Talk:Scotland/Archive 26

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David Cameron refers to "all nations of the United Kingdom”

In an opinion piece in yesterday's Times (Scottish edition) David Cameron, the leader of the opposition at Westminster, said:

Now, if the Prime Minister-in-waiting refers to Scotland and England as nations, and thousands of other reliable external refs refer to Scotland and England as nations, then why does Wikipedia not refer to Scotland and England as nations?

I note that our resident British nationalist said 2 days ago: "GSTQ was used in the past to represent Scotland at sporting events" as an excuse for applying GSTQ to the Scotland article. However, I note that BW does not argue that as Scotland was a country long before the Union with England, we should be applying a neutral, geographical (non-political) map to this article; nor that we should be referring to Scotland as a country and nation in Northwestern Europe in the first sentence, and saying that its Union with England formed the UK in 1707 in the second sentence. (ie. the status quo ante). After all, Scotland has not always been "a country that is part of the UK", but it has always (since its foundation) been a country/nation in Northwestern Europe. We are currently burdened with an extremely poor opening sentence imposed on this article by Wikipedia's plague of British nationalist POV pushers, who only pop up to rig Talk page "votes" on prominent features like the opening sentence, map, and Infobox, and never write anything constructive to better the actual article. (They are entirely incapable of doing that in an NPOV way.)

Double standards from the British nationalist camp? Quelle surprise. --Mais oui! (talk) 08:04, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

hang on, that sentence was agreed by a broad range of editors, not just unionists. At the moment Scotland and Wales are countries which are a part of the UK, they have been independent in the past, they hopefully will again in the future but for the moment they are a part of the UK. Your condemnation above is too sweeping in nature and unnecessarily provocative. --Snowded TALK 08:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
There was zero consensus to impose the change in the opening sentence. The change was imposed on this article due to a flood of the usual BritNat suspects, who only appear to "vote" on daft proposals that support their own POV. Scottish editors - both pro- and anti-independence - were thoroughly opposed to the change.
Do not speak to me about "provocation" -> we all know who the "provocators" are, and it is not the people (eg. me) who actually wrote the text of this article. --Mais oui! (talk) 08:42, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I get frustrated by attempts to impose a British nationalist perspective on this and other articles as well, but I don't think you should let that frustration boil over as per your comments above. --Snowded TALK 08:46, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Sysop Derek Ross put it well on 25 Nov 2008 (see Talk page archive 22):

Personally I'd love to just let anyone tweak the opening sentences without comment. Unfortunately experience has shown that this leads to revert after revert by the easily offended. Which doesn't please anyone. That's why we're currently going down the discussion route one more time. But the discussion route is only really worth going down if it leads to a resolution to the problem. And so far (4 years and counting) it doesn't seem to have. So we've tried "anything goes" and that hasn't worked. We've tried "agreement on the content" and that hasn't worked. That's why I'm suggesting that we try "occasional changes". In other words we resolve not to discuss this more than once a year (or whatever). Let's see if that works.

Well, we are now one year on. --Mais oui! (talk) 09:00, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

So we are, and hasn't it been peaceful. Long may it continue. --Snowded TALK 09:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
"Peaceful"?!? You are kidding right? ;) This article's Talk page has been utter chaos for two years now. I personally have kept out of all the crap for about a year now.
So, my questions one year on are:
  1. Why do we not refer to Scotland as a nation (as eg. David Cameron does; and thousands of other weighty sources do)?
  2. Why does the opening sentence not refer to the geographical (rather than the political) location of Scotland?
  3. Why do we have a political (rather than a neutral, geographical) map of Scotland's location?
We used to have all of these things at this article. And there was never any consensus to remove them.
In the interests of official Wikipedia policy WP:NPOV we must restore neutrality to this article. --Mais oui! (talk) 09:13, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
The current wording of the lede has consensus and has stood for some time. It resulted from a long process where the use of "country" was questioned let alone "nation". While you may not like the current wording saying that it is not neutral is not the case. It has been stable for a long time and to say the talk page has been "utter chaos" is excessive to say the least. The question of the lede has been peaceful. The map question I have no idea about, but the idea of yet another round on the lede sentence unless there is substantial new evidence over that gathered last time seems to me a waste of time. --Snowded TALK 09:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Again, we have the "consensus" myth rolled out. Leading BritNats inviting their meatpuppet pals along to bait the Scots does not qualify as consensus.--Mais oui! (talk) 10:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

1. The term 'Nation' ranks below 'Country' in terms of frequency of use, as shown in a table somewhere on this site, but I don't recall where. 'Nation' also has variations on a theme, e.g. the Mohawk Nation in N.America, etc. The continuity lobby for all UK articles insisted on a one-size-fits-all, and they carried the day. To be honest, I'm used to it now and have no objection to "country".

2. Agree the lede should be in keeping with WP:MoS for similar articles, along the lines of...

The inclusion "Northwest Europe" speaks for itself and "now" would correctly emphasise that Scotland being a part of the UK was not always, nor indeed may always be, the case.

3. The map was, as I recal, another minefield. However, I believe the argument which held the day was that to mention Scotland in the context of the UK without any visual reference to the UK did not giving the reader the full picture.

It is worth remembering that what we must try to do is put ourselves in the shoes of an Australian or Canadian high school student, or similar individual from around the globe, who comes to the site seeking info. We should pitch the article to these people, whilst trying to avoid any politically driven POV. (I can't recall how many times I gave impromptu geography lessons during my time living in the US, to enable people to distinguish between Scotland, the UK, Great Britain, England, etc: "You're from Scotland? Is that the island between England and Greenland?" - :o - kid you not... it was a genuine question. Wikipedia might go some way to educating such individuals... "Go-wiki-it").

IMHO the small change to the opening sentence in the lede adds to the article in terms of the overall picture, and furthermore I can't see how the inclusion of "Northwest Europe" and "now" can be seen as controvertial, but I'm sure someone will come along shortly to inform me that they are. ;) Endrick Shellycoat 10:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

e/c I know exactly where you are coming from Mais oui, but you know that it's not just a case of rolling it back to the lede from a couple of years ago. It would take another six months of debate, argument, fighting and god knows what else before anything was changed back, and there is no guarantee that it would be. Does anyone really want to go through all that again? Jack forbes (talk) 10:47, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
"Does anyone really want to go through all that again?" Yes. Because I care passionately about the quality of Wikipedia's Scotland-related content, and allowing the POV-pushers to commandeer the 1st flippin sentence in the Scotland article is just a massive big vickies sign to all of us who care about the Scotland-related content. In summary: you cannot just let bullies win, otherwise you will always be bullied. It is time to tell teacher. --Mais oui! (talk) 10:54, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Well Mais ouis comments were certainly provocative, especially as the person that changed their opinion on the wording and said they backed a change to get consensus and stability was not a unionist but someone who wants independence for the different parts of the United Kingdom.

Now i do not see the big problem here. David Cameron refers to the nations of the United Kingdom? Thats great i have supported, accepted and even gone out of my way to defend the current wording describing Scotland and each of the other parts of the UK as country, despite my original concern about its use. If you are suggesting you would rather the introduction say that Scotland is a nation that is part of the United Kingdom then it will be an even weaker sentence than we have currently where Scotland is called a country.

I will need to look at the previous / current maps in more detail i was not involved in that change i dont think so it must have happened before i arrived here however the current map in the infobox is in line with other UK articles and European Union countries so i will likely oppose a change.

On the issue of the first sentence, i strongly oppose attempts to flood the introduction with geographical data. The current sentence is infact in line with other articles so to suggest we are some how not being neutral is very misleading and offensive. Most country articles start off by saying.. **** Is a country in (Geographical area). The trouble is Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, its political status does always come before geography. If political must come after geography then we would need something like "Scotland is located in North west Europe and is a country that is part of the United Kingdom". Again i strongly oppose alterations to the first sentence which has proved stable for almost a year now and i reject Mais oui's provocative comments. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

"Telling teacher" was always a last resort in my book, better take them on yourself and keep teacher in reserve. If you want to change the first sentence, then state what you want to change and take it from there. I have a small troll perched on my shoulder whispering to me "go on, change it, see what happens". Not behaviour I'd condone but so long as a change adds to the article and remains within the WP:cite WP:verifiable WP:NPOV guidelines I don't see a problem. What do you propose? Endrick Shellycoat 11:03, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I do not want the first sentence changed, and if someone does change it before consensus is reached here i will revert. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:05, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
no matter i see that was directed at Mais Oui, im having lag problems here. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:10, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Duly noted BW. Now, for those of us who wish to improve the article, I'd like to propose the following on the grounds that it adds to the information contained in the opening sentence, is factual, is uncontrovertial and falls within WP guidelines:

I also propose we take each change seperately for the sake of argument:

  • "Northwest Europe" is indeed where Scotland sits geographically - it does not sit elsewhere to the best of my knowledge, and is therefore verifiable fact.
  • "now" is also verifiable fact, as this has been the situation for the past three centuries, but was not the case during the eight centuries which preceded them. Again, verifiable fact.

Comments... Endrick Shellycoat 11:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

If we start out by saying Scotland is a country then we agree political must come before geography. Most sovereign state articles on wikipedia start out by saying "****** is a country located...." Scotland whilst it is a country is not a sovereign state and because of different definitions of the term country its important we explain the full situation clearly in the first sentence. It is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. This is backed up by reliable sources, including government websites. Let us not forget for many years on wikipedia (long before i was involved here) Scotland was not called a country in its lead sentence. The current wording is stable and we should not put that at risk after almost a year. England, Scotland and Wales articles start with the same sentence and i think its a good thing we have the same wording on these articles as it helps maintain stability.
If you want to qualify the fact Scotland is now part of the United Kingdom then lets qualify the fact Scotland is now a country. What is now Scotland was not always a country. This matter has been gone over in the past, we can not add "now" or "currently" everywhere. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:26, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)*"now" sounds contrived and implies a relatively recent change - not an event that occured 290 years ago. I think you would need "was a country" to be able to use "now" properly. It should not be changed because Scot. Nats. don't care for its correct designation as "a country" and I certainly wouldn't be prompted to change it because of an utterance by Cameron or anyone else. As for the geography, British Isles is clearly more precise. Saying NW Europe doesn't actually achieve any sense of separation from the Bitish Isles, if that is the purpose of the change. It can be seen quite clearly from the map where it is in relation to mainland Europe. There have to be better things for editors to work on than this, surely? Leaky Caldron 11:46, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
It might be helpful if you were to create a version of the first paragraph or even the whole lead in a sandbox somewhere so that everyone can see what sort of thing you have in mind as the final state of things. This could be done by anyone else who feels that the current introduction is not right. With options, but not necessarily good ones, running from "As of {{CURRENTYEAR}} Scotland is a [[stateless nation|country]]..." to "#REDIRECT United Kingdom {{r from historic name}} {{r from subtopic without possibilities}}", what is it that you want to see here? Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:03, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Jeepers, I thought having country in the lead, was a step up from nation, for editors with Scottish pride? GoodDay (talk) 12:50, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
If we are really going to go here all over again then can we at least have a debate without over emotional tirades about meat puppets etc. There is zero tolerance around on all British/Irish articles for failures of WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL. For the record having been through an exhaustive process with many editors involved (none of whom were meat puppets and few of whom were unionists), building citation tables etc its going to take a lot of real evidence to persuade me that a change is needed. Especially as getting a common standard on England, Scotland and Wales has produced a long period of peace which should have allowed more important issues to be addressed. --Snowded TALK 14:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
"getting a common standard on England, Scotland and Wales" -> this is the very core of the mess that we have allowed ourselves to be pushed into. E, S and W are not identical political units. Never have been and probably never will be. So it is just bogus for wikipedia to try to pretend that they are. and don't even get me started on NI. If NI is a "country" (sic) then I am a monkey's uncle. --Mais oui! (talk) 14:26, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Just cool it will you. Stop using words like "Bogus", "Meat Puppets" and other such language. You don't have a monopoly on truth and you need to work with other editors. If you can't do that they we may need to talk to the Monkey's Aunt. --Snowded TALK 14:37, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I support Endrick Shellycoat's proposal:

