Talk:United Kingdom/Archive 25

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Couple of comments

Just reading the first sentence there are two footnotes included for the statement: '(commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state' - first of all one of the links is dead and should probably be removed for that reason, but also as per WP:REF footnotes are only needed for 'adding or restoring material that is challenged or likely to be challenged' - none of that information should be remotely contentious. Thus I propose that these two footnotes are removed as this will also improve the accessibility and simplicity of the page.

Secondly the statement 'Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland' is similarly uncontentious but is footnoted not once but twice, and one of the footnotes regards to the proposal for border checks which seems unnecessarily politically provocative for what is a simple matter of geography. Thus these two footnotes should also be removed.

I don't think these proposed edits should be particularly controversial but I think that they could help improve the look and read of the page.

Trumpkin (talk) 15:10, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Now that we have the section on Etymology and Terminology, which covers those points, it does seem to me that those footnotes can be removed from the introduction, and the references added to the new section as appropriate - but I haven't checked the details of what the refs say, and we need to make sure that they support the terminology used in the text. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:10, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
One link is dead and the other is to a page on the EU website about EU institutions - I can't figure out its relevance. Probably both can just go. DeCausa (talk) 09:41, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Much better, thanks. Trumpkin (talk) 00:13, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Sport

Boxing scene from the Aeneid (book 5), mosaic floor from a Gallo-Roman villa in Villelaure(France), ca. 175 AD, Getty Villa (71.AH.106) the United Kingdom

Following on from the above topic ... it was suggested that only the first paragraph is needed for the Sport section; so I read it. The first sentence is not sourced. When you read it you'll see why. It says, "Major sports, including association football, rugby league, rugby union, rowing, boxing, badminton, cricket, tennis, darts and golf, originated or were substantially developed in the United Kingdom and the states that preceded it." Is it really likely that no-one hit each other, or were capable of propelling their boats before the Brits showed them how to do it? A complete re-write is in order here. Daicaregos (talk) 17:09, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

It is fairly well known that all of those sports did indeed originate in the UK or its predecessors - in the sense of the formalised, rule based activities which now go by those names - but I agree that a citation should be added. It shouldn't be hard to find one. The main problem with this section is its length, and I suggest that that be the core focus of discussion. In this article there is currently considerably more text on cricket and rugby than on the UK's foreign relations. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:13, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I look forward to reading the sources confirming boxing and rowing originated in the UK or its predecessors. Daicaregos (talk) 20:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Here are a few sporting citations: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Rangoon11 (talk) 21:26, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. Look , It's fine to be proud of your country, but we need to be realistic and truthful. According to this (p 1) “The earliest recorded rowing race, The Aeneid, written between 30 and 19 BC by Virgil, describes a competition in the Greek fleet that was in Troy around 800 BC.” And it's fairly well documented that regulated, competetive boxing has taken place since (at least) ancient Greek times. According to this (p. 7) “Most boys living in the days when Greece was in her prime were taught boxing.” The author goes on to note Homers's description of a boxing contest with similar guards and blows to those used today. It's probably fair to say something along the lines that many modern international sports organisations were established following the codification of those sports in Victorian England. But really, the real origin of sports will never be known. Have a look at Cnapan, Bando and Shinty for example. Daicaregos (talk) 22:29, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not a question of being proud of one's country (or equally of certain editors disliking the very idea of the UK existing at all) but of describing the reality. Modern boxing and rowing, as well as all the other sports listed in the sources, originated in the UK or its predecesors. This is well documented and to omit this is to not inform readers of the reality. To quote the German commentator from 1936 quoted in Elias' book (himself born German) 'As is well known, England was the cradle and loving 'mother' of sport.' Rangoon11 (talk) 22:43, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Some sports originated within the UK; many others had their roots all over the place (including football, cricket, golf, etc. etc.) but their modern rules of competition were codified in the UK. That more precise explanation is what is needed in the text. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:32, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Something missing from the intro

[5], [6], [7], [8] are just a few where the primary geographical region they belong to is named in the first paragraph. This isn't the case here, so we need to acknowledge the point that UK is the biggest country in the British Isles (basic geography). Van Speijk (talk) 19:37, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

232K bytes?

The article is over double the recommended length. I realise I've added to it with the etymology and the pre-Union history sections, but is there any way we can take an overall look at this? There does seem to be some sections that have, arguably, disproportionate length/detail, and personally I don't believe the history section comes into that category. Some observations:

  • There's nearly 100K bytes (almost half the article) in Culture and Demographics. I haven't made detailed comparisons with other country articles, but superficially that seems nuch heavier than most. It certainly seems excessive when compared to the sections on the Economy and Foreign Affairs. Because of that, the article appears, IMHO, "out of balance".
  • Administrative Divisions seems to have far too much detail. I can't imagine that there are many general readers who have an interest in Newport being a unitary authority.
  • Dependencies should be a couple of lines since they're not actually part of the UK.
  • The last issue is trickier, and I'm sure it's been discussed before. In many sections there's separate parts on each of the four countries, which is fine. But it appears to have driven up the byte count because the notability is at the E/W/NI/S level rather than the UK level. In particular, Religion, Education, Literature, Admin. Divisions, Sport and Geography seem to each get unnecessary length becxause of it. It's not a question of omitting the varying issues from each of the countries, but the level of depth.

To be honest, I'm not expecting much to come out of this, but I thought I would just toss it out to see if there was any appetite to do anything about it. DeCausa (talk) 13:13, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

The country articles are a bit of a special case and there are many that are longer than this one. Having said that I do agree that some of the sections are overlong. For me, the Sport, Media, Religion, Education, Migration, Economy (the opening block of text) and Administrative divisions sections/sub-sections are all about a paragraph too long (Sport is actually about two paragraphs too long in my view). I also agree that trying to name check all parts of the UK has caused problems in some sections, notably Literature (although I am reasonably happy with the overall length of that section). However I think these issues are best dealt with section by section, rather than in a single push to reduce the number of words in the whole article. I should add that I agree that the History section is fine for length, in fact I would personally like to see it expanded further - it is far shorter than those of comparable countries and still misses out a lot of things that it really should include. Rangoon11 (talk) 13:28, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree on history. Just as a comparison I've taken a look at Germany which is an FA (and with at least as long/complex/rich history, culture etc). It's at 118KB, with 25KB on history (UK, 23KB) but 36KB on Demographics and culture (compared to the UK's 100KB). I've also just checked through all the FA country articles and they are mostly in the 100KB-140KB range with the highest at 150kb. DeCausa (talk) 13:40, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
It is my default position to agree with pretty much anything that might make the article a little bit more concise, although I also would like to avoid reducing the history section. I agree that sometimes it is the product of basically having to describe four systems. My other suggestions would mainly be in the culture section. There is just too much of an attempt to list famous people here, whereas in an article like this a few leading lights to illustrate major movements would be more productive. The list of scientific inventions is a case in point but there are others. There are links to other articles and anyone interested can go to those pages. However, no doubt there will be objections since different editors place different emphasis on the sections.--SabreBD (talk) 14:58, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that we should prioritise the information that needs to be in this article rather than other articles, while seeking to keep a proper balance. We should summarise shared history here, for instance, but pre-union history is best summarised in the articles on the history of each of the countries. Bear in mind that other (sovereign) countries, generally, don't have the in-depth articles on each of the (constituent) countries that we have. In principle, areas for reduction should be those sections where there are reasonable to good separate articles on "X in the UK", "Y in England", "Z in Scotland", etc. If the section on topic "Q" contains an unnecessarily long paragraph on, say "Q in Wales", and we have a separate article on "Q in Wales", then the section here should be reduced. I'm sure that's broadly the principle you're adopting anyway. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:11, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
File size: 901 kB - Have come across this problem before. The simplistic solution would be to remove all the listed names in the Culture section. This is a main article we have no need at all to list ever famous person that is from the UK. As seen at Canada#Culture the section can be greatly reduced if you eliminate all those names. Instead of a list of names on this page why not link to the pages that is a list.Moxy (talk) 15:14, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Names of significant people are very important and their bulk removal would not just be simplistic but completely wrong and would anyhow make little difference to overall length. The Literature section is a possible exception to this, where there has been too much effort to name check authors from all parts of the UK. Bloated sections such as Sport - twice as long as it should be in my view - Media, Religion, Education, Migration and Administrative divisions should be cut back, offering scope for a substantial reduction in the total size of the article. However I do feel that this is best done section by section, in fact I feel that to be the only practical approach. Rangoon11 (talk) 15:56, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we can have a blanket removal. For example, in the literature section it would be odd not to mention Shakespeare, but do we really need to note that Marlowe and Jonson "added depth". Surely it would be best just to say Shakespeare is the most famous product of the Renaissance in English drama. I concur that this can only done case by case - although there can be general principles.--SabreBD (talk) 16:17, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes that particular sentence is banal and meaningless. However I would like to see the whole section restructured, with the 'Welsh' and 'Scottish' paragraphs removed and reference to the most notable Scottish and Welsh authors included in the current 'English' para - I would only keep Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, Dylan Thomas and the reference to King Arthur, all the rest would go. Rangoon11 (talk) 16:29, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the question first is whether there is recognition/desire for approx 100kb to come out of the article to bring it within the FA range, or not. If not, then that's fine the odd trim here or there will always improve readibility. If there is such a recognition/desire, then something much more systematic and swingeing will be needed. DeCausa (talk) 16:36, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
For me that is too prescriptive an approach and also too specific in terms of amount to be reduced. An attempt to bulk remove content will in any case get immediately bogged down, will make discussion on this page impossible, and is not, in my view, the right way to deal with issues which require careful consideration. Let's take it section by section. In my view the right place to start is Sport, which is where the greatest single amount of bloat exists. Rangoon11 (talk) 16:46, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, my view of Sport is that only the first para is needed. And while we're in that part of the article I think we can get rid of the whole Symbols section. DeCausa (talk) 16:54, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

I support the general principle of trimming the article down to essentials. It is far too long at present. Several of the ideas mooted above seem sensible to me. -- Alarics (talk) 07:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Let's hope something comes out of this. Many good ideas have been brought forward above. The Germany article recently lost about 40KB during FAR, a good example of how country articles can be reduced. The idea of removing the lists is a good one, especially as they remain unsourced. Perhaps we should aim for all subsections being about 2 paragraphs long. I remember when the sports section had level three headers for different sports... sigh. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 07:43, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
It's not totally clear to me from some of the comments whether the FA criteria is something everyone thinks should be pursued. I suspect with the way things work on this page, even if that is accepted, it's going to be a painful process to reach agreement. I'm not sure of the WP processes involved, but is it possible to have a GA Review, and get some outside "objective" help/suggestions/perspectives on this (and I'm sure other issues)? DeCausa (talk) 08:46, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Isn't FA a step too far? It should reach GA first. Peer review would be a good start. Daicaregos (talk) 09:19, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Whatever we do is doing to be painful and tedious for those involved, and I'm not sure any process will ever reach "agreement" - there are always going to be some editors unhappy about the inclusion or exclusion of particular words like "country" or "archipelago", or the emphasis placed on some aspects at the expense of others. In principle, there's no harm, in my view, in getting outside views. Personally I've never been very impressed by the GA process (let alone FA), but if that's the way to go (and obviously has been used before, most recently here) we should try it and be prepared for the flak from all sides. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
If you just want some advice before/instead of going to GA or FA then we could go to Wikipedia:Peer review, but don't expect a response soon, there is quite a backlog. Personally I would like to get this article to FA status, despite my faith in these processes often being shaken by bizarre comments and results, basically because readers need some way of distinguishing which articles are reliable. It might also provide a focus amid all the inevitable differences of opinion.--SabreBD (talk) 09:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Just to test the water I've done a bold cut-back on Religion, and is what I think we should do on much of culture and demographics. DeCausa (talk) 10:04, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
GA and FA requirements are quite similar, and obviously GA is a stepping stone to FA, so aiming for FA requirements is fine as a goal. GA is more subjective anyway, you just have to please one random GA reviewer. FA's go through a vote with input from many FA regulars who have experience. I like the religion cut, although single paragraph subsections are quite unprofessional. I think I've moved most religion information to the main article before, but it's worth double checking. Shifting most of this information to the main articles would definitely be useful for them. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:08, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
What was interesting in that (for me anyway) is that I actually had to add information to what was there before. There was not much in the way of overall UK percentages or a general sourced statement on the relatively secular nature of UK society. Wood for trees. (sorry for being unprofessionalon the single paragraph!) DeCausa (talk) 10:21, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, Rangoon reverted it. I did a few other sections and no doubt they'll get reverted as well. I guess the article will stay bloated. DeCausa (talk) 11:27, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
It is never going to be easy, but, inevitably we cant run at this - other editors need to be carried with the process. Inevitably we will end up discussing each section.--SabreBD (talk) 11:45, 1 June 2011 (UTC
Quite. Any major change will be a long and painful process. The question is whether there are enough editors sufficiently motivated to improve it radically, via the necessary but extremely tedious and time-consuming process of getting agreement to every wording change. It's almost worthwhile someone starting the whole article anew, producing a shorter version in a sandbox, and then seeing whether it does the job better than the current version. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:51, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I doubt a shorter sandbox will receive much support. We have two sections below which discuss individual sections. Should we start with those? Subsection by subsection? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:00, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

The Germany article as a model

I've just read through Germany and I can see why it's got FA. It's easy to read, interesting, an overview but with key information. Frankly, the UK article doesn't come anywhere near it, IMHO. The level of detail in much of the UK article makes it really quite turgid as well as not complying with WP:Summary style. I suggest we use Germany as a very rough and ready (and I mean rough and ready) rule of thumb guide as to the amount of material that should be in each section. I think this makes sense not just because it's FA but also because it's the most comparable FA country article to the UK in terms of size/complexity/cultural background/length of history etc. It's federal nature also gives much greater variations in "systems" than our 4 in the UK (as well as only being united since 1871). DeCausa (talk) 15:13, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Personally, FA or not, there is much about the UK article that I prefer. Yes there are some good things about the Germany article and one of those is the concise nature of some of its sections as compared to this article- Education, Religion and Sports are all of a length that I would support here. However just because it is an FA does not mean it is perfect - it is very far from it - and nor does it mean that its approach should be slavishly followed either. There is much that is good in this article, and which has developed over a long time through the contributions of many editors. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Rangoon11 (talk) 15:29, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think individual preferences are the point. Obviously every editor has his point of view as to how things should be, but no one editor can impose their point of view. That's why there's consensus best practice like FAs. DeCausa (talk) 17:15, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Ye Gads! Modelling the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the Germany article ... are you mad? ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 18:07, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

a modest lede proposal

I think the current lede is all right but unfortunate and does not summarize the article well per WP:LEDE. My line of thought is to structure the lede in 3 paragraphs according to following topics:

1 Introduction and basic facts
  • location, area & population
  • politics & internal administrative structure
2 Brief history from prehistoric period till Pax Britannica
  • culture & religion
  • developments leading to the United Kingdom formation
3 Modern UK
  • economy
  • international relations

See the draft. I'm not an expert on the UK topic, though the refs for this content could be found in the article body. Feel free to edit the draft, fixing factual errors, my broken English or just in order to improve the content. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 21:39, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

With a bit of tweaking I think that your para 2 would make a nice addition to the lead. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes good. I would suggest this modification is a sovereign state off the north-western coast of continental Europe and is the largest country in the British Isles. Van Speijk (talk) 22:16, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
It's very good. I've made some smallish changes here. --RA (talk) 22:18, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
It's fine but just one small comment on terminology: "Scottian, Pictish and Britannic". These are somewhat little used (and antiquated) terms and not used in the article: Scottian (and the link doesn't work) should be Goidelic or Gaelic (I used Gaelic to keep it simple in the main body) and Brythonic or even British. I used Brythonic. DeCausa (talk) 22:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
You're right. There are nicer terms in contemporary use. The intention is only to indicate that there was not one single population — and that the ancients were in very broad terms, analogous to the current Irish/Scottish/Welsh + English set up, which is interesting.
Scottian (I'm not sure if that is the correct adjective) should link to Scoti. Gaelic though is fine by me. Brythonic is too ... but, to play devil's advocate, why not just call the ancient people British — or Britons? — for simplicity's sake (even at risk of confusing the ancient people with the modern people)? --RA (talk) 22:54, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that's getting over-technical and precise for the lede. Wouldn't "several insular Celtic cultures" cover the point? Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:04, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
... or that could do it too! xD --RA (talk) 23:09, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I've suggested a (separate) tweaked version here. Too late now - will look at it again tomorrow. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:49, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

A few points:

  • There is no mention of the the word 'archipelago', British Isles or constituent countries stuff. Is that because of the above discussion? Ie is this draft based on above discussion?
  • If you'd never seen the UK on a map you wouldn't be left with much of a clue reading;
The United Kingdom.. is a sovereign state off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The UK covers 243,610 square kilometres (94,060 sq mi) with 62 million inhabitants and is composed of Northern Ireland and the island of Great Britain, which consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Apart from a land border with the Republic of Ireland, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.
  • "off the north-western coast" is meaningless unless you mention that it shares an archipelago. It mentions Northern Ireland and Great Britain, but not the island of Ireland. NI is more than just north Ireland! It's better to follow other encyclopedias than dictionaries for encyclopedic stuff imo (this being an encyclopedia).
  • The line-ending, "leaving Northern Ireland within the UK" is too compressed a statement. Again, NI is more than just north Ireland - it was a new country created from Ireland being split into two: it wasn't a borrowed area. This is why I think the word 'country' for NI makes logical sense (as well as being widely-enough used). I agree none of the UK countries necessarily have to be named thus in the intro - but we all know they are going to have to be: so we've got to at least get this bit right.
  • I don't know why the proposals have been rolled-up - all we did was go back to the status quo, which is never going to last of course until it's all settled. Why not move it to a sub page, and just roll up bits? It's only going to start up all over again (and looks like it has!).
  • Finally, please people - this is the UK article, can we possibly use "intro" please? 'Lede' isn't even in my SOED, and that's because it is American newsroom journo slang from the 60's (as much as I can make out). Which just makes it doubly-annoying in my eyes for this particular encyclopedia article. I think it's just become a bit of a habit, but I find it a bit alienating at times. None of us in the UK grew up with it, and it's a form of 'wikispeak' that doesn't exactly bring us closer to the real world imo. Matt Lewis (talk) 23:49, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
In British English 'lead' is the usual spelling. Rangoon11 (talk) 23:57, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
For me it's always an 'introduction' - leads are for newspaper reports surely. I find it doubly dastardly now everyone has gone lede crazy. They say when America has a cold. Matt Lewis (talk) 00:03, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Only reading this have I finally understood what lede was really intended to mean - thank you Matt Lewis. Trumpkin (talk) 00:19, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


