Talk:Ian Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Ian Smith is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
February 8, 2014 Good article nominee Listed
March 15, 2014 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.7 (Rated FA-class)
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.
Note icon
This article is within of subsequent release version of Social sciences and society.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.7 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ian Smith/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Lemurbaby (talk · contribs) 05:18, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:


  1. I am claiming this article for review and will provide comments in the coming week. - Lemurbaby (talk) 05:18, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry this is taking so long to get to - I came down with the flu last weekend but hope to return to it over the coming one. - Lemurbaby (talk) 03:03, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Full references are needed for the shortened Harv refs for Daume 1980 and Fisher 2010; shortened ref 166 needs the year; there are no refs in-text for book White (2010) or article "Ian Smith vows to stay on ranch in Zimbabwe" (Post-Gazette 1982)
  • This image needs proper source and US copyright tags.
  • I've added the US copyright tags to the other images lacking them
  • In the lead, let the reader know earlier that there were other nationalist leaders - particularly that some were militant and leading an armed movement (provide their names earlier).
  • I have tried to beef up the information on this in the lead to make this clearer, but I don't think providing their names earlier is really practical; it is all very convoluted and putting this in the first paragraph would detract from it somewhat, I think. In any case Muzorewa and Mugabe did not come to real prominence until the 1970s; only Nkomo was really known before then. Cliftonian (talk) 18:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • The use of semi-colons in the section headings doesn't seem correct to me. It may be trying to squeeze too much information into one line. In some instances maybe breaking these up and using Level 3 headings would be good, or joining pieces with commas and/or the word "and", or simply making them more general
  • Okay, I have tried to trim some of these down. I hope this is better Cliftonian (talk) 18:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Under "Graduation, marriage and entrance to politics", when he names his farm, instread of "local black people" do we know the name of the ethnic group living there?
  • Yep, they were Karangas (part of the Shona group) Cliftonian (talk) 18:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Under "Forming the Rhodesian Front" and elsewhere, rather than describing the notion of this government as based on merit, it would be good to be more precise - it sounds like it was based on specific criteria like wealth and education, which many people could "merit" but are unable to obtain due to societal barriers or other circumstances (if these were the only criteria, detractors could argue it could just as soon be termed government based on privilege). The word merit is a bit subjective
  • Hmmm. I put that because that's the terminology they used, but on reflection I think you are right, this is contentious. You are correct that the vote was at this time based on financial and educational qualifications. It would be tiresome to list all the various possible combinations here but they were not impossibly high (one could get onto the "B" roll with £132 a year and primary school education; the "A" roll required a high school diploma and £330 a year). The reasoning behind the "merit" term was that if politicians were elected who lacked the ability (or inclination) to govern properly, they would lack competence, or "merit". The RF perceived this as something that was more likely to happen under a one man, one vote system. To try to make this clearer I have changed "merit" to "merit and qualifications"—is this better? Cliftonian (talk) 18:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Under "Deputy Prime Minister..." why was status quo in Southern Rhodesia an embarrassment for the UK? Lack of majority rule or something else?
  • Basically, yes, but the factor that really made it embarrassing for the UK government was the lack of international understanding regarding Southern Rhodesia's unique self-governing status. When the issue of minority rule in Southern Rhodesia came to the fore in the UN around 1961, Britain was repeatedly called upon to simply remove the colonial government and introduce majority rule by force—the UK's insistence that it was not that simple convinced few and angered many. Cliftonian (talk) 18:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Same section, "collaborating with black Africa over a Rhodesian settlement" also sounds too monolithic. What about collaborating with the "governments of neighboring majority rule states" or "governments of black African led states" or something like that?
  • I have altered to "with black African governments" to try to be concise; is this better? Cliftonian (talk) 08:34, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
  • In "First Years under Mugabe", when exactly did he get his Zimbabwe papers back? Reword this: "Having regained his Zimbabwean papers, Smith declared his intention to renounce his British nationality in 1984..."
  • I have reworded to "Smith regained his Zimbabwean papers after about a year. In 1984 he declared his intention to renounce his British nationality ..." I hope this is okay. Cliftonian (talk) 08:34, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
  • In the "Land Reform Programme" section, I had to re-read the section on his nationality and passports a few times as I couldn't recall anymore whether he still had the British passport or not. Could you find a way to make it clearer that he may have had a right to British citizenship but hadn't claimed it by keeping a British passport (if this is the case)? Otherwise his statement that he was stateless won't necessarily be understood in its full context by the reader (or at least me).
  • I have clarified to "Insisting that Mugabe's government had no right to strip him of Zimbabwean citizenship, Smith refused to renounce his right to British nationality, though he had not held a UK passport for years." (The ambiguous term "for years" is used because I don't know when the UK passport from 1983 expired; it would probably be either 1988 or 1993 but we don't know). Is this okay? Cliftonian (talk) 08:34, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
  • In "Final Years and Death", at this point I had forgotten that Jean and Robert were his adopted children. It would be good to restate the relationship since it's so far along in the article.
  • Good point. I have clarified to "Smith's stepdaughter Jean"; I don't think we need to do the same for Robert as I think restating the relationship to Jean will remind the reader who Robert was as well. Cliftonian (talk) 08:34, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
This has got to be up there among the 100 best articles on Wikipedia. Meticulously researched and referenced, thorough, fair, brilliantly worded. WP is lucky to have you. Do you have a career in writing, by any chance? :) - Lemurbaby (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the incredibly flattering words! Not to mention the fine review. I hope my answers above are all adequate and that you are well. To answer your question I had sports articles published in the Luton News and the Scunthorpe Telegraph when I was younger but nothing like this. I'm glad you like my writing so much! Thanks again and have a great rest of the weekend. =) Cliftonian (talk) 08:34, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
  • The changes look great. Excellent as always. I hope your talents continue to find a home off the web as well as on it! - Lemurbaby (talk) 13:15, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