Although I'd like to see the word nation back in the intro somewhere. --Mais oui! (talk) 14:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I like that. It's succinct but informative. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:57, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I oppose those 2 proposals. When & if Scotland becomes independant? then we can go with in Northern Europe..., folks. GoodDay (talk) 16:21, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I would go along with that. Gives more information to the reader in the first line without losing anything. Jack forbes (talk) 16:33, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

That (Endrick Shellycoat's proposal as amended by Leaky caldron) is a well written, accurate and verifiable intro. The best suggestion I've seen for this article. Support. Daicaregos (talk) 17:22, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I oppose both of the above proposals, the current article wording should remain. Id love to see some articles where the date of the founding of a country is included in the first sentence. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

May I take the liberty of suggesting a straw poll and ask names to be added accordingly... (If I have placed anyone in the wrong section, on the basis of discussions above, please accept my apologies and make the appropriate correction). Endrick Shellycoat 18:39, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The proposed wording (as ammended) reads:
For the proposal:
  • GoodDay
  • BritishWatcher
  • Phoenix79
  • Matt Lewis. Per WP:NEUTRAL, and avoiding WP:PROMOTION, mainly because of the way it develops the existing line, which is already a found compromise. This change, in my eyes, is a political move to promote Scottish/Welsh independence, which is against what Wikipedia is about. The existing political sovereignty comes before geography and history in introductions - it always does on Wikipedia, and for me this is absolutely essential. Scotland is the name of a country, and thus of course is a political entity. This is my opinion, and given the Welsh presence here, and the current political map, I feel obliged to come here and vote. I do not feel Scotland has to have the same first-line format as Wales, but I know what will happen at Wales if Scotland changes to this highly radical degree: two unstable pro-nationalist introductions popping in and out! The current first line is not 'pro-union', because the union is what exists. The existing first line is more than fair, and as fair as it gets I think. Matt Lewis (talk) 12:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Vote is premature
--Snowded TALK 11:00, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

For the avoidance of doubt, I still prefer the existing lead. I added my 2p regarding the date to Endrick’s proposal because I felt adding the date would improve it in a factual way. I was not expecting the aggregate proposal to receive significant support. However, having spent my 2p I am naturally obliged to support it, despite my stated preference for the existing version. Having worked with Jack and others on paras 3 & 4 it is collegiate for me to support Endrick’s suggestion, as modified. Leaky Caldron 20:04, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

So you prefer the current wording yet you are supporting change out of a sense of duty to another editor. Why is it so important for the fact Scotland is in north west europe to be in the first sentence when it has ben fine for almost a year without even stating its in North West Europe? BritishWatcher (talk) 20:18, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Although just for the record i quite like the fact we highlight Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for over 300 years, it just seems out of place to have a date in the first sentence.. no country or state article starts in that way. BritishWatcher (talk) 20:22, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I was opposed to any change – that is clear from my comments earlier today. I sought to improve Endrick’s version. I have no axe to grind on this particular change. If it had involved nation instead of country I would have not contributed my suggestion. It doesn’t seem a particularly problematic change to me. I would prefer to be considered neutral, which is why I attempted to clarify my position above. However, I’m not running away from my suggestion, if it is preferred by many more than who oppose. My point about working with Jack is no more than the truth; it is a better way for me to operate and inevitably results in give and take on some issues. I am happy to work collegiately with others on this latest issue, but Jack and Endrick are different people so there is no loyalty issue or prid pro quo. Leaky Caldron 20:38, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
When this was previously debated there was extensive talk on if northwest europe should be included in the first sentence or not, i think it is problematic for a couple of reasons, although i accept its no where near as problematic as the original wording about a year ago where the United Kingdom was not mentioned until the second sentence.
First stability of articles is important, For a almost a year England, Scotland and Wales have all had the same first sentence which makes it easier to defend (people still understandably come from time to time asking about if its a coutnry or not). I also do not understand why we should put a geographical location in between addressing what Scotland is. Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. We could ofcourse tag on located in north west europe to the end of the sentence if its very important to include the location but there is no reason for geography to be between country + part of the United Kingdom. Which fits in nicely with the article title Countries of the United Kingdom BritishWatcher (talk) 20:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I would agree with the same elements in an alternate order. Leaky Caldron 20:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

FWIW, Salmond on the BBC news just referred to "we (Scotland) as a country are.....". Leaky Caldron 23:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Scotland is a special case, and as such the UK as the sovereing entity logically comes before Western Europe in any opening line. It is just that simple tbh, this is not a unonist/nationalist argument, it is a reading argument. And adding anything about 1707 to clarify the 'now', 'was', 'has been', as if this is important, is as blatant a POV push as you will ever see, and as far as I know, is never done in any other country article on the pedia. 1957 and you might have a case, but 300 years? Come off it. MickMacNee (talk) 01:36, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Mick. I added the 1707 and you will know from N.I and EDL that I don't do POV, and in particular any form of nationalist POV. It was added with the intention of ensuring that the important fact of its union date was clear, since much seems to turn on Scotland's lack of independent status and pointing out 300 years of non-independence seemed to put that in context for the reader. I really don't see the POV argument and that was not my intention. Leaky Caldron 09:04, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Not this again. If you read MOS:BEGIN it states that The first paragraph of the introductory text needs to unambiguously define the topic for the reader, without being overly specific. It should establish the context in which the topic is being considered, by supplying the set of circumstances or facts that surround it. If appropriate, it should give the location and time context. Also, it must establish the boundaries of the content of the article (for example List of environmental issues is only about the effects of human activity). Would I say that Stuttgart is a city in Western Europe? While that is factually correct it leads too much ambiguity. What should be said is Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. and that is exactly what is written. If we were to say that Scotland is a country in northwest Europe it does not remove ambiguity only adds it in violating MOS:BEGIN. -- Phoenix (talk) 08:55, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Having helped create this discussion by adding to the original suggestion I has hoped to stay out of it. However, I am compelled to comment in the face of the above statement by Phoenix. Comparing Stuttgart with Scotland is nonsense. Scotland IS a country and IS located in NW Europe. While "part of the British Isles" would certainly be preferable, there is a map adjacent showing where it is, so I don't think it is a big deal. I'm struggling to see how MOS is violated and using a small German city to make the point doesn't help the argument. Leaky Caldron 10:43, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Some people may have forgotten the major issues over calling Wales, Scotland and England countries in the first place. If we take the above wording on Scotland then do we do the same for Wales? It was an independent country at the time of the Treaty of Montgomery but was then conquered. Scotland did not become a part of the United Kingdom, that in early form was created by the coming together of England (then incorporating Wales) and Scotland. There is no other precedent that I can see for this "it was but now is" type construct elsewhere in WIkipedia. While I am more than sympathetic to the political intent of the phrase, I think it is beholden on us to maintain a strictly neutral position. While Stuttgart is not a good case, Bavaria would be as it was independent for a longer period than Scotland. Pushing this position is going to open a nest or worms for no major purpose. If people are intent on pursuing it then, given the amount of issues last time and the one year plus stability, then we need to place a notice of the discussion elsewhere in Wikipedia so that other editors engage. --Snowded TALK 11:07, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Ok Leaky then if a city is not your taste then which would satisfy MOS:BEGIN?
Both are true, but the second is more appropriate for MOS:BEGIN and frankly less confusing for the average reader. -- Phoenix (talk) 13:06, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

To be clear, the example quoted above about Brittany is not a fair example of the point you are trying to make: both statements are not true because Brittany covers only 80% of the historic nation of Brittany - there is a separate article describing the historic nation of Britanny. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 20:54, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Since this was triggered by David Cameron referring to Scotland as a nation, and Salmond referred to Scotland as a country yesterday, maybe it should be left as it is. That would be my preference (as I explained above to BritishWatcher). However, unlike some others I think that the current proposal is anodyne so please accept it as inadvertence on my part that I have stirred up strong counter opinions. Leaky Caldron 13:17, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
It is strange that Camerons comments triggered this debate, it seemed to me more like a punishment for the previous debate taking place on if GSTQ should be added or not but perhaps its just a coincidence. We all accept there are different terms to describe the parts of the United Kingdom, including country which i thought was the one most people strongly supported so i am unsure why Cameron saying "nation" requires this new debate on the introduction unless someone was proposing a change to "Scotland is a nation" which is an even weaker term.
I think the intro should stay the same as it is stable and considering its been almost a year without the term "north west Europe" being in the introduction i fail to see why its all of a sudden needed now. I understand why you suggested adding the date of formation of the union leaky, it did improve the previous proposed wording that made it sound like Scotland had only recently joined the United Kingdom. Its the north west europe bit that concerns me the most. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:40, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Dear oh dear... BritishWatcher:"it seemed to me more like a punishment for the previous debate taking place on if GSTQ should be added or not but perhaps its just a coincidence." Hold on , there's a Nat under my bed, no, wait a minute, he's under your bed, no, wait, he's....

