and didn't even know her parents were Jewish until she was 60 years old!
As far as I am concerned, the problem needs sorting at the category level. --JN466 20:46, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
JN466—your argument is that Miliband is not Jewish but you have brought no sources to support that argument. You have provided only original research in support of your argument that Miliband is not Jewish. Yes you have found sources that refer to Miliband as being of Jewish origin. But bear in mind that the term of Jewish origin is not inconsistent with actually being Jewish. The majority of sources refer to Miliband as simply being Jewish—no source suggests that he might not be Jewish. So if you wish to make the argument that Miliband might not be Jewish you should bring sources. Miliband of course also says that he is Jewish. You say that he "can't say that he is 'not Jewish'". I believe that he could say that he is not Jewish but he chooses not to say that. His literal words should not to be overlooked. The category that he best belongs in is Category:British Jews as he is both British and Jewish according to reliable sources. You seem to be trying to build a case around Miliband's being a non-practicing Jew. But that case is made entirely of your own original research. Sources are not available providing parallel commentary to the original research that you are plying us with. This may be because Miliband provided them (the journalistic sources) with no reason to doubt his Jewishness. You are finding reason to doubt Miliband's Jewishness in the fact of his being a non-practicing Jew. Sources are to be assumed to be aware that Miliband is a non-practicing Jew. That they don't find the fact of his being non-practicing to be an impediment to calling him Jewish should provide us with guidance to go forward and place him in Category:British Jews. Bus stop (talk) 02:30, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Ghmrytle, JN466, it's very odd that you would keep bringing up the fact that he doesn't practice Judaism, or believe in God, as if it in any way cast doubt or confusion on the fact that he's Jewish. The category Jewish atheists, for example, exists for just this reason, as it's a common phenomenon. Please don't waste any more of our time on this point, since it's not relevant here. It's even more odd that you would bring your interpretation of books like "What is a Jew", by Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer, to help you decide if Miliband is Jewish. Does Kertzer mention Miliband? No? Irrelevant, then. Miliband says he's Jewish. Repeatedly. Not "of Jewish descent". "Jewish". WP:BLP demands we reflect that; you cannot deny him his own self-identification. Jayjg (talk) 21:44, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Please be careful not to assert undue weight to his .. I am jewish ..but .. comment in a minor comment in a couple of lines from a thousand interviews. Off2riorob (talk) 22:31, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
As Jayen pointed out earlier, Miliband has never said "I am a Jew." He has said that he is jewish, but not in a cultural or religious sense (which leaves only the ethnic sense). As per the now oft-thumped WP:BLPCAT and the definition of Category: British Jews itself Ed does not belong in that category. By categorising him as a Briton of Jewish descent we do not deny him any of his prior self-proclamation and we do our community and readers a service by defining him in what is currently the most technically accurate way. Stop making this more of a deal than it needs to be.--Topperfalkon (talk) 20:18, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—Miliband need not be Jewish in a way that meets your approval. What matters is whether sources say Miliband is Jewish and whether Miliband says that Miliband is Jewish—and both are constructive on this. You would need to find a source detracting from what the other sources are saying in this regard. If sources were to express reservations about calling Miliband a Jew (for any reason), then we would correspondingly be expected to have the same reservations about calling Miliband a Jew. But you have brought no sources suggesting that Miliband should not be considered a Jew. All sources unreservedly refer to and assert that Miliband is a Jew. Your personal reasoning regarding Miliband's level of Jewish religiosity is original research if sources do not corroborate your reasoning. I think it is obvious Miliband belongs in Category:British Jews. Bus stop (talk) 00:54, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, you've certainly clearly expressed your opinion. It seems there is no consensus to adopt your suggestion. In these situations it is often better to give up and do something else rather than endlessly repeat the same points. We get what you think, we just don't agree with you. --John (talk) 01:01, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but given the fact that no policy-based reasons for removing the category/categories have been given, and several policy-based reasons for adding have been given (primarily WP:BLP), in the end this supposed "consensus" isn't all that relevant. Jayjg (talk) 01:26, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────John—that is just the point. I am not expressing an opinion. Sources are what matter.

