Talk:Margaret Thatcher/GA4

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GA Reassessment[edit]

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Basically, this article fails Criteria 4 (neutrality), and, through this, Criteria 3 (breadth). Thatcher was a very controversial politician, at the time and after, but the article actively minimizes this controversy. Some examples include the downplaying of the issues related to her being forced out of government - the Community Charge gets little more than a paragraph, and the issues surrounding it aren't discussed - and the Legacy section only giving space to her supporters, and leaving out almost all views of her detractors.

It's really more of an apologia than a neutral article. 86.** IP (talk) 16:45, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

To give some idea of how badly this has been gutted, here's how the section on the Poll tax continued before this article was last delisted for neutrality...

Thatcher's system of local taxation[1] was among the most unpopular policies of her premiership with working class and poorer citizens unable to pay the new tax and some being sent to Prison for non payment.[1] The central Government capped rates resulting in charges of partisanship and the alienation of small-government Conservatives.[1] The Prime Minister's popularity declined in 1989 as she continued to refuse to compromise on the tax.[2] Unrest mounted and ordinary British people young and old took to the streets to demonstrate, the demonstrators were met with horse mounted Police in riot gear and demonstration turned to riots at Trafalgar Square, London, on 31 March 1990; more than 100,000 protesters attended and more than 400 people were arrested.[3]

A BBC Radio poll in September 1989 indicated that almost three-quarters of the public were also against water privatisation.[4] Despite public opposition to the poll tax and the privatisation of water, electricity, and British Rail, Thatcher remained confident that, as with her other major reforms, the initial public opposition would turn into support after implementation. A MORI poll for the Sunday Times in June 1988 found that more than 60% of voters agreed that in the long term the Thatcher government's policies would improve the state of the economy, while less than 30% disagreed; although income inequality had increased: 74% of Britons said they were satisfied with their present standard of living, while only 18% were dissatisfied.[5]

The article has apparently been gutted for ideological reasons; a revert to an appropriate version may save it. 86.** IP (talk) 16:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Very little of the first paragraph is supported by the references. Is the second worth checking or is it equally rubbish? Mr Stephen (talk) 17:16, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I haven't refchecked; however, the point still stands: This article has less negative material than it did when it was delisted from GA for being biased in favour of Thatcher. If references need improving, that's a second issue, but both NPOV and good references are needed for GA. 86.** IP (talk) 18:23, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Are we looking at the same article? I think all of the article is verifiable against references. Can you give specific examples of material that you do not think is supported by references? --John (talk) 21:30, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
My comment above was narrowly regarding the quoted paragraph (beginning 'Thatcher's system of local taxation') from the old version, not anything in the article as it stands. (Though that has issues.) Mr Stephen (talk) 23:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Procedural comment. I note that this has been raised as an individual reassessment, so User:86.** IP has offered to make the decision to delist (or not) here, if s/he believes, after discussion and possible fixes, that the article does not meet the criteria. If s/he would rather another editor take this responsibility, or if the outcome seems likely to be disputed, it may be preferable to convert this into a community reassessment. Geometry guy 00:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. While it is always possible to improve an article, I would like to raise a note of caution here. This is a biographical encyclopedia article about Margeret Thatcher, the living person. It is not an article about her government, nor privatization, nor Thatcherism, nor the legacy of that government. Earlier versions of this article suffered badly from recentism and lack of focus: see the previous community GAR. The article was not "gutted" for ideological reasons, but rewritten for encyclopedic ones: it was riddled with poor sourcing and partisan material on all sides. Yes, there is a place for critical views in this article, and they should be presented with due weight according to reliable secondary sources. There are almost certainly some remaining imbalances in the article, as no article is perfect. If so, concrete examples should be provided, backed up by reliable secondary sources, and then we can improve the article. Geometry guy 00:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I really find it hard to accept the argument that one of the most divisive Prime Ministers of the 20th century doesn't need to have any discussion about the opposition to her. A politician's career is inherently bound up in his or her policies. 86.** IP (talk) 00:41, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Of course she does: now what discussions would you like to add, and what reliable secondary sources should these discussions be based upon? Geometry guy 00:52, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't agree with what appears to me to be User:86.**'s narrowly political focus, as this is a BLP. I also think that Thatcher is far too controversial a figure for this disagreement to be dealt with by an individual GAR. I've done very many individual GARs in my time, but this is definitely one I wouldn't have touched; it needs more than just one editor's opinion. And if User:86.**'s decision is to delist it, then there will inevitably be a community GAR anyway. Malleus Fatuorum 01:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that the political issue is the neutrality problem. This article is well-written overall, but completely whitewashing her political career cannot be justified under NPOV policy. 86.** IP (talk) 04:01, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
This article is about her, not her political career. NPOV has nothing to do with it. Malleus Fatuorum 04:10, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It absolutely does if Premiership of Margaret Thatcher is used as a POV fork to hide all the negative information. 2 lines of K303 10:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Please remind yourself of the definitions of POV fork and Summary style before casting aspersions. Thanks, Geometry guy 10:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

The GA review was a joke in my opinion, and caused me to ignore this page for quite a while in case I was viewed as disruptive when consensus said it was neutral. Take for example this section of the talk page on the exact version GA was passed on. There is the relevant section of the article on the exact version GA was passed on. Well look at that, despite the problems with that particular sentence being spelled out on the talk page at the time of the review the GA was passed???? It has since been fixed admittedly, but are we really supposed to take a GA review seriously when things like that don't even get checked? Kind of busy for the next couple of days, but after that you can expect another in-depth critique of this embarrassment of an article. 2 lines of K303 10:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Those talk page comments (from 2010!) contributed to the delisting of the article, after which it was substantially revised, and re-reviewed, so why should anyone expect the discussion to be still relevant? Do you expect a review to trawl back through the talk page history of the article? Even as the editor posting that comment, you only found an issue that is no longer relevant! Do try to keep up to date, even if you are "kind of busy". I look forward to your in-depth critique, preferably based on reliable sources, and without hyperbole. Thanks, Geometry guy 10:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and say this isn't going to get fixed in any reasonable time, so delisted for neutrality issues. There's simply no way an article which minimises all discussion of a controversial political leader's controversial acts can be considered neutral or complete, particularly when it does include quite a bit of praise from her supporters. 86.** IP (talk) 00:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

It isn't going to get "fixed" in the rather peculiar sense that you seem to mean that word at all, ever. But it is of course within your prerogative to delist this article, and as soon as you do I'll be listing it for a community reassessment. Malleus Fatuorum 00:35, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference polltax was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference msn was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Violence flares in poll tax demonstration". BBC. 31 March 1990. Retrieved 30 October 2008. 
  4. ^ "News of water sale's death greatly exaggerated", The Times (2 October 1989).
  5. ^ "All Thatcherites now", The Times (15 June 1988).