I've read some tripe on these pages, but that comment deserves an award! I'm beginning to think this place is some kind of cyber asylum where far-right whacked out keyboard warriors go to spout forth their own versions of history. Getting a sensible discussion here is about as easy as nailing jelly to a wall, and you've just reminded me why I really shouldn't bother wasting any more of my life with this article. Its time this lunatic went for a walk on the grass... Endrick Shellycoat 15:45, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Well i am sorry but the fact David Cameron talked about "Nations of the United Kingdom" makes no sense for the change being proposed so there must be some other reason why all of a sudden after almost a year there is now a need to add "north west Europe" to the introduction. Considering the provocative original comments by Mais Oui about the current wording and how the wording came about, it seemed hostile to me like payback. BritishWatcher (talk) 16:20, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, why don't you all discuss the merits or not of the suggested proposal instead of commenting on some ones perceived provocative comments. I can't be bothered getting involved here, but just for a change it would be nice to see a debate without silly accusations of this or that. Don't you think everyone? Jack forbes (talk) 16:42, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Several people have said why they oppose a change and gone into detail. I am not making accusations about anyones motives, it just seemed strange this came up because of a comment made by David Cameron about "Nations of the United Kingdom". It makes no sense unless the proposed change was to call Scotland a nation rather than country. Hows the proposed change related to this title of this section? BritishWatcher (talk) 16:53, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Discussion and ideas don't always stay on track. Endrick proposed the sentence and Leaky amended it a little bit, neither of whom were provocative in any way. Now, if you disagree with the sentence that's fine, but you should stick to your reasoning for your disagreement and no more. We certainly don't want any more bad feelings here than there has to be. Jack forbes (talk) 17:00, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
The fact we should say its in north west europe was in mais original post which was provocative. Anyway we should stick to the reasons why it should not be changed. For those who did not follow the debate last time, the same issues about use of north west europe were raised here BritishWatcher (talk) 17:09, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Country, nation, constituent country, administrative division etc etc; call Scotland what ya'll want. But, having 'Western Europe' planted between Scotland & United Kingdom? looks akward. Imagine, Prince Eward Island is in North America and a province of Canada? GoodDay (talk) 17:48, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Is that because Prince Edward Island is in North America and a province of Canada would look better? :) Daicaregos (talk) 18:48, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd rather have 'Western Europe' excluded from the sentence. But, if it's included? have it after the United Kingdom. GoodDay (talk) 18:52, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Just for the record, David Cameron said today during the Tory Conference (12th Feb 2010), - "I would be a Prime Minister who acts on the voice of the Scottish people and works for consent and consensus. And whenever the precious Union between our two countries is under threat". Conservatives - What now, North British ones?! --Revolt (talk) 20:16, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ The Countries of the UK Retrieved 10 October, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Countries within a country". 10 Downing Street. Retrieved 2008-08-24. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 
  3. ^ "ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Date: 2007-11-28 No I-9. "Changes in the list of subdivision names and code elements" (Page 11)" (PDF). International Organization for Standardization codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions -- Part 2: Country subdivision codes. Retrieved 2008-05-31. SCT Scotland country 
  4. ^ The Countries of the UK Retrieved 10 October, 2008.
  5. ^ "ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Date: 2007-11-28 No I-9. "Changes in the list of subdivision names and code elements" (Page 11)" (PDF). International Organization for Standardization codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions -- Part 2: Country subdivision codes. Retrieved 2008-05-31. SCT Scotland country 


There's been alot of anons vandalising the article, lately. GoodDay (talk) 20:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

The deed is done my lord...(And yes I reported it *Smug mode*) --Sooo Kawaii!!! ^__^ (talk) 21:26, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I here-by bestow on thee, the 'Kawii' medal. GoodDay (talk) 21:29, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Scottish Nationals elected?

In the lead we have "After the creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the first ever pro-independence Scottish Government was elected in 2007 when the Scottish National Party formed a minority administration."

Were they "elected?" They formed a minority government after negotiation, so I'm wondering about the terminology here. Mister Flash (talk) 21:27, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, if they weren't elected, how did they come to power ? Were they chosen by lot ? Did they take power in a military coup ? Was it "their turn" ? Elections sometimes produce minority governments. For instance the Conservatives are currently governing Canada as a minority government. I think they'd object if you were to say they weren't elected just because they didn't have a majority. After all they have the largest minority. As do the SNP in the Scottish parliament. -- Derek Ross | Talk 02:20, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
They came to power by horse trading in a smoke-filled room. Anyway, it was just a question about using the correct terminology. No need to be such a sarcastic twat person about it. Mister Flash (talk) 09:56, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
It is rather misleading and better terminology could possibly be used. I still think its questionable if a political party should be promoted in the introduction of an article on a country. There are lots of firsts. We could ofcourse say "After the creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999 by the Labour Government," etc.
If in 2011 the Scottish National Party no longer form the minority Scottish Executive, that sentence is going to have to be removed. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:12, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
"Twat" isn't the first word in mind when I think of Derek. If you don't like the answer that was given to you Mister Flash there are better words to use. Twat isn't one of them. Jack forbes (talk) 23:51, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I don't mind "twat". "Sacrastic" sounds pretty bad though! -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:45, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Fine, twat removed, but to return to my original point, the Nats didn't win the election, so is it right to say they were elected? To me "winning" means just that - being able to immediately form a government. Does "elected" imply "winning" - I ask the question? If it doesn't then maybe we should say something else. Mister Flash (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Tut tut, now that was just terrible grammar. Now play nice.--Sooo Kawaii!!! ^__^ (talk) 17:39, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I've added a reference to prove (if proof is really needed) that the SNP government was 'elected'. If this is insufficient, it would not be difficult to find a reference for when the parliament voted to approve the team of ministers as well. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:20, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I've reverted the reference, at least for the moment pending more discussion. The ref. points to the election of Salmond by the Parliament, not the SNP by the people of Scotland. Thus the sentence is confusing and arguably incorrect. What are we trying to say here? Mister Flash (talk) 22:39, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but you appear to dancing on a pin here! At a Scottish election, the people elect the members of the parliament who in turn elect a first minister to form a government. In 2007, the SNP were elected as the largest party in the parliament and, with no alternative coalition 'grouping' having got together to create a larger parliamentary force, the leader of the SNP was elected First Minister and formed a government. If this process can not be summed up as "After the creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the first ever pro-independence Scottish Government was elected in 2007 when the Scottish National Party formed a minority administration", I think we are going to have problems on a whole host of article: I notice, for example that the USA article states "On November 4, 2008, amid a global economic recession, Barack Obama was elected president" - of course, that is incorrect since all that happened was that the voters of the USA just elected the electoral college on that day and the College did not elect Barack until several days later. I do not propose that the USA article should be rewritten as it would cause greater confusion if we did - similarly, it would cause greater confusion if we suggested in the lead anything other than 'the first ever pro-independence Scottish Government was elected in 2007'. If you really feel more detail than this is required, add it further down in the article, but the lead accurately summarises the reality. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 23:16, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I've no problem with the lead summary. GoodDay (talk) 23:20, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
A further suggestion...perhaps it would help if two references were provided one that showed that the SNP won the election, and the second that showed they became the administration following the election? Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 23:21, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would certainly help to clarify the situation. It would be good to note the difference between the popular vote giving the SNP one more seat than any other party and the subsequent election of the SNP First Minister. Yes, the detail belongs lower down, but a good unambiguous referenced sentence in the lead would suffice. Mister Flash (talk) 00:03, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess your reference placed right at the end of the paragraph, coupled with another reference about the popular vote, would do the trick. Mister Flash (talk) 00:10, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Myth or traditional story

In the section Medieval period there is the sentence:"However, by the tenth century, the Pictish kingdom was dominated by what we can recognise as Gaelic culture, and had developed an Irish conquest myth around the ancestor of the contemporary royal dynasty, Cináed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin)." The word myth when used colloquially can mean untruth and as far as I'm aware there is no hard evidence to state it is an untruth. Would a better descriptive not be 'traditional story' or something similar? Jack forbes (talk) 22:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I have replaced the word 'myth' with 'traditional story'. If anyone feels strongly enough that I'm wrong they are welcome to revert and discuss. Jack forbes (talk) 00:19, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

'Tis OK. GoodDay (talk) 00:24, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Scottish waters

In the second paragraph of the article, it mentions Scottish waters. Since Scotland is not an independant country, They are technically UK/British waters. Perhaps this could be changed to something like 'Scotland's sector of UK waters'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by The cows want their milk back (talkcontribs) 16:29, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Here is a source confirming they are Scottish waters "Current Closures. Scottish Waters". There are dozens more like it. Jack forbes (talk) 16:39, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
And another.."Windfarms in Scottish Waters". The distinction is that Scottish Waters come within the jurisdiction of the Scottish Parliament under Scots Law, as per the The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999. Given that "Scottish territorial waters" returns over 76,000 hits on Google, whereas "Scottish waters" yields just under 53,000, perhaps the word "territorial" should be inserted as it appears to be more commonly used with regard to this subject. (talk) 09:54, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

propose alteration to lead

Propose to add a sentence of some sort emphasising that a very large proportion of the country's population live in a small geographical area.

Within the travel-to-work area for Greater Glasgow - population > 2.3m - cited on the wikipedia article
Greater Edinburgh ( - population 900,000

Total - 3.2m

'More than 50% live within 1hrs drive of Stirling' [1]

I think it's an important point to have in the introduction. I suggest something like: Over half of the population lives in the Central Belt area around the cities areas of Glasgow (~2.3m)[2] and Edinburgh (~0.9m) which are located just 46 miles apart.[3].