Here we have a source. The title of the article is "Proud Jew Ed strong on Israel." In the article we read:

"Now that Ed Miliband has been elected as the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party, what does this tell us about Labour and its Jewish constituency?"

When we skip down a few sentences we read:

"What does Ed's acceptance speech at the party conference last month tell us about his approach to his Jewishness and how - if at all - it will shape his leadership of the party?"

When we skip a few more sentences down in the article we read:

"In spite of his much-trumpeted atheism, Ed's Jewishness is obviously important to him. He seeks neither to hide nor to belittle it. In a conference speech of around 6,000 words, he devoted no less than 300 to a retelling of the story of how his Jewish parents had to flee Nazism, and to the "encouragement and the aspiration to succeed" that he had derived from the obviously caring Jewish home in which he had grown up."

There are many sources attesting to the fact that Ed Miliband is Jewish. He himself articulates without any reservations that he is Jewish. That he includes the fact that he is a "non-practicing" Jew does not negate his assertion and the assertion of a multitude of other sources that he is Jewish. All of those reliable sources are not troubled by Miliband's not being a "practicing" Jew. None of those sources find his "non-practicing" status an impediment to labeling him a Jew. Bus stop (talk) 01:41, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Your source is the Jewish Chronicle. I'm not making any comment about whether it is reliable generally, in journalistic terms - but is it a reliable, independent source when it comes to classifying people in terms that are accepted and understood by the global WP readership at large, as we are discussing here? In my view, most readers would judge that it does not have a neutral point of view on the matter. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:58, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, this crap again? Tell me, Ghmyrtle -- in what way, exactly, would the Jewish Chronicle depart from "neutrality" on this matter? Your point is vague and I beg to know exactly what you are saying. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I should have used the word "objective" rather than "neutral", for which I apologise. As has been discussed, most non-Jewish people would expect someone described or classified as a Jew to have certain religious beliefs. Jews themselves see things differently. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:22, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I fail to see how "objective" would have been any better. You are still being vague. How exactly do Jews see things, then? Do we see them all in the same way? It's really quite a generalization. To generalize your own point: perhaps we would want to refrain from using British newspapers as sources on Britishness. If there is any content in your post that isn't downright idiotic along these lines, do let us know. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:33, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Please WP:AGF. Describing someone's contributions as "downright idiotic" probably doesn't progress this discussion. It's obvious that we should agree to differ. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:38, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm trying not to assume anything -- that's why I'm asking. Should we stop using British sources on Britishness? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Certainly, outside opinions on "Britishness" have a great deal of value, and should be given great weight in any discussion of the subject. But, British opinions should not be ignored, and I'm not suggesting that the Jewish Chronicle's opinion on this should be ignored - just that it should be taken in context. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:47, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
But are British sources presumptively lacking neutrality or objectivity? And I'm still waiting to hear precisely in what way the JC would lack objectivity or neutrality. What exactly is the problem? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 09:02, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Rather than repeating ourselves ad infinitum, all I can do is refer you to User:John's response to User:Bus stop above. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:16, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I suggest that this response emerges from the fact that you have nothing defensible to say in response to my questions. You have made insinuations about Jewish sources that you are unwilling to specify. You will no doubt persist in opposing the proposed edit, but the grounds for this are unclear at best. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 09:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
As per your previous point Nomosk, British media sources would have a considerable lack of objectivity when it comes to Britishness (note the distinction between Britishness and British affairs, which British sources are far more suited for). In fact I would and often do take great offence to British media sources imposing their own definitions on Britishness, because it's often done with an agenda in mind. A Jewish source extolling the virtues of a political party leader having jewish heritage is obviously going to work in their favour if they mask or detract from his less 'palatable' elements, such as his non-observance. He also doesn't come from a 'Jewish home' because neither of his parents were practicing Jews or members of the Jewish community either (not to say it wasn't a loving home though, which is easily possible).--Topperfalkon (talk) 13:04, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon, again, we are not interested in your personal opinions about Miliband's Jewishness, or whether he comes from a Jewish home, or even your personal vies about whether or not the JC qualifies as a WP:RS. Your personal views on these matters, which is essentially all you have expressed over the past two weeks, are irrelevant, and are, in fact, a violation of WP:BLP. All that matters here is policy, which includes WP:V, what reliable sources say, and the clear statements of the candidate himself. Your own viewpoints on Miliband's Jewishness (and the JC for that matter) carry no weight whatsoever in this discussion, as they are unrelated to policy. Jayjg (talk) 13:40, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, this is the first time I brought up JC and questioned its reliability. I agree that we should be working off policy, but as it is there is no consensus on this page over the particular interpretation of policy that is correct, hence this long discussion--Topperfalkon (talk) 14:26, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle, Topperfalkon—you are presenting an argument that Miliband should not be in Category:British Jews. Sources have been brought that Miliband is Jewish. Yet sources have not been brought that Miliband is not Jewish. Why? Do you have no sources to support your augment? Sources have been presented on this Talk page attesting to the fact that Miliband is Jewish. Why shouldn't he be placed in Category:British Jews? Do sources support that Miliband is not a British Jew? If so, please present them here on this Talk page. If