Talk:United Kingdom/Archive 8

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  1. September 2001 – August 2004
  2. August 2004 – April 2005
  3. April 2005 – November 2005
  4. November 2005 – February 2006
  5. February 2006 – May 2006
  6. May 2006 – July 2006
  7. July 2006 – November 2006
  8. November 2006 – April 2007
  9. April 2007 – July 2007
  10. August – December 2007, part 1
  11. August – December 2007, part 2
  12. August – December 2007, part 3
  13. August – December 2007, part 4
  14. August – December 2007, part 5
  15. December 2007 – May 2008
  16. June 2008 – October 2008
  17. October 2008 – March 2009
  18. March 2009 – October 2009
  19. November 2009 – August 2010
  20. August 2010 – December 2010
  21. December 2010 – January 2011
  22. January 2011 – March 2011
  23. March 2011 – May 2011
  24. May 2011
  25. May 2011 – August 2011
  26. August 2011 – August 2012
  27. August 2012 – September 2013
  28. September 2013 –

Country/State debate archives
  1. June 2005 – March 2006
  2. April 2006 – May 2006

Terminology debate archives
  1. July 2006 – September 2006
  2. September 2006 – October 2006

Subdivision name debate archives
  1. April 2008 – June 2008


Breakup of the UK

"However, there is at present little sign of any imminent 'crisis'"

Excuse me??? this seems woefully inaccurate, [1]. It should be changed immediately Superdude99 12:46, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I live here and see no signs of an imminent crisis; just because one of the candidates (well, the main one) happens to be Scottish, doesn't mean Scotland is going to secede from the UK as soon as it can. Besides, a story saying how all's well and good is hardly interesting is it? Especially if the alternative to it contains the phrase 'ethnic cleansing' RHB 18:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

A reliable ICM poll says different, 52 per cent of Scots wanting their own country independant, 59 per cent(think about that... 59 PER CENT) of the english want independance for Scotland. [2][3] You have not been living in a cave, on mars, with your eyes shut and ears plugged? Did you read the article? Superdude99 22:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, opinion polls, you know. Up and down all the time. It's indicative but its hardly a crisis. And most Englishmen that I've ever talked to have been supportive of Scottish independence so I'm surprised that it's as low as 59% support. Very disappointing. Once the SNP start winning seats in England, it'll be time to start talking crisis. Not just because Gordon Brown might become Prime Minister -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree that there is no "imminent crisis", but there does seem to be something brewing, otherwise why the recent dire warnings from Blair and Brown about voting SNP, which I presume is what is prompting the above? The background is that a big vote for SNP in the General Election would reduce any potential Labour majority in the House of Commons and leave a hung parliament or Tory majority more likely. This is seen as a crisis by Blair/Brown not because of concern about Scotland splitting off, which is very unlikely, but because of fear for their own majority. MarkThomas 08:21, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Sorry that is completely OTT - Scotland has been whining about independance ever since we took the place over, they always say "we want to be seperate" but then when we tell them that means their economy too they always change their minds :) Waffle247 16:01, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that the term 'imminent crisis' should be defined. In my opinion, an 'imminent crisis' is one where there is mass support, mass demonstration, a negative effect on the nation's international prestige and economic strength as a result of it. I don't think that one opinion poll can cause an 'imminent crisis', what is happening now is the same crazed not-thought-through thinking that always results from exaggerated (sub)nationalism. Basically, until The Guardian exposes a 'Gunpowder Plot', then I won't agree that there is an imminent crisis. (BTW, I'm not a hardcore Guardian reader!) --MC 18:22, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

The chances of a crisis in the UK are incredibly low. Threats of a break-up are almost non-existant, and the only danger of a crisis is in finance and trade. I would only like to state that this article and sound and accurate and should not be changed in any major way. Ninington 10:40, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Why is Scotland whining about indenpendance when they took England over? When Elizabeth I died she had no children or siblings to give the throne to. So the crown was passed to James VI of Scotland and so he also became James I of England. I am no real fan of the UK breaking up back to their own little countries because generally spliting up makes everything weaker. For example, if there are fifty soldiers preparing to attack a machine gunner 20 feet away and all they have are knives and they split up and went one at a time, they would all die rather than around half of them dying. Emperor Jackal 11:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Fascinating. Does this have anything at all to do with editing the article though? MarkThomas 13:16, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Jackal. Whilst you are correct, the succession of James VI of Scotland in the 17th century to the throne of England is the only way in which Scotland took over England. It has been suggested that whilst the Scottish James I was the first Scottish King of England, he was also the last Scottish King of Scotland. I.e. his successors (Charles I, etc) were all as English/Scottish as James I's predecessors in England. Also; if your argument is to be followed through - then both England and Scotland were taken over by Germany when George I Elector of Hanover ascended the British throne. Basically, nowadays, Scotland despises the UK capital being the English city of London, and for the vast majority of commerce being centred in England. --MC 14:26, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Population Change