Jandrews23jandrews23 (talk) 13:24, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

  • The thing is that there are various ways to cut this. Take the former Strathclyde Region as an alternative example: an overlapping but distinct geographical coverage from that you're proposing, but it too contained half the Scottish population. Or another example: it could equally be said that the vast majority of Scotland's population are settled around the major rivers - indeed my dim recollection is that in the 18th century someone (Fletcher of Saltoun perhaps?) proposed governance around river-based areas. My view is that these and no doubt others are all perspectives which can be utilised in particular arguments - and conversely none belongs in the general lead to this article. AllyD (talk) 09:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
  • A less serious point on places within 1hr of Stirling: it does depend on the state of the constant repairs to the A80! In August it took us well over 1 hr to get from Stirling to Cumbernauld for a football match. AllyD (talk) 09:50, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I certainly agree that Scotland's population is highly skewed geographically (see map). I think it would be useful to spell this out more clearly in the demography section. I don't know that it needs to be added to the lead - if anything it is not the urbanisation of the Central Belt that is notable as that so much of the mainland is defined as "remote rural". Ben MacDui 11:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


Why isn't the Union Flag in the info box?

and not just on the Scotland page. If the Union flag flies outside the Scottish parliament and the Northern irish national assembley, then it should be on all the pages, also. (talk) 10:47, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

and presumably on all British citizens as well. Anyone without a Union flag tattoo can't be a True Patriot! And, no. Union Jack underpants aren't a good enough substitute. -- Derek Ross | Talk 19:38, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Because this is the Scotland article and not the article on the United Kingdom, amarite?--大輔 泉 (talk) 20:52, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
You're suggesting that we should be wearing Saltire underpants ? I'll have you know that No True Scotsman wears underpants of any description.[citation needed] -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:38, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Please quote your sources Derek, this is a serious encyclopedia. Ben MacDui 08:48, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
According to this article true Scotsmen are being forced to wear their underpants. I don't think I'll be hiring a kilt any time soon. Jack forbes (talk) 09:03, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Wow! No kilt and no underpants. That's a bit racy, even for me! What will the bride's parents say ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:26, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Never mind the brides parents, that draught up the church aisle will be a killer! Jack forbes (talk) 20:15, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Why isn't it? cuz this article is about Scotland. GoodDay (talk) 15:35, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The EU flag flies outside the Scottish Parliament also, suppose you'd like to have that one shown too? (talk) 22:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Recommend closure of this discussion. I think the inquiring editor has gotten his/her answer. GoodDay (talk) 23:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

A Russian's opinion

If You are from Scotland you are considered Scottish not British, as Scotland uses it's own currency. It is offensive to call a Scotsman British as he is not from Britain, he is from Scotland, Scotland is aligned with Britain yes, but it it not considered a state of Britain therefore you can't consider Scots as British. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sergei1323 (talkcontribs) 01:56, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

<Sigh>, Britain is a big island which existed long before the United Kingdom. All its aborigines, Scottish, English or Welsh, are geographically British whatever their political affiliation or citizenship might be. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Apart from Alex Salmond of course.... :), and a couple of Wikipedia editors. Sorry, couldn't resist...</stupid joke> --Jza84 |  Talk  13:26, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
"and a couple of Wikipedia editors" I would be one those then. :) Jack forbes (talk) 13:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Ahem, geographically I'm European, irrespective of my political affiliation or citizenship. Nationality is merely an accident of birth. Endrick Shellycoat 20:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Religion and the Episcopal Church

There are around 400,000 English-born people who live in Scotland and I presume most of them are Anglican (probably some Catholic and Methodist), but this isn't mentioned in the religion section. Do they automatically "switch" to the Scottish Episcopal Church? I don't understand if Anglicanism actually works like that or not. - Yorkshirian (talk) 11:10, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

According to this the Scottish Episcopal Church is joined in communion with the Anglican Church, though the Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in Scotland. I'm guessing they would probably switch to the Scottish Episcopal Church. Jack forbes (talk) 13:43, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
On their cross denomination page they say "Like many other Anglican Churches the Scottish Episcopal Church has entered into full communion with the Old catholics". As an Anglican Church themselves I think the English Anglicans would more than likely join their church. Without figures though nothing is certain. Jack forbes (talk) 14:31, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Although I am not an Episcopalian myself, I was on very good terms with the Episcopalian minister in Arbroath for many years. I can confirm that church-going Anglicans (from England or elsewhere) are supposed to attend the SEC when in Scotland. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:43, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Layout Changes

I didn't want to spoil some good effort and invested time, but I have reverted all of the image positional changes that have just been made. Manual of Style guidelines state that image sizing should be left as thumb-nailing unless there is a strong reason (e.g. for a lead image). I see that a few were already sized, but the changes seemed to size every image and that is not good. Thumbing allows the user to set their preference for image sizes in their preferences - so if they are viewing this page on a small screen or slow connection then they are not getting a poor experience. The other image movement edits might be fine but the changes just felt a little too specific - what is good for one readers screen size might not work at all for another and factual ordering was being sacrificed for layout - e.g. I see a lot of images were being moved above their sections so that they would be placed 'correctly' - however there is no guarantee, depending on how I am viewing the page, that it will be 'correct' - e.g. "Plane arrival at Barra Airport" image in the Banknotes section because the Transport section is below it. SFC9394 (talk) 11:51, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

UK formation date

I would like some input at List of sovereign states by formation date where there is a disagreement over the UK formation date. It appears there are a couple of editors who believe the date should be 1689 and not 1707. Thanks. Jack forbes (talk) 13:35, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Scottish people

There is a discussion at Scottish people here on whether there is the need to state that there is no such thing as Scottish citizenship. Any input would be appreciated. Jack forbes (talk) 19:52, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Changes to the Lead Section

I think that the first sentence of this article should be changed, possibly back to what is was when the article first received GA status. This point was picked up on at the last Good Article Reassessment. It should also be noted that this article is considered by some as "stagnant" bacause there are too many pro-union editors and all knowledgeable editors of the article have left it. [citation needed] Andrewmc123 06:45, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

I strongly oppose alterations to the first sentence of this article for reasons i have stated in the past. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:27, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
What is the lead sentence that you propose, Andrew? Jack forbes (talk) 22:41, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
He seems to want it back to an introduction where there was a lot of geographical stuff before informing people that Scotland is part of the United Kingdom. I do not quite understand why some wanted it that way in the first place. It seems to me that articles on wikipedia state what an entity is before they go on to its location and other details. Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.
That wording has a certain ring to it that i like and its accurate and clear to the reader. I fail to see why something that has proven to be so stable on this article and others should now be changed again. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:52, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll wait to hear what he has in mind. Where have you been hiding then BW? Jack forbes (talk) 23:03, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I was taking a nice break and focusing on some other things, the election and its fall out kept me very entertained. I must confess taking a break for a few months does make you feel more refreshed and alive, ready to get back into the action now though. BritishWatcher (talk) 23:13, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Nothing to see here, BW. There has never been one argument anywhere since you were away. ;) Jack forbes (talk) 23:16, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I have been doing the rounds every few weeks just making sure nothing too interesting was happening, tonight i spotted this comment so i couldnt resist making a reply. Now i find myself making posts in other places as well, wikipedia is so damn addictive. Going to take some time to check through everything to make sure i didnt miss some big changes :| BritishWatcher (talk) 23:22, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Don't go rushing in. Remember, if there are big changes anywhere they have been through consensus. Wouldn't want you barging in like a bull in a china shop. :) Jack forbes (talk) 23:27, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
too late lol! BritishWatcher (talk) 23:56, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Financial centre of Europe?

The two citations given for this statement contain nothing about this. Is it true, or just hyperbole? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

You are right, the two sources provided do not back up the point made in the article. It certainly could be argued in the past it was a major financial centre of Europe, but since the British taxpayer had to bail out those two banks, one being taken over by another company its questionable if this is still the case.
New sources are needed, will add a fact tag for the time being just to be safe. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:21, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I've added one which shows it ranked #18 in the world. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:48, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
And about 9th in Europe, i dont know if that justifies the sentence about being a major financial centre in europe. Also that is 2 years ago, The UK as a whole has been hit hard as a financial centre during that time. That source is certainly more relevant than the other two though. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:59, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
  • There may be something in the archive relating to this; I seem to recall having this discussion before (and struggling to find sources at the time). The archive dates back to during the credit crunch, however, and things have certainly changed dramatically since then. I'd personally prefer it if the article focussed on Scotland, rather than Edinburgh: Edinburgh appears to have seen big finance move to Glasgow where land and labour are cheaper[citation needed]. TFOWR 16:03, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Brief discussions at Talk:Scotland/Archive_24#Economy_and_infrastructure_-_time_for_change.3F and Talk:Scotland/Archive_24#Gross_Domestic_Product. I subsequently moved to the idea that the better approach would be to apply update improvements to the Economy of Scotland article and then summarise into this article. AllyD (talk) 17:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

National Anthem

Flower of Scotland is cited as the solitary de facto national anthem, but the link to National Anthem of Scotland shows that there are several contenders. I have amended the infobox to reflect this.--Stevouk (talk) 18:50, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

You can be sure that alteration is going to be reverted lol. BritishWatcher (talk) 19:03, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Sadly since the Scottish athletes agreed to have Flower of Scotland used at the Commonwealth Games, the case for mentioning it as the de facto anthem is far stronger although it does of course have no official status. My concern about this is the fact God Save the Queen is also the national anthem in Scotland and it should be mentioned somewhere, considering it is still used on many official occasions and was used at some sporting events in the past too. But asking for that to get mentioned on here ends up causing a small riot usually so i dont hold out much hope on that issue lol. BritishWatcher (talk) 19:10, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

issues of scottish discrimination

I'm requesting that periods of scottish discrimination be mentioned in this article - by the english and also their trials and tribulations in their ongoing migration to the united states. (talk) 14:33, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 8 September 2010

{{editsemiprotected}} The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth, not Queen Elizabeth II as there has never been a Queen Elizabeth of Scotland prior to the current one. Queen Elizabeth I of England was never the queen of Scotland and cannot be considered as such when referring to the current monarch of Scotland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:44, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Not done There's never been a Queen Elizabeth I of Australia, Canada or New Zealand, either ;-) The style ("Queen Elizabeth II") is chosen by the monarch, and is used consistently throughout all realms. We merely report that usage. TFOWR 10:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
The number is based on the previous highest number used by either the Kingdom of Scotland or the Kingdom of England. So for example. If there was a Robert, it would have to be King Robert IV of the United Kingdom, because there has been a Robert III of Scotland, even though there has never been a Robert on the throne of England (as far as im aware, but you get the point). BritishWatcher (talk) 11:39, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
That's not true for the current monarch. If the current monarch's name were Robert, he'd be Robert I as no other Robert has been monarch of England. I believe this will be different for future monarchs. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:21, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
There's more detail here. After the "Scottish controversy" Winston Churchill proposed that "future British monarchs should be numbered according to either their English or Scottish predecessors, whichever number is higher". Apparently it won't apply in other Commonwealth realms, only in the UK. TFOWR 11:28, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

"country that is part of" vs. "constituent country of"