The proposed draft takes no account of the prolonged discussion above, at which consensus was reached. Are you seeking to re-open that discussion? Daicaregos (talk) 07:46, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

There seems to be quite a lot of additions proposed in the draft that ive just looked at above, so if this debate is all reopening again then we need several days to gage different viewpoints so i hope it wont suddenly appear in the article within the next 24 hours. I do like some of the additions, i totally agree that the British Isles should be mentioned but im not convinced about going into some of the details on things like waves of immigration from 10000s of years ago and the specific land size of the UK. If that is needed we may as well even mention when these islands broke apart from what is now mainland Europe. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:11, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Tweaks by User:Rannpháirtí anaithnid and User:Ghmyrtle are very helpful. I've also added a line on climate in para #1, appears a basic UK info to me. If we consider Stonehenge as a part of UK heritage I'm leaning towards inclusion of prehistoric period but my mind is totally open. We're in no hurry achieving streamlined summary of the article and need to get it right. More tweaks are welcome. Current draft is here. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 07:06, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Clearly you don't agree with my comments re the presentation of Northern Ireland then! Well, it's your user space, so it's your right I suppose. Sorry, this may be good faith, but I actually object to it now. I refuse to edit someone's sandbox, and I feel the discussion has simply been moved off this page - but not onto a special one like it should have been instead of being roll-boxed - but onto someone's user space! Sorry, but no thank you - this is the United Kingdom article.
If I get time I'll look a special page. All the barnstars in the world won't make going back to the status-quo any kind of solution with this one. Matt Lewis (talk) 10:23, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Agree with BritishWatcher. I propose the mention of British Isles in the lead paragraph. It's basic geogrpahical information that should be included. Any reasons why we shouldn't? Van Speijk (talk) 09:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Draft after RA and Ghmyrtle tweaks

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[note 1] (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country covers 243,610 square kilometres (94,060 sq mi) with 62 million inhabitants, and is composed of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Great Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below −11 °C (12 °F) or rising above 35 °C (95 °F). Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. There are devolved national administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, each with varying powers, situated respectively in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies and fourteen overseas territories.

Settlement by anatomically modern humans of what was to become the United Kingdom occurred in waves beginning by about 30,000 years ago. By the end of the region's prehistoric period, the population is thought to have belonged to several Insular Celtic cultures broadly divided between Scotian, Pictish and Britannic tribes. Roman occupation of southern Britain began in 43AD for a period of some 400 years, and was followed by invasion and settlement by Germanic peoples, including the Anglo-Saxons and later Danes. Southern Britain, apart from Wales in the west, became unified as the Kingdom of England in the 10th century. In 1066, the Norman conquest brought feudalism and Norman-French cultural influence. The early modern period saw religious conflict resulting from the Reformation and the introduction of Protestant state churches. In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created by the political union of the Kingdom of England (which by that time had assimilated Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland. A century later, the union of Great Britain and Ireland took place in 1801. After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815), the UK emerged as the principal naval and economic power of the 19th century, a state of affairs later known as the Pax Britannica. The British Empire, at its height, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. In 1922, most of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom creating the independent Irish Free State, leaving Northern Ireland within the UK.

The UK is a highly developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised country[1] and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries[2] although the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. Nevertheless, British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories, and the UK remains a great power with substantial economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence.[3] It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world, depending on the method of calculation.[4] It is a member state of the European Union, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and is also a member of: the Commonwealth of Nations, G8, G20, NATO, the OECD, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization.

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Posting the draft after RA and Ghmyrtle tweaks, for clarity. The requirement for refs in the WP:LEDE section is not strict, since the section should be a summary of the article body. I am leaning towards less refs in the lede for readability, a curious reader always could scroll down to dive into details and also to locate the sources. Feel free to improve and tweak even more. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 05:47, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

It's fine with me, and an improvement. But it runs counter to the agreement reached in Talk:United Kingdom#Edits by AgadaUrbanit, DeCausa and Ghmyrtle made this morning (28 May 2011) so I think there's no chance it will be accepted. DeCausa (talk) 06:27, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, it's fine with me, and I think it's a significant improvement on the current version. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:04, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
PS: My view is that it should be proposed here for comments (I don't see any way round that), with - vitally important - an explanation of why the changes from the current (28 May) version are suggested as improvements. If someone is brave enough to implement the new wording without going through that process, then good luck! Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:13, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
This is a big change to the introduction with a lot of new information that previously has not been included (rightly or wrongly) in the introduction so please do not implement it until there is clear majority support for the change. I have a few initial concerns..
I strongly object to the sentence about climate being in the first paragraph of the introduction. Its positioning between sentences on GB and Northern Ireland makes it look like a mistake, but if it is not an error, do people honestly think the UKs temperature ranges are amongst the most notable and important information?
I believe it should clearly state Great Britain is an island (at present it doesnt) and i believe we should state it is within the British isles.
I do think the paragraph on the history is useful so that is heading in the right direction, but i suspect you will also have opposition from some as it omits to call England, Wales, Scotland and NI countries. BritishWatcher (talk)
I think you could be right there, BW. Daicaregos (talk) 10:30, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
We are trying to take account of criteria for featured articles, like Germany and Japan. For an international readership it would be odd not to include something on climate in the lead, though I agree that the sentence starting "The temperature..." could be dropped, and "plentiful rainfall all the year round" is not actually true of some areas, like East Anglia. The second sentence could perhaps say "The island of Great Britain...", although we do not want to have to go into the technical details of explaining the difference between "GB" as an island, and "GB" = E+S+W (i.e. including the smaller islands), in the lead. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Well i can see the reasons for including population and country size in line with the German article, but theirs makes only a brief reference to the climate and its questionable if that is really needed because if its too brief it fails to provide useful information as there are differences to the climate throughout the UK, and if we go into too much detail it is using too much space in the introduction for information which just is not really notable. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:59, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
As a more general point, I actually think it may be better to "park" this proposal for the lead for the time being, and return to it after the other sections of the article have been improved. Most of us here are aware that there are difficult/contentious issues over the use of terms like "country" and "British Isles" in the lead, and as we've only just settled on a revised wording for the introduction I would rather not reopen that debate for the time being. If we are looking to go for GA or FA, I think it will have to be reopened at that time - but only after we've sorted the rest of the article. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:17, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Realistically thinking, I'm not sure editors conflict on difficult/contentious issues will be ever resolved if we consider how many real estate space is occupied by this controversy in this article talk page header. I would not hold my breath, after all we have a {{faq}} for that! If you ask me the issue is minor compared to the article subject and span and I personally do not mind how it will be resolved. Editors who refuse to allow any consensus except the one they have decided on, and are willing to filibuster indefinitely to attain that goal, destroy the consensus process. Issues that are settled by stubbornness never last, because someone more pigheaded will eventually arrive; only pages that have the support of the community survive in the long run, see WP:CON. I am all for collaboration and consensus building process. I guess the climate part needs more work or maybe should be removed, tweaks are welcome, I have my mind wide open. The discussion above generally produced a wide agreement that the current introduction section is bit off, but acceptable. Maybe we all could learn from Malta, though it is not even a GA. Probably the best way to procede forward would be to start the process by integrating the history paragraph, I do not see many objections there, if at all. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 12:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Religion

DeCausa's Draft

Although the United Kingdom is considered one of the most secular countries in the western world,[5] the Anglican Church of England is the established church in England and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland is recognised as the national church of Scotland.[6][7] According to the 2001 census, Christianity has the largest number of adherents at 71.6% of the population with all other religions at 5.4% in total (the largest being Islam with 2.8% followed by Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism). 15% claimed no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.[8] A Tearfund survey showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.[9] Although there is no UK-wide data in the 2001 census on adherence to individual Christian denominations, it has been estimated that 62% are Anglican, 13.5% Roman Catholic, 6% Presbyterian, 3.4% Methodist with small numbers of other Protestant denominations and Orthodox.[10]

I have reverted the deletion of over three-quarters of the Religion section. I do agree that this section can be reduced - in my view a reduction of roughly two paragraphs is appropriate - but these deletions were in my view too extreme. They also changed the emphasis of the section somewhat, which I have some concerns about. Rangoon11 (talk) 11:27, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry I really can't be bothered with pursuing this. DeCausa (talk) 11:30, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Let's not give up quite yet. Perhaps Rangoon can outline in a bit of detail what he/she thinks the section might look like and we can go from there.--SabreBD (talk) 11:48, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Btw, the sections I did this morning: Religion, Media, Dependencies, languages, and Demographics were the fairly obvious low hanging fruit. Good job I didn't move on to the rest.... DeCausa (talk) 11:52, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
You can't have seriously expected that the mass deletion of multiple sections all at once and with no prior discussion would be acceptable. Let's work on one section at a time. I'm happy to post a proposed shorter version of this section but can't do it immediately, will try and do it later today. Rangoon11 (talk) 12:01, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Given that the article is twice as long (or more) than the Wikipedia view of country article best practice (as seen through FAs), it makes more sense to heavily cut back the clearly bloated sections and have people argue for the re-inclusion of material. If it's done the other way around, and given the process on this talk page, it will never happen to any material extent. If however Wikipedia best practice is not accepted as a goal. That's a different matter. DeCausa (talk) 12:13, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia operates by consensus and has no end date. There is no urgency to reducing the size of the article and the removal of large amounts of long standing content from this article must be done in a way which enables proper discussion and the input of more than one editor's views. Rangoon11 (talk) 12:27, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, this article is about double the maximum size recommended by the WP:Article size guideline, so there is a need to substantially reduce text on this page. Anyway, it would help Rangoon if you stated what information that was removed from religion is, in your opinion, needed on this article? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:12, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Here is a shortened version of the section for discussion. It is around half of the length of the current version.

Rangoon11's Draft 1

Christianity has been the dominant religion in the United Kingdom and its predecessors for over 1,000 years. The Acts of Union 1707 ensured that there would be no "Papist" succession in the new nation, as well as confirming a link between church and state that remains in all of the UK except Wales. In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents stated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths by number of adherents Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%).[11] 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.[12] A Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.[13]

The largest religious group in England is Christianity, with the Church of England (Anglican) the established church:[14] the church retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is a member of the church as well as its Supreme Governor.[15] The Church of England also retains the right to draft legislative measures related to religious administration through the General Synod that can then be passed into law by parliament.[16] The largest religious group in Scotland is also Christianity, and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, is recognised as the national church.[17] The Church of Scotland is not subject to state control and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession.[18] The Church in Wales is 'disestablished' but remains in the Anglican Communion. Christianity is the main religion in Northern Ireland though the main denominations are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church in Northern Ireland though there is a greater number of Protestants and Anglicans overall. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:35, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


Predictably, I think it's too wordy, particularly the second para. One factual point: there's no church-state link in NI either. Two things I added which you haven't which are worth saying (IMO): that the UK is one of the most irrelegious/secular countries in the west; a breakdown of denominations UK-wide. DeCausa (talk) 06:35, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Considering the largest religious group in all 4 countries is Christianity the blanket statement at the beginning precludes the need to say it for each individual country in the second paragraph? Anyway, step forward at the very least. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 07:56, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
It is definitely a step in the right direction (and I feel instinctively about the right length), but it could still be tighter. I think it was better to give overall figures, since the article is on the UK, rather than those for each part of the UK. I would also like to see the comment on secularism back, as "dominant religion ... for a thousand years" might lead readers to get the wrong impression of the current situation. I also don't see why we need the details on the "Papist" succession (even in inverted commas this is likely to be controversial. The detail on the Queen also seems out of place as these are probably details more appropriate to the individual articles.--SabreBD (talk) 08:06, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest avoiding the term "Papist" and simply say Roman Catholics. This is the 21st century. --RA (talk) 08:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the preceding comments - there's no need to mention the role of Christianity in each of the four countries (we could simply say "across the UK"); there needs to be more about secularism and lack of religious affiliation generally (the 15% figure is very low compared to other surveys, and the census figures are regarded as quite dubious on that point because of the wording of the question asked); we should certainly avoid terms like "Papist"; "not subject to state control" is not great wording (I doubt if Rowan Williams sees himself that way either); there is too much emphasis on the churches' relationship (or lack of it) with the monarchy, and to say that the monarch is "a member" of the church is unnecessary if we say she is its Supreme Governor (in relation to which it may be worth mentioning Henry VIII). Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:01, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
To echo DeCausa, the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1871. Suggested rewite of the NI section:

Christianity is the main religious tradition in Northern Ireland, with the majority of people being of the Protestant branch of Christianity (45.6%). The main religious dominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church in Northern Ireland (40.2%), followed by Presbyterian Church in Ireland (20.7%) and the Church of Ireland (Anglican, 15.3%).

--RA (talk) 08:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
45.6% isn't a majority! Not sure that saying that "Christianity is the main religious tradition in Northern Ireland" is the most informative way of putting it, given the social divisions there. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:04, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
It is a majority if nothing else outnumbers it. Mabuska (talk) 10:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
No, that's a plurality. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:41, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Its still a majority regardless. It's good enough for our stilly first-past-the-post system where MP's get elected with a majority vote even though in many contituencies not even a majority of people bother to vote - but thats away from this issue and its only a clatter of terms. Mabuska (talk) 10:48, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
RE: "majority" = LOL.
The first sentence could go altogether. However, the "social divisions there" is the reason I think it is important to indicate that the dynamic not simply between churches but between Protestant and Catholic. Simply saying that the largest Church in Northern Ireland is the Roman Catholic Church, while true, is misleading about "the social divisions there".
Maybe something like:

The main religious denominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church in Northern Ireland (40.2%) although adherdants of Protestant branches of Christianity form a larger communal group (45.6%). In particular, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (20.7%) and the Church of Ireland (Anglican, 15.3%) are significant.

--RA (talk) 09:38, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
This piece by Rangoon i think cuts down the waffle on it good enough, as the linked to article will explain it in more depth.

Christianity is the main religion in Northern Ireland though the main denominations are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church in Northern Ireland though there is a greater number of Protestants and Anglicans overall.

Still scope to add in percentages there. Mabuska (talk) 10:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
That paragraph implies that Anglicans aren't Protestant. As an Anglican myself, I have always considered myself and been designated as a Protestant. In Northern Ireland, Anglicans (Church of Ireland) are definitely part of the Protestant community.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 10:53, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
As someone of Anglican background myself i made a big boob there when i just copy-and-pasted Rangoon's suggestion without taking that bit out. My bad. Striked out now :-) Mabuska (talk) 10:55, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Here is a redraft incorporating some of the comments above. I know that the discussion still has some way to run but thought that this might help ease things forward. Personally I do think that the opening sentence is important to provide context as Christianity does remain the dominant religion in the UK - despite most adherents no longer going to church regularly - and has played a very large role in shaping the nation and its predecessors. For me this is not a value judgement but a statement of fact and to avoid it is actually to not be neutral or complete.

Rangoon11's Draft 2

Christianity has been the dominant religion in the United Kingdom and its predecessors for over 1,000 years. The Acts of Union 1707 ensured that there would be no Roman Catholic succession in the new nation, as well as confirming a link between church and state that remains in England and Scotland, although not in Northern Ireland or Wales. In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths (by number of adherents) being Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%).[19] 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.[20] A Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.[21]

The Church of England (Anglican) is the established church:[22] the church retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is a member of the church as well as its Supreme Governor.[23] The Church of England also retains the right to draft legislative measures related to religious administration through the General Synod that can then be passed into law by parliament.[24] In Scotland the Presbyterian Church of Scotland is recognised as the national church. The Church of Scotland is not subject to state control and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession.[25][26] The Church in Wales is 'disestablished' but remains in the Anglican Communion. The main Christian denominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church denomination in Northern Ireland (40.2%) though there is a greater number of Protestants and Anglicans. Rangoon11 (talk) 11:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

It is probably a good idea to keep redrafting (as painful as this is likely to be) and thanks for that, so this doesn't get any more confusing I have pasted DeC's version at the top of this section for reference and relabelled the headings (we shouldn't really have lots of identical sub-headings. The other drawback is that, since Rangoon11 hasn't incorporated all the points made above some explanation is probably needed for keeping them, or the points will just have to be restated.--SabreBD (talk) 11:20, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Rangoon please strike out remove the last three words in your proposal, i.e. "and Anglicans overall" as they are Protestants as well. If you did read the comments above you'd have seen the very recent point by Jeanne. Mabuska (talk) 11:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
In fact here is an addendum Rangoon should implement instead as it leaves out two things not required (which i've marked out with strikes), also denomination is a better term to use than just church:

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church denomination in Northern Ireland (40.2%) though there is a greater number of Protestants and Anglicans.

Mabuska (talk) 11:38, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Apologies I missed that, will make the change now.Rangoon11 (talk) 11:44, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Would it not be worthwhile giving the names of the churches in Northern Ireland, as with England, Scotland and Wales? Anglican appears in parenthesis after Church of England so it may be perceived that Anglicans in Northern Ireland are members of the Church of England. Similarly, Presbyterians in Northern Ireland may be thought to be part of the Church of Scotland.

The main Christian denominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in Northern Ireland (40.2%). Although a greater number people are members of Protestants churches (45.6%), such as the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (20.7%) or the Anglican Church of Ireland (15.3%).