Would it be possibly to produce a graph of the population change in the United Kingdom, as is found in articles like Germany and France? Just to bring unity to the articles, as well as possibly providing useful information. Ignore this if im talking nonesense. LordFenix 19:03, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


what is the adress and phonenumber for big ben —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:20, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

The address is Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Town, London 1. The phone number is +44-800-800-BIG-BEN. MarkThomas 23:26, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

If you just want to know the time it's easier to call 123 from a UK landline :) Waffle247 16:02, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Would be interesting.. find out why Britain recieved such poor results (23rd place) in the Economist's Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy (pdf) report. I have a hard time believing that the UK would be 'less democratic' than Portugal (19th), United States (17th) and Austria (14th), to name a few. ? . Regards, --BishheartElsie 11:10, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

It's mainly down to very low political participation (lowest in developed world), and to a lesser degree recent erosions of civil liberties. Passingtramp 20:29, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Basically, no one votes much in the UK so although we have a democratic system we don't actually use it much so things aren't very democratic. Waffle247 16:24, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Hey up, Chav!?

"In addition, there are a large number of Indians, mainly from northern India, who make up about 2.0% of the population.[47]" What the hell is this meant to mean? Sorry, it's just that you say 'large number' of Indians - what the hell is so large about 2%? (=0.02=1/50=MINORITY...). OK, so that quantitive assessment is probably not such an objective basis upon which to assign words such as 'large'. But still, I think that, as far as wiki goes, stating that 2% of the population comes from such a background would probably be as objective as things get (not discounting reference [41] which states the following : "Also statistics can be made to say anything.", add an ethnically unrepresentative mix of statisticians, some state racism and media manipulation, and its not too difficult to see that a significant amount of this article is probably BOGUS when it comes to accounting ethnic representation. I think that some minor edits are probably in order... --AryanNextDoor 19:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Calm down, make your points more gently, and make the changes yourself (you are allowed to!!) - Adrian Pingstone 20:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Note - you should fix you signature not AryanNextDoor but Aryannextdoor (talk · contribs) --ArmadilloFromHellGateBridge 21:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what the point being made is but 2% is the biggest (as far as I know) ethnic minority within the UK and so worth mentioning... --Robdurbar 08:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Or the point could be that although 2% may be a small fraction, over a million is actually quite a large number. Just sayin'. SheffieldSteel 23:18, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Yeah i suppose your right and living in the UK myself it isn't really that noticable this 2% as although there seems to be a big debate about everything like multiculturalism etc. etc. blah blah blah well visit England and you'll soon find out that away from political correctness it is just common sense that when immigrants come to any country they stick together in pockets like all the Brits in Spain (which I might add make up a higher percent of the Spanish pop. than South Asians do. So, to be honest I wouldn't worry about it AryanNextDoor or anyone else as it's just another cock and bull story from the Government (along with most its policies e.g e.g e.g multiculturalism most of Brits are white and Christians as I said earlier - I'm not being discriminative just statin' the facts). Tata for now kids! Cokes360 21:40, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

2% of the population in Britain is still a lot of people. Over 1 million by my calculations. Still a minority, of course, but a lot of people. Ninington 10:47, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Edits made today.. various accounts have definitely been POV, especially the addition/removal of adjectives, with 30 edits in the last few hours alone. I would hazard a guess that there is one user using a sockpuppet/IP address to push his views, but I cant be sure, so wont say who. Thanks, RHB 20:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Someone very anti-British I think. Just rv'ed another of them - thanks for your vigilance for this important page RHB. MarkThomas 22:13, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Ongoing unsigned POV edits

This is ongoing, with various inflammatory extremely POVist phrases being inserted such as in the history section, and all from unsigned users - I would be grateful if other editors would monitor as well. Thanks! MarkThomas 19:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Words like stolen are too POV. The article as it stands manitains a neutal stance by mentioning "creating the modern world" on the one hand and "exploitation" on the other. I think that that is the way it should be. Viewfinder 19:39, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Definition of POV