there is a conflict between what sources assert—we will have to address that at that time. But thus far not one source has been presented which might argue against Miliband's placement in Category:British Jews. I am perfectly willing to abide by the implications of your sources if you can bring ones that shed doubt on Miliband's Jewishness. But I am unwilling to neglect to follow what thus far has been an unbroken stream of support in sources for Miliband being a Jew—albeit a non-practicing one. Sources take into account that Miliband is "non-practicing." Even if he is an "atheist," as there is reason to believe—sources take into account that he might be that too. Nevertheless sources unreservedly refer to him as a Jew. You can't argue against an overwhelming supply of sources saying Miliband is a Jew if you are going to bring no sources of your own to support a different point of view—without sources detracting from Miliband's Jewishness it would be my contention that Category:British Jews is the appropriate category for Miliband. Bus stop (talk) 15:57, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Per Chris Connor at the top of this page, I am thinking of taking this off my watchlist as we currently have 174 kB of largely circular discussion about ethnic categories here. We can safely take it as read that there is currently no consensus to label Miliband in this way. If folks are serious about changing this, I suggest raising the matter centrally. I would ask those wishing to include ethnic profiling info like this on a living person, why is it so important to you to label this person in this way? I'm not looking for answers here, but trying to give you the opportunity to reflect on your world view. --John (talk) 16:13, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Indeed. I simply supported Category:British people of Jewish descent as a 'happy' middle-ground between having no cats and labelling him ambiguously as a British Jew. Adding him to category Jewish atheists makes no sense given prior discussion over the infobox, otherwise that is a barely reasonable alternative as well.--Topperfalkon (talk) 17:05, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
John—it can't be that only one side in this discussion is required to bring sources. It is not that the discussion is "largely circular" but that one side brings no sources. Opinion and original research don't count for much. Let those arguing for excluding Miliband from Category:British Jews bring sources to support their argument. Bus stop (talk) 17:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Both sides of the discussion are using the same sources. The issue is the usage of those sources. Yourself and others are arguing that we go to the letter of sources and fill the article with ambiguous categorisations (which resulted in the infobox entry being removed). Myself and others are asking for a common-sense/accuracy approach, to still give information whilst not giving the potential to mislead readers. Personally, although I don't believe it should be used as a valid point in this discussion because of WP:NOR, I think Ed would rather have something that's evidently difficult for him to define be reduced to less ambiguous terms than have someone come to an opinion on him based on affiliations he doesn't have.--Topperfalkon (talk) 17:39, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
John, Topperfalkon—The question is posed by John if we should be "ethnic profiling info like this on a living person." We really shouldn't be deciding if someone is Jewish. We should be allowing reliable sources to decide that for us. You are arguing for excluding a Jewish man from Category:British Jews. We should not even be contemplating whether Miliband is Jewish or not. This is a decision best left to reliable sources. There is no source saying Miliband is not Jewish, or at least you have not brought one to this discussion. Thus it is clear—"Jewish Briton" belongs in Category:British Jews. If you have any argument against that you should be bringing sources. Topperfalkon asks if we "go to the letter of sources." Yes, we "go to the letter of sources." We do not selectively overlook the material directly attesting to Miliband being Jewish. Topperfalkon makes reference to "ambiguous categorizations." In your personal opinion the result of following "the letter of sources" may be "ambiguous categorizations" but policy does not allow for editorial opinion to override the conclusion of sources. The clear and unwavering assertion by sources is that Miliband is Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 18:37, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
No, the only clear and unwavering assertion (the one that comes from Ed himself) is that he is Jewish only by ethnicity, that he is specifically not religiously or culturally Jewish. Hence referring to him explicitly as a Jew is ambiguous and misleading. It is also Wikipedia policy to not follow policy for policy's sake. If there is a significant argument that adding a category will cause confusion or otherwise degrade the quality of Wikipedia then you do not add it. I am quite happy to have neither, as it is the content of the article itself that should be our primary concern. I offered (along with other editors) Category: British people of Jewish descent as a compromise.--Topperfalkon (talk) 18:46, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
This is original research: "that he is Jewish only by ethnicity, that he is specifically not religiously or culturally Jewish." Please bring a source for that. He says that he is Jewish, as do all other sources, therefore he clearly belongs in Category:British Jews. Bus stop (talk) 19:02, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
"Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense. I don't wish I had had a more religious upbringing but I have Jewish friends who were part of the Jewish community growing up, going to Jewish youth clubs and other things. I think I felt slightly jealous. My parents' community was the Left community.". It's in the article, with the reference. He's not religiously Jewish, nor is he culturally Jewish. Both by his own admission. The source 'clearly' shows that Ed identifies as ethnically Jewish, but it also 'clearly' shows he is neither religiously nor culturally affiliated to Jews. Myself and the other editors argue that the term British Jew, as the wikipedia article agrees, would imply at least one of those two is true. But we have no evidence to that effect and some evidence pointing to the contrary.--Topperfalkon (talk) 19:15, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────See, this is what I meant by circular argumnents, you are just talking past each other and repeating the same old points and the same old conclusions over and over. I'm going to unwatchlist this, on the assumption that no consensus has been found or will be found in the near future to include ethnic categories or infobox entries on Miliband (apart from the Polish one which there is no apparent controversy over). I won't make any other comments here unless new evidence (read: new sources) appears. I will aggressively take out anything which is added to the article that in my view contravenes BLP and for which no clear consensus has been achieved here. You can ping me in user talk if anything new comes up. Cheers. --John (talk) 22:46, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