--RA (talk) 12:01, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
This is unnecessary after "and Anglican" was struck out. Still might be worthwhile for more depth. --RA (talk) 12:07, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Personally i'd rather leave the specifics to the specific article, which is why i prefer Rangoons suggestion with those few amendments i pointed out. We are meant to be trying to cut down on the waffle, and if another article deals with the specifics, we should let that article highlight them. Indepth is the reason this section is bloated. We could add the specific religion in X articles up beside the "Religion in the UK" link at the top of the section to make the links more prominant. Mabuska (talk) 12:59, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. However, I suggest something the following change:

...a greater number people are members of Protestants churches (45.6%).

Reason being to (a) give a picture of the balance of Protestant to Catholic since a percentage was given for Catholics (b) because "there is a greater number of Protestants" just sound blunt to me. Obviously (a) is less trivial. --RA (talk) 13:15, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
If a percentage is given for one then it should be for the other. Is there a need to further complicate and bloat it by noting the percentages once you add in the religious background figures as oppossed to those who just declared they belong to a religion? Or maybe just follow my own advice and keep the specifics to the specific article. Mabuska (talk) 13:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with your first sentence. I don't understand what you mean by the rest. Just so we are on the same page, what I am suggesting is:

The main Christian denominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in Northern Ireland (40.2%) although a greater number people are members of Protestants churches (45.6%).

I think this is the same as what you are suggesting too. --RA (talk) 14:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If we have solved the Northern Irish issues, I would like to get back to the points about the beginning of the draft and suggest the following opening, in line with the suggestions and using the sourced material from DeCausa's draft:

"Although Christianity has been the most influential religion in the United Kingdom and its predecessors since the 6th century, it is now one of the most secular countries in the western world.[27] In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents stated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths by number of adherents Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%).[28] 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.[29] However, a Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.[30]"

That should cover the historical situation and the current one. I don't think we need the bit about church-state relations in the different nations as this is covered in the second paragraph. I still think that there is no reason to state the monarch is a member if they are the supreme governor (you cannot be one without the other) so I suggest:

"The (Anglican) Church of England is the established church in England.[31] It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor.[32]"

This way around with Anglican and CofE is preferable, since there is no such thing as "the Anglican", it has to have "Church" after it.--SabreBD (talk) 17:13, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

That proposed first sentence is in my view misleading in that it suggests that Christianity is no longer the most influential religion in the UK, when it clearly is. I also think that the point about the UK being one of the most secular countries is highly dubious, it is an opinion, not a fact, and should not be given such weight in my view, and there is not room in the section for a proper analysis (what 'secular' actually means is itself a topic that can be debated). The sentence about only 1 in 10 currently attenting church in my view conveys what this sentence is touching on in a far more neutral and factual manner, although even that is arguably slanted as the number who attend church less frequently is far higher. It remains the case that a substantial majority of British people identify as Christian. There are also a huge number of faith schools in the UK, Islam is fast-growing, the Pope's recent visit showed a considerable depth of feeling in the Catholic community, and the overall picture is actually rather complex.Rangoon11 (talk) 17:25, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes tt is complex and whatever is done will be a simplification, including terms such as Anglican, Protestant and Christian. The problem of the census data and "identification" with Christianity regardless of any action are well known and mentioned above. I think my suggestion produces a reasonable, balanced (and sourced) summary of the situation and that what is here at the moment is certainly not neutral. I am, of course, open to other suggestions of wording. No one is really sure what the Pope's recent visit means or for that matter what we should enthusiasm for days off during royal weddings, so that is not really pertinent here.--SabreBD (talk) 17:49, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that the UK is 'one of the most secular countries in the western world' is an opinion, not a fact. What secular means can be debated, the level of secularism in the UK can be debated, and the relative level of secularism in the UK vis a vis other countries can also be debated. What I would much prefer is a reference to Church attendance having fallen, something which is factual. Rangoon11 (talk) 18:16, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
We could try "has been identified as one of the most secular countries in the western world" or you can try a form of words that encapsulated the fall in attendence. However, I think this needs to be in the first sentence or it implies that the situation has not changed for a thousand years.--SabreBD (talk) 18:19, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
'Christianity has been the dominant religion in the United Kingdom and its predecessors for over 1,000 years.' strikes me a plain and simple fact for which tens of thousands of citations could be provided, and which is still correct today. Falling church attendance in recent decades is a quite separate point in my view, although one which I am not against including. I think that it should be in a sentence next to or connected with the one about 1 in 10 currently attending weekly however. I will try and find some sources/numbers. Rangoon11 (talk) 18:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
The Religion in the United Kingdom article cites the British Social Attitudes Survey for 2007 saying that 45% of Britons consider they have "no religion". There are numerous academic sources saying that the UK has one of the least religious populations in the "first world". I just picked one source in my edit of the section. It's quite easy to find others. I don't actually think it's a particularly controversial or contested point. (But I agree "secular" was too much of a short-hand.) To ignore this point, IMHO, is to omit probably the most notable aspect of "religion" in the UK.DeCausa (talk) 18:46, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Including the result of the British Social Attitudes Survey alongside the census data - on which I am neutral but could certainly live with - is very different from stating that the UK is 'one of the most secular countries in the western world'. Reading up on this topic I can see that there has been some criticism of the census results (and they are also now a decade old of course) although there has also been some criticism of the British Social Attitudes Survey methodology. Rangoon11 (talk) 18:57, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
The article on Irreligion by country cites various sources; the 2007 Gallup poll, for example, gives a figure of 71% non-religious, behind only Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and France. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:03, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
With all topics, and particularly one like this, the results of polling will depend to an extent on the form of the question asked. Unfortunately we have very limited space here. The census figures are probably still valid, because of their vast sample size, for giving a rough idea of the relative sizes of the various religions in the UK (although Islam has undoubtedly grown since 2001). We should in my view pick one other survey/poll to provide another and more recent number for those with no religion. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:09, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand. I provided an academic source providing backing for the irrelegious nature of the UK. It's no good saying it's "just opinion". a large portion of the article is academic opinion. It will not be difficult to find other academic opinion to back it up. Please provide a contrary source if you think it is incorrect. Equally, I and GhMyrtle provide polling backing up that opinion. I think it's not reasonable to provide your own opinion on these reliable sources without backing it with sourced views casting doubt on the polling. It is highly notable that the UK is irreligious. The issue should be only agreeing on a succinct sentence expressing that. DeCausa (talk) 19:51, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
The issue of 'how religious is the UK' is highly contentious, complex and controversial and it is a point of view, nothing more, to state plainly that the UK is irreligious. According to this piece of research by the Universities of Birmingham and Manchester (which is excellent and well worth a read whatever ones' views): [9] 'Until well after the Second World War, the overwhelming majority of the British people professed to believe in some kind of God and to ‘belong’ to some form of organized religion, even if they did not practice it. This situation is now changing, but the proportion of avowed atheists still remains relatively low.' and 'Secularism as a movement is usually traced back to the days of the French Revolution, when its prophet was Thomas Paine, but it has never been a strong numerical force in Britain'
And to take a few quotes from this BBC article :[10] - 'It's very difficult to measure. There are so many different things to measure - by belief, practice, whether you believe in God, whether you attend places of worship, whether you pray' 'Average Sunday attendance in the Church of England was 960,000 in 2008, a figure which has been falling for a number of years. A survey by Christian charity Tearfund suggested it was one in 10. Yet nearly 40 million people in England and Wales, 72%, identified themselves as Christian. Other surveys suggest the majority of people pray and believe in God, even if they don't regularly go to church.' 'It's very hard to make an absolute measurement. You have to get an ideal definition about what being a Christian means or what being religious means'. These are complex issues and, as there is not sufficient space in this article for anything like a proper analysis, the information given should be as factual and neutral as possible. Orthodox Jews are now operating courts in the UK, and Sharia banking is on the rise: [11]. These are complex issues.Rangoon11 (talk) 21:10, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Nothing in the sources you cite contradicts the sourced point made. Just saying it is complex is not a sufficient argument - its all complex, we still have to find a concise way of expressing what reliable sources indicate.--SabreBD (talk) 21:26, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Those sources clearly do not support a bald statement that the UK is either secular or irreligious, merely that it has moved more in that direction. If a rich man loses half his wealth he can still be rich. I have suggested a way forward, that we provide some factual reference to a decline in church attendance and/or those stating that they are religious in the post second world war period. Rangoon11 (talk) 21:32, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
It's a question of finding words that give the right (that is, most neutral) balance. We need to ensure that the wording neither over- nor under-emphasises the status of Christianity (particularly its residual institutional status), and neither over- nor under-emphasises the modern secular character of the UK; and, also, gives the right weight to other religions. All elements need to be in there. The latest draft appears to me to overemphasise the institutional role of Christianity - for example, I think the sentences about the Church of England, Church of Scotland and Church in Wales could be partially removed and certainly shortened - with the result that the amount of text given to Christianity appears disproportionate. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:03, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Following on from Ghymrtle's important point about the balance, if I was going to sum the whole thing up without boldly using the contested term of secularisation (which I think is being interpreted in two senses here) in the first sentence, I would probably go for something like:
"Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years. Although a majority still identify with Christianity in surveys, since the second half of the 20th century regular church attendence has fallen dramatically, while immigration has contributed to the growth of a diversity of other faiths. This has led commentators variously to describe the United Kingdom as both a highly secularised and multi-faith country."
I think that accomodates the points from the sources Rangoon11 cites and it also avoids the idea of a monolithic single religion labelled Christianity (since historically it has been extremely diverse) while highlighting its historic and continued importance in social/cultural life. Obviously this would then need to cite the census and some other polling on attendence to make the significance clear.--SabreBD (talk) 09:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that's balanced and conveys a good overview. The problem with the recitation of facts alone (percentages, statement of constitutional positions etc) is that the general (overseas) reader isn't necessarily able to pick up what all means in practice. DeCausa (talk) 10:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, and at the risk of complicating things further before Rangoon11 even gets a chance to look this over, I considered including "Christian" along with the descriptions that have been used in the second sentence, but (although secularised and multi-faith are easy to source) the term I found used the most for the UK was post-Christian. It is accurate, in the sense of a society that is greatly influenced by Christianity but is no longer universally Christian in practice, but I am not certain that it will easily be interpreted that way. Anyway I thought I would sign-post it here as a possibility in case it helps resolve this.--SabreBD (talk) 10:24, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
just one point of pedantry: probably should be "many" surveys. Eg wouldn't be true of the 2007 British Social attitudes Survey, for instance. DeCausa (talk) 10:42, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I can broadly support this new approach for the opening of the section, I just have a few tweaks (it will also be necessary to add in sources, and I would ideally like the piece of research that I linked to above included as one of them):
"Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years. Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendence has fallen dramatically since the second half of the 20th century, while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths, most notably Islam. This has led some commentators to variously describe the UK as a multi-faith, secularised or post-Christian society."Rangoon11 (talk) 14:26, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
That's good news, and good tweaks. Unless there are objections from other editors I will do a sourced version incorporating the study Rangoon11 found and the secularisation claim, plus others for the other points when I get back to my pc (the laptop cant cope).--SabreBD (talk) 17:22, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Here it is:
"Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years.[33] Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the second half of the 20th century,[34] while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths, most notably Islam.[35] This has led some commentators to variously describe the UK as a multi-faith,[36] secularised,[37] or post-Christian society.[38]" --SabreBD (talk) 00:07, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Refs so far

  1. ^ Mathias, P. (2001). The First Industrial Nation: the Economic History of Britain, 1700–1914. London: Routledge, 2nd edn. ISBN 0-415-26672-6
  2. ^ Ferguson, Niall (2004). Empire: The rise and demise of the British world order and the lessons for global power. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0465023282. 
  3. ^ "Cameron has chance to make UK great again". The Australian. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "The 15 Major Spender Countries in 2008". Military Expenditures. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Sacred and secular: religion and politics worldwide, p.84 Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart, 2004, 0 521 54872 1
  6. ^ The History of the Church of England The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  7. ^ "Religion in Scotland". Scotland.com. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "UK Census 2001". National Office for Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  9. ^ {{cite web|url=http://news.adventist.org/2007/04/uite-kigom-ew-report-fis-oly-oe-i-10-atte-church.html |title=Research published this week by the British Charity, Tearfund, makes somber reading for church leaders.
  10. ^ The changing religious landscape of Europe p.47 Hans Knippenberg, 2005, ISBN 90 5589 248 3
  11. ^ "UK Census 2001". National Office for Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "Religion: 2001 Census". Office for National Statistics. 
  13. ^ "Research published this week by the British Charity, Tearfund, makes somber reading for church leaders. It found only one in 10 people in the United Kingdom attend church on a weekly basis even though 53 percent of the British population identify themselves as Christian". News.adventist.org. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  14. ^ The History of the Church of England The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  15. ^ "Queen and Church of England". British Monarchy Media Centre. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "General Synod". Church of England. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Religion in Scotland". Scotland.com. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Organisation – Church of Scotland". Church of Scotland. Retrieved 5 June 2010. [dead link]
  19. ^ "UK Census 2001". National Office for Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  20. ^ "Religion: 2001 Census". Office for National Statistics. 
  21. ^ "Research published this week by the British Charity, Tearfund, makes somber reading for church leaders. It found only one in 10 people in the United Kingdom attend church on a weekly basis even though 53 percent of the British population identify themselves as Christian". News.adventist.org. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  22. ^ The History of the Church of England The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  23. ^ "Queen and Church of England". British Monarchy Media Centre. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "General Synod". Church of England. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  25. ^ "Religion in Scotland". Scotland.com. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  26. ^ "Organisation – Church of Scotland". Church of Scotland. Retrieved 5 June 2010. [dead link]
  27. ^ Sacred and secular: religion and politics worldwide, p.84 Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart, 2004, 0 521 54872 1
  28. ^ "UK Census 2001". National Office for Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  29. ^ "Religion: 2001 Census". Office for National Statistics. 
  30. ^ "Research published this week by the British Charity, Tearfund, makes somber reading for church leaders. It found only one in 10 people in the United Kingdom attend church on a weekly basis even though 53 percent of the British population identify themselves as Christian". News.adventist.org. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  31. ^ The History of the Church of England The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  32. ^ "Queen and Church of England". British Monarchy Media Centre. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  33. ^ Cannon, John, ed., A Dictionary of British History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edn., 2009), ISBN 0199550379, p. 144.
  34. ^ Field, Clive D., "British religion in numbers", BRIN Discussion Series on Religious Statistics, Discussion Paper 001, November 2009, retrieved 3 June 2011.
  35. ^ Yilmaz, Ihsan, Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal pluralisms in England, Turkey, and Pakistan (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005), ISBN 0754643891, pp. 55-6.
  36. ^ Brown, Callum G., Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2006), ISBN 058247289X, p. 291.
  37. ^ Norris, Pippa, and Inglehart, Ronald, Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 052183984X, p. 84.
  38. ^ Fergusson, David, Church, State and Civil Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 052152959X, p. 94.

Rangoon11's (et al) Draft 3

This is a "complete draft", with all the non-contested changes that I could see (if I missed one please remind me). I also did a couple of tweeks to cut down repetition.--SabreBD (talk) 00:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years.[1] Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century,[2] while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths, most notably Islam.[3] This has led some commentators to variously describe the UK as a multi-faith,[4] secularised,[5] or post-Christian society.[6] In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths (by number of adherents) being Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%).[7] 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.[8] A Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.[9]

The (Anglican) Church of England is the established church in England.[10] It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor.[11] It also retains the right to draft legislative measures related to religious administration through the General Synod that can then be passed into law by parliament.[12] In Scotland the Presbyterian Church of Scotland is recognised as the national church. It is not subject to state control and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession.[13][14] The Church in Wales is 'disestablished' but remains in the Anglican Communion. The main Christian denominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in Northern Ireland (40.2%) though there is a greater number of Protestants.