By citing Niall Ferguson who is a widely published and controversial British historian, is the atticle NPOV? I suggest the above refer to the reference they keep citing, the mentioned author is a defender of Imperialism, and this his views can not be NPOV. I insist, that if his book is to be referenced, then the part about stolen has to be too, as only then does it neutralise. Hushing up by using words like "critics of the empire" and Explitation" will not do

AJ2k —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aj2k (talkcontribs)

One author is not an adequate citation of "many", and please refrain from accusing editors who do not agree with you of vandalism. Viewfinder 19:51, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
There are two authors who are cited, not one. Secondly if they are not acceptable, then remove the whole para, as the precedig line about contribition too isnt an NPOV (refer above, it is by a controvertial author

AJ2k —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Aj2k (talkcontribs) 19:54, 10 December 2006 (UTC).

"Stolen" is a strong and controversial word. Please could we discuss this matter here before "insisting" on its inclusion in the article. Viewfinder 20:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm starting to think there are several sockpuppets here, all seem to be newly registered with few in the way of contributions, except to this article. See Parkernext and JupiterJ, although one other, Prafulo has made several recent edits, as well as some to Indian articles. Thanks, RHB 20:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the agenda is the British are imperialist thieving scum. This may be partially true but there is at least more than just that simple explanation to explore in the main article on the United Kingdom and it's history. :-) MarkThomas 20:17, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes they were imperialist thieves that forced the English language upon India. As a result, of course, India is now the leading country for outsourcing, and the UK will probably become a third world country. But that's my POV, (LOL). BTW see Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of Aj2k --ArmadilloFromHellGateBridge 20:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
This particular imperialist thief has requested semi-protect on WP:RFP which will hopefully help for a while. MarkThomas 07:10, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Why are English, Welsh and Scotch Gealic under Official Languages when the United Kingdom does not have an official language? Arctic Wolf 21:49, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

- Doesn't mention the only language which is actually completely native - British Sign Language (BSL).

I think it deserves at least a passing mention.

Natural History

Is there some Natural History of the UK? Anywhere? None of England, either, it seems. KP Botany 00:08, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Overseas territory map

No Dhekelia and Akrotiri (sovereign bases in Cyprus)? --A.Garnet 20:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Language map

What is with the map of all the countries English is an official language? English is the native language of England so shouldn't it be on the England page? Marky-Son 02:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

History POV

These sentences from the History section seem quite POVist to me: World War II however left the British Isles devastated physically as well as financially, and it was with massive Marshall Plan aid from the United States that allowed the United Kingdom to recover.

Britain's economy however stagnated by the 1970s, in a large part as a result of the massive power labour unions held. The powerful unions deadlocked businesses, creating a very difficult climate to do business in. It was only with the election of Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative government that the power of the unions was rolled back and the British economy began a massive recovery. It is partly from these battles from which Thatcher derived the nickname "The Iron Lady."

For example, the Marshall Plan only loaned money to the UK which was largely spent on nuclear weapons and power. The loan was finally repayed yesterday! Many economists believe that the UK economy recovered strongly in the 50s primarily due to Britain leaving behind rationing, which was not needed, and the central planning of Atlee. The economy boomed strongly in the 60s and entered recession in the early and mid 70s with the rest of the world following the OPEC oil shock; it is also arguable that Britain's strong recovery post 79 was at least partly due to increasing oil revenues from the North Sea which peaked in 1989 at the height of Thatcher's success. Not to say that the social contract and union negotiations coupled with prices and incomes policies didn't have a negative effect, although some think the latter, instituted by Ted Heath and maintained by Callaghan, were what mainly squeezed inflation down, rather than the money supply meddlings of Thatcher's Chancellors. All this just to say that there is controversy. I will think of a suitable way to reword the above pro-Thatcher POV. MarkThomas 15:31, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

The text in question also seemed biased to me - not least because there were at least two serious recessions under Thatcher and Major, not a 'massive recovery'. Guyal of Sfere 13:07, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I was just about to flag up the part about the Unions and the "Iron Lady" which seems very POV until I realised somebody already had, at least references to a neo-liberal economics paper or article could at least show some sources to back up this Thatcherite history of the late 20th century. MarkThomas is correct that it has been argued that oil revenues helped strengthen the economy, as well as other factors, some would point towards the continued benefit of access to EEC markets following membership in 1973. I propose the user who added this section, Mrosscan, or anyone else who cares to do so, add some sources showing the direct or indirect benefit of monetarist policies (which shouldn't be too hard to find, back issues of The Economist maybe?) and also the contrast between the amount of industrial action taken in the 1970s compared to a lack of it in the 1980s or this part be deleted. Benson85 20:01, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Small point - the Marshall Plan was not loaned money, it was a grant - the money that was paid back at the end of last year was a commercial loan of about £4 billion taken out at the end of the second world in order that Britain could inport food to actually feed itself. This was separate from the Marshall plan money, which came later. Mammal4 14:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

She was first named the Iron Lady before becoming Prime Minister, so she cannot have derived the name from her actions after becoming Prime Minister.