John, Topperfalkon—as concerns Topperfalkon's post immediately above, Miliband does not say that he's not Jewish. That is what I was asking Topperfalkon about: I asked Topperfalkon if he could show me an instance in which Miliband said that he was not Jewish. In the citation provided by Topperfalkon, Miliband says, "Obviously I'm Jewish." That statement by Miliband suffices for qualifying him (Miliband) for placement in Category:British Jews. Additional citations come in daily confirming the same. Here is a source which says the following:
"Ironically, the first defining characteristic that pundits point to when describing Miliband is that he is Jewish. Indeed, he is the first Jew to lead the Labour Party."
I believe the above news release is less than 24 hours old.
It is really not an editorial decision as to whether Miliband is Jewish or not. Sources decide that for us, and sources confirm conclusively that Miliband is Jewish, therefore it is obvious that the individual should be categorized accordingly. Bus stop (talk) 12:13, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Yet your source suggests that Ed wouldn't call himself Jewish. This is why we have suggested the alternative category. It isn't clear cut, and there isn't any consensus for inclusion.--Topperfalkon (talk) 13:33, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—where does the source say that? Please provide the quote you are referring to. Bus stop (talk) 14:05, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
More to the point, it is clearly an opinion piece, and not a reliable source in any way. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:11, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
"“Jewish” would certainly not be the primary moniker that Miliband would apply to himself. He declares himself to be an atheist and has had virtually no contact with either the Jewish community or Israel."
I believe it was in the sentence directly following your quote. Also, Ghmyrtle is correct, and the suggestion in the quote doesn't fit with the (working) definition of British Jews on the Wikipedia article that the category references.--Topperfalkon (talk) 14:23, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

arbitrary break 4

Topperfalkon—he need not consider Jewish the primary moniker that he would apply to himself.