Maybe this has already been discussed to death, but I'd like to give my humble opinion. The phrase in the opening line "a country that is part of the United Kingdom" is going to be confusing for people not familiar with British politics, and I think you should change it to "a constituent country of the United Kingdom". Most readers who have not studied the UK will only know the word "country" in the context of sovereign states, but they will be able to intuit the meaning of "constituent country". To be frank, the current wording also seems a bit awkward to me, and I get the impression that it was written more to make a committee of writers happy than to inform the readers. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 04:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Your feeling that this subject has been discussed to death was quite correct. Reading that discussion may have saved everyone's time The least that could be done before bringing the subject up again is to read 'Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)' above. This is an encyclopaedia; users should expect to discover information beyond their everyday knowledge. Because some people may be ignorant of a word's usage in other parts of the world is insufficient reason to stop using it. The word country is linked to the article of that name. If a reader is unsure of its meaning they can read the article. There is no reason to change the existing, agreed wording. Daicaregos (talk) 08:50, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Despite the FAQ, it seems to me like an attempt to deliberately mislead the readers for political reasons, so for the good of the encyclopedia I thought that it could use another voice of opposition. The word country, while technically correct, is being used in a different context than most readers would expect, and I don't think that we should rely on people clicking the link when there is a more specific term that we could use that would clarify our meaning. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 14:44, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Using things like the FAQ is how we keep things consistant and encyclopedic; if you start bringing personal opinion into things then the result is not a clear, whole and accurate encyclopedia. The fact that "most" people aren't aware of the use of the word "country" in this way isn't a valid reason to change it. If they don't know something then surely an encyclopedia's job is to offer the explanation to people who want it while describing it as accuratly as possible; it is not make it simpler to understand for a wider, and quite frankly, more Americanised audience. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 15:27, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
The FAQ explains why we don't use a more vague word, like "region", and why we don't use cultural or political terms like "nation" or "principality", but I don't think that it gives a good explanation of why we can't use more specific language. The word "country" can have multiple meanings; Wiktionary gives three definitions of "country" that could apply to geographical areas, but only of "constituent country". I don't think that using a more specific and less ambiguous term that does not use up any more letters means that we are simplifying our content. Why say “a duck is an animal” when we could say “a duck is a bird”? —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Arctic Gnome, as you surmised in your opening sentence, yes, it has been discussed to death. After numerous sources being used and discussion by numerous users the consensus was for the words being used. Would you also like to name those who were attempting to "deliberately mislead the readers for political reasons"? Before you even think of doing that, I would like to point out that AGF is one of the cornerstones of Wikipedia. Jack forbes (talk) 16:09, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
You're right about AFG; I'll take it for granted that everyone who argued for the current wording had good intentions. Nevertheless, I still believe that it is needlessly misleading. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
As you agree about AGF, please strike your accusation that the intro "seems to me like an attempt to deliberately mislead the readers for political reasons". Thank you. Daicaregos (talk) 20:35, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
As I have stated before this is suppose to be an encyclopaedia not politics for dummies, we should not cater to those get confused with the term "country"--Barryob (Contribs) (Talk) 18:24, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not agree that using more specific language to avoid ambiguity means that we are catering to anyone. If someone else was arguing that an explanatory sentence should be added to the lead paragraph, or wanted to add links and footnotes to explain jargon, then I would agree with you that this article should not try to be politics for dummies. However, I believe that my suggestion clarifies the sentence by being more specific without catering to anyone. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a source based encyclopedia and the vast amount of sources say that Scotland is a country. There is nothing to clarify here. The opening sentence is accurate and in no way confusing. As has been said, the discussion on this has been done to death and I see no reason to go over it again. Jack forbes (talk) 20:35, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I must admit, you do make a good point ArcticGnome but as this has already been "discussed to death" I don't see the need for further discussion since the current wording has already been agreed; it shouldn't be changed simply to cater to people who don't understand and are not willing to find out. Using "constituent country" is not needed here as clicking on the like attached to "a part of" will take the reader to a page explaining Scotland's position within the United Kingdom. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 11:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
We have beaten this one to death and come up with a form of words that matches the weight of references. All of that is available to any reader to check up on. Country is more referenced that "constituent country" --Snowded TALK 11:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, I guess we have to go with the most referenced term. I don't really like phrases like "a part of" to be links, but I can't think of a better place to put it off the top of my head. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:47, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
"a country that is part of the United Kingdom" Confusing for people not familiar with British politics? I find that hard to believe. Are we also confused by the federal states calling themselves states? For example Texas being the state of Texas and not the Federal State of Texas, and are we confused with the United states if Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are not a states but a Commonwealths, or that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth (U.S. insular area) and not a Commonwealth (U.S. state). Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 13:19, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I think that the word "state" is less likely to confuse people, and if it were up to me, I would disambiguate it anyway, but I take your point. Probably the best thing to do is use the term "sovereign state" in the opening of every article about a sovereign state, but I highly doubt that I would get every geographic wikiproject to agree. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:47, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The intro is fine, let's leave it that way. GoodDay (talk) 19:56, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


It seems to me that there has been a lot of vandalism of this page reciently; I think it wouldn't be out of the question to place it under some form of protection for a while. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 10:08, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Not sure what you're referring to. Seems about a normal amount of vandalism for a high profile page. Absolutely no need for protection. Matt J User|Talk 17:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
There was a moments panic when I saw that SmackBot edited "Country" to "country"; but I see nobody is taking offense, so no need to protect in my view. Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 10:38, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Expanding article

Among the many expansions being made to this article over the past, there is this "The Scots' pragmatic approach to the vagaries of human nature, is evident in everything from the works of David Hume and Adam Ferguson to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Homes. Their concern for functionality and practical design can be seen in the architecture of Robert Adam and in the Art Nouveau of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Their dark sense of humour abounds in the comedy of Billy Connolly and the books of Irvine Welsh. " That is essentially POV amalgam, open to any other set of counter examples; I'm deleting the para but bring it here for potential discussion. AllyD (talk) 22:59, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Rapid Fire Edits without Summaries - and historical inaccuracy

This article is being subjected to a stream of IP-originated edits, whose common factor is non-use of the Edit Summary, contrary to Good Practice. Can people please use the Edit Summary to explain what they are doing with each edit?

One item that I notice is that the the text and footnote relating to the 1696 Education Act has been ported back 200 years and has become text about the 1496 Education Act. The outcome is that text relating to general parish schools (1696) has now been applied to the 1496 position (not even mentioned in the reference) with an added claim that this represented "general public education". Only if one regards the "sons of barons and freeholders of substance" as the general public. AllyD (talk) 00:39, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

First World War Scottish death toll

The figure of 74,000 Scottish dead in the first world war is quite a bit shy of being the real figure. I remember reading somewhere the death toll was actually 147,000, which is why I had a look around. The Scottish National War Memorial state that they commemorate nearly 150,000 casualties. By casualties they mean dead as memorials don't commemorate the wounded. (talk) 06:34, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

A couple of books here confirm the 147,000 figure.[1] (talk) 06:45, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

This article is about Scotland, no the millions of people descended from those who left Scotland for England, India, Canada, USA, etc etc. Therefore the count should be just those who enlisted from a residence in Scotland. As for the memorial, its website says that it includes casualties from "from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and many other countries. Some were of direct Scottish descent, their families having emigrated many years before, while others served proudly in Scots Commonwealth units." The 74,000 number is from the standard scholarly New Penguin History of Scotland (2001) edited by Houston and Knox p 426 and does not include the overseas men of Scottish ancestry. Rjensen (talk) 06:53, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I'll have to hunt the book down and read page 426. (talk) 07:03, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Scottish Cabinet photograph

Do any users have access to an up-to-date photograph of the Scottish cabinet? Michael Russell took over from Fiona Hyslop as Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in 2009. Also, should the old photograph be removed? (talk) 10:50, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Okay. That'll be a no and an I don't know then. Has Scotland shut down for the day? (talk) 19:26, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

No, the old photograph should not be removed. Wikipedia articles deal with the entire span of history of topics. There is nothing whatsoever that stipulates that all photographs must be bang up to date. Just as long as the caption indicates correct date. We do not have the luxury of a vast band of photographers supplying material, with correct copyright, so we use the few materials available to us.
On another point, I strongly advise you to register an account. ip addresses have an appalling reputation around here, especially on this particular article. --Mais oui! (talk) 07:10, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
To have an appalling reputation after years of living with an untarnished one would be too much. I have dated the photograph. John Hendo (talk) 11:07, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Burns night

I wouldn't want to upset Rabbie Burns fans but, is his day widely observed? In the national symbols section it does say it is more widely observed than St Andrews day. Even so, is widely observing not an exaggeration when as far as I'm aware, living in Scotland as I've done all my life, observance of his day is few and far between and I don't recall observing it myself or knowing anyone who does. Maybe I'm associating with the wrong people. Thoughts? John Hendo (talk) 13:57, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

My experience tells me that, inside Scotland St Andrew's day is more widely observed; outside Scotland, Burns night is more widely observed. For instance here in Calgary, Burns night and haggis always get a mention on the TV at this time of year plus the number of Burns suppers that various organisations put on is quite extraordinary. St Andrew's day on the other hand passes yearly without comment. Oh, and you're definitely mixing with the wrong people, <grin>. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:36, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I just needed someone to confirm that for me. About the wrong people I mean. :) Do you think our experiences are enough to tweak the wording to reflect that? John Hendo (talk) 15:40, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
We could try. The worst that will happen is that it gets reverted. By the way if you're really interested in attending a Burns supper, have a look in the local paper and on the internet. There might be a public one going on in your neighbourhood. They aren't always well advertised but they do exist. I certainly attended a couple while I lived in Angus. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:47, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Aye, that might be a good night out. As long as I don't have to address the Haggis! Would you like to do the tweak yourself Derek? John Hendo (talk) 15:50, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Tweaked. I always enjoyed the Burns suppers that I went to. Mind you it depends on the quality of the speakers. When you get someone with a knack for comedy it's great. When you don't... well, at least the food is generally good. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:00, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I would imagine they would have a good supply of fine Scotch Whisky for all that toasting. John Hendo (talk) 16:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I would certainly hope so. -- Derek Ross | Talk 17:30, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
In my experience, Burns night is celebrated more by the "protestent community" within Scotland, with the only burns suppers in my area to my recolection being organised by the local masonic lodges etc. and St. Andrew's day is more of a celebration that involves everyone in Scotland. Of course, outside Scotland, I have little idea as to how it is celebrated as I've never lived anywhere else. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 10:54, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I realise that the Masons are big Burns fans. However I'm not a Mason myself and I've never attended a Masonic Burns supper. The ones that I have attended have always been community-based. As for religion, I'll take your word for it, but living in Angus and the Northeast I never noticed it as a factor. Maybe it's just because I'm an unobservant atheist. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:10, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I can't say I've ever heard anyone criticise or praise him in relation to their religion. You either like him or you don't, right? John Hendo (talk) 16:16, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I've heard before from a few sources that he was quite a devoted protestant, I could be wrong though; I'll do a bit of digging later on and see if I can find anything. EDIT: also, I live near Glasgow so that's probably a big factor. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 16:42, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I don't doubt that he was a Presbyterian. After all we are talking about late 18th century Scotland. Even the Episcopalians were keeping their heads down at that point, and Catholics were still on the other side of the Irish Sea for the most part. But a devoted Presbyterian? His womanising and poems like Holy Willie's Prayer, or The Holy Tulzie suggest that his devotion only went so far. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:31, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