According to it was because of her indication of intentions regarding the Soviet Union when she was leader of the opposition. -- Chris Q 07:38, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps it stuck because, in some people's eyes, she lived up to it after being elected but derived cannot be right. I would avoid saying the Marshall Plan "allowed" Britain to recover, as it implies recovery *could* not have happened without it. We can't know if that's true. "Helped" Britain to recover? As far as Thatcher's effect on the economy, it is difficult for me to see how anyone could argue the economy was not in a much better shape in 1990 compared to 1979 BUT I am sure there is someone out there who would - and Thatcher's time in office is still a controversial and divisive issue. I would look for some facts, such as UK ranking in world economies in 1979 and in 1990, and put these in - perhaps toning down the phrase "massive recovery" and mentioning the difficulties the economy also faced during some of her time in office. I may have a go at this myself in a day or two, but I'd rather wait and see if there are objections than do it right now. Hobson 01:17, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi! I just wanted to say that someone has been changing the languages in the box from "English, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic" to "English (de facto)". I was wondering if this was decided upon. It seems to me that this is the UK, not England, so Welsh and Gaelic should be added. Perhaps "Englsih (de facto), Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic" would be better? | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 13:39, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Britain does not speak English (de facto). The english speak english as first language, in Wales, Scotland or NI it depends on what part you are from as most built up areas tend to speak english first but there are many places where a dialect of gaelic is spoken as the first language. It would be more accurate to say "English is the most predomenently spoken language but a variety of gaelic dialects are also spoken in some of the outlying regions of Britain" Waffle247 16:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

New Map

The new map looks great! The addition of colour defiantly improves the aesthetic look of the entire article imho. Canderra 02:23, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

EU Map \ UK as a province

Why's the UK featured as a part of the EU? The EU has no juridic existence, even if it had, which is doesn't, why would the UK be a province of the EU? Why's any country marked as a province of the EU? The Wikipedia is run amok by weird leftist woodstock beatnik pinko type's, but this one takes the cake. NO COUNTRY PARTICIPATING IN THE EU IS A PROVINCE OF THE EU! Heck, until any constitution and juridic existence is approved and rectified the EU doesn't even legally exist, it's a collection of economical and trade agreements - And yes, it's already be democratically blocked by several referendums. Man, the commies that run Wikipedia and beg for cash every Christmas (!) sure can't wait enough for the One World Government BS. I guess i'd at this point ask for Wikipaedia to have a modicum of encyclopaedic decency, but what the hell, i guess the word on the street is right: This IS a mickey mouse encyclopaedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:06, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Britain is part of the EU

Just one thing....How come there is no mention of britains hatred of America? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:45, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The UK is part of the EU, which does exist as far as English courts (and government) are concerned, there's nothing wrong with the map. The European Communities Act 1972 saw to that. From your post, it seems that you must have been horrified when you heard of the Factortame case, where it was decided by the highest court in the UK that if the British Parliament says A and the European Parliament say B, then the UK government is obliged to follow B. In my opinion, this makes the EU a confederation, and the establishment of institutions such as Europol (a FBI like institution) indicate that it is in the process of evolving into a federation (a United States of Europe).--Rudjek 16:39, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Rudjek That is absurd. The UK government may well be obliged to follow "B" if such laws contadict - in the short term at least. However, the British parliament at Westminster retains sovereignty and if any contradiction emergesMossley10 17:23, 13 January 2007 (UTC) it has the right to legislate specifically in favour of "A".

Exactly, if the British Parliament want to legislate contrary to EU law, they have to either make it explicitly clear that they are doing so (in the wording of the statute) or repeal the 1972 Act. Otherwise their legislation will be ignored in favour of EU legislation.--Rudjek 17:48, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Be at peace, English man, UK is part of EU and there's nothing you can do about it. "Oh God, we're losing soveregnity!" Yes you are. At least, something good out of English land.