Notes

  1. ^ Cannon, John, ed., A Dictionary of British History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edn., 2009), ISBN 0199550379, p. 144.
  2. ^ Field, Clive D., "British religion in numbers", BRIN Discussion Series on Religious Statistics, Discussion Paper 001, November 2009, retrieved 3 June 2011.
  3. ^ Yilmaz, Ihsan, Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal pluralisms in England, Turkey, and Pakistan (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005), ISBN 0754643891, pp. 55-6.
  4. ^ Brown, Callum G., Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2006), ISBN 058247289X, p. 291.
  5. ^ Norris, Pippa, and Inglehart, Ronald, Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 052183984X, p. 84.
  6. ^ Fergusson, David, Church, State and Civil Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 052152959X, p. 94.
  7. ^ "UK Census 2001". National Office for Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  8. ^ "Religious Populations", Office for National Statistics, 11 October 2004, archived from the original on 6 June 2011 .
  9. ^ "Research published this week by the British Charity, Tearfund, makes somber reading for church leaders. It found only one in 10 people in the United Kingdom attend church on a weekly basis even though 53 percent of the British population identify themselves as Christian". News.adventist.org. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  10. ^ The History of the Church of England The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  11. ^ "Queen and Church of England". British Monarchy Media Centre. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "General Synod". Church of England. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Queen and the Church", The British Monarchy (Offical Website), archived from the original on 7 June 2011 .
  14. ^ "How we are organised", Church of Scotland, archived from the original on 7 June 2011 .
  • Comment IMO, it's more informative to replace the last 3 sentences of para 2 with one of the UK-wide estimates of Christian denomination percentages. At the moment it's just a name-check for Wales and NI. Note 14 is a deadlink and should be updated with this. Is it true the Queen is actually a member of the Church of Scotland? Neither of the sources cited actually say that. The Church of Scotland page (note 14) says "The Queen maintains warm relations with the Church of Scotland, where she worships when in Scotland", which isn't necessarily the same thing. The Monarchy website page on the Church of Scotland doesn't mention it. DeCausa (talk)
Personally I think that those sentences on Wales and Northern Ireland are helpful to readers, and if they were removed very few words would be saved, but at the expense of quite significant and useful information.
One minor point, I think that the wording 'regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the second half of the 20th century' should be tweaked to something like 'regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century', purely to remove ambiguity. Rangoon11 (talk) 11:06, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Here's a cite for the queen being a member of the Church of Scotland. Probably should go in the article. DeCausa (talk) 12:03, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Firstly not all points where once again noted or implemented. If we are going to add in the percentage for Catholics in Northern Ireland then Protestants will need to have their percentage too for parity of esteem as suggested by RA. Also i contest the need at all to even state "The main Christian denominations in Northern Ireland are organised on an all-Ireland basis." - what need is there for it? Mabuska (talk) 12:21, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

It seems a useful, relevant and interesting detail to me, although I am quite open to alternative views. Do you think that the inclusion of that sentence is incorrect or misleading in some way? Rangoon11 (talk) 12:28, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see its relevance to this article. In the main religion in NI article yes, but not here. Also we don't declare how religion is specifically organised in other parts of the UK. Also for Wales it simply states that its church is still part of the Anglican Communion, but then again so is the Church of Ireland but thats left out of the above. Is there anything above that suggests that the church in Wales isn't part of the Anglican Communion to need that statement? Still so much that can be cut down on. Mabuska (talk) 13:01, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. I can't see why this is in this article. There's a question of notability on a UK level. Absent any other issue, the denominational split of a 1.5M pop. part of the UK is not notable. It will read as a covert reference to the history of religious sectarianism. There may be a case for discussing that explicitly in this section, but just presenting the data in that way looks disingenuous. At the risk of repeating myself, I think the last three sentences should be replaced with a simple UK split of the denominations. DeCausa (talk) 13:14, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I have implemented what seemed to be the non-controversial changes in this section (and improved a few refs). The outstanding issue at the moment is the end of paragraph 2 in reference to Wales and N. Ireland. Not sure of the way forward here, but perhaps one of the editors not wanting details on organisation could produce an alternative for this section. At least we could then take a look at it.--SabreBD (talk) 09:07, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest the last sentence of my version (tweaked) in lieu of the last 3 sentences, i.e.:"Although there is no UK-wide data in the 2001 census on adherence to individual Christian denominations, it has been estimated that 62% of Christians are Anglican, 13.5% Roman Catholic, 6% Presbyterian, 3.4% Methodist with small numbers of other Protestant denominations and Orthodox.[10]" DeCausa (talk) 13:38, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
"It has been estimated that ... " are weasel words. It should say "Joe Bloggs has estimate that ... " Daicaregos (talk) 13:45, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Who made the estimate is a complex question, but we can probably work something up. I am mulling that over, but while looking at DeCausa's source I noticed that there a couple of phrases from the page before the table that might make for a compromise on the 3 sentences, they are "the Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920..." and "there is no established church in Northern Island". Would something like that avoid the problem of giving detail about Wales we dont give for Island and the possible charge of a covert reference to sectarianism? Then obviously we would have the overall figures at the end.--SabreBD (talk) 16:07, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Rangoon11's (et al) Draft 4

Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years.[1] Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century,[2] while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths, most notably Islam.[3] This has led some commentators to variously describe the UK as a multi-faith,[4] secularised,[5] or post-Christian society.[6] In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths (by number of adherents) being Islam (2.8%), Hinduism (1.0%), Sikhism (0.6%), Judaism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.3%) and all other religions (0.3%).[7] 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference.[8] A Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.[9]

The (Anglican) Church of England is the established church in England.[10] It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor.[11] In Scotland the Presbyterian Church of Scotland is recognised as the national church. It is not subject to state control and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession.[12][13] The Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and there is no established church in Northern Ireland. Although there is no UK-wide data in the 2001 census on adherence to individual Christian denominations, Ceri Peach has estimated that 62% of Christians are Anglican, 13.5% Roman Catholic, 6% Presbyterian, 3.4% Methodist with small numbers of other Protestant denominations and Orthodox.[14]

Since there haven't been howls of protest to the suggestions above I have done another redraft incorporating the suggestions and with references. This topic has gone off the boil a bit but that may be exhaustion rather than consensus. If there are still major issues (or minor corrections) please post because I would like to get this up on the page soon.--SabreBD (talk) 13:16, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok with me. DeCausa (talk) 14:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
And me.Rangoon11 (talk) 14:34, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
All right, diff for clarity. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 15:42, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I have posted it. Anyone for media?--SabreBD (talk) 23:30, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Notes

  1. ^ Cannon, John, ed., A Dictionary of British History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edn., 2009), ISBN 0199550379, p. 144.
  2. ^ Field, Clive D., "British religion in numbers", BRIN Discussion Series on Religious Statistics, Discussion Paper 001, November 2009, retrieved 3 June 2011.
  3. ^ Yilmaz, Ihsan, Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal Pluralisms in England, Turkey, and Pakistan (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005), ISBN 0754643891, pp. 55-6.
  4. ^ Brown, Callum G., Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2006), ISBN 058247289X, p. 291.
  5. ^ Norris, Pippa, and Inglehart, Ronald, Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 052183984X, p. 84.
  6. ^ Fergusson, David, Church, State and Civil Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 052152959X, p. 94.
  7. ^ "UK Census 2001". National Office for Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  8. ^ "Religious Populations", Office for National Statistics, 11 October 2004, archived from the original on 6 June 2011 .
  9. ^ "Research published this week by the British Charity, Tearfund, makes somber reading for church leaders. It found only one in 10 people in the United Kingdom attend church on a weekly basis even though 53 percent of the British population identify themselves as Christian". News.adventist.org. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  10. ^ The History of the Church of England The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  11. ^ "Queen and Church of England". British Monarchy Media Centre. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Queen and the Church", The British Monarchy (Official Website), archived from the original on 7 June 2011 .
  13. ^ "How we are organised", Church of Scotland, archived from the original on 7 June 2011 .
  14. ^ Peach, Ceri, "United Kingdom, a major transformation of the religious landscape", in H. Knippenberg. ed., The Changing Religious Landscape of Europe (Amsterdamn, Het Spinhuis, 2005), ISBN 9055892483, pp. 44-58.

The intro should refer the united kingdom as COUNTRY not as a "sovereign state"

it is very inappropriate for a great encyclopedia like wikipedia to say "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state" it is also very unsophisticated , atleast change from "sovereign state" to "sovereign country" if you still want to use the word "sovereign"Germanlight Say Something 16:16, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

This has been the subject of many discussions here. The word "country" does not necessarily mean sovereign state - for example, Scotland is generally termed a "country" although it is not a sovereign state. So, the term "sovereign state" in relation to the UK avoids any ambiguity. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:22, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok i changed it to "Sovereign Country"Germanlight Say Something 16:28, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
And I've reverted you even though that was a wording that I personally put forward at one point. Why? Because the whole question of the wording of the introductory paragraph(s) is extremely contentious, and if you read this talk page you will see masses of discussion about it. The precise wording of this paragraph is subject to a complex and difficult process of consensus-building here. An (apparently) new editor coming in and changing even one word does not help in that process. Engage in discussions here by all means, but please do not try to make changes to the opening sentence unilaterally. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Germanlight, you should also make clear why it is you consider the term sovereign state to be "inappropriate" and "unsophisticated". I get the impression (since you suggest "sovereign country") that you're not questioning the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, but the term "state". Could you explain what's inappropriate about referring to the UK as a state? garik (talk) 18:00, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
everyone else refers the united kingdom as a country not a state ,you cannot tell people if one is new or not it is completely irrelevant and besides what i have done was absolutly not unilaterally,evryone outside wikipedia refers it as a country and it is a country on wikipedia , a state is a political concept while country is good and neutralGermanlight Say Something 19:29, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Hello Germanlight. I completely agree with you the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the country. The specific meaning of country being "independent state" (i.e., "sovereign state"). The reason for this "problem" is that UK Separatists wanted to appropriate the English word "country" and apply it to England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, .... which are not-countries. ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 20:41, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Untrue (as AVDL knows well has been reliably informed on innumerable occasions, yet still apparently fails to comprehend). There are multiple reliable sources that also describe England etc. as "countries". Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle, you are forgetting one of the basic rules of Wikipedia--Snowded TALK 21:41, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Snowded, I am not a troll, and I am not a vandal. I do not appreciate this constant mis-representation of me as a troll, that is indirectly stated by you. I am asking you to stop it. ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 12:19, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I was feeling uncommonly gracious at that moment, and anyway simply wished to inform Germanlight of the position.  :) Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:46, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
To Gh-myrtle. Your statement is false. England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are Administrative divisions of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is the country.
Addendum To Gh-myrtle", those articles are false. They are instances of Equivocation (i.e., Same-Job) of the word country. ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 21:07, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure I follow GermanLight's objection to "state", since country and state are not mutually exclusive, and I'm not aware of any good reasons to deny that the UK is a state. Or a country for that matter. As Ghmyrtle points out, the current wording is the result of long discussion, and we need consensus on this talk page before we can change it. garik (talk) 20:58, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

It would be helpful if people started posting new comments at the end of this thread. The discussion is getting a little hard to follow. Of course, it would also be helpful if all posters actually gave well supported arguments for their claims, and made efforts to reach consensus on talk pages before making changes the article on such matters as this, but you can't have everything... In any case, unless someone can come up with a good argument that the UK is not a sovereign state, I can't see there's any cause to alter that sentence against consensus. Until such an argument is furnished, this discussion is going nowhere and should come to a . garik (talk) 15:43, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Oh, and the equivocation argument is going nowhere. If someone were to make the argument that a country is a sovereign state, that Scotland is a country, and that Scotland is therefore a sovereign state, then that would be equivocation. However, the fact that one term is used for both the whole of the UK and parts of it is not equivocation. You might as well say the same about the word territory, or "biological entity" (which includes both human beings and the cells of which they're composed). garik (talk) 15:49, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I would like to suggest an element of what was proposed before. Current:

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[note 5] (commonly known as the United Kingdom, theUK or Britain) is a sovereign state off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes...

Change to :

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[note 5] (commonly known as the United Kingdom, theUK or Britain) is a country off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The sovereign state includes....

That would address this matter. I think it is important we state the UK is a sovereign state, but it is a country and clearly several people including myself believe country is a vital element to clearly mention in the first sentence. Especially as the articles of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland say they are countries in the first sentence, is strange this one does not. Its importance is also highlighted by the very first question in the FAQ on this talk page, it mentions the country. Does not ask about the sovereign state. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:21, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

A sovereign state is always a country while the reverse is not always the case. Sovereign State is the more important designation and should come first. --Snowded TALK 06:26, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Sentence on national Anthem in symbols

The page states that: 'The national anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the King", with "King" replaced with "Queen" in the lyrics whenever the monarch is a woman'. However, this statement seems to me to be misleading as it of course links to the page God save the queen- the original writer might have thought that God Save the King was appropriate as it was in this gender which the song was first sung, but seeing as it is only de facto recognised, rather than by Royal Proclamation or Act of Parliament, this distinction is unnecessary and frankly I believe wrong. Trumpkin (talk) 13:46, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

This can be ignored - Trumpkin has been indef blocked as a longterm sockmaster. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:34, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Nitpick: demonym

I know this is nitpicking a little but for the sake of being truly encyclopedic I wonder if it doesn't need to be clarified ...

The article lists the demonym as "British" or "Briton". This is certainly common usage as the article points out. But, for example, if you look at dictionary.com, some sources (dictionary.com pulls from multiple sources) list British as referring to Great Britain. They do not provide any definition that refers to the UK. merriam-webster.com says it refers to "Great Britain" or the "Commonwealth of Nations" but not specifically the UK (though obviously the UK is a subset of the latter). The point is that though "British" and "Briton" are commonly used demonyms their usage as the demonyms is controversial and different sources don't universally agree that these are proper demonyms for the whole UK. I don't know what would be considered a truly proper demonym for the U.K. but it seems less than proper to list these in the infobox, at least without explicit qualification.

--192.88.165.35 (talk) 16:46, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what the point is here but you asked what is considered a truly proper demonym for people from the UK, well it is British or lesser used Briton. In both common and official usage British is used to describe something belonging to or someone from the United Kingdom. So I dont see a problem with it being in the demonym section of the infobox and I dont think it needs explanation in the infobox. MilborneOne (talk) 18:51, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
The point might be (?) that a demonym should be a noun, whereasBritish is not ("Who is the most famous British?"). Someone, I forget who, once campaigned for Ukian to be the demonym. Obviously didn't get anywhere... If the point is that Northern Ireland isn't part of (Great) Britain and therefore British can't be a UK-wide designation then the answer is UK nationality legislation designates "British" as the UK nationality. DeCausa (talk) 19:43, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
See also http://www.royal.gov.uk/ Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:00, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
The two demonyms are Britisher and Briton. The adjective, British, is not a demonym. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:15, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd always thought "Britisher" was a facetious coining. Apparently it's used seriously in North America, however. YLSNED. garik (talk) 02:49, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
According to this article, Britisher is used in India. DeCausa (talk) 06:59, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Isn't Brit quite widely used? Fmph (talk) 11:13, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
It's probably more widely used than Briton; I'd say it's an informal variant though. I wouldn't expect to see it in any writing more formal than a newspaper article (and I wouldn't expect to see it in a significant subset of serious newspaper articles). I also wouldn't expect to see Britisher in formal writing either, but my intuition about that is still rather untuned. garik (talk) 14:12, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I guess it depends on what you mean by serious newspaper articles. It's certainly commonplace in Guardian, FT and Telegraph, as well as on the Beeb website .Fmph (talk) 14:18, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I've never seen Britisher used. I have seen Brit though. Hot Stop (c) 14:19, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Directgov - an official UK government site - uses "Britons". Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:21, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Seems to be focused on those living abroad. But in any case DG also uses 'Brit'. Fmph (talk) 14:50, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Re serious newspaper articles, Fmph: I intended it be parsed as [serious [newspaper articles]], rather than [[serious newspaper] articles]], although there's probably actually an interaction. I'd certainly expect to see "Brit" in almost any UK newspaper, but I think it would depend on the tone of the article. Almost any editor would probably be happy with "Hundreds of Brits came out to celebrate xyz last night", but I think some newspapers would be more uncomfortable with "Fifty Brits were killed last night in a bomb attack" (although others probably wouldn't be). I would expect "Brit" to also be significantly more common in headlines though, as it's shorter. There the tone of the article would probably play a significantly smaller role. Those are my instincts anyway! garik (talk) 15:04, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Moving away from instinct to reliable sources though: the online OED marks Brit as colloquial and Britisher as "Now N. Amer. and arch.". garik (talk) 15:08, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────:-) - I do think 'Briton' is rarely if ever used in speech. The phrase I hear most often is "We British ..." which usually makes me laugh. Fmph (talk) 15:13, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

I was brought up to use "Briton" in formal writing. In speech, I think people used mostly to say "British people", perhaps because "Briton" sounds too much like "Britain". "Britisher" was, I'm sure, only ever an American usage. So originally was "Brit", I think, and people used to complain that it was an alien Americanism, but the Brits now seem to have taken it over for themselves. Like so many things, this probably started as a slightly self-mocking or ironical "post-modern" usage but has now clearly gone mainstream. Nevertheless, I think "Brit" remains too colloquial for formal use. -- Alarics (talk) 21:48, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

All a very interesting discussion though off topic. Anyway, I am not a Brit ( ;-) ) so I certainly don't want to delve into what is common or uncommon in everyday speech on the islands. But I do know that many writers consider it improper to use the terms "British" and "Briton" to refer to Northern Ireland. I've even seen some that don't consider these proper in referring to Scotland. I think, though, that most authoritative sources would say the terms do at least refer to Scotland even if some Scots disdain the term. But I do not think there is a similar level agreement in referring to N. Ireland.

Again, I know this is nitpicking a bit but it's not clear to me that listing these terms as proper demonyms (implying that there is general authoritative consensus that this is the proper term) is correct, though I don't know what the alternative would be.