The following sentence does not indicate that Miliband is not Jewish:

"“Jewish” would certainly not be the primary moniker that Miliband would apply to himself."

Jewish might not be the primary moniker Miliband would apply to himself but he is nevertheless Jewish. Sources state this to be the case. Even when this source states that Jewish is not the primary moniker Miliband would apply to himself, the source does not say that Miliband is not Jewish. This source is only stating that which it is stating. It is stating nothing more than it is stating. And it is stating nothing other than what it is stating. In this instance the source is saying that the primary moniker by which Miliband identifies is some moniker other than Jewish. That moniker might be "British." That moniker might be "father." That moniker might be "human being"—the source does not specify what Miliband's primary moniker might be. But what the source does not do is say that Miliband is not Jewish. You have to be careful not to engage in original research. We have to be careful not to extract from sources material that is not in the source in the first place.

I think this source adequately verifies that Miliband is Jewish:

"Ironically, the first defining characteristic that pundits point to when describing Miliband is that he is Jewish. Indeed, he is the first Jew to lead the Labour Party."

Many sources state that Miliband is Jewish. This one is sufficient: "…he is Jewish. Indeed, he is the first Jew to lead the Labour Party." Bus stop (talk) 17:02, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

You haven't addressed the point that that source is clearly not a reliable one. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:19, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
No need to, since it's entirely reliable - on top of the fact that he self-identifies that way. Please don't continually bring up refuted claims. Jayjg (talk) 00:34, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I remember us discussing a while ago how self-identification was the more important thing, how strange. Regardless of which, as Ghmyrtle again states, you haven't given us any reason to believe the source is reliable. Provide a reliable source that shows that Ed is both Jewish to an extent to be unambiguous and personally identifies himself as such.--Topperfalkon (talk) 20:28, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle, Topperfalkon—we've been over this ground before. All arguments that Miliband is not Jewish are without merit. If reliable sources say that Miliband is Jewish, we can say that Miliband is Jewish. In this case all sources without exception say that Miliband is Jewish. You have brought not one source which says that Miliband is not Jewish. Bear in mind that original research does not play a part in these decisions. Therefore you need not agree that the Jew that Miliband is sits well with you. You are entitled to your own thoughts. But the opinions of editors should not interfere with adhering to what reliable sources say, and they all say that Miliband is Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 16:48, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, listen carefully. I don't care about Wikipedia policy. I care about Wikipedia being as accurate, truthful, useful and unambiguous as possible. Policy is only there to guide that process, not shape it. You can chuck any amount of WP policy at me and I'll just chuck WP:IAR back at you. You hide behind policy at every point of this discussion rather than addressing our (very legitimate) concerns. Policy is no substitute for common sense, and that's exactly why we have WP:IAR. Now, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong. But what I am saying is that resorting to policy at every turn is not a legitimate response to our concerns. Either respond to our concerns and continue the discussion that way or find something else to do, because I'm getting bored of the circular arguments. Thank you.--Topperfalkon (talk) 21:35, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
This strikes me as a paradigmatic instance of disruptive editing. Advising other editors that it is illegitimate to invoke policy seems particularly inappropriate. Your own views on what is "accurate" are decidedly irrelevant (as are mine), as you surely know. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 22:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Topperfalkon—you say, "Policy is no substitute for common sense, and that's exactly why we have WP:IAR." Wouldn't WP:IAR be a "rule?" You say that I "hide behind policy at every point of this discussion rather than addressing our (very legitimate) concerns." Wouldn't you be hiding behind policy in your invocation of WP:IAR? All sources say Miliband is a Jew. WP:VERIFY says that, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." In the body of the article it should say that "Miliband is the first Jewish leader of the Labour party." As well, Miliband should be listed in Category:British Jews. Bus stop (talk) 23:19, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I am asking you to recognise our concerns and respond to them. I have done this several times. I have not got a straight answer to my requests. As for WP:IAR, it is simply there to remind editors what we're here for, making a good encyclopaedia. Now, drop the whole sources thing for the moment, and respond to our concerns. I'm not sure what particular source you're referring to here, but the argument has already been made that Jewish news sources aren't necessarily reliable sources in this instance. And Nomo, I am hardly being disruptive. If anything I am trying to be consistent with previous discussion regarding the infobox. It makes no sense to add something that increases ambiguity in an article when something that would have clarified it quite easily has recently been removed despite fulfilling WP:RS.