I don't think it's necessary to have the map of Britain shown highlighted as part of the EU. I think it'd be more beneficial to have a more detailed map of the UK. Biofoundationsoflanguage 13:39, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. We dont have a map showing the UK as part of Nato or the Commonwealth. Someone should change it. The Proffesor 00:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, I find it a little difficult to understand why is the map thing so hard to accept for the UK editors. It hardly makes UK province of EU, map doesn't suggest anything like that Britain is no longer sovereign state. I'm used to seeing a lot of nationalism in artices of Georgia, Armenia etc. but I really don't expect seeing it here along with comments like "fucking american" which nobody removed. Anyway, as others pointed out, EU has extensive system of norms and laws which are superior to member states' legislature, it is common market and borders are vanishing. When there are no borders and such convergence in many areas, is it really so hard to accept seeing UK in European Union? Comparing it to NATO is really useless, differences are pretty obvious. I also can't see any clear majority against EU map - except WP:ILIKEIT arguments. The point is that it gives reader pretty much the same information about location of the UK as did the old maps plus it shows where it is in the EU. Such information is useful for considering f.e. imigration and criminality issues because peripheral states are more exposed etc.--Pethr 02:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The main argument against the new map is the KISS principle, I think - the article is about the UK, not the UK in Europe. That said, I'm not against slightly more detailed maps so long as the cut between what is the UK and what is the colonies of the UK rest of the EU is clearly delineated and there's a prominent key to the map. I don't like the new maps being proposed, but for other reasons more relevant for other countries. (For instance, in the case of Spain it would make the location of faraway Finland more prominent than countries more relevant to Spain, such as Morocco. Matthew 09:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to skip the Spain argument entirely if you don't mind because it's really leading us somewhere else. You're not against the new maps without EU highlighted, right? The point is that EU maps have caption saying that map is showing //country// (dark range) within the EU and links to legend (see f.e. France). This isn't sufficient key for you? It explains what it is without calling UK province of EU or EU province of UK as you and others suggested;). Those colours are clearly distinct and if there is any doubt there is always caption. If the caption isn't enough there is link to legend which explains in two languages what is in the map. Reader would really have to be pretty stupid not to understand the difference.--Pethr 18:19, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the Spain argument is relevant because for me its issue of relevance (why is Finland more relevant to Spain than Morocco?) trumps the issue of whether or not the EU should be coloured in. That's a secondary matter that I don't have a strong opinion on, though I do tend towards the 'keep it simple' argument that the EU shouldn't be shown on the primary map in an article about the UK. Matthew 20:48, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, you don't seem to have issue with UK map but rather those maps in general and this is not the proper place to discuss it. I addressed your "key" argument and I can't see why we are supposed to discuss map of Spain here. I don't really understand what exactly you mean – it's not about whether is EU highlighted (you're not against) or not but whether is Finland (/EU) relevant here? I can't see the difference between highlighting and assigning some relevance to EU countries. They are highlighted hence some contextual relevance is assigned to them. What do you mean exactly? Also it's not only Finland what is highlighted but the whole EU showing which countries participate on this project. I see point in discussing whether is EU so important and constitutes such an alternative to natinal state in present Europe or not (f.e. in WTO EU states are represented by EU; EU representative is attending G8 meetings; EU is large contributor to development assistance; common policies of EU are binding as are verdicts of ECJ and many other supranational features EU has). Such debate can be supported by academic research and outcome is not clear. But I haven't seen such powerful arguments yet.--Pethr 23:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think we're slightly across purposes - the way that the new/old map is headed seems to be old map and no EU highlighting, or new map and EU highlighting, which is why I've rolled the problems I have with the new map in with the issue of highlighting the EU. The new map's main problem (the relevance I was writing about - geographical relevance of other countries shown in the map) isn't so much a problem for the UK, which has its surroundings fairly well detailed in either map, so the issue with the new map for the UK then becomes a matter of its map being of consistent appearance with those maps used on other country articles. As I say, the way that the new/old map discussion is going seems to be a dichotomy between new map and EU highlighting or old map and no EU highlighting, with no room for new map and no EU highlighting. Given this, as I prefer the old-style maps for reasons of geographical relevance, I wouldn't like to see the EU highlighting.
Phew, I think I've lost myself there...! Map style aside, I still remain to be convinced that the EU should be highlighted in the primary map for an article about the UK, as opposed to an article about the EU, the UK in the EU, or something along these lines. Matthew 23:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Now I don't understand you at all:) Let's leave it there:) If you are convinced that "the EU should be highlighted in the primary map for an article about the UK" than I don't know what we're arguing about all the time. Cheers.--Pethr 13:10, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Heh! :-) But I said that I remain to be convinced, not that I am convinced! :-) Matthew 13:22, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The UK (not Britain) is in the EU - so the initial comment (which almost sounds like it's from an American) is a little puzzling. Leaving that comment aside, the UK is a country like any other, and needn't be categorised as EU, or indeed European - The map currently shows Europe in White, and other areas in Grey. Compare Egypt where neither Africa, nor Arab states, are shown in a different colour. Also the Spain argument is a very good one. A 'Good' map should really show a country nearer the centre (of course the UK is a peripheral country so that is a little complicated here) and in relation to features near to it. That isn't a policy thing so far as I'm aware, just a personal opinion. As such the map we have currently isn't necessarily a 'Good' map. Indeed it doesn't even say 'map showing the location of the UK in Europe'. It is a world map by continent. As for this not being the place, where is the place? Is there a EU countries policy or European countries policy or discussion board where this happens?Stevebritgimp 15:02, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
This is the place.--Pethr 19:21, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