--192.88.165.35 (talk) 20:08, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Media

I have reverted the deletion of over half of the Media section. Again I agree that this section can be made more concise and can lose one of its photos, but these deletions were - although not as extreme as the prior ones to the Religion section - too great in quantity, and also removed certain content which in my view should be retained. The bulk removal of long-standing content in this way needs to be properly discussed. Rangoon11 (talk) 11:37, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

It seem this is the diff of revert in question and bellow proposed wording for clarity:
BBC Television Centre. The BBC is the largest and oldest broadcaster in the world.[1]
The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world.[2][3] It operates several television channels and radio stations both in the UK and abroad. The domestic services of the BBC are funded by the television licence.[4]
Television in the UK comprises five channels broadcast as both analogue and digital terrestrial services and a large number of digital terrestrial-only television channels. Beside the BBC, providers include Channel 4 and ITV. The entire UK will switch to digital by 2012.[5] Radio in the UK is dominated by BBC Radio, but there are hundreds of mainly local commercial radio stations across the country offering a variety of music or talk formats.
Traditionally British newspapers could be divided into "quality", serious-minded newspapers (usually referred to as "broadsheets" because of their large size) and the more populist, "tabloid" varieties. For convenience of reading many traditional broadsheets have switched to a more compact-sized format, traditionally used by tabloids. The Sun has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the UK at 3.1 million, approximately a quarter of the market.[6]
The Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Internet in the United Kingdom is .uk. The most popular ".uk" websites are the British version of Google followed by BBC Online.[7]
References
  1. ^ "About the BBC – What is the BBC". BBC. Retrieved 14 June 2008. 
  2. ^ "The history of BBC News: 1920s". BBC News. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Discussion of BBC Empire Service history in Analysis: BBC's voice in Europe Jan Repa, BBC News Online: 25 October 2005
  4. ^ "TV Licence Fee: facts & figures". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "What is digital switchover". Directgov. December 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "ABCs: National daily newspaper circulation September 2008". The Guardian (UK). 10 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  7. ^ "Top Sites in United Kingdom". Alexa. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
Let's discuss the changes and reach a compromise. Another crazy idea would be to use the main article introduction as section in this article per WP:SUMMARIZE, not sure about two images, per MOS:IMAGES, sandwiching text or "stack-ups" should be avoided. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 00:41, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, the problem with the Culture section generally is that it has lost sight of Wikipedia:Summary style#Basic technique. DeCausa (talk) 07:10, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I also agree that at the moment this is too long (in my opinion roughly twice the long as it needs to be), gives too much detail, and has lost sight of summary style. We will almost certainly need to lose one of the pictures. Unfortunately the main article for this topic is not of very high quality (we should feed the references here, and some of the text back, into that article), but the lead is not bad and might proivide a framework. I might have a stab at combining the two if that seems an interesting option. I would also be interested in reading what Rangoon11 thinks needs to be kept that is not in the rewrite above so we have a basis for discussion.--SabreBD (talk) 07:30, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed that the main article on this topic is currently poor and not particualrly helpful. My thoughts are that, since we are effectively rewriting this section, there are a few facts that should be included which are not currently and which would help to provide a better overview: the average number of hours of TV, radio and internet consumed in the UK per person; the BBC audience share in radio; the proportion of people in the UK who buy a newspaper; and the number of people who work in the media in the UK and the turnover of the sector. I think that these can be woven in without adding much text, and there are some current details that I would be willing to lose. I am happy to provide a draft new section for discussion, which would be a bit over half the length of the current section and lose one of the photos. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:12, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I would also ideally like to link to these sources: [12], [13] Rangoon11 (talk) 22:22, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
My view is that those additions are far too much detail for this article and should go into the Media of the United Kingdom article. DeCausa (talk) 22:42, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
My view is that they are far more useful facts than that the BBC was founded in 1922, that UK digital switchover will complete during 2012, that the Sun has a circulation of 3.1 million, or the current long-winded definition of what a broadsheet is. There is also no reason in my view to repeat that the BBC is the largest and oldest broadcaster in the world in both the section and the photo caption. Of course these are all ultimately subjective things. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:49, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that those should go, as well as the additions not being added. DeCausa (talk) 23:40, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

a new draft

There is fruitful exchange of opinions above. Does anyone care to post a new draft? AgadaUrbanit (talk) 07:02, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Here is a draft for discussion (note that a number of the citations have not been inserted, most are from the sources which I linked to above):

Media

BBC Television Centre. The BBC is the largest and oldest broadcaster in the world.

In 2009 the average person in the UK spent around seven hours per day, or 45% of their waking hours, engaging in media and communications activities, of which around 40% was spent watching television and 17% listening to audio (including radio and podcasts). The UK television sector had a total revenue of around £11 billion in 2009, of which 25% was generated from public funds - principally the licence fee used to fund the main state broadcaster, the BBC - 28% from subscriptions and 41% from advertising. There are around 490 television channels in the UK, although the five main nationwide television channels in the UK - BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 - account for around 59% of all viewing. The UK radio sector had a turnover of around £1.1 billion in 2009. Radio listening is dominated by BBC Radio, which had a 55% share in 2009. The most popular radio station by number of listeners is BBC Radio 2, closely followed by BBC Radio 1.

The UK publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover of around £20 billion and employs around 167,000 people. The Sun has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the UK at 3.1 million, and its sister paper the News of the World has the highest circulation in the Sunday newspaper market.[1] The Daily Telegraph is the highest-selling of the "quality" newspapers and the Financial Times is the main business newspaper.[1][2] A number of British magazines and journals have achieved worldwide circulation, including The Economist, Nature, and New Scientist.

The Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Internet in the United Kingdom is .uk. Online advertising in the UK reached a total of £3.5 billion in 2009. The most visited websites in the UK are Facebook and Google and social networking now accounts for nearly a quarter of all time spent online in the UK.Rangoon11 (talk) 17:13, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

References
  1. ^ a b "ABCs: National daily newspaper circulation September 2008". The Guardian (UK). 10 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  2. ^ Lyall, Sarah (24 February 2010). "British Panel Condemns Media Group in Phone Hacking Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
I am doubtful the trends that could be recognized from In 2009 the average person in the UK... and The most visited websites in the UK are Facebook and Google ... are UK specific. I would not be surprised if those claims are true for Canada or Belgium ( only as random examples ). Might be a good addition for the main article though The proposal is still wordy and there is a genuine concern of WP:Recentism. Maybe we could consider again the approach of starting with the main article introduction and enhancing it, after all. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 18:46, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
To take your points in turn. Yes media consumption in the UK is by world standards unusual, particularly in the quantity consumed per person. Re recentism, media is an area which has experienced continuous radical change over the past 150 years, and the speed of change is getting ever faster. If media is going to be covered in this article at all it only makes sense to do so from a present day perspective. There is no point in stating that newspapers started in such year, radio was introduced in such year, television in such year etc. Equally there is no point in talking about media consumption in the past, or media companies in the past, or media regulation in the past. It is also not appropriate to speculate on future trends. Re the most-visited web sites, in much of the world (e.g. India, China, Russia, Japan) Google and Facebook are certainly not the most visited web sites by a long way. I would personally be happy to lose that detail, although it is in the current version, albeit with out of date and misleading info - just describing visits to sites ending in .uk is in my view ludicrous.
A useful discussion here would in my view address which details editors believe that the media section should cover. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:22, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Considering the historic importance and international notability of the BBC, I find it curiously down-played. Any reason? DeCausa (talk) 19:02, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
In my view its importance is, even in this new draft, overstated. No other media company is mentioned once. Let's remember that media includes all print, magazines, 'new' media, TV and radio. The BBC has a dominant position in radio, with over half of all listeners and sector turnover. In TV it is around a quarter of each. A strong argument could be made for referring to News Corporation, which is dominant in print media and pay TV. Equally no reference is made to Pearson, Reed Elsevier, ITV plc or Reuters which are all very important. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:30, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Having said that it might be good to add in a reference to the World Service, perhaps in place of the reference to Radio 1. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I would like to retain as much as possible of the text about the BBC: "The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates several television channels and radio stations both in the UK and abroad. The domestic services of the BBC are funded by the television licence." All of that, it seems to me, is important and - globally - almost certainly the most interesting information about the UK's media. We have to remember that, in my view, this article is more likely to be read by a global audience of slightly interested people than an audience of UK-based media analysts. Much of Rangoon11's text is in my view well suited to the Media of the United Kingdom article, but not this one. But I agree also that Murdoch should be mentioned. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:36, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Can we do something with the text from the lead of the media article: "The BBC's competitors include ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, STV Group plc operates the Central and Northern Scottish ITV regions, UTV Media runs the station in Northern Ireland, and Channel Television is the service for the Channel Islands; News Corporation, who operate a number of leader national newspapers through News International such as The Sun and The Times as well as holding a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting and various other media holdings."? I think it sums it up pretty concisely--SabreBD (talk) 19:43, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
A reference to ITV plc is sensible, and the sentence about News Corporation is highly relevant. I dont think that it is necessary to refer to STV Group, UTV Media or Channel Television however, they are miniscule. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:53, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
If we put the two bits together with those deductions (on which I accept the point) we get:
The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates several television channels and radio stations both in the UK and abroad. The domestic services of the BBC are funded by the television licence. Other major players in the UK media include ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, and News Corporation, who operate a number of leading national newspapers through News International such as The Sun and The Times, as well as holding a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.--SabreBD (talk) 20:09, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Since ITV is not active in radio, and the BBC is not active in newspapers or pay TV (at least in the UK), would it not be better just to say something like 'Other major players in UK media include'? Rangoon11 (talk) 20:18, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it would.--SabreBD (talk) 20:21, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Seems OK to me as far as it goes, but we need a comma after "ITV Network", and I think "leader national newspapers" should be "leading national newspapers". But this is all a bit London-centric. I wonder if we should mention that there are also significant media centres outside London, in Manchester to a degree and more especially in Scotland. The London-based newspapers' reach does not extend evenly across the UK and in Scotland they tend to be regarded as the "English" press. -- Alarics (talk) 21:45, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

OK I've done the suggested tweaks.--SabreBD (talk) 22:27, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
A couple of other tweaks to this part of the section - I think that we could do without 'and other media holdings' after 'British Sky Broadcasting' as this doesn't really tell the reader anything and News International and Sky represent the overwhelming part of News Corporation's UK activities. It is also unnecessary in my view to repeat that the BBC is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world in both the section text and the photo caption.Rangoon11 (talk) 22:44, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I have removed the "other holdings" phrase, I agree no need for that. However, I am reluctant to reply on important information being only in the captions. Worth mentioning that the subject of the photo is about to be sold, so we may have another picture.--SabreBD (talk) 07:58, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
On the basis that the images are there to illustrate the text, I think that any substantive text should be in the article itself rather than in the caption. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Broadcasting House would be a better picture to illustrate the BBC. It's in central London, has been there 80 years, and is an iconic piece of architecture, whereas the TV Centre is now redundant. -- Alarics (talk) 10:11, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Broadcasting house
I will look for a Broadcasting House pic. If we have this text as a basis can we get some agreement about what else needs to be in here. This text seems to replace most of the information on TV, radio and newspapers. Do we also need magazine and book publishing and the internet, if so what is acutally important? The London centric nature of this passage has also been raised, but I am not clear what we need to say about Manchester and Edinburgh that actually adds anything, so I am open to suggestions on that.--SabreBD (talk) 10:15, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
No shortage of pics - I have added one here that seemed among the best and has an annotation. Obviously it needs a better caption.--SabreBD (talk) 10:20, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I like new broadcasting image. Would anyone care to post the whole agreed media section draft? AgadaUrbanit (talk) 19:40, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
OK I am working on it, mainly searching for up-to-date participation figures. It may take a little while.--SabreBD (talk) 20:04, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
What info are you looking for? I may be able to help find it. I like the new image of Broadasting House, and it is in fact the actual HQ building of the BBC. Re local media, media in the UK is in fact very London-dominated so there should not in my view be too mention of regional media. One way of bringing other centres into the section might be to have a sentence along the lines of 'London dominates the media sector in the UK and all national newspapers and television and radio stations are based there, although Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh are important regional media centres'. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:32, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, Birmingham not really (any more than Norwich, Plymouth, etc.) The statement that "the UK is in fact very London-dominated", though certainly true, ignores the fact that where the media are concerned it becomes less so the further away you get from London. In this respect, the core-periphery theory (e.g. Steed, 1986 and Bogdanor, 1993 arguably applies as much to media as to politics (Steed cited a lot of newspaper examples to illustrate this) and this runs counter to the simplistic "four nations" concept of the UK. Manchester's media significance is that (a) it used to print northern editions of many national papers, with sometimes quite different content; (b) Granada TV was a significant (and distinctive) national television presence and its former studios in Manchester (now "ITV Productions") still make quite a lot of national TV output; (c) the BBC is shifting a lot of broadcasting production to Manchester even as we speak. Cardiff is in the list only because it is the capital of Wales. Edinburgh has The Scotsman, but Scottish TV, and the Daily Record and the Herald (and the Scottish Daily Express), are in Glasgow, not in the capital, so the Scottish dimension is also more complicated than can be described in a short sentence; at all events, those papers are all seen in Scotland as "national" newspapers and their existence means that the reach of the London "national" press is much less there. To a much smaller degree, the same sort of thing can be said of parts of England that have their own morning regional (as opposed to merely evening local) papers, such as the Yorkshire Post. The core-periphery point is illustrated in reverse by the fact that there is no regional morning paper specifically for the south-east. So I would be inclined to modify your suggestion with something like "'London dominates the media sector in the UK: national newspapers and television and radio are largely based there, though Manchester is also a significant national media centre. Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff, are important centres of newspaper and broadcasting production in Scotland and Wales respectively." -- Alarics (talk) 21:07, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Your re-draft works for me. Rangoon11 (talk) 11:30, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Me too if I can find sources. I have found them for pretty much everything else now.--SabreBD (talk) 13:41, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Sabre's Draft 1

Here is the combined draft of what is agreed so far and attempts to fulfil the suggested points. No doubt there will be some tweaking at the very least.--SabreBD (talk) 14:38, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Broadcasting House in London, headquarters of the BBC

The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates numerous television and radio stations in the UK and abroad and its domestic services are funded by the television licence.[1][2] Other major players in the UK media include ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network,[3] and News Corporation, which owns a number of national newspapers through News International such as the most popular tabloid The Sun and the longest-established daily "broadsheet" The Times,[4] as well as holding a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.[5] London dominates the media sector in the UK: national newspapers and television and radio are largely based there, although Manchester is also a significant national media centre. Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff, are important centres of newspaper and broadcasting production in Scotland and Wales respectively.[6] The UK publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover of around £20 billion and employs around 167,000 people.[7]

In 2009 it was estimated that individuals viewed a mean of 3.75 hours of television per day and 2.81 hours of radio. The main BBC public service broadcasting channels accounted for and estimated 28.4% of all television viewing; the three main independent channels accounted for 29.5% and the increasingly important other satellite and digital channels for the remaining 42.1%.[8] Sales of newspapers have fallen since the 1970s and in 2009 42% of people reported reading a daily national newspaper.[9] In 2010 82.5% of the UK population were Internet users, the highest proportion amongst the 20 countries with the largest total number of users in that year.[10]

References
  1. ^ Newswire7 (13 Aug 2009), "BBC: World's largest broadcaster & Most trusted media brand", Media Newsline, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  2. ^ "TV Licence Fee: facts & figures", BBC Press Office, April 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  3. ^ "Publications & Policies: The History of ITV", ITV.com, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  4. ^ "Publishing", News Corporation, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  5. ^ "Direct Broadcast Satellite Television", News Corporation, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  6. ^ D. William, UK Cities: A Look at Life and Major Cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Godfrey Mwakikagile, 2010), ISBN 9987160212, pp. 22, 46, 109 and 145.
  7. ^ "Publishing", Department of Culture, Media and Sport, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  8. ^ Ofcom "Communication Market Report 2010", 19 August 2010, pp. 97, 164 and 191, retrieved 17 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Social Trends: Lifestyles and social participation", Office for National Statistics, 16 February 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
  10. ^ "Top 20 countries with the highest number of Internet users", Internet World Stats, archived from the original on 17 June 2011 .
one little tweak: "News Corporation, who ..." should be "News Corporation, which ...", as companies are singular and impersonal. -- Alarics (talk) 15:48, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Looking good, but I'm unhappy about one sentence. How about: "...and News Corporation, who operate a number of national newspapers through News International, such as The Times and the country's most popular tabloid newspaper, The Sun...." The reason is simply that calling the Sun a "leading newspaper" rather begs the question of in what sense it is "leading". I've taken the liberty of capitalising the H for House in the photo caption. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:37, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Or indeed in what sense it is a newspaper at all. How about: "...and News Corporation, which owns a number of national publications such as The Times and The Sun...." -- Alarics (talk) 18:53, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
"...which owns..." is definitely better than "who operate..." I'm comfortable with either Alarics' wording, or with adding a reference to the "most popular tabloid newspaper" (or simply "most popular tabloid"), which is factually correct and may be an interesting (if shaming) piece of information of general global interest. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:31, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
e/c Or perhaps we could just drop the word 'leading'? A couple of other tweaks which I feel would tighten things up a bit: (i) the sentences 'It operates several television channels and radio stations both in the UK and abroad. The domestic services of the BBC are funded by the television licence.' be changed to 'It operates numerous television and radio stations in the UK and abroad and its domestic services are funded by the television licence.' (ii) the sentence 'In 2010 the UK had the highest proportion of its population that were Internet users, at 82.5%, compared with a mean of 33.3%, among the top 20 countries by total numbers of users.' be changed to 'In 2010 82.5% of the UK population were Internet users, the highest proportion amongst the 20 countries with the largest total number of users in that year.' Rangoon11 (talk) 19:00, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for these useful points, which I have now appled to the draft above. For the News Corp papers I opted for "such as the most popular tabloid The Sun and the longest-established daily "broadsheet" The Times". I agree that we have to differentiate the Sun from er, real newspapers, so I thought this was a useful way of referencing the tabloid/broadsheet divide without having to spell it out. The Times is in inverted commas because, of course, it isn't a broadsheet in format anymore. I added the longest-established daily to balance up the detail on the Sun and to make its notability clear. This is really just a suggestion and I am pretty much happy with any of the above versions if anyone feels there is an important point here. Editors might also consider whether we have it all summed up in this draft or if there is something important we have missed.--SabreBD (talk) 06:59, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I am happy with the draft as it now stands. -- Alarics (talk) 11:18, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Me too. One other minor though, there is an article for the ITV network (ITV) so we may as well link to it. Rangoon11 (talk) 12:27, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Great collaboration work, this is what Wikipedia is about!
Its a slow process, but I think what we have ended up with is infinitely better than what we had before. On to the next one?--SabreBD (talk) 08:13, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Highly Developed country in intro

I believe that the term "highly" that goes before developed country must go. It must read only developed country. The classification of whether a country is developed or developing is done mostly via the Human Development Index, GDP per capita and other indicators. Specifically for the HDI, which is the standard universal tool to seperate developed/developing countries, the latest 2010 report classifies countries only in 2 categories: Developed and Developing. There is no term such "highly" developed. The idea is simple: If we use for this article, and for the UK, the term "highly developed" apart from the fact that this term is not used by any official organization, then we will have to use it also for other countries which rank much higher than the UK both in HDI and GDP per capita and/or other development indicators. (Note: The UK is ranked no 26 in the latest UN 2010 HDI.) Developed country is the standard term and I strongly believe that the term "highly developed" does not achieve NPOV.Nochoje (talk) 15:52, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