--Topperfalkon (talk) 00:03, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Your concerns have been recognized, but they're still not policy based, and they still violate WP:BLP. When you say (above) I don't care about Wikipedia policy, it's entirely believable, since you've shown utter disregard for it here. Your personal view that adding the category demanded by BLP "adds ambiguity" is entirely a personal view, unrelated to the reality of Category:Jewish atheists. Adding the appropriate Jewish category, is, to user your words, completely "accurate, truthful, useful", and you can't deprive Miliband of his self-proclaimed identity. You can keep arguing your view, and even believing it, but this really is getting disruptive. You've made your points, but we're approaching the end of this long, hard row here, and you'll have to bow to policy, common sense, and Miliband's own statements. Jayjg (talk) 00:34, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Topperfalkon—you say, "Jewish news sources aren't necessarily reliable sources in this instance." Why not? I should think any reliable source would be a reliable source. Why wouldn't a Jewish reliable source be a reliable source? Bus stop (talk) 00:26, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. On the contrary, they'd likely be more reliable, since they'd be far better informed and knowledgeable on the intricacies of the subject. Also, Topperfalkon, when you say "Jewish sources" aren't necessarily reliable sources in this instance, are you referring to Miliband's own statements? Jayjg (talk) 00:36, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
The material in this article just like the material in plenty of other articles depicts Miliband as Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 16:25, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Good find. He does say in that interview with the Jewish Chronicle, “My Jewish identity was such a substantial part of my upbringing that it informs what I am;” that is a clear statement of self-identification and cultural influence. While it contradicts some of what he said earlier, for me that interview shifts the balance toward including him in Category:British Jews, rather than Category:British people of Jewish descent. How do you see it, Ghmyrtle, Topperfalkon, Off2riorob? --JN466 23:29, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no contradiction. He said in earlier sources that he was Jewish, and he says in this source that he is Jewish. Bus stop (talk) 12:30, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Just noting that, within the past few days, User:Jayjg has changed the definition of British Jews, here, and User:Jayen466 has added a new definition at Category:British Jews, here. I don't think that moves like that - without any discussion on the talk pages - are helpful to this discussion. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:55, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Ghmyrtle—British Jews contained the language "who maintain a connection to the Jewish community." I don't think that derives from anything. I find it to be an arbitrary restriction. I had placed a request for a citation on that.[13]. Also, I have removed Jayen466's language which he added to Category:British Jews. It too seems to be of arbitrary and questionable derivation.[14]. In my opinion, for inclusion in Category:British Jews, a person should be established satisfactorily by reliable sources as being Jewish (and British, of course). In my opinion, we leave it up to sources, and we don't engage in the analysis of Jewish identity that some have advocated for. Bus stop (talk) 17:52, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
To begin with, the definitions used in the article "British Jews" or the "Category:British Jews" are irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion. Wikipiedia articles and categories are unreliable sources, and therefore what is on those pages cannot be used to determine anything about Miliband's Jewishness or atheism. This has been explained before, but as editors here still keep referring to them, I hope this statement here will put a final end to those irrelevancies. In addition, I haven't "changed the definition of British Jews" - that would be absurdly beyond the powers of any person to do. All I've done is remove unsourced definitions created by Wikipedians. A "British Jew" isn't defined in some way completely and arbitrarily differently way from a "French Jew" or an "Australian Jew" or an "Argentinian Jew", aside from the fact that they live in or are citizens of different countries. British Jews are Jews who are British. It may seem tautological, but that's about all we can say; for anything else, we rely on reliable sources, not the personal views of Wikipedians. Jayjg (talk) 18:44, 7 November 2010 (UTC)


IMO he is indisputably a British person of Jewish descent, but the claim that he is a British Jew is imo undue, as the only connection he has to Jewishness is racial. A couple of comments that yes I am Jewish but... do not make the claim less undue, he fits well in the same cat as Peter Mandelson and Michael Howard, both non religious and not involved in Judaism at all. Off2riorob (talk) 18:08, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