TharkunColl, I agree with Br2387 that the current map is better than having no map at all. I think it it's the best map so far, see what it used to be like. The aim is to show where in the world the country is, and this map fulfils that purpose. As for why the EU is significant, see the section above this.--Rudjek 00:50, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

The section above this simply states that the UK is part of the EU. I don't see any comments there explaining why that should affect the map. I agree the maps for EU countries should be consistent, however. The map is I write this, , could do with some work on the colours imo. The UK doesn't stand out, and the point of the map is presumably to show people where the UK is. Hobson 02:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The newer map makes Scandinavia look ten times bigger than it really is - i.e., the projection is wrong. And why should we single out the EU above, say, the Commonwealth or NATO? Many British people hate the EU, and would not wish to be associated with it. TharkunColl 01:08, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I have restored the original PNG map till someone can create an SVG alternative. There was never consensus to use the EU maps, on the contrary they were considered by most as POV and inferior for other reasons. Asteriontalk 01:26, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

UK Map edit

Risking confusing you all with a similar, but different topic, I have edited the UK map that is already up and wonder what you all think. I have included the main population centres (+Dundee, Aberdeen and Bristol). I have also made the colours a bit more vibrant.

Comments please! Rednaxela 17:30, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Honestly, I prefer this one (Image:Uk-map.svg). It is a vector map and does not suffer from JPEG artifacts. I am not keen on the colours either. Asteriontalk 17:42, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I prefer the colour, but as a JPEG it isn't the small image available. Plus, what happened Derry and Lough Neagh? « Keith t/e» 17:26, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
And 'ull? :) Asteriontalk 19:14, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
My main complaint with the CIA map was the random places it had on it. OwenBlacker's version goes a long way to rectifying this, but still omits Leeds and Sheffield, two major cities with a total of 940 000 odd inhabitants. My secondary complaint was the vague colours. I certainly didn't intend to pave over all the lochs and loughs, that's an unintended consequence of my naive editing. Anyway, if somebody succeeded at a version with these two core cities included, I'd be happy. Rednaxela 00:42, 18 January 2007 (UTC) Oh and I now appreciate that Bristol is far larger than Aberdeen and Dundee. (See above)

State / country

Wow. I take a wikibreak of nearly a year; and the whole "should the first sentence say state or country?" thing is still around. It'll still be there when we're all dead. For what it's worth (but oh! I hope I'm too lazy to be sucked back into this again!), I'm amused by the notion that banknotes and postage stamps are somehow decisive evidence -- yes, wow, postage stamps are so vastly important; I can't believe I didn't see that before. Amused also by the notion that any country worth living in could be said to have one single unitary culture. Doops | talk 09:06, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Opening of History section not wiki standard

The opening of this country's wiki history section does not the follow the regular format for nation pages and needs change. It opens, irregularly, with an allusion to a definitely POV and unprovable claim : "the nation that created the modern world", and then tries to counterbalance this with an equally irregular, very early use of POV adjectives rather than factual history - "expolitative" , which seems unlike any other major country page I can find. The only solution to this is to take both the POV claim and the sudden injection of POV criticism at the top of a country article in reaction to it, which I can't find a paralell with elsewhere.