'Highly developed nation' is a commonly used phrase and it only takes a few seconds of searching on google to find multiple references to the UK being such: [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20] Rangoon11 (talk) 16:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
That's not really the point. In this context these are technical terms with explicitly defined meanings. "Highly developed" has no meaning in this context. The fact that other people use a similar but different term in unrelated contexts is irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.88.165.35 (talk) 16:51, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood me. Sure, the term "highly developed" is very common phrase. My cat has "highly developed" senses. The problem is that this term is NOT used by any OFFICAL organization to categorize countries. I am affraid that a Google search is not what we call sourced information, nor is BBC, the university of Aberdeen or Durham university, especially when we are talking about UK development! Credible sources are the UN, IMF, World Bank etc. If you take a look at developed country article you will see good references.
I am affraid that concensus for this article was present up to the 21st April 2011 when User:Stevenmilloy, without any reference just added the word "highly". Was there a concensus or a sourced material for this addition? I think you get my point.Nochoje (talk) 17:04, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
No misunderstanding, you are just wrong. 'Highly developed nation/country' is a very commonly used phrase in reputable sources. The text in this article does not state that a specific body such as the UN, IMF or World Bank has described the UK as being a 'highly developed nation' (they may well have in some of their literature, but to establish definitively that they have not would require a very extensive investigation) and there is no requirement in WP policy for this detail - or any - to be cited only from sources which User:Nochoje likes or which fit their POV. The sources which I have linked to above - and far more could be found, those took a few minutes on google to locate - are all more than adequate for the purposes of WP policy.
The edit made by User:Stevenmilloy has gained consensus through having become part of the stable version of this article and not reverted for over a month and a half. Your edits were reverted as soon as they were made and can now only gain consensus through discussion here. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:19, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Forgive me to say, but there are more than 1 people here (up until now) that they believe that I am not wrong. Again: I agree the "highly developed nation" might be a "very common phrase" (really how can you measure what is common and what is not, but anyway) but, again, it is NOT used by ANY official organization. The official organizations, use whether we like it or not the term "developed country" and this includes the "highly developed" the "extra-highly developed" or the "ultra highly developed". Proof of that is that Wikipedia itself, DOES NOT have an article for "highly developed" countries. If it was so common, there would be. Instead there is only one article for "developed countries". The reason that a consensus has been achieved because no one reverted for 1,5 month is not valid for various reasons: a) the term "highly developed might suit UK readers so they revert back again. b) The change went unoticed since we are talking about similar terms. c) There is always the room for change, especially if it is backed up with reasoning and sources. My sources are world class economic organizations mentioned across wikipedia economic/development articles. Nochoje (talk) 17:31, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
This article is not an examination of the development terminology used by specific organisations. However according to the OECD website there 'is no established convention for the designation of “developed” and “developing” countries or areas in the United Nations system.' [21]. Even if there were, there is no reason why that wording in the article need to be changed, since (i) 'developed' can clearly include 'highly developed'; and (ii) this is Wikipedia, and not the United Nations web site, and WP has its own policies for content sourcing and citation. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:42, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
What would be relevant is if you could provide some sources which state categorically that the UK is not a 'highly developed' nation, to counter the multiple ones available which state that it is. Sources stating that the UK is a 'developed nation' do not fit into that category, as the two descriptions are not mutually exclusive. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:54, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, highly does sound a little unencyclopedic (for want of a better word) and is made somewhat otiose by the succeeding descriptions (eg has the world's sixth-largest economy). I think it sounds better without it, and nothing is lost by removing it. DeCausa (talk) 22:02, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow your logic - if indeed there is any - China has the world's second largest economy but is not even developed, let alone highly developed. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
With the exception of Canada, none of the other articles on G7 countries feels the need to use the phrase. It's just subjective puffery and the article is better without it. (That you don't follow the logic doesn't mean there isn't any. "Descriptions" was in the plural and the effect is cumulative.) DeCausa (talk) 22:20, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
'Developed' is subjective as well, as is much if not most of the content in WP. I've yet to hear a convincing argument as to why reference to 'highly developed', which can be cited from multiple highly reputable sources, should be censored from this article. And I've yet to see any sources here which state that the UK is not highly developed. Rangoon11 (talk) 11:16, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
There's no comparison. "Developed" is a widely accepted term used by many international organizations with precision within their own published and known criteria. There are variations in the criteria, but, AFAIK, the UK hasn't been excluded from any of the notable definitions used. "Highly" is used purely subjectively. It's as easy to find sources to describe Britain as a "beautiful country" but that doesn't make it a worthwhile encyclopedic point for the lead. DeCausa (talk) 11:54, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
It is subjective to state that the UK is a great power, that it was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and that the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of the UK's empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. I agree with all of those viewpoints, but can see that they are all very broadbrush and ultimately simplistic opinions capable of lengthy discussion and debate, as is much of the rest of the content of this article. There is no policy in WP that content cannot be subjective, and for a good reason - most of the content would have to go if there were. Rangoon11 (talk) 12:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Funny, I thought your view was that opinion, if not fact, shouldn't get such prominence. It's a question of judgment whether a subjective statement amounts to encyclopedic or unencyclopedic language. Given the well-recognized status of "developed", adding "highly" to it gives it an unencyclopedic gloss and is unnecessary. DeCausa (talk) 13:09, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Not at all, that discussion concerned a highly controversial opinion where multiple reliable sources directly contradicted the point in question, this is a case where I see no reliable sources which are in contradiction of the point. However I fully agree that it is a point of judgement - a subjective point of view in itself - whether the word 'highly' should be included and understand and respect the point of view that it should not be. However we should not deny that this is true of a very large amount of content in this project, which is a synthesis of points of view not a mere presentation of objective 'facts'. 'Subjectivity' is not per se a valid argument for content being excluded. Rangoon11 (talk) 13:24, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The IMF has a designation "advanced economy". I would suggest if "developed" is to be qualified then it would be better to say "...developed country with an advanced economy (as defined by the IMF)..." DeCausa (talk) 13:16, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

That would work for me.Rangoon11 (talk) 22:19, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Science and technology

Putting this forward as the next candidate for revision. We may not save as many words here but for myself I dislike the list nature of this sub-section. I am prepared to draft something but perhaps we can get a few precepts sorted. I suggest a structure that deals with major theorists (e.g. Newton), discoveries (e.g. DNA) and then applications (e.g. Steam locomotive). I suggest we pick a few of the most imporant examples of each, the individual involved (and perhaps dates), which will probably cover the chronological range of the UK and a little bit before. However, I am open to other suggestions if there is a better way of doing this.--SabreBD (talk) 08:23, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Oops, didn't notice this until after I posted thread below - it got tucked under the Demonym nitpick thread. Have taken the liberty of raising it up a level. DeCausa (talk) 08:28, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Sabre's draft 1

Charles Darwin whose theory of evolution by natural selection is the foundation of modern biological sciences

The United Kingdom has played a major role in the advancement of science and engineering.[1] England and Scotland led the Scientific Revolution from the 17th century and Industrial Revolution from the 18th century, and the United Kingdom has continued to produced scientists and engineers credited with important advances.[2] Major theorists include Isaac Newton (1643-1727), whose laws of motion and illumination of gravity have been seen as a major foundation of modern science, George Cayley (1773-1857) who outlined the theory of aerodynamics critical to manned flight, Charles Darwin (1809-82) who's theory of evolution by natural selection was fundamental to the development of modern biology, James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79) who formulated classical electromagnetic theory, and more recently Stephen Hawking (1942-) who has advanced major theories in the fields of cosmology, quantum gravity and the investigation of black holes. Major scientific discoveries include hydrogen by Henry Cavendish (1731–1810), penicillin by Alexander Fleming (1881-1955),[3] and the structure of DNA, by Francis Crick (1916-2004) and others. Major engineering projects and applications by people from the United Kingdom include the steam locomotive developed by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) and Andrew Vivian (1759-1842), the first public steam railway by George Stephenson (1781-1848), the electric motor by Michael Faraday (1771-1867), the first commercial electrical telegraph co-invented by William Fothergill Cooke (1806-79) and Charles Wheatstone (1802-75),[4][5] the incandescent light bulb by Joseph Swan (1826-1914), the first practical telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922),[6] the world's first working television system and colour television by John Logie Baird (1888-1946),[7][8] the jet engine by Frank Whittle (1907-96), the hovercraft by Christopher Cockerell (1910-99), the basis of the modern computer by Alan Turing (1912-54),[9] and the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee (1955-).[10] Scientific journals produced in the UK include Nature, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet. In 2006 it was reported that the UK provided 9% of the world's scientific research papers and a 12% share of citations, the second highest in the world after the US.[11]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference factbook was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Europa was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Sir Alexander Fleming – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Hubbard, Geoffrey (1965) Cooke and Wheatstone and the Invention of the Electric Telegraph',' Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, p. 78.
  5. ^ "The telegraphic age dawns". Connected Earth. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Scottish Science Hall of Fame – Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922)". Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "John Logie Baird". BBC History. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  8. ^ The World's First High Definition Colour Television System McLean, p. 196.
  9. ^ Alan Turing – Time 100 People of the Century Time Magazine'.' Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  10. ^ Tim Berners Lee – Time 100 People of the Century Time Magazine, retrieved 30 July 2010.
  11. ^ MacLeod, Donald (21 March 2006). "Britain second in world research rankings". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 14 May 2006. 

Thanks for sorting out the headings DeCausa. Above is a rough draft. Basically its a text version of the list currently in the article (minus some repetition and things that didn't seem as important). Please keep in mind a couple of points: first, I haven't sourced this properly yet and when I do the exact language may have to change to fit the sources; second, who invented what and where they came from is a bit of a game, no-one actually works alone and many figures cross national boundaries. Nevertheless, if we don't mention people involved in the process it is difficult to get any sense of how and when a development occurred. Editors may want to consider the total approach here, the balance of theorists, discoverers and developers (there are rather more of the last category). There are also issues about whether these are the most important developments to mention. The approach is also very historical and an alternative might be to deal with technology now in some way (not sure how myself, but someone may have an idea). I think this is about the right length, so for myself, I feel that is something goes in, we probably have to take something else out. Comments, as ever, welcome.--SabreBD (talk) 16:27, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

It's a major improvement on the current version. As you allude to, however, it is (as the current version is) more of a history of British science than a picture of the current position. I raised that in this thread previously. I would suggest the above is reduced by about a third, and then a para on current picture added. In particular, I feel that there should be some reference to areas where the UK is currently strong in industrial technology: aerospace and pharmaceuticals spring to mind for me. DeCausa (talk) 16:51, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that is a good plan. I will work up a version with sources, then since this doesn't seem very controversial perhaps we can get it posted soon.--SabreBD (talk) 17:56, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Sabre's draft 2

Science and technology

Charles Darwin (1809-82) whose theory of evolution by natural selection is the foundation of modern biological sciences

The United Kingdom was one of the leading centres of the Scientific Revolution from the 17th century[1] and Industrial Revolution from the 18th century,[2] and has continued to produce scientists and engineers credited with important advances.[3] Major theorists include Isaac Newton (1643-1727), whose laws of motion and illumination of gravity have been seen as a keystone of modern science,[4] Charles Darwin (1809-82) whose theory of evolution by natural selection was fundamental to the development of modern biology, James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79) who formulated classical electromagnetic theory, and more recently Stephen Hawking (1942-) who has advanced major theories in the fields of cosmology, quantum gravity and the investigation of black holes.[5] Major scientific discoveries include hydrogen by Henry Cavendish (1731–1810),[6] penicillin by Alexander Fleming (1881-1955),[7] and the structure of DNA, by Francis Crick (1916-2004) and others.[8] Major engineering projects and applications by people from the UK include the steam locomotive developed by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) and Andrew Vivian (1759-1842),[9] the electric motor by Michael Faraday (1771-1867), the incandescent light bulb by Joseph Swan (1826-1914),[10] the first practical telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922),[11] the world's first working television system by John Logie Baird (1888-1946),[12] the jet engine by Frank Whittle (1907-96), the basis of the modern computer by Alan Turing (1912-54) and the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee (1955-).[13]

The modern UK plays a leading part in the aerospace industry, with companies including Rolls-Royce playing a leading role in the aero-engine market; BAE Systems acting as Britain's largest and the Pentagon's sixth largest defence supplier, and large companies including GKN acting as major suppliers to the Airbus project.[14] Two British-based companies, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, ranked in the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world by sales in 2009[15] and UK companies have discovered and developed more leading medicines than any other country apart from the US.[16] The UK remains a leading centre of automotive design and production, particularly of engines, and has around 2,600 component manufacturers.[17] Scientific research and development remains important in British universities, with many establishing science parks to faciliate production and co-operation with industry.[18] Between 2004 and 2008 the UK produced 7% of the world's scientific research papers and had an 8% share of scientific citations, the third- and second-highest in the world (after the United States and China and the United States respectively).[19] Scientific journals produced in the UK include Nature, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.[20]

Refs

(note: the non-working ref will work in the article)

  1. ^ J. Gascoin, "A reappraisal of the role of the universities in the Scientific Revolution", in David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westman, eds, Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), ISBN 0521348048, p. 248.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Europa was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ E. E. Reynolds and N. H. Brasher, Britain in the Twentieth Century, 1900-1964 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966), p. 336.
  4. ^ E. A. Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science (Mineola, NY: Courier Dover, 1924, rpt., 2003), ISBN 0486425517, p. 207.
  5. ^ C. Hatt, Scientists and Their Discoveries (London: Evans Brothers, 2006), ISBN 023753195X, pp. 16, 30 and 46.
  6. ^ C. Jungnickel and R. McCormmach, Cavendish (American Philosophical Society, 1996), ISBN 0871692201.
  7. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945 Sir Alexander Fleming, Ernst B. Chain, Sir Howard Florey", Nobelprize.org, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .
  8. ^ C. Hatt, Scientists and Their Discoveries (London: Evans Brothers, 2006), ISBN 023753195X, p. 56.
  9. ^ I. James, Remarkable Engineers: From Riquet to Shannon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), ISBN 0521731658, pp. 33-6.
  10. ^ B. Bova, The Story of Light (Sourcebooks, 1932, rpt., 2002), ISBN 1402200099, p. 238.
  11. ^ "Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)", Scottish Science Hall of Game, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .
  12. ^ "John Logie Baird (1888 - 1946)", BBC History, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .
  13. ^ Jeffrey Cole, Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia (London: ABC-CLIO, 2011), ISBN 1598843028, p. 121.
  14. ^ Dominic O’Connell, "Britannia still rules the skies", The Sunday TImes, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .
  15. ^ "IMS Health", IMS Health, archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2011 .
  16. ^ "The Pharmaceutical sector in the UK", The National Archives, 8 August 2007, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .
  17. ^ "Automotive industry", Department of Business Innovation and Skills, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .
  18. ^ M. Castells, P. Hall, P. G. Hall, Technopoles of the World: the Making of Twenty-First-Century Industrial Complexes (London: Routledge, 1994), ISBN 0415100151, pp. 98-100.
  19. ^ "Knowledge, networks and nations: scientific collaborations in the twenty-first century", Royal Society, 2011, archived from the original (PDF) on 22 June 2011 .
  20. ^ McCook, Alison, "Is peer review broken?", Reprinted from The Scientist 20(2) 26, 2006, archived from the original on 21 June 2011 .

Above is the revised version, produced along the lines suggested by DeCausa to cover the historical and the modern and with sources. I think this is a big improvement on the current section, so if editors could suggest necessary tweaks or raise major issues, I would like to post it soon.--SabreBD (talk) 23:32, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I think that's excellent, no changes from me. It does actually increase the size of the article, but it's such a big improvement it should go in as is, IMO. There's plenty of fat elsewhere. DeCausa (talk) 07:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
As the UK wasn't formed until 1707, the lead sentence needs modification. Daicaregos (talk) 09:58, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I have done the tweaks so far and others have corrected typos (thanks for that). Yes, it does actually increase the size of the article, which wasn't the original object, but I think it is a lot better and at least it takes up less physical space.--SabreBD (talk) 13:33, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
The draft is a big step forward from the current section in the article. It's a pity to lose the picture of Newton but I see that as a price worth paying for addressing some major flaws in the existing text.
I have one requested tweak - can we please update the sentence on the UK's share of scientific research papers and citations using this recent report from the Royal Society as a source: [22] Rangoon11 (talk) 14:29, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
The revised text would be along the lines of 'Between 2004 and 2008 the UK produced 7% of the world's scientific research papers and had an 8% share of scientific citations, the third- and second-highest in the world (after the United States and China and the United States respectively). Rangoon11 (talk) 14:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I have updated the sentence and ref.--SabreBD (talk) 15:41, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
OK it doesnt seem to be controversial so I have posted it up. Now its on to Admin division and dependencies.--SabreBD (talk) 23:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
This is not agreed. Please do not 'post up' changes until consensus has been reached. The first sentence is wrong. How can the UK have been one of the leading centres of the Scientific Revolution from the 1600s, when it was not formed until 1707. The history section, for example, which has its own subsections of pre and post 1707, begins “Settlement by anatomically modern humans of what was to become the United Kingdom … “. OK, it's not that elegant, but at least it is correct. Daicaregos (talk) 07:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
My bad on the opening sentence, I adjusted the wrong draft with [edit] and then didn't notice the error when I posted the second draft to the article. I will go and make the adjustment on the article now. Is this the only objection or do you want me to reverse the edit?--SabreBD (talk) 07:56, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
That was the only issue. The rest of the section is an improvement. Thanks, Daicaregos (talk) 08:02, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Are the individuals' dates really necessary here? People interested will click through to the articles - so long as the overall chronology is generally sound I don't see any need for them, and they tend to interrupt the flow. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Welcome back from "the North" Ghmyrtle. I would like to keep them if we can, its generally good practice. Most casual readers will simply have no idea when most of these people lived and therefore their context.--SabreBD (talk) 12:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to be difficult, but where do you get the idea that it's "generally good practice"? I don't think it is, especially when we are trying to save space. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:55, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I half agree with Ghmyrtle on this, but it would make the context quite opaque not to have some sort of time indication. I was thinking of something like "Major scientific discoveries include in the 18th century, hydrogen by Henry Cavendish,and in the 20th century, penicillin by Alexander Fleming and the structure of DNA, by Francis Crick and others." But that would probably add more text and end up sounding quite repetitive for each category. I think what we probably should go with the dates.