" rem footnote that only gives one side"[edit]


Why should one single footnote have to meet NPOV? We have to do this over the article as a whole, but what reason is there to remove a single footnote, because in isolation it only gives one side? Andy Dingley (talk) 12:08, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Because across the article as a whole, including that footnote, we have only criticism of the Pearce commissioners and no rebuttal of that criticism. Indeed we have more criticism of them a couple sentences later (when Smith calls them "naive and inept"). Not that it really matters, but it was me who added this footnote in the first place. I think it might work better after the criticism from Smith. I'll put it there now so you can see what I mean. What do you think? —  Cliftonian (talk)  12:17, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
So is the problem relevance? Quality of the footnote? Or balance?
If it's poor quality or irrelevant, then remove the footnote. If it's an issue of balance though, then leave it in place and add something else for balance.
Note though that we're here to be neutral, not necessarily balanced. Maybe the commissioners really were "naive and inept" and there's simply no other viewpoint to give. It's a mistake (and on WP in 2015 it's one that counts as naive and inept) to think that "All must have prizes" and that neutrality is achieved by counting lines of coverage pro and anti. Who did support the commissioners at the time, and is their commentary robust? Andy Dingley (talk) 12:37, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I do not recall finding anything rebutting the criticism of the commissioners when I researched and wrote the article. So yes, I would agree with you that based on that there doesn't seem to be another viewpoint to give. Who's "naive and inept"? I do hope that wasn't a not-so-subtle dig at me. There's really no need for that. Cheers, —  Cliftonian (talk)  12:47, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, spill-over from another article where exactly that is being used as an excuse to avoid calling a celebrity idiot an idiot. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:50, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly what? "another article where exactly that is being used as an excuse to avoid calling a celebrity idiot an idiot"? Eh? I'm sorry, Andy, but I really don't follow here. The footnote is back in the article, just relocated from its former position to right afterwards, after the comment from Smith in the main body. Is the issue not resolved? —  Cliftonian (talk)  12:55, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it looks fine. If anything turns up giving an alternative view of the commission, then I'm sure it could be added. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:20, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, great. Thanks for your help and I hope you're having a great week. Cheers —  Cliftonian (talk)  14:04, 11 November 2015 (UTC)