Hd240 17:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't open that way - it opens with a lengthy explanation of the history of the constitution and formation of the UK. The points you refer to are well down in the section. There may be room to dispute them as too extreme or wrong or whatever, but I think the UK has had a big enough impact on world history to deserve robust analysis. MarkThomas

Introduction Map Showing EU

The current map displaying the UK as well as the EU makes it look like the UK is a province of the EU which is made to look like a country. The EU is far from being a country and is only and organisation the UK has chosen to be a member of. The UK is a member of many other organisations but they are not displayed on any other maps of the UK. The EU may very well some day become what might be considered a country if its members choose to or may never become what might be considered a country but until then the map of the UK should only display the UK, after all this is an article about the UK not the EU and the article gives plenty of information where appropriate informing readers the UK is a member of the EU just as it does concerning its affiliation with other organisations. Somethingoranother 17:26, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The EU is far more than just an "organisation the UK has chosen to be a member of". Like it or not, the EU now has legal sovereignty over the UK in that EU law is superior to British law, and the EU legislates and supervises a vast range of issues that were formerly British matters within British territory. The EU even has a nascent army and foreign policy and is now regarded by the CIA as a state. Integration is so widespread and total that it is not POV to display the UK in this way as other EU countries. MarkThomas 17:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I restored the EU map - all EU nations on Wikipedia now have a variation of this map and it's important to have continuity for casual WP readers who want to see at a glance how the EU nations relate to each other. The issue TharkunColl raised when he removed it about the projection should be raised about the map generally to redraw it. MarkThomas 19:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I've created a much better map. What other countries have as their map is their own business. Why don't we have one showing the UK in the EEA, NATO, the Commonwealth, etc. etc. TharkunColl 19:11, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

This is all just POVery by you TharkunColl. Of course it's not "their own business" - Wikipedia exists to tell the truth and the truth is that the over-arching institution of which the UK is a part is now the EU and the maps are harmonised on Wikipedia for all EU countries - why on earth should the UK page be any different? Any other editor is fully justified in reverting your POV changes. MarkThomas 19:14, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

You are the one who is being point of veiw. This is a page on the UK not the EU. We should have a map showing the EU on the EU page. I will restore it to the NPOV version untill a concensus for change to show the EU can be reached. And any other editor is fully justified in reverting your NPOV edits. The Proffesor 01:09, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

You talk about that it is important to keep continuity on related articles then why does the Scotland article keep refusing to use the same UK style map highlighting all other UK countries when all other UK countries use it. Somethingoranother 20:02, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don't use the EU map, but as they are not EU countries in themselves, maybe they don't need to, however, the regions of EU countries probably should use it and this is simply a matter of editing the map to add these regions. MarkThomas 20:48, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I have to say I prefer TharkunColl's, it just plain looks nicer and the UK is more easily distinguishable - its not easyEU yet surely? :P RHB 20:59, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

By the way the EU does not have legal sovereignty over the UK. It is aggressive insulting to all British citizens to say "Like it or not, the EU now has legal sovereignty over the UK" as though we are an enslaved country. The UK as a member of the EU can freely leave whenever it feels like it. The British Parliament is supreme in the UK and is subservient to no one outside the UK and nothing can over rule it apart from the monarch of England (write to Downing Street and ask them if you think otherwise). Also you say the EU has a foreign policy and its own armed forces. When last I looked the EU has no armed forces under its control and foreign policy is for member states to decide their own, hence the UK invading of Iraq with its own armed forces despite most of the EU opposing it. The UK invasion of Iraq is one example of how the EU holds no power over the UK, has no united policy among members, and controls no armed forces. I also remind you the UK has its own Head of State, its own Head of Government, its own Parliament and government which are not controlled by any other state or organisation, its own currency, its own armed forces. The EU holds no more real power over us than the UN, both of which are just organisations controlled by member states as a system to get what they want. The invasion of Iraq proved just how weak the EU and UN are contrary to what europhiles say. Neither held any power to stop the UK invading Iraq nor had any affect on its policy. Along with the dead EU constitution proving impossible to pass with member states' citizens simply refusing to accept it. All this has made the EU seem weak and unworkable a bit like the League of Nations (which itself was an organisation made mainly from European powers), the EU now after its failing over member differences during the invasion of Iraq and the pathetic attempt to try and have an EU constitution and its resulting death plus the failing economies of those with the Euro has all but nearly made the EU seem like a doomed idea. As I said earlier this page is about the UK not EU. The map displayed at the introduction of the article should display the UK and UK only. All relevance to the EU should be given where relevant. If the EU becomes a state whenever then the map can show the EU so stop pushing POV that the EU is a state. P.S. the CIA World Fact Book does not say the EU is a state it says the EU is an organisation which shares qualities like states do. Also you told someone else to stop pushing POVery when you are the one pushing POVery as I have never seen another internet article solely about the UK which had an map in the introduction showing the UK as part of the EU so that tells you what common consensus is on this and which way is NPOV. Somethingoranother 21:30, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The EU is effectively a state and that's why for example it has ambassadors at the UN and in the US, China, the Vatican, etc. Also you make a number of false statements about the following, namely: (1) the EU definately does have sovereignty over the UK in a whole range of areas as verified by certain famous legal cases, (2) the British Parliament is not superior to the EU Commission except in those areas where power has been derogated to the UK by decision of the EU (3) the EU does already have it's own armed force and foreign policy, albeit I agree small and so far useless (4) the EU has many direct powers over the UK whereas the UN has none (5) the map does not imply that the UK is part of the EU state, even though it actually is now, but simply harmonises this article with all the other EU country articles. MarkThomas 22:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The EU only has power in areas derogated to it by the British Parliament. The Proffesor 01:09, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