He himself says he's Jewish. So, "undue" really doesn't apply here. Jayjg (talk) 07:12, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, he has commented, I am Jewish , but....bla ... OF course this comment should not be considered a self declaration of that he considers himself a Jewish person but simply that he respects his historic racial identity. That does not make him the Jewish leader of the British Labour party. Off2riorob (talk) 17:06, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
More original research regarding what is in the sources... Regarding "Jewish leader of the Labour Party": as I noted clearly above, my intention was to add "first Jewish leader of the Labour Party" (as per reliable sources) and I corrected the omission of "first" in short order. Your repeated misrepresentation of the edit is tendentious and disruptive and if you persist along these lines we will be back at a noticeboard. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:17, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
He's commented he's Jewish, but not religious. That's pretty common. So what? He could be Greek, but not religious too - not a follower of Greek Orthodoxy. No big deal. We go with what reliable sources say. Jayjg (talk) 18:48, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
We have already rejected him from the atheist cat so is it also undue to add him the the jewish atheist cat. Off2riorob (talk) 22:27, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Um, no, "we" haven't. Jayjg (talk) 13:34, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Ed Miliband has said that he does not believe in God, but has not to date described himself as an atheist. For those who appear to think the two are the same: according to Encyclopædia Britannica, atheists make up only about 16% of non-believers in Europe. The remainder are classified as "Nonreligious (agnostics): Persons professing no religion, nonbelievers, agnostics, freethinkers, uninterested, or dereligionized secularists indifferent to all religion but not militantly so." --JN466 15:56, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Are you talking about non-believers in God, or non-believers in religion? An agnostic, for example, is not someone who doesn't believe in God, it's someone who doesn't know or have an opinion. Jayjg (talk) 00:24, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Generally, Agnostics don't believe in God, and only a fraction of those who say they don't believe in God self-identify as atheists. --JN466 22:54, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Why would the fact that many agnostics do not believe in God be relevant, though? We're talking about atheists. Jayjg (talk) 18:33, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Because all he is on record as saying is that he does not believe in God. And the above sources demonstrate in abundance that not everyone who doesn't believe in God self-identifies as an atheist. --JN466 22:20, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, this was a push in wikilawyering by a few stubborn users contrary to what reliable sources say, and that should have been aborted early on. Hekerui (talk) 22:38, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:BLPCAT requires self-identification. We should not put him in an atheist category unless and until he has self-identified as such, using that word, which he may do any day (or not). We have good sources vouching for the fact that only a fraction of those who say they don't believe in God self-identify as atheists, so the leap from "I don't believe in God personally" to "I am an atheist" is one that we have no good reason to make for him. --JN466 23:41, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
We don't require identical wording for WP:BLPCAT, synonyms are fine too.
  • atheist - "one who believes that there is no deity". Merriam-Webster dictionary.
  • atheist - "a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods". Oxford dictionary.
Are you now going to protest that "deity" and "God" aren't the exact same word? Reliable sources certainly don't; they clearly understood his statement that he doesn't believe in God as being synonymous with declaring himself an atheist. Here are just a small sampling of them:
And if you want to point out that the last source is merely an opinion column, I would point out in turn that it is by John Milbank, Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham, so he'd be fairly well qualified to judge these things. As noted, the time for this disruptive wikilawyering has come to an end. Jayjg (talk) 18:33, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
You need a self-identification as an "atheist" per BLPCAT, and you don't have one to date. Religion is treated the same as sexuality in Wikipedia -- dozens of sources may call someone bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual, satanist, Scientologist, ... and it does not matter one whit. That is why Kevin Spacey, among others, is not categorised as gay; there was even a British government source that called him gay at one point. Nope. Just nope. Take it to mediation if you like. --JN466 22:18, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

needs a reliable citation and replacing

After a brief career in television journalism, Miliband became a speechwriter and researcher for Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Harriet Harman in 1993

Youreallycan 15:50, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Ed Miliband: I don't believe in God". The Daily Telegraph. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.