I think there's also an issue of consistency. Are we going to add dates in other sections, for instance for writers? I hope not. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Since you ask I got the idea from writing paper encyclopedias, but that might no apply in the unique world of Wikipedia. I note that literary figures are given centuries in this article. I am happy to lose the dates if we can find some other way of scaffolding this. Unfortunately putting the century in instead will probably take more words and, as suggested above, is pretty repetitious. We could reorder them all in chronological order, but I don't think that will read as well as what we have at the moment. I will take another look at this and see what if I can come up with some other solution.--SabreBD (talk) 22:51, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
OK please take a look at this in my sandbox, which is along the lines suggested above, but which is actually shorter than the existing text. Let me know what you think. I don't think it sounds too repetitious because some centuries are skipped and others in the last section have a lot in one century.--SabreBD (talk) 23:18, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
In my view that's much better, thoigh I still think we could get rid of one or two of the repetitions of "in the xxth century" without any significant loss of information, to make it less clunky. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Sabrebd's Sandbox3 version seems fine to me (with one exception) aside from the following syntactical nitpicks:
(1) there needs to be a comma between "modern biology" and "and James Clerk Maxwell";
(2) the comma between "DNA" and "by Francis Crick" should be removed;
(3) "and" should be inserted before "the first practical telephone".
My "one exception" is that I cringe a bit about giving the main credit for television to Logie Baird (though everybody always does). It was actually Alan Blumlein and his EMI team who invented electronic television as we still know it today; Logie Baird was a crackpot charlatan self-publicist, and his mechanical version of TV was a complete blind alley. --Alarics (talk) 08:48, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
The comma tweaks are done. Not sure what to do about Baird and the TV. You are right, we are not watching a TV based on his system. On the other hand the statement is literally true; it just turned out to be a dead end. In fact a lot of these inventions are like that. Something similar might be said about the first lightbulb and (sadly) Brunel's gauge was not used for British railways. Arguments about the credit that goes to Newton and Darwin are also commonly made. Perhaps we just have to make sure the statements are true and let readers investigate it themselves. In any case I will hang on to see what other points are made.--SabreBD (talk) 10:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
You could use a wording like: "...the development of television by John Logie Baird and others...." Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:36, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I adjusted the wording as suggested above. I will post the new version this weekend unless there are further objections.--SabreBD (talk) 12:37, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sabrebd, after I and others have been battling for months to sort out the references in this article and bring them into some sort of standard pattern, what possessed you to change all the references in this section to a different format, inconsistent with that used in all the rest of the article? I have changed them back, and feel disgruntled at having had to spend the time doing so. -- Alarics (talk) 19:43, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Then perhaps you should have asked me to do it, I probably would have done so.--SabreBD (talk) 19:55, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Incidentally, since this has come up, is there a particular reason for using a hybrid US system on this British article? Its simply impossible to find a discussion on a topic like "referencing" in the archives.--SabreBD (talk) 20:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, I suppose I assumed you would follow the convention, which is to use the format already established in any particular article -- or the majority format, if it is not yet fully consistent. It's not which format is used that is important, so much as that whatever format is used must be consistent within one article. I just wondered why you thought fit to take the trouble to change them. The format adopted, since quite some time ago, is the one that appears when the "cite book" template is used, whether you actually use the template or not. I was not aware that this was a "hybrid US" system. Is there a separate series of "British" templates or reference styles? If so, it's a pity nobody told me about it when I embarked on the large task of trying to standardise the presentation of references in this article. -- Alarics (talk) 20:40, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
So its never actually been agreed or discussed? OK. There are alternatives for each template on the Wikipedia:Citation templates page and some tend to be closer to British systems. A reason I do not care for templates is that, on Wikipedia they were largely written by US editors, who naturally assumed that everyone would use the same system as them (and even then they got it wrong). You may be aware of these issues, but most US systems tend to use full stops (periods), while UK based systems tend to treat a reference as a sentence and mainly use commas etc to separate parts (eg). More importantly all the templates tend to confuse footnotes with references. For example, in a Harvard style reference, which appears at the end of an academic article, authors names go before initials (as they would in a bibliography), because this makes them easy to order alphabetically. In a note the initial comes first, because there is no need to alphabetise. In academic circles this is one of the things that makes Wikipedia look slightly inept, as an undergraduate essay would get this corrected. That is to explain the issues, and frankly I think my chances of a successful campaign to replace all templates are next to zero, although we might want to discuss those issues for this article in an appropriate section, as templates are not compulsory. All that said I was not attempt to change the conventions here. More to the point, the only convention I was certain of was that initials were placed after surnames and that was the one I tried to obey. I should also note that not all the references you have adjusted are mine, so I am apparently not the only editor to be unsure of the format to which you refer and this does rather exaggerate my crimes. There seemed to me to be no single style, so perhaps it would be a good idea to have a discussion to firm this up that we can point to, or to have a hidden note that explains this - or both. What probably seems obvious to you as you have been standardising notes across a long period of time, is not necessarily clear to other editors who are focusing on content. I am happy to use the page style of an article (no matter how odd it seems to me personally), but if there is no "keep of the grass" sign its not surprising if people walk on the grass. I apologise for the inconvenience involved in changing the references, but if not given an opportunity to correct something it is really hard to make good.--SabreBD (talk) 21:43, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I don't know whether it's been agreed or discussed or not for this particular article. Not since I've been around, anyway, or at least I don't think so. I simply followed the rules when I started on it some months ago, i.e. when the whole thing is a complete muddle of different styles (as with the references in the great majority of WP articles, sadly), decide on one and standardise on that. As far as book references are concerned, I noted that quite a few already used the "cite book" template so I standardised on the style of presentation that that produces (whether or not the template itself is actually used), which seems to have become more or less a default style on WP, although personally I agree with you that it is not ideal, aesthetically speaking. The advantages of using the templates are that (a) the things we don't like about them can be changed centrally all at one go at some future date, if the people in charge of them can be so persuaded, and (b) it makes the task a little less fiddly and error-prone. As for lastname firstname, I personally prefer it whether you need to put the list in alphabetical order or not, as it just seems to me more logical, and furthermore compatible with oriental/Hungarian/etc. naming conventions like Lee Kuan Yew, where Lee is the family name, so less western-centric. (I am not sure it is very relevant whether or not WP articles end up looking like academic essays, since they are not academic essays.) It's also common in library catalogues. Still, lastname firstname or not is a relatively arbitrary preference; the important thing is to be consistent within any one article, and in this article lastname firstname seemed to have clearly established itself as the norm. I'm sorry if I sounded irritable but I do hope we can now stick with where we've ended up. -- Alarics (talk) 22:40, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Since the only usable conventions of writing are academic, it matters quite a lot: that is not to say the article have to be academic (in fact they cannot be because they cannot have OR), but that is a side issue. As I said I am happy to stick with whatever is the convention on a given article. However, I think I am going to take a break from trying to improve this page for at least a little while, as, probably inevitably, such attempts end up with a running barrage of criticism, much of which is misplaced or frankly knit picking, no matter how much good faith, accommodation and effort is being used. Even my patience for being dragged back to the talkpage for some unintentional or minor "infringement" has worn thin.--SabreBD (talk) 23:35, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Rockall

After my (drunken) gaffe in the weekend, I'd like to ask about where to put the info about the UK annexing Rockall and its surrounding area. The facts are such, and can easily be cited:

  • Rockall was a rather late addition to the UK's territory
  • The UK eluded the claims of Iceland, Denmark, Ireland and possible Soviet spies (according to a period BBC article)
  • The UK (and Scotland in particular) added around 52.000 square kilometres to its jurisdiction, over twice the size of Wales (and possibly why the fish with your chips is sold as UK sourced)

I feel these facts are notable enough for inclusion in other articles about the UK aside from the Rockall article. Advice? The mayor of Yurp (talk) 18:31, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Not really the place to comment on something that deals with other articles. Perhaps Wikipedia talk:UK Wikipedians' notice board is a better place to ask this question.--SabreBD (talk) 10:50, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I was asked to take it to the talk page.The mayor of Yurp (talk) 13:02, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
History of the United Kingdom? or Exclusive Economic Zone? DeCausa (talk) 11:03, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, I'll add it to the history page. The mayor of Yurp (talk) 13:02, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

The next one after next? Administrative Divisions & Dependencies

(1) Is it just me, or is Admin. Divisions deathly boring? I really can't see how this much detail is justified in an overview article. I would suggest that a single para just outlining that the structure is not uniform and the range of divisions includes elected assembly and mayor with boroughs in London; elsewhere, county councils and district councils or unitary authorities (Scotland and Wales just having unitary authorities). That's it. The main article is there for those whose thirst for knowledge of the status of Newport or who controls dogs in Northern Ireland knows-no-bounds. (2) Why do we need to list the dependencies? Surely a sentence or two noting their existence is enough? If anyone wants to know what these various islands etc are, they can go to the main article. Otherwise they're de minimis. With all due respect to the territories, they're pretty insignificant on both a global basis and even in the context of the UK. DeCausa (talk) 08:25, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

We can try seeing if we can run two at the same time. I think both sections could certainly be a lot shorter. The admin divisions section certainly contains a lot of detail that seems unnecessary (the failed attempt to create regional assemblies is probably the best example - reference to something that didn't even happen six years ago really looks out of place now). However, something that outlines the basic structure will be needed. I guess we can look at a shorter version and then argue about it. On the dependencies, we certainly do not need to list them all (note they are given in the map of the empire in the history section if anyone really wants to know without going following a link). I think a few sentences will suffice for this, although it probably is necessary to explain that the Channel Islands etc are not part of the UK.--SabreBD (talk) 08:47, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that both sections need work and that there is scope for shortening and improving them, particularly the Administrative Divisions section. I strongly disagree about the general importance of the dependencies however, these are of great strategic importance - especially ones such as Gibraltar, the Falklands, the British Anrtartic Territory and the British Indian Ocean Territory. There is scope for making the section on the Dependencies more concise, although it is already pretty short, but I am strongly opposed to removing the list of them from the text - which is just one sentence. Rangoon11 (talk) 12:14, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Can we get some more comment on this one in the hope of breaking the impasse, or can someone draft a shorter draft? I would really like to take a back seat on this one, as drafting and redrafting tends to take up all of my editing time.--SabreBD (talk) 10:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I think if specifics here are removed, such as information on Greater London or on specific councils of Scotland, the section could be much smaller. In my opinion all you really need is basically the first paragraph (minus CRYSTAL last sentence) and the first sentence of the following paragraphs. As for dependencies, I agree the long list is unnecessary. Although this list is at least sourced... Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I'll have a go at a draft (and try to take in Rangoon's comment!) DeCausa (talk) 18:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, we will take hopefully take it on from there.--SabreBD (talk) 19:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

draft

Heading: Administrative divisions and dependencies
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not England, have devolved national administrations (see above). Below this level, each country of the United Kingdom has its own system of administrative and geographic demarcation, which often has origins that pre-date the formation of the United Kingdom itself. Consequently there is "no common stratum of administrative unit encompassing the United Kingdom".[1] Greater London has 32 London boroughs, and since 2000, a directly elected London-wide assembly and mayor.[2] Outside of London Local government in England follows two patterns: in 33 counties there is a two-tier system of a county council and district councils; in 55 other areas there is a single unitary authority.[3] Local government in Scotland is divided on a basis of 32 unitary authorities, referred to as council areas, with wide variation in both size and population. Local government in Wales consists of 22 unitary authorities. Local government in Northern Ireland has, since 1973, been organised into 26 district councils.[4] However, the present system will be replaced in 2011 with 11 new councils.[5]
The United Kingdom has sovereignty over seventeen territories which do not form part of the United Kingdom itself: 14 British Overseas Territories[6] and three Crown Dependencies. The British Overseas Territories are mainly relatively small islands (the largest grouping of which is the British Indian Ocean Territory), the British Antarctic Territory and Gibraltar.[7] The Crown Dependencies are the Channel Island Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

I've left out the two images because it will be fairly cluttered with them and in any case they are too detailed for this article (and the admin division one is too small to be visible. sources to follow once agreed. DeCausa (talk) 20:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Well I am basically fine with it. I think it covers the ground avoiding unnecessary detail or might have been scenarios. There may be some tweaks from me when I have looked at it a bit more. However, I suspect that other editors will want more detail. We might have room for an illustration, but the existing map of the UK is almost impossible to read. Lets see how it looks on the page and I will keep an eye out for something.--SabreBD (talk) 00:02, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm broadly OK with the new text for Administrative divisions. Re Dependencies/British Overseas Territories, as stated above I do believe that these are greatly important - to give a couple of examples, the Falklands provides control over a very large potential oil and gas province and Gibraltar is a strategically very important location at the mouth of the Mediterranean - and their status has also been a cause of not inconsiderable controversy in some other nations e.g. Spain and Argentina. Looking at the French article there is actually a map of its overseas regions and territories in the article infobox, as well as a substantial section in the article on them. I am against losing both the map and the list of the British Overseas Territories from the text, which I do feel would fail to reflect their general importance (which is actually acknowledged by the present article lead).
Re losing the map of the UK administrative divisions, personally I am neutral on this, most of the detail is unreadable and the UK is in general a very centralised state. However the map is the only one currently in the article which shows the borders of the four constituent countries, a more relevant point since devolution. Rangoon11 (talk) 00:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
On dependencies, I did list the ones you mentioned in your earlier post (but forgot the Falklands). Falklands could be added too. Gibraltar is already mentioned in the draft. DeCausa (talk) 05:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I haven't managed to find anything that can replace this map yet. I didn't realise until I clicked twice on it that it will take you through so that you can see all the division in very good detail. It may be difficult to fit this map in, because even in its reduced form it is quite big, but I wonder if we should have this with an instruction to click to enlarge in the legend.--SabreBD (talk) 07:57, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
What is the problem with keeping the whole of the sentence 'The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: Anguilla; Bermuda; the British Antarctic Territory; the British Indian Ocean Territory; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Pitcairn Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus.'? Each of the territories is important in different ways (e.g. the Cayman Islands are an important financial centre, Akrotiri and Dhekelia are home to a very important military base, ditto Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha), and in my view each warrants at least a one word mention in this article. Rangoon11 (talk) 14:34, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
It's an extremely long list that gives no information at all. It doesn't matter if a territory is important if we don't say why, and since these aren't even part of the UK (unlike the French ones) they don't warrant a great mention on this article. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:39, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
It is one sentence and it gives a great deal of information - the names of the territories, which are each significant enough to have their names at least mentioned. 'It doesn't matter if a territory is important if we don't say why' - sorry but that is a very unconvincing argument, most of the content of the article does not have a sentence justifying why it has been included. Should we have a sentence explaining why it is important that the UK is a member of the UN Security Council? Rangoon11 (talk) 14:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
It's too much non-notable detail for islands which are not part of the UK. It is self-evident why it is important that the UK is a permanent member of the Security council, and, if a reader really doesn't know, if you click through to United Nations Security Council he'll find out why. The same cannot be said of the list of islands. The Cayman Islands claim to fame that it is an off shore financial centre has no significance or importance to the UK. If you click through to the Cayman Islands you still don't get any indication why it's important to the UK. The same is true of the whole list - most of the islands don't even have that level of notability in their own right. Pitcairn, Anguilla? These places are getting a name check when places in the UK of much greater importance to the UK don't get a mention. I think giving some notable examples (as I have done in the draft) is a reasonable compromise. DeCausa (talk) 16:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
They are not of equal importance I will accept - and the Pitcairns are clearly at the opposite end of the spectrum to Gibraltar - but in more than just the selected examples the strategic importance to the UK is very high e.g. Akrotiri and Dhekelia, with its position in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean (currently forming a vital part of the UK's operations in Libya) and Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, again in a very strategically significant position and home to key military facilities? Many of these territories have been kept precisely because they are of such strategic importance. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:36, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I would favour shortening the text by removing this sentence - "The British Overseas Territories are mainly relatively small islands (the largest grouping of which is the British Indian Ocean Territory), the British Antarctic Territory and Gibraltar." - but including the map at [[File:Location of the BOTs.svg]]. I don't think we should suggest in the text that any are more important than any other - what is most notable is their small size, and their distribution around the globe which is important for the UK's own security and international standing. Those aspects, I think, are best suggested by including the map. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
That would work for me - but I don't thin there's enough room for that map and the UK admin divisions map if anyone's still wanting that in gthe article. DeCausa (talk) 11:16, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Pointing out again in case it was missed that the BOTS are on the British Empire map in the history section. Although how clearly they can be seen and how it can be pointed out are both open to debate.--SabreBD (talk) 11:21, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

The UK's sovereignty over the Crown Dependencies is a bit of a grey area as they have their own "sovereign" parliaments and are supposed to be autonomous. Is sovereignty the best word for them? Also I am a but uneasy about lumping them into the same sentence as, for instance, Akrotiri, which is a decidedly special case. For the Crown Dependencies, perhaps we should be laying rather more stress on the fact that they are not part of the UK (or indeed the EU), since many people (Brits too, never mind foreigners) assume that they are. -- Alarics (talk) 07:05, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

I think the statement about "sovereignty" is actually wrong. The crown not the UK (i.e. the UK parliament) has sovereignty over the Crown Dependencies, although the Crown does delegate some of its responsibilties to UK ministers in relation to the CI and Man. I think that there's a distinction with the overseas territories where the UK parliament is sovereign. DeCausa (talk) 08:11, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
The last sentence of the first para needs to be removed as the reorganisation proposals have been abandoned - see Proposed reform of local government in Northern Ireland. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Can we implement the non-contentious suggestions above please in the hope of keeping this process running?--SabreBD (talk) 12:37, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
If we change "sovereignty" to something like "responsibility" and remove the last sentence of the first paragraph is this then acceptable? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 08:51, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
No one is objecting. Lets make the change and post it before this goes to archive.--SabreBD (talk) 10:01, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Draft 2