See also similar discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Scotland#Missing topic: Relationship between N Irish and Scottish politics. I think we can surmise that there is tendency for the tribal/religious element to be in issue in the west and perhaps Central Belt in general. Elsewhere it receives a lot less emphasis. I have never heard of anyone in this part of the world considering a Burns supper as anything other than simply Scottish. Ben MacDui 19:06, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I guess you're right; I had only heard it from a few people before but I'd never thought much off it, but, I couldn't really find anything that was reliable enough that said Burn's night was a protestant thing. I don't really observe Burn's Night and I think the people who do in my area are the minority. Too many things like this descend into the whole catholics vs. protestants thing; I suppose I'm not really too interested in many of them beyond the Old Firm as I'm an athiest.--Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 12:28, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Secretary of State

If the UK Prime Minister is to be removed from the infobox (and he's still there at this writing) how would people feel about replacing him with the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore? Ivor Stoughton (talk) 15:07, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Why not have both? Kittybrewster 15:18, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm neutral about that. GoodDay (talk) 15:18, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

He's part of the UK parliament rather than the Scottish parliament. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 15:41, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Government section of Infobox

The UK Prime Minister needs to be placed in this section of the infobox. Scotland has a devolved government, but, last I checked was still governed from Westminster.Catfish Jim & the soapdish 12:57, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

The UK PM does not belong in the infobox. I have no idea why you think Scotland having a devolved government should change that. This is an article on Scotland, not the UK. Any argument that readers will somehow be confused into thinking that Scotland is an independent country if he is not in the infobox collapses the second you start reading the article. US and Australian States do not include their President/Prime Minister in the infobox. Is anyone confused into thinking they are independent states? Putting forward the argument that it's because Scotland is referred to as a country (as you did at Wales) does not stand up. Having the UK PM in the infobox just looks odd. John Hendo (talk) 13:17, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
You may also wish to refer to the FAQ above and the various discussions in the archive. Consensus may change of course, but there is background to consider. 14:08, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. It still confuses me why anyone would think having the UK PM in the infobox improves this article. In my opinion it only confuses things. As I said before, this article is about Scotland, not the UK. As you say, consensus may change. John Hendo (talk) 14:17, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is mentioned in the FAQ:
Q7: Why is the First Minister listed above the Prime Minister?
A7: This article is about Scotland, and the First Minister is the head of the Scottish Government. Many Wikipedia articles about non-sovereign entities (such as US states) do not display the name of the head of state at all, but excluding the Prime Minister has proved to be controversial, so the current compromise was reached some time ago.
It looks like someone has taken it upon themselves to remove the Prime Minister since this compromise consensus was reached... I'll have a look through the archives to see if an a more recent consensus was agreed.
As to why it might improve the article to include the PM? Perhaps because he is the head of government here? Catfish Jim & the soapdish 14:20, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
He is the head of the UK government. There is only one government in Scotland and that's the one in Edinburgh. I'll reiterate, this is an article on Scotland and the UK PM is not the head of the Scottish government. Do you think the UK PM belongs in the infobox at the Scottish Government article? John Hendo (talk) 14:25, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The UK Prime Minister absolutely is the head of government in Scotland when it comes to reserved and excepted matters of government. The First Minister is the head of a devolved government, not an independent government.
I've traced the removal of the UK PM from the infobox to an non-consensus edit made by an anonymous IP on the 5th of January: here Catfish Jim & the soapdish 14:36, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Is he the Prime Minister of the Scottish Government? No. His title is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This is an article on Scotland, not the UK. By your reckoning the US President and the Australian Prime Minister should be on every State article infobox. I'll have to log out for quite a while, at least until tomorrow, and we shall see if anyone else has an opinion on this. It goes without saying that if there is no consensus to exclude him I shall accept that. John Hendo (talk) 14:49, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Scotland is not a federal state, it is a country. The current position, with FM and PM both listed, is the result of consensus reached following long (and arguably tedious) discussions that are preserved in the archives above. It should not be altered unilaterally. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 14:56, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Here are the relevant discussions from the Archives:

Catfish Jim & the soapdish 15:13, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

I also see that the discussions took place two or three years ago. Consensus may have changed since then. I'll avoid posting any further comments here and wait and see if anyone else wants to chip in. John Hendo (talk) 13:14, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really the best person to give thier opinion about anything political, but I'll chip in to the discussion none the less. The way I see it, is that there is no need to include the UK prime minister in the infobox; we already state in the article that Scotland is a part of the UK and this article is specifically about Scotland as a country, so should include the head of government for Scotland. You wouldn't really see many articles including the leader of the EU in their infoboxes and I see this as a similar situation in some way. Westminster may have powers over certain things which concern Scotland (such as defence and international relations) but the vast majority of decisions made as to how Scotland is run are made without any input from Westminster at all and they do not have any control over it; so, putting the Prime Minister in the infobox is kind of placing him in a higher position within Scotland than he really has in my opinion. Also, the head of state in the UK is the current monarch so that would suggest to me that so long as the queen is in the infobox there is no need for the PM. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 10:08, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Point of information: there has never been consensus, or anything even approaching it, regarding adding the UK PM to the infobox on this page. It is self-evidently preposterous, like so much of the infantlie content that passes for "work" here at Wikipedia. It is wee silly things like this that will continue to contribute to preventing Wikipedia ever becoming a proper reference work. But, to a large extent, I have stopped caring, so feel free to add Nick Clegg too if you fancy. I'm sure someone out there will have a good guffaw at our expense.--Mais oui! (talk) 10:22, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

We do tend to get bogged down in the silly little insignificant details a lot here rather than focusing on the bigger issues don't we? --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 11:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
It may be a very small detail and some may consider it insignificant, but as Mais oui points out above there are probably a few guffaws at our expense. I laughed at the thought of anyone including Nick Clegg in the infobox (as I laugh at the thought of the PM's inclusion) until I realized something. If the majority of people here decided he should be included he would be, no matter how inane that would be. As has been said above, the whole thing is preposterous. John Hendo (talk) 17:08, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree the whole thing is preposterous, but for what will probably be a different reason to most; I really can't understand the idea of any Scottish person wanting to associate their country with the Westminster governement any more than is necessary. It's like a Scotsman choosing flying a union flag as opposed to the Scottish saltire; I'll never understand that, a bit controversial maybe, but that's just me. For that reason (and the fact that the PM isn't actually the head of state, the queen is) I think the idea of mentioning the PM in the infobox for Scotland isn't really needed. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 17:39, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Whether we want to be associated with a Westminster government is irrelevant for these purposes, but it would make for an interesting Wikipedia article. See this for example. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 23:09, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying that, wheather or not we want to be associated should be taken into account here; facts are facts and opinions wont change that. I was just explaining where I'm coming from when talking about things like this. It would certainly make a very interesting article as it could delve into the decline of "Britishness" especially among the celtic peoples of the UK and how it has affected certain aspects of how the countries work together as part of the UK. --Connelly90[AlbaGuBràth] (talk) 09:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

The likely reason for the UK Prime Minister being included in this articles infobox, aswell as the infoboxes of the articles Wales, Northern Ireland and England, is because England doesn't have a devolved government. For an example of other non-independants who don't have their sovereign state's President or Prime Minister in their infoboxes - see the Canadian provinces & territories; the American states & territories. GoodDay (talk) 02:12, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

The above post falls into WP:SOAP, and is completely irrelevant to how this article should be improved. Any objection to its removal? Daicaregos (talk) 12:02, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
It's not soapy atall, as we're trying to keep the 4 articles as consistant as possible. GoodDay (talk) 16:08, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Consistency would be having all three heads of the devolved administrations in their associated infoboxs, the UK Prime Minister has no place on the infobox just as the Scottish First Minister has no place on the UK infobox.
All 4 articles must be consistant. If we remove UK PM from all 4? then the infobox gov't section at England would seem a tad odd. GoodDay (talk) 16:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
All 4 articles do not need to be entirely consistent. Their histories and current constitutional positions are quite different, and WP should reflect that. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:59, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
You'd have no probs with deleting UK PM from England's infobox? GoodDay (talk) 17:01, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
How is that relevant to this article? Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:02, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Its more ambiguous there than at the other country articles, discussion can take place on that page. Otherwise I agree with Ghmyrtle this is not one of those cases where we need consistency --Snowded TALK 17:04, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
As long as UK PM is kept at England's infobox, I'll oppose its deletion here and at Wales, Northern Ireland's infoboxes. GoodDay (talk) 17:09, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Jesus! Is this the kind of people that decides what's on the Scotland article? Take a look at his recent contributions. I've never seen anyone so xenophobic in my life! . John Hendo (talk) 23:48, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
It's gotta be deleted from all 4 infoboxes or none atall. GoodDay (talk) 00:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
That's your argument! Get yourself an education then come back to me. I've been following your contributions since you stormed off in a huff when I asked you a question on the UK page. Quite frankly, I don't know why anyone puts up with your prejudice. John Hendo (talk) 01:13, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I need a refresher course (at my talkpage), concerning the UK article. GoodDay (talk) 01:31, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Here is your refresher course. John Hendo (talk) 01:59, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
This isn't the place for that topic. Bring it to my talkpage. GoodDay (talk) 02:02, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
You amaze me. You bring up things on article talk pages that don't even try to improve the article, yet you think I should bring this to your talk page! No thanks. I have no interest in your talk page. John Hendo (talk) 02:12, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Your choice. GoodDay (talk) 02:18, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Agree with John, your generally disruptive behaviour should be visible on the talk pages of the articles, not confined to your talk page. The bulk of your comments make no contribution to article improvement. --Snowded TALK 07:30, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
His choice. GoodDay (talk) 13:58, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I have raised the issue of the UK PM's removal on the talk:England page.--Barryob (Contribs) (Talk) 00:13, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Why? Do we need permission from the England article? No change there then! John Hendo (talk) 01:43, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not a fan of Infoboxes, and they are especially poor as locations for the expression of any form of complexity. Nor have I felt that the periodic to-and-fro skirmishes here on the Infobox content have contributed much to the improvement of the article and its general level of information. But on a specific here, if we just try to anchor this in some real examples, in the past fortnight there have been news stories about the potential closures of some airbases and economic repercussions on people in these areas of Scotland. And so what do we find? Petitions being delivered to 10 Downing Street; Fife Council sending submissions to Liam Fox; Westminster debates on consequences for Scottish people's jobs. It may not reflect how we want Scotland to be governed, but there's a level of current reality represented in there. If there's going to be an Infobox, it has to reflect that reality. AllyD (talk) 15:20, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
In 2009 there was a Taxpayer March on Washington to protest against big government, health care reform, federal taxation, and the presidents federaL spending. The US Presidents decisions on all these things affect all Americans in whatever state they live in. Does wikipedia see the need to include the president in the state articles? [2][3][4][5] John Hendo (talk) 16:01, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Please Mais, don't delete the UK PM from the infobox again. There's no consensus here for its deletion. GoodDay (talk) 21:03, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