And those powers were derogated. The EU did not force the UK, the UK joined, and now on several matters the EU does make decisions for all its members, including the UK, and like all member states also the UK must abide those decisions as long as it remains a member state. At present, it still is. Wikipedia states facts, not POVs. — SomeHuman 23 Feb2007 06:01 (UTC)

MarkThomas is factually wrong in a number of respects. The UK is a treaty signatory to the EU Treaties (a 'member') and gives powers to the EU (and its institutions: the Parliament, the Commission, the ECJ, etc.) as long as it remains a signatory of those treaties. If it Parliament were to rescind those treaties, the UK would cease to to be a member of the EU and the EU institutions would have no powers in respect of the UK. The EU does not have Ambassadors, only representatives (much as do the OECD and other regional organisations). The EU is not a state, does not claim to be one and is not a member of the UN. It does not have an army. It has a <common> foreign policy for some specific issues but each member state has its own foreign policy.

The map does, in my opinion, imply that the UK is a constituent of a bigger state called the EU, thereby misleading casual readers. It also fails to include other significant regional and global organisations of which the UK has membership. And it presents a POV biased towards those who would <like> the EU to be something more than it is. If the maps on all other EU member states have the same failing, then they should all also change to reflect NPOV. SeymourJ 12:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

3RR by TharkunColl

TharkunColl has just broken 3RR by again uploading the wrong image for the UK as discussed above for the third time - can other editors please help and overturn him. If he changes it again I will report him for the breach. Thanks. MarkThomas 19:16, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

You are incorrect. I restored the old map once. Then I uploaded a new map. After you trashed it, I had to revert. Once. And now I'm going to do it again. The EU map it truly awful. The projection is all wrong. My new map shows the UK, without ambiguity. TharkunColl 23:56, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

You attempted to use a tactic (making a marginally different edit) to avoid 3RR - many admins would still ban you for that. One more! :-) MarkThomas 07:17, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Current map is incorrect

In the rush to make it seem like the EU is a state, and the UK just a province thereof, those with such an agenda have allowed themselves to present a map that is factually incorrect. It may surprise them to learn that Spain is actually quite a lot bigger than Sweden (go and look it up), but if this map is to be believed then Sweden is more than twice the size of Spain. This, to put it bluntly, is a lie. In the preparation of maps it is essential to choose the most appropriate projection for the land area covered. I don't suppose this will make any difference though. Facts and honesty have never been very high on the list of priorities for those who wish to push politics down our collective gobs. Please remember that this article is about the UK, and is not about the UK in the EU. TharkunColl 09:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

It's just the projection the map creator has used. Why don't you create one with a different projection and propose it? MarkThomas 10:44, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

That's exactly what I intend to do. I shall use my own base map for the purpose, because its projection is far more appropriate for the area covered. TharkunColl 11:46, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Reverted because (pretty obviously) what we mean is that you need to create a new map based on the old design with a new projection for every country in the EU and propose it before insertion. MarkThomas 14:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

If you want to download my map and adapt it for all those foreign countries, please feel free. Personally speaking, I try to avoid making edits to articles on subjects that a) I don't care about, and b) that I have no knowledge of, so all those pages about European countries are none of my concern. May I remind you that you do not own this page, and Wikipedia encourages us to be bold in our