Heading: Administrative divisions and dependencies
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not England, have devolved national administrations (see above). Below this level, each country of the United Kingdom has its own system of administrative and geographic demarcation, which often has origins that pre-date the formation of the United Kingdom itself. Consequently there is "no common stratum of administrative unit encompassing the United Kingdom".[1] Greater London has 32 London boroughs, and since 2000, a directly elected London-wide assembly and mayor.[8] Outside of London Local government in England follows two patterns: in 33 counties there is a two-tier system of a county council and district councils; in 55 other areas there is a single unitary authority.[9] Local government in Scotland is divided on a basis of 32 unitary authorities, referred to as council areas, with wide variation in both size and population. Local government in Wales consists of 22 unitary authorities. Local government in Northern Ireland has, since 1973, been organised into 26 district councils.[10]
The United Kingdom has responsibility for 17 territories which do not form part of the United Kingdom itself: 14 British Overseas Territories[6] and three Crown Dependencies. The British Overseas Territories are mainly relatively small islands (the largest grouping of which is the British Indian Ocean Territory) and include the British Antarctic Territory, The Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.[11] The Crown Dependencies are the Channel Island Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

Since this is danger of falling by the wayside I have posted a new draft that takes account of some of the suggestions above. I don't think that we have agreement on this, but can editors please restate their objections and, better yet, suggestions, so we can get this going again.--SabreBD (talk) 06:13, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Deputy PM

Shouldn't Nick Clegg, MP be added to the leaders section of the infobox as the current government of the UK is a coalition and has two leaders? --Waterbolt952 (talk) 09:06, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

This has already been discussed before and the consensus is no as the deputy prime minister has little (, almost no) power. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 09:19, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. The coalition does not have "two leaders"; it has one leader, and a deputy leader. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:01, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. The Deputy Prime Minister could in fact be sacked by the PM at any time, and no replacement appointed - it is principally a vanity title.Rangoon11 (talk) 12:35, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I wonder how long the coaltion government would last if Cameron sacked Clegg. I think it's fair to say that this particular deputy prime minister has more influence on the government than most. Carson101 (talk) 17:33, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Probably less influence than Brown had during much of Blair's premiership though. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:49, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
On a certain level that may be true, though neither of us know for sure. It is true that without Cleggs party there would be no coalition government. Brown can be seen as an individual in the Labour government whilst Clegg brings his whole party with him. Carson101 (talk) 17:57, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
The DPM doesn't belong in the leaders section, no matter what the makeup of the government is. GoodDay (talk) 20:44, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
To Carson101, no doubt if Cameron sacked Clegg as DPM there'd be a vote of no confidence and The Queen would have to dissolve parliament. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 21:11, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
That would indeed be the consequences of Clegg's sacking. As other users have observed, there is only one leader and Clegg certainly does not belong in that category in the governement. There is possibly an argument that Clegg belongs in the infobox as deputy leader. After all, the country is governed by a coalition of two parties and Clegg is the leader of one of those parties. I don't think it would upset any applecarts if we were to include him in the infobox as deputy leader. If needed, perhaps there could be a note to explain his inclusion. What do you think? Carson101 (talk) 13:06, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
As has been said, this has all been discussed before. Why complicate the infobox - supposedly, a simple summary - with unnecessary information that requires an explanatory footnote? Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:18, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Please explain the best you can how complicated it would be to include one man's name in an infobox. A man who is the leader of a party that forms a coalition without which this government would not be in power. Do you deem that unnecessary? I don't actually think it is that important, but your argument against it is rather weak. Carson101 (talk) 13:24, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
That's because I wasn't arguing against it, just setting out information and asking you a question. I think that the best arguments against it are that it has no constitutional status (as compared with NI, say), and would set an unnecessary and undesirable precedent. What happens if we have a single party govt with a DPM - should that person be listed there? If not, why not? What about other posts in the Govt? The only postholder needed in the infobox is PM - anything else is fancruft. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:46, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
It's not the ease or otherwise of including the DPM in the infobox, its the need for such an inclusion. Although he has little power in terms of departmental responsibilities, he has huge importance in holding the coalition together and Cameron knows that. But, his delivery of the where-with-all to enable a government to exist is not the same thing (as far as an infobox is concerned) as the importance of a job title to belong in the infobox. He is one voice in cabinet but would venture to suggest that the most important man after the PM is the Chancellor - and he gets to stay next door - and no one would suggest that he be included in the box. The less complicated the better. --Bill Reid | (talk) 16:27, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
It's fair to say that I think there may still be a case for his inclusion, but, I did not come here to argue too much over it, and in fact only brought the suggestion forward to see the response. As the response is rather negative to my suggestion I shall let it drop. Cheers everyone! Carson101 (talk) 16:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Alfred the Great in history?

It seems as if it is a big omission to leave out King Alfred the Great (the only monarch to be so named), who spread the english language through an education system not seen since the Roman empire, aswell as his laws which led to the Magna Charta. Could we potentially work on adding this to the page? Your thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 139.67.192.64 (talk) 05:29, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

The UK was only formed in 1707, so most of the History in this article deals with the period after then. Alfred is mentioned in the article on England. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:14, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Spiritofstgeorge (talk) 23:35, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The UK was formed in 1801, but that does not help King Alfred. Moonraker (talk) 05:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to be picky but quoting 1801 as the birth point of the United Kingdom is controversial as I'm sure you know. For example, "The most important consideration in the making of the United Kingdom in 1707 was the standpoint of England." (Quote from Professor Allan I. Macinnes, in his article 'Acts of Union: The creation of the United Kingdom' as quoted on the BBC website.[12] However, at least we agree that King Alfred preceded the start of the history of the United Kingdom! Spiritofstgeorge (talk) 10:01, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
It's only controversial with Wikipedia editors! DeCausa (talk) 11:10, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

To Moonraker2, ummm, ... I disagree with you. I happen to believe that the Name of United Kingdom of Great Britain (1707) is in fact correct. ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 20:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

No, UNITED KINGDOM only came about with the union of Ireland with Great Britain! Take that from a Welshman !! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.149.183.27 (talk) 16:14, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Science and Technology % of Research Citations

The sentence before citation 229 states that the UK is 3rd in scientific citations or something, behind, and this is the problematic part, "the united states and china and the united states, respectively". Makes no sense. Is the United states or China first? This wiki is locked and I have no account, but I'd appreciate it if some one could address it.

The full sentence is "Between 2004 and 2008 the UK produced 7% of the world's scientific research papers and had an 8% share of scientific citations, the third and second highest in the world (after the United States and China and the United States respectively)." It makes perfect if you know what the word respectively means.--SabreBD (talk) 21:31, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I've added a couple of commas, for clarity. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:34, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks.--SabreBD (talk) 19:35, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

The wording of the formation of the United Kingdom is misleading

This article is very frustrating. The wording of the formation of the United Kingdom is misleading. There appears to be a purposeful bluring (i.e., Equivocation) of the Geographic Features and the Country Units.

(1). The Geographic Features are the Island of Great Britain, and the Island of Ireland,

(2). The Country Units are the Kingdom of England, the Principality of Wales, the Kingdom of Scotland, and the Kingdom of Ireland.

(3). Since we are discussing the Country (i.e., Independent State), of the United Kingdom we should talk of its creation out of the Country Units, and not the Geographic Features.

(4). The Kingdom of England, the Principality of Wales, and the Kingdom of Scotland rest upon the Island of Great Britain,

(5). The Kingdom of Ireland rests upon the Island of Ireland.

Now in 1707 the Country Units came into Union, and thus a United Kingdom of Great Britain was formed, resting upon the Island of Great Britain. To re-emphasize, in terms of a United Kingdom of Great Britain the word United already applied as a union of 3 countries ... 3 united countries.

Please note Northern Ireland is a PROVINCE of the UK NOT a country!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.149.183.27 (talk) 16:17, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


Also re Northern Ireland-In the section about what we call ourselves, it IS true you do get say a Welshman, saying he is Welsh, and NOT British, but anyone saying they are Northern Irish IS British by implication. The two go hand in hand. A nationalsit would say Irish (NOT Northern Irish) even if they lived in the Province. I am convinced this is written by people who DO NOT know the facts or live them day to day!!? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.149.182.98 (talk) 14:43, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Not true. Some Northern Irish/Ulstermen wish to be free of the both the UK and RoI. JonChappleTalk 14:46, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Next, the United Kingdom of Great Britain (1707-1800) then came into Union with the Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1800), thus forming an expanded Union, whose name was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801-1921), and then later (after December 6, 1921) the United Kingdom Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The uniting of the Country Units should be emphasized, and NOT the uniting of the Geographic Features. ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 20:23, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

"United Kingdom of Great Britain" is mistaken, as the name of the country formed in 1707 was simply "Great Britain". Please see Talk:Kingdom of Great Britain. Moonraker (talk) 03:43, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Ummm, ... I disagree with you. I happen to believe that the Name of United Kingdom of Great Britain (1707) is in fact correct. . ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 21:07, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I am puzzled as to while anyone objects to my splitting the History section so as to start a new section at the creation of the United Kingdom in 1801. As this article is about the United Kingdom, the creation of the United Kingdom ought to start a section, but User:DeCausa thinks it is "opening up a can of worms".
I know there has been a tiresome argument about terminology when it comes to Great Britain, but that is irrelevant here. There is no doubt that 1 January 1801 saw the union of two kingdoms into a new kingdom, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (using identical wording to the union which created Great Britain) and despite a name change in the twentieth century, it is that kingdom which is the subject of this article. We cannot pass over the creation of the very subject matter of the article as if mere detail.
Howard Alexander (talk) 13:22, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I agree with you and would have split the section at 1800 with pre- and post-formation of the UK titles. In fact, I think that's how I originally did it when I put in the pre-UK part. (It was until recently missing.) However, just as there is a tiresome (as you say) argument about the terminology of Great Britain, there is an equally tiresome argument about whether the "United Kingdom" begins in 1707 or 1801. The titles and content of the history section has shifted to and fro because of this, but the current set-up seems to be the most stable because it doesn't touch on that "controversy". So that's the reason I reverted. Hope gthat explains. DeCausa (talk) 17:15, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

It's a wee bit odd though. I had seen the arguments about whether GB was called just Great Britain or the Kingdom of... or the United Kingdom of ... or the united Kingdom of ..., but that becomes irrelevant in 1801. Has anyone argued that the 1800 Acts of Union were different in quality to the Acts of 1707, that they annexed Ireland to Great Britain rather than uniting the two? No doubt Parliament could have done the former had it wished, but the wording of the Acts of Union is unambiguous. The political reality of the 1801 union is arguable, as is the development of circumstances after the union, but the legal form is clear. A new kingdom was created on 1 January 1801. Has anyone disagreed with that, with a rational argument for it? Howard Alexander (talk) 12:27, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

No that's not the problem. You wanted to have a sub-heading for post 1800 of "Formation and later history of the United Kingdom". But that would be a problem for those who believe that the entity created in 1707 was also called the "United Kingdom". It really isn't worth the trouble to get into it. DeCausa (talk) 17:37, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll have a think about it before I try anything else, but I will try to avoid that problem. Howard Alexander (talk) 20:29, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I really think the current solution is the best option. After all, the 1707 union, in terms of the current configuration of the UK, is the more significant of the two Unions, IMHO. The 1801 union's significance today is more for the state's name rather than the underlying political concept. This, of course, is with hindsight. One wouldn't have said that in 1900, for instance. DeCausa (talk) 20:41, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Religion

This section is outdated and a misrepresentation, The Article says that 71.6% of people are Christian, This is with odds with recent statistics that the minority (43.70%) Identified themselves as Christian and the majority (50.70%) Describing themselves as non-religious

http://www.britsocat.com/BodySecure.aspx?control=BritsocatMarginals&var=RELIGION&SurveyID=221 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.10.47.16 (talk) 01:02, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Suggest Adding from this section: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism#United_Kingdom — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.10.47.16 (talk) 01:05, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't say that. What is says is "In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians". Until new data is released from the 2011 census this is not out of date. It also goes on to make brief points about other evidence. It would have been nice to have included evidence from the BSAS, but space is a factor in this article. More detail can be included in linked articles. This was the subject of very intensive discussion here.--SabreBD (talk) 05:40, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
When claims like that are made from census results, it's really important that the census question be accurately paraphrased here (or even quoted word for word). To exactly what question did they respond "Christian"? HiLo48 (talk) 07:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

UK Founded when

Ok was the UK founded in 1707 or 1801? If it is founded with the Act of union that united the kingdoms of England and Scotland then List of sovereign states by date of formation needs to be changed accordingly. If it is via the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801 then this article and History of the United Kingdom needs to be changed. Please can you let me know which is the encyclopaedic answer & please offer academic sources backing up your belief. Thanks -- Phoenix (talk) 10:34, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

The United Kingdom, though not called that then, began in 1707 when the Kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form a new, united kingdom. Though the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty did refer to the new state as 'the United Kingdom of Great Britain' and 'the United Kingdom', the name of the new, united kingdom was clearly stated to be 'Great Britain'. Almost a century later, the Kingdom of Ireland merged with this new state and this time the state was named 'the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland'. Just over a century later, another change as most of Ireland left the UK, giving us the United Kingdom in its present form. Therefore, the first United Kingdom was created in 1707. However, some interpret history differently putting more stress on the name - they regard 1801 as the start. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 10:54, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Just to be clear, as Fishiehelper says, that's an interpretation which not everyone agrees with. The classic/mainstream (IMHO) interpretation is that it was created in 1801, as that is when a state that included "United Kingdom" in the name was founded. Two issues muddy the waters:
  • "United Kingdom"/"UK" is an abbreviation, so, in a sense, it's the wrong question because no state has ever been created with that name. Some see it as important that there is evidence of informal or even inconsistent official use of the term united kingdom during the 18th century to refer to the country. That's part of the reason behind the differing interpretations. I think what can be stated which no one disagrees with is that the kingdom created in 1707 was called in the statute Great Britain and a new kingdom was created in 1801 called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and that same kingdom changed its name in 1927 to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I think that's what the article says. If it doesn't please point out where.
  • Looking at what the UK now is, you would have to say that the 1707 union de facto if not de jure created the current state. Northern Ireland, with all due respect to it, is a relatively small addition to what was created in 1707. For that reason, you will find a lot of sources (including academic) referring to 1707 as its founding date. However, Ireland was a very significant part of the UK in the 19th century, (eg Ireland had half the population of England prior to the famine, cf relative populations of NI, Scotland and Wales and England today). So prior to the breaking away of the Irish Free State, one wouldn't have made the same statement. In 1900, I think one would have to say that de facto as well as de jure the UK (as it was then) came about in 1801.
DeCausa (talk) 11:08, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Being a student of history I am in agreement that the UK (as we know it now) was founded in 1707 (and there can even be made some arguments made for earlier dates like the Union of crowns). But can you provide any academic sources stating such? -- Phoenix (talk) 11:25, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with DeCausa. All good academic histories (the Cambridge Modern History is an example) date the United Kingdom (that is, the country called that as part of its name) from 1801, although I suppose it was "founded" (in the sense of its foundations being laid) in 1800. Until then, Great Britain, which was specifically given that name in 1707, had very occasionally been referred to, but not called as its name, the "united kingdom", and the distinction between "Great Britain" (which does not include Ireland or any part of it) and the "United Kingdom", which does, is an important one. There was real perplexity in the 1920s, when the Union between Great Britain and most of Ireland broke down, causing George V to drop the words "United Kingdom" from his titles. They were never used by George VI, but were restored to the titles of Elizabeth II in 1953.
Having said that, no one can dispute that the origins of the United Kingdom lie in the former kingdom of Great Britain: a whole host of organizations, such as the British Army, date from 1707 and not 1801. in general, the Union of 1801 caused less constitutional innovation than the Union of 1707. Moonraker (talk) 11:26, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
@Phoenix. Here's one. As Moonraker says, there are plenty of others that say 1801, so to cite this in isolation would be wrong. DeCausa (talk) 11:41, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Hi Phoenix. There are a number of academic sources that would support the view that the United Kingdom was formed in 1707. For example, Professor Allan I. Macinnes writing on the BBC website says "The most important consideration in the making of the United Kingdom in 1707 was the standpoint of England."Acts of Union: The creation of the United Kingdom Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 13:00, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I do not think Allan Macinnes would write that now, as I understand it led to some disagreement in the Historical Association, which is on record as contradicting the same point of view when expressed by Bernard Crick (please see here: "HA The United Kingdom did not come into being until 1800, with the Act of Union with Ireland, which is not mentioned".) Moonraker (talk) 03:27, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
You may be correct that Professor Allan MacInnes has changed his viewpoint recently, though I can find no evidence of such - his book Union and empire:the making of the United Kingdom in 1707 was published in 2007. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 08:57, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a problem with relying on many historians who have been cited (including all of those citing on the point in a certain dire article). If the historian is writing specifically about Scotland or about the 1707 union, then of course he will be talking about 1707.

The question though is not about narrative and interpretation: it is a technical question with a technical answer. The 1707 Acts of Union without doubt created a new kingdom. The 1800 Acts of Union have exactly the same formulation: they did not annex Ireland to Great Britain but explicitly united Great Britian and Ireland into one kingdom using the same woerding as in 1707.

One can argue that Pitt and his contemporaries thought that the union would effectively be absorbing Ireland, though later generations saw it was not so simple: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was far more, with a new and distinctive Irish flavour within it. However such positions are merely political and social emphasis: the creation of the Kingdom itself is a matter of pure law, and in law a new kingdom was called into being on 1 January 1801.

Howard Alexander (talk) 12:37, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref group=note> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=note}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ a b United Nations Economic and Social Council (August 2007). "Ninth UN Conference on the standardization of Geographical Names". UN Statistics Division. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2008.  [dead link]
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  12. ^ Acts of Union: The creation of the United Kingdom Acts of Union: The creation of the United Kingdom www.bbc.co.uk, 17th February 2011