It is blatantly obvious from the above discussion that there is no support whatsoever for the frankly bizarre inclusion of the UK PM in the infobox. The editors of this article will not allow you to continue your well-known routine. You have been warned. --Mais oui! (talk) 05:28, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
There's no consensus for deleting the UK PM from this article's infobox, which is reflected in this discussion. GoodDay (talk) 05:30, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
There was never any consensus for adding the UK PM, and it is clear that there is a consensus for removing that line from the Infobox. We know your record of highly disruptive, unconstructive behaviour on British/Irish topics. We will not allow that behaviour to continue here. You have received fair warning. Now desist immediately. --Mais oui! (talk) 05:36, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Save it for my talkpage, cuz I'm not discussing that topic here. GoodDay (talk) 05:38, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Yet again you refuse to discuss the substantive points here at Talk. (Because you do not have any substantive points to make.) And you throw your standard smokescreen about taking it to your own Talk page. A failed tactic you have already used just up-page. If you have anything useful to say, you must say it here. We are not holding our breath.--Mais oui! (talk) 05:44, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Didn't we discuss this a few years ago either here or at one of the four other relevant articles (UK, NI, and Wales)? It might be worth checking what drove consensus the last time before coming to a decision this time. Also, it would be nice if people left the article at the status quo ante until the discussion is completed. -Rrius (talk) 06:10, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Nothing "drove consensus" last time, because there never was any consensus to add the UK PM to the infobox of this article. The "status quo" for several years (since Wikipedia started up) was not to show the UK PM in the infobox, so that is the status quo ante. --Mais oui! (talk) 06:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
That's how I remember it too, Rrius. GoodDay (talk) 06:21, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
You "remember" a non-existent event? A most remarkable feat. One hardly knows whether to congratulate or commiserate. --Mais oui! (talk) 06:24, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I've restored it. An infobox is there to summarise the pertinant points of article. Removing it from the infobox is tantamount to deleting every part of this article that discusses issues still reserved to Westminster. To pretend that the only two people that are relevant to to that section are the (completely powerless) Queen and Alex Salmond (in charge of hospitals and roads and anything else he is not specifically told to keep his nose out of by Westminster), is frankly laughable. To give that impression to readers who might not know otherwise, for an encyclopoedia rather than an SNP pamphlet, is simply inexcusable. MickMacNee (talk) 20:11, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Mick that is your opinion, others have pointed to precedents on other articles and no one is arguing that there are not matters reserved to Westminster. I don't think its the biggest issue around, but whatever it does not justify the invective in your post. I seem to remember that you agreed elsewhere to tone the language down a bit. As it is arguments had been advanced and there is no absolute right or wrong. Given that so far all the editors in the straw poll have said remove it seems reasonable to argue that this is the consensus--Snowded TALK 20:19, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
You remember wrong, as usual, so you can stop that tedious and well trodden game before you even start it, if your intention here is to actually discuss anything with me. On an issue so ripe for POV pushing like this, polls are utterly irrelevant, worthless infact. If you are so desperate for a poll, we can put it to a site wide poll, to ensure we get plenty of completely neutral opinions, from people who have no agenda to push here. The only thing that consensus is derived from is making an actual, sensible, intellectual argument, on whether or not it is completely and utterly misleading and disingenuous for uninformed readers, to exclude the UK PM from this infobox. If that has been made above, point it out. Arguments of the like of pretending that this article is just like that of a US state (which actually have far more constitutional independence that Scotland ever will while still remaining in the UK) are completely and utterly irrelevant. Given the context, do you really think arguments that compare the Scotland infobox to a simple sub-country subdivision are remotely relevant? Do you think it is remotely plausible for anyone to pretend that for basic information such as 'who controls the armed forces', is not something that should be uniform across all four UK country articles? If people think this is information that would really be included in for example, the Essex infobox, and that's the example we should be following, then by all means, run us all through how that logic works. If you want to pretend that the discussion above came to some sort of supportable conclusion, you could start by pointing out where points made such as that by Ally D were responded to, if responding to what I've said is too taxing. MickMacNee (talk) 20:39, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can see the points Ally D made were responded to over the next few responses. Other than that the rest of your point seems to be a pretty standard Mick diatribe. I suppose I should be grateful there are no swear words. However I don't see any new arguments that have not been covered. You have a valid point of view, so do those who oppose you. This is not a major issue of policy not is it one where there is a definitive right answer. If you have a substantial point to make and can make it without invective in a WP:CIVIL: civil manner then I'll happily respond. Another post like that I will just ignore, life is too short to put up with editors who can't engage in a civil conversation. --Snowded TALK 21:09, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Do me a favour, you don't even realise you are being incivil in posts like the above where you carry on your tedious game of pretending smearing me is somehow a civil way of answering my post, or buying into this nonsense that the only way you can be incivil is if you swear. That's how much you know about civil behavour tbh, and therefore, I really could care less who or what you ignore, especially if that's all you have to say here. And as regards what you do have to say here that isn't a tedious smear, Ally D has not actually been answered in the manner I described, and no, this issue is not a free for all where people can make up any old point as if they were remotely equal. Prevention of POV pushing through poor argumentation, or self-interested votes, is infact a core policy. MickMacNee (talk) 22:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Snowded is right, there are valid opinions on both sides. I find Mick's argument that US States "have far more constitutional independence that Scotland ever will" to be quite counter-factual. US States are in some ways pretty similar to Scotland in some important ways (state legislature, multi-tier government, considerable spending autonomy) and it would be illuminating to see a comparison by a constitutional expert of the relative powers of a US state governor and the First Minister. I suspect the latter actually has more power in some ways, but not others. It is in no way as clear cut as Mick proposes. A relatively short piece by Mick, I assume a much longer diatribe will now ensue? :) Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:16, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
No, there are not valid opinions on both sides, there are opinions, that's all. How much weight they have depends on how much sense they make, particularly with regard to whether a reader who knows nothing about Scotland is going to be intentionally misled or not by accepting some of those opinions as remotely plausible. And if people don't even know the difference in the constitutional status of a US state and the UK countries, why are they even using them as a comparison? MickMacNee (talk) 22:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

No "straw polls" - Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion

Perhaps I'm mis-reading the above discussion in claiming there's no consensus for deletion; I'm simply not sure. For clarifiction sake, can we have atleast a straw poll on inclusion/exclusion of the UK Prime Minister? GoodDay (talk) 07:41, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

No. This is not a forum for your tedious teenage pranks. Discuss the issue like an adult, or take the high road. --Mais oui! (talk) 08:52, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Well he should have done the work to check numbers rather than taking the lazy way out with a straw poll, and yes his previous comments have been trivial at best (part of a disturbing pattern with GoodDay). However I think we need to be careful here. Having reviewed the discussion we have three editors for inclusion, two (Catfish and AllyD0 advancing arguments, one (GoodDay) opining as is his way without argument. Then there are four for removal (Hendo, Connelly, Daicaregos, Mais oui) and four who have commented but not taken a formal position (Ghymrtle, Snowden, Rrius & Barryob). Now that does not really establish a consensus for change. If pushed on what I think is a minor matter I would favour exclusion which would make it five-three which is marginal to change a long standing position. So overall I think a straw poll is not a bad way to test opinion and its a normal wikipedia process. Mais oui, I get as frustrated by GoodDay treating Wikipedia as a private play pen as you do but we shouldn't let that blind us to proper process. Given that I am opening the poll below --Snowded TALK 09:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
A straw poll is fine if those taking part in it have given a legitimate reason for their stance. Ally D and catfish have at least given an argument for their stance, though I disagree with them. The only argument from one user that it's because we must have consistency between articles doesn't really cut it as far as I'm concerned. John Hendo (talk) 10:00, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a "stance", or a strong opinion, on the substantive issue, so doubt if I'll want to make a comment. (Unless people raise the "consistency" issue, which I reject.) Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:19, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I just raised the "consistency" issue. GoodDay (talk) 14:12, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I think it would be helpful if some evidence of use outside of Albion could be provided. I had a quick look at the infoboxes of various constituent parts of the US, Canada, Australia and Russia, plus Tibet and I could see no evidence of the head of of the sovereign state appearing there. There may well be examples.... Ben MacDui 10:49, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

  • My position is not quite as summarised above. It is that Infoboxes (if they have a place) should only express clear facts that can stand alone, without dubiety or need of supporting lawyering. Anything more complex than plain fact belongs in the article text. So instead of juggling leader_name and legislature parameter numbers to either omit one or balance precedence of Edinburgh & Westminster roles, I'd prefer to omit all. AllyD (talk) 11:25, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
(resp to Ben Mac), That's why I've leaned towards remove, in the straw poll. GoodDay (talk) 15:20, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Ben MacDui raises a sensible point above, which is comparison with similar devolved entities. Of course, this is another case of the usual problem that the "constituent countries" of the UK represent an almost unique case in their make-up; historic countries, with a common monarch as head of state and recent, but variably empowered, devolved national administrations. Not just that, but the most populous entity, England, is also effectively undevolved in a wierd semi-federalised system with no seperate powers for the largest member. Other large federal entities like Germany and the US for example have their own wikipedia conventions. Nothing else really like these islands. I do question though why we have Scotland not showing the PM and Wales showing it. Is the difference between the two really so great? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:11, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

The Wales question is a current topic of conversation, the outcome of which will likely be informed by this debate. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 22:21, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
(Reply to Jamesinderbyshire). I don't want to put words into your keyboard, but would it be reasonable to interpret what you are saying as something like: "There appear to be no or very few Wikipedia articles outside of the UK where the national sub-division of sovereign states have infoboxes that display the sovereign state premier. Scotland, whilst having an historically different background to many of them has a status which is currently similar to most of those sub-divisions. England on the other hand, has an anomalous position"? I wonder if this is the nub of this whole discussion. It is easy to fantasise that it is somehow an "Nationalist vs Unionist" debate, but I wonder if a major reason for its recurring nature is that:
  1. The occcupant of No 10 has to be in the England infobox for sure.
  2. Editors who are more focused on parts of the UK that are not Scotland and Wales sometimes jump to the conclusion that attempts to avoid this usage in Scotland are somehow an egregious expression of national sentiment (and in some cases they may be right), but
  3. Some editors who are more focused on Scotland wonder why this article is being treated differently from just about all similar articles except England, but find themselves cast as card-carrying members of the SNP when they get involved.
In short, the question may boil down to - should Scotland follow English usage or more general Wikipedia usage? Ben MacDui 09:10, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
A good analysis. There are probably lots of ways we mistake each others' preoccupations and primary interests for "nationalist" or "domineering English" or whatever. We are all struggling with the ambiguities. Painted on top of this are all the Ireland / NI issues and the smaller islands. Oviously we all need to take a regular chill-pill around here and be careful about assuming the worst of each other. The other problem is that often we don't understand aspects of national characteristics, long-held assumptions or beliefs that operate in the "other parts" of the islands from our own and those misunderstandings land us in trouble. So the Wikipedia maxim to not bite is well thought out and applies here as much as anywhere. I do wonder a little bit if we shouldn't start from scratch with the infoboxes and set up infoboxes that are purely templated for the special situation of the UK though. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 09:37, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I should add that in a way Wikipedia (as it often does) blazes a trail on this issue - there aren't any other forums (fora?) I know of that analyse these issues in as much detail as we do here and expose the intricate ambiguities and confusions for what they are. Wikipedia is not a debating society, but these talk pages do show up a lot of interesting points that aren't regularly featured in the news media and which our politicians seem hopelessly ignorant of in many cases. Useful to remind ourselves of the power and intelligence of this activity, even though it is also often frustrating and feels foolish. Just passed my 3,000th edit on this, so it must matter to me presumably. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 09:41, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Open Poll

Please indicate "remove" or "keep" in respect of the UK's PM being in the information box.

