Talk:Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws

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Her Ladyship's "Modesty"[edit]

"Her home page modestly describes her as the nation's favourite Portia and claims that her unique skills as an advocate and social reformer have taken her into many different fields of activity.

Clearly Lady Kennedy is SUPREMELY modest on her website. I reckon this is a joke on the wiki entry. --Jason Hughes 13:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Page Move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:13, 22 January 2011 (UTC)


Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The ShawsHelena Kennedy — per WP:COMMONNAME.

The common name of the subject is simply Helena Kennedy. Until such a time becomes that she is commonly known by the ennobled title the page must remain at the common name.--Lucy-marie (talk) 17:32, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be some sort of miscounting going on in Google's brain - when you add a word like "lawyer" or "human rights" to the search, the count for Helena goes significantly up (not sure how that's possible), while the count for Baroness goes right down. But more to the point, put the current title in with civil liberties and exclude Wikipedia, and you get the grand total of... five hits. This is simply not what she's called in the real world outside of peerage registers.--Kotniski (talk) 10:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Well when I read "Eve Was Framed" it had Helena Kennedy on the cover. PatGallacher (talk) 03:23, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
    Unsurprising that the book cover didn't use her title, since she didn't have one until 4 years after it was published. As above, the test in WP:NCPEER is to use title unless they are "almost exclusively known by their personal names". Do you have any evidence that this is the case? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 09:55, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
The other way of looking at this is, is the current title the commonly used name which she goes by and if not then what is the commonly used and most unambiguous and least confusing title to use. Also I do not believe the ennobled title is needed for disambiguation purposes.I say simply moving the page to this title is wrong unless there is evidence in the first place that the page move was needed, relevant, unambiguous, and non-confusing. I do not believe the page move meets any of those conditions.--Lucy-marie (talk) 10:29, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Your suggested "other way of looking at this" does not conform to nolicy. Try reading the policy at Wikipedia:Article titles, to which you have been pointed before. This is one of about 60 topic areas where common name does not apply on its own, so you are once again applying the wrong tests. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:21, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
All it is is the same argument you have used given from the other point of view. By simply moving the pages first without doing any move requests is hypocritical. Then simply to say i am following this convention, even though I haven't proved these moves as uncontroversial and haven’t proved that this convention (not policy) is supported by the wider community and is up to date, is at best naïve and at worst obstructively hypocritical. Either the policies are all applied uniformly or they are changed by wider community consensus. Please also stop applying this without also applying common-sense.--Lucy-marie (talk) 11:47, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Common sense tells me that if we are to have any stability in article names, we follow policy and guidelines to ensure a consistent approach. Since you don't like either COMMONNAME or NCPEER, go off and try to change them ... and when that process is finished, we can review this article's title in against whatever policy or guidelines then apply.
Since you also seem to have a wider problem with Wikipedia:Article titles#Explicit_conventions, you shoukd probbaly try to get that section deleted. Let is know how you get on. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:12, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I think the bigger problem here is the obsession with peerage titles by a small number of Wikipedia users and thier attempt to ignore move requests procedure and push thier POV over common sense naming of articles.--Lucy-marie (talk) 12:16, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Lucy-marie, after your bouts of move-warring, you should tread carefully there. But if you want to make complaints, go ahead.
In the meantime, try focusing on the subject of this discussion, which falls within the guidelines that currently exist, not whatever guidelines you might like to see. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:46, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Please remember that there is more than one policy and more than one guideline here on Wikipedia. Please also remember to apply common sense in the application of policies and guidelines. Also commenting on the content only is a two way street which must be undertaken by all editors.--Lucy-marie (talk) 12:51, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, NCPEER is not law (I doubt it even has consensus among editors as a whole, except for peerage fanatics). No disambiguation is needed here, so we use her common name, which is certainly not the current title.--Kotniski (talk) 10:53, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
    Per Wikipedia:Article titles#Explicit conventions, it is policy to following subject-specific naming conventions. By insisting on common name you are cherry-picking one part of Wikipedia:Article titles and ignoring the fact that the same policy document mandates that in this case we follow WP:NCPEER. If you want to get rid of WP:NCPEER, you are free to propose its abolition, but until then I-don't-like-the-guideline-so-I'll=ignore-it is not a valid argument.
    The games you play above with google are really rather pointless. Common usage is split between her "Helena Kennedy" and "Baroness Kennedy", and since neither is dominant she doesn't become an exception to the rule. Since "Baroness Kennedy" is a short form of her name, we use the formal title. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Please don't wikilawyer. We're not bound by any rules if they don't benefit anyone. My Google results show that Helena Kennedy is much more common (and hence recognizable) than Baroness Kennedy, and the full form you want to use as the article title doesn't even figure. Her latest(?) book ("Just Law") also says plain Helena Kennedy on the cover. This is how she's known to the public - by using the long form as the article title we not only confuse people as to who the article's about, but also misinform them as to how she's normally referred to.--Kotniski (talk) 11:27, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Kotniski sums this up perfectly if there is a genuine concensus amongst editors please can you prove that their is a genuine concensus and not just a consuensus amongst "peerage fanatics" as Kotniski puts it.--Lucy-marie (talk) 11:26, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
It's spelt "consensus" ;) --Kotniski (talk) 11:28, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
@Kotniski:I'm not wikilawyering, just following guidelines which have been drawn up in accordance with policy to ensure a consistent approach to naming a set of articles. I posted google results above which show a roughly 50:50 split between "Helena Kennedy" and "Baroness Kennedy", and which I am quite satisfied are perfectly reasonable tests for the usage of her name in the many fields in which she operates. Your selective searches are an interesting exercise, but amount to cheery-picking some of many keywords which could be associated with her. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:02, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
@Lucy-marie. The guidelines stand unless and until they are modified or overturned; if you want to try that, go ahead, but don't just unilaterally ignore them because it suits you, as you did with WP:COMMONNAME. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:02, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
You seem to be dismissive of my attempts to initate a discussion just because you disagree with a possible outcome.--Lucy-marie (talk) 12:03, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
No, Lucy, I am dismissive of your attempts because your arguments are dishonest. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:14, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Anyone can argue to ignore a guideline, just as anyone can argue to follow it - it's not "unilateral" (and certainly not "dishonest") except in as much as all arguments are unilateral (and they get put in the pot together to form a multilateral consensus). This particular guideline is not even a particularly accurate description of practice, let alone of consensus (which doesn't exist) - Margaret Thatcher is very often called Baroness Thatcher, yet her article is uncontroversially titled with just her name (and there are many other examples like that). --Kotniski (talk) 12:16, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Can you please provide concrete proof of prolonged and widespread dishonesty and not innuendo and suspicion on your behalf all erroneously based in relation to the moving of one page you dislike. If you cannot please withdraw the defamatory comments claiming I am dishonest. Also could you if you are to continue this strand of discussion and your personal comments directed towards me please do so on my personal user talk page and not on this unrelated move request.--Lucy-marie (talk) 12:26, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Lucy, there's no innuendo, and no suspicion. I have explained this to you at least a dozen times before. You completely ignored COMMONNAME when you moved Strathclyde, and you not suggested any other policy or guideline which justified that move ... but up above you write that "either the policies are all applied uniformly or they are changed by wider community consensus".
That's blatantly dishonest, and it is important that others interested in this discussion should be aware of it. If you want to ignore policy when it suits you, then don't demand that it be "applied uniformly". Your choice. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:01, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
As I see no actual proof just more conjecture, innuendo and suspicion. Also still no justification of the defeamtory statements above.--13:34, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
As I have politely requested please continue this personal discussion on my personal user talk page.--Lucy-marie (talk) 13:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
The proof is in your renaming of Strathclyde, contrary to the policy you say here be "applied uniformly". --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:49, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
That is not proof it is simply your obsessive suspicion, please continue this on my personal talk page here --Lucy-marie (talk) 13:53, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
As you well know, the proof is in the two diffs [1][2] of where you removed the peerage title from the article name of a hereditary peer, to a format which completely excludes the word by which he is best known "Strathyclyde". That's why your assertion here that COMMONNAME trumps all is dishonest: you ignored COMMONNAME when it suited you. In this case you made a nomination on the basis of what you claimed the COMMONNAME excluded the title, but you offered no evidence, and I have produced two sets of evidence which show the opposite. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 05:34, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment I think the "almost exclusively" is being quoted out of context. Here is what the relevant section says in full:

"Some peers who are almost exclusively known by their personal names have their articles so titled, e.g. Bertrand Russell (not "Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell"). The same applies to many well-known politicians who only received a title after they retired: Anthony Eden (not "Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon"), Margaret Thatcher (not "Margaret Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher"). An exception is where the peerage title is useful for disambiguation, e.g. Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury."

So, although this could be slightly clearer, we could be dealing with two issues here. With hereditary peers, it is exceptional to refer to them by their ordinary name, although Bertrand Russell is an example. With life peers who were only given their title after they achieved fame it is quite normal to use their ordinary name. I suggest Helena Kennedy comes into the latter category. BTW, has "Eve Was Framed" been reprinted since her peerage? PatGallacher (talk) 20:41, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

The Earldom of Avon is a hereditary peerage; the difference between Russell and Eden is that Russell was not primarily a politician. The question whether Baroness Kennedy is best known as Helena Kennedy or as Lady Kennedy - and how much difference there is - should be settled by seeing what reliable sources call her. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:49, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
There is a 2005 Penguin reprint of Eve was Framed, but I have no access to it; one inconvenience of this article is that it doesn't include the subject's elevation; a thing of some importance for an active politician. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
@PMAnderson and PatGallacher, the one thing that Kennedy is very unlikely to be known as is "Lady Kennedy". Women who are peers in their own right as known as "Baroness", "Countess", etc even in the Lords chamber, to distinguish the from the wives of male peers who are known as "Lady X".
Most life peers have been in some way notable before getting their title, although many have not been. However, those such as Kennedy who were notable before receiving their title usually use it a lot once they have it. In the case of Kennedy, consider for example the 150 ghits on the BBC website for "Baroness Kennedy". There are also 262 ghits on the BBC website for "Helena Kennedy", but note that 100 of those are for "Baroness Helena Kennedy". There will be some duplication in there, but we have 252 ghits for either Baroness Kennedy or Baroness Helena Kennedy, versus only 152 which call call her "Helena Kennedy" and don't use the title.
On that basis, the title is used more often than not. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:54, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Support The proposed title beats the current title on the following WP:TITLE principle criteria: conciseness and precision (it's not overprecise), and arguably naturalness. I'd say it's a wash on recognizability (which is supposed to be determined from the perspective of people familiar, thought maybe not expert, with the topic). That is, the extra title stuff does not make the title more, nor less, recognizable to people familiar with her. As for consistency, WP:PEERAGE does not seem to have consensus support, and articles like this are an excellent example of why we shouldn't follow it mindlessly. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:19, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

If you think that a guideline does not have consensus support then seek support for changing it, rather than unilaterally pronouncing it dead because two other editors appear to agree with you. You denounce all such guidelines, but they exist per explicit policy at Wikipedia:Article titles#Explicit conventions ... so your !vote should be discounted by the closing admin as not founded in policy.
Your example of "people familiar, though maybe not expert, with the topic" is important. Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws is the single most rebellious peer in the Lords, and anyone following reports of proceedings in the House of Lords will see her referred to as "Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws", and not as "Helena Kennedy", because first names are never used in the Lords. (See for example PublicWhip.org.uk or TheyWorkForYou.com and of course Hansard itself). That's why you are deeply wrong to say that use of title is irrelevant: the peerage title will frequently be the only name by which she is referred to in political reports, and the bare name "Helena Kennedy" does not match the name by which many people will encounter her as "Baroness Kennedy" or "Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws". Similarly, calling her only "Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws" would be unhelpful those who have encountered her only as "Helena Kennedy", such as readers of the book cited by PatGallacher.
B2C's comment illustrates very well why a subject-specific guideline such as this is important. Those unfamiliar with the topic may assume, as B2C does, that a title is mere decoration. It isn't: it's a part of her name, and a part of her name which is widely used to the exclusion of all others, and as such is an important part of identifying her. Following the guideline saves having to explain this every time to editors such as B2C who are evidently unaware of how titles such as this are actually used. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 05:29, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
NCPEER is not a law and if there was a clear overwhelming consensus this discussion would not have been so long and evolved with so many points of view denouncing the application of NCPEER. If there was a true widespread community consensus for NCPEER then this move discussion would be far more one sided than it currently is. Also the above argument ignores that she is known widely outside of politics and is commonly referred to as a author without the ennobled title. Mainly because she was publishing ling before she entered politics. The far more widely known name is the name she first entered public knowledge under and this is simply Helena Kennedy.--Lucy-marie (talk) 10:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Currently there are four in support of moving the page (including the nominator) and only two against with only one of those being very vocally against.--Lucy-marie (talk) 10:42, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
WP:NOTAVOTE. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:34, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Never said it was, just simply gave a summary of the discussion so far.--Lucy-marie (talk) 17:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
No, you did not summarise the substance of the discussion. You just counted heads. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC) (missing word "not" added later)
And please remember we work on consensus based on argument, not head counts. And that's a clear consensus to move the page. If there's no clear consensus to move the page, the status quo remains. And right now (using your "summary" plus and update method) there's no clear consensus with three editors disagreeing with the move and four in favour of it. Cheers. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:30, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
@TRM, I agree, also consensus also isn't the same as saying considerably more than everyone else. As this is not who shouts loudest wins contest. The summary was just that a summary of the people on the sides of the argument. I never said it was counting of "votes" and nor did I say we have x "votes" for or against. I simply stated we have four arguing for the move and two arguing against one of which is very vocal. Nowhere did I say we have "votes" in favour or "votes" against.--Lucy-marie (talk) 18:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, well there didn't really seem a need to summarise people's voting positions, the closing admin will be capable of assessing that. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:44, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Often known by her title (including frequent references as "Baroness Helena Kennedy", which is incorrect but clearly isn't simply "Helena Kennedy"). Proteus (Talk) 10:48, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
What would you propose the most appropriate title for this subject be?--Lucy-marie (talk) 11:10, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per BrownHairedGirl's results from the BBC, which are unsurprising. This does not appear to be a case like Russell or Eden, is which a comparable search would find the Earldom drowned. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:08, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Often known by the title and per the other arguments above. Timrollpickering (talk) 15:44, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per longstanding consensus on the naming of peers. Does not appear to meet any of the narrow exceptions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:53, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Hand up skirt[edit]

Helena Kennedy was in the Guardian today bleating about some dirty old man on the bus shoving his hand up her skirt. What do you expect if you travel on London Transport? These Champagne socialists can't have their cake and eat it. --OhNoPeedyPeebles (talk) 23:15, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, my mistake. It was Ms Kennedy's aunt who was assaulted on a bus in this unpleasant manner. Not sure whether she is a Champagne Socialist, or not. --OhNoPeedyPeebles (talk) 19:37, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

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