  • Remove --Snowded TALK 09:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove - There is a footnote that explains Scotland's position within the United Kingdom, and the inclusion of Alex Salmond as government head is informative to readers as well as correct being that Scotland does have a devolved government.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 09:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove Per my argument above. John Hendo (talk) 10:02, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove as per Autonomous communities of Spain all of which have devolved powers yet do no list the Spain PM in the respective infoboxes. (add signing) Barryob (talk) 14:31, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove - this is the Scotland article, not the United Kingdom article. Daicaregos (talk) 14:58, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove. - Kittybrewster 16:13, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove, per the infoboxes at Prince Edward Island & California (for examples), which don't have the Canadian Prime Minister or the American President within them. GoodDay (talk) 21:20, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Comment - Totally irrelevant. Kittybrewster 21:48, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Article protection

Because of the repeated changes and reversions on the same point I have put a one day protection on the article, in line with the recent protection of the Wales article. This protection may be renewed if necessary. (And yes I know I've protected The Wrong Version.) Please a) discuss things on here first and establish a clear consensus rather than changing back and forth; and b) if it's disputed if consensus has been reached then get a neutral party to determine what is the consensus. Thank you. Timrollpickering (talk) 20:23, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I can see a consensus for the removal of the UK PM from the infobox. Should it not be reverted back to that version? John Hendo (talk) 02:38, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I'm withdrawing from this debate. Clearly I'm a troll/educationally subnormal teenager who knows nothing about Scotland and her society, history and civil life ([6]). Catfish Jim & the soapdish 12:22, 1 February 2011 (UTC) Struck following clarification from User:Mais oui... Catfish Jim & the soapdish 11:18, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
There is no consensus here - see WP:CON. In NPOV disputes like this, polls are worthless, not least when they have not been advertised to the wider community to benefit from the truly neutral viewpoint (and I hope we aren't going to get the same tedious accusations as we do in Irish polls, that the whole community are British imperialist bastards, as one notorious Irish POV pushing editor always asserts when they don't get their way in such polls). Given the basic facts, I cannot see how a site wide poll would agree that the change makes any sense at all. As far as the discussion phase of CON on this issue, the opposing viewpoints have not been rebutted in any meaningfull way at all, certainly not with any reference to a core policy like NPOV. This page has nothing in common with any of the examples cited above that do not include such higher information in their infoboxes, and it's pretty obvious that pretending to uninformed readers of this article that the only people who govern Scotland are Alex Salmond or 'Queen Elizabeth I of Scotland', are rather obvious examples of presenting an improper POV of the subject. Scotland has not been an independent country for 300 years, Westminster is very much still a core part of its governance, and while Scotland has devolution, it most certainly does not have a federal or constitutional status that is in any way comparable to a US state or a German state, and it's also pretty obvious that the levels of awareness of the status of those entities in the uninformed reader (which this article is here to inform, it is not the sole preserve of Scottish editors familiar with the subject) is a hundred times greater than compared to Scotland (in a world where some can't even distinguish England from Britain, this should be blindingly obvious to anyone not here to POV push). It's not called the Federal Republic of Germany for nothing, and the average Yank doesn't get into a lather when you deny his statehood for for nothing either. The status and world knowledge of Scotland by comparison? The comparative history of its own pseudo self-government stretches all the way back to the ancient times of 1997 (and was not originally called the Scottish Executive for nothing either). So putting aside the lack of a passport or any kind of meaningfull 'statehood', if people want to suggest that Scotland is merely an administrative sub-division of the UK, like Essex is to England, such that various things only relevant to the larger entity can be removed from the infobox, then we can see what else fits that criteria too and remove the whole lot, although I very much doubt that is the overall intention of this proposed change. And yes, as a final point, if the argument is that this is simply a sensible matter of organisation, consistency between the UK infoboxes is very much a relevant point to be addressed properly, if this is the particular argument to be made. MickMacNee (talk) 16:09, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I just want to point out, the straw poll was requested by me as clarification on its preceding discussion. At that time, I was claiming there was no consensus to delete the UK Prime Minister & then was concerned I wasn't reading the discussion properly. With the commencement of the straw poll, we agreed (as Mais' stated), it wasn't binding. GoodDay (talk) 16:16, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I could argue that the US president should be in the state infoboxes. Yes, they are federal states, but it is also a fact that that the presidents policies have an affect on every citizen of those United States. His exclusion may fool some people into thinking that is not the case. I would not argue for that of course, because reading a very small part of the article would disavow them of that notion and is any case an article on the individual state, not the United States. The infobox of this article informs us that Scotland has a devolved government and the reader would expect to find the identity of the leader of that government in the infobox. Why they would expect the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to be there escapes me, and how the reader would be confused over the status of Scotland and it's government when they can clearly see that it is devolved and the first sentence of this article explicitly says that it is part of the United Kingdom also escapes me. The infobox does not need the UK PM and having him there does not add any additional useful information, and quite frankly looks odd with him there when this is an article on Scotland. At the moment there is a consensus for his removal, but if you think that there is a lack of neutrality here then you can put it to a wider audience. How that should be done I don't know, but if you decide to do so I shall step back and let a consensus evolve from there. John Hendo (talk) 17:58, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Have to disagree there, John--the states of the US are not federal states; it is the United States itself that is the federal state. In a way there is probably a greater case for the inclusion of the UK prime minister in the Scotland box than the president in the US states articles. The UK government can in theory legislate in every single bit of devolved areas but that is not the case in the US--no UK powers have been given up in this. In a sense, the Scottish government is the UK government's proxy for handling UK responsibilities in Scotland. In practice, the UK government does not exercise its powers (so far) and allows the Scottish government to legislate without interference. In the US, some areas of the individual states can absolutely not be interfered with by the federal government. --Bill Reid | (talk) 19:58, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Given its basic purpose, an infobox looks decidedly odd to any normal person if it is missing very basic information about the topic, not least if that information is considered so important, it appears in the first line of the article. And it's not a requirement to read the article before reading the infobox makes any sense, that would be mad. If the UK PM is removed, unsurprisingly, and in contrast to US state infoboxes, the infobox retrievable contextual reference to the UK becomes completely and utterly obscured. Which is probably quite intentional I think, given as it does, in a completely opposite fashion to US state infoboxes, a rather passable impression to the reader that this page is about a completely independent country. Again, no surprise there I don't think. I've actually no objection to removing the line about the PM, if the sentence about devolved government that prefaces that whole section, actually stated in clear language, where the devolved powers come from, namely the Westminster Parliament. But again, I'm not sure that sort of clarity and reader benefit is what is being pushed for here. And no, there is no argument at all that you could give for including the US President that would have any relevance here - as Bill Reid points out, the nature of that power structure is almost completely reversed, if we are going to start pretending that the concept of a US President is as well known around the world as Scottish devolution that the situations are even worth comparing - an absurd idea in of itself. MickMacNee (talk) 00:41, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
What about the Catalonia comparison? The politics section of the infobox there says simply the government type ("devolved government in a constitutional monarchy"), the name of the Catalan minister-president (Artur Mas), and the name of the devolved administration(Generalitat de Catalunya). It doesn't name check either the King of Spain or Prime Minister Zapatero. Why would something similar be innapropriate for Scotland? Ivor Stoughton (talk) 01:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The situation is quite distinct. Aside its far greater level of autonomy, Scotland is regarded to be a country in its own right rather than simply a region within a country. The Scotland article needs to be able to be viewed in that light and its infobox has to be comparable with those of other countries. Catalonia is, on the other hand, simply regarded as a region of Spain with limited devolved powers.Catfish Jim & the soapdish 12:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
As I said above, and what I think Catfish Jim is saying, if people want to downgrade this infobox to that of an administrative region of the UK (which is what Catalonia's infobox (Template:Infobox settlement) is in relation to Spain), so we can remove information you can easily assume in that case, like where 'devolved powers' come from, then we can do that, but I rather think that the logical outcome of that, in what other changes it would prompt, is not what people are after. Taking the Catalonia example, that would require for example, the inclusion in Scotland's infobox (Template:Infobox country) a special 'country parameter', to denote which sovereign state that Scotland belongs to, i.e the UK (currently, this piece of basic info, included in the opening sentence, is only vaguely hinted at using the map). As I said above, I'd be more than happy to remove the UK PM if that was done. MickMacNee (talk) 12:52, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
That seems to be the way to go then. Much clearer than the present situation. Ivor Stoughton (talk) 15:07, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
To have an infobox on the Scotland article that says "Country: United Kingdom"? Does anybody seriously believe this will improve the article's stability? Catfish Jim & the soapdish 15:31, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't have to say "Country: United Kingdom". If you look at Catalonia's template you will see that the parameter showing "Country: Spain" is a pipelink: [[List of sovereign states|Country]]. It could just as easily say [[List of sovereign states|Sovereign state]], giving "Sovereign state: United Kingdom".Daicaregos (talk) 15:47, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I could go with that. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 16:30, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, me too. Ivor Stoughton (talk) 17:49, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Scotland isn't independant, just like Ontario & Nebraska. We don't need the UK PM in the former, just like we don't have the Canadian PM & US President in the latter 'respectively'. There's no need to complicate something so easily fixed. GoodDay (talk) 16:15, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
And that statement is intended to improve this article how exactly? Daicaregos (talk) 17:29, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
You know where my talkpage is, if you've a problem with why I'm supporting exclusion of the UK PM. GoodDay (talk) 17:45, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
That might seem logical, but the situations are not analogous. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 16:30, 2 February 2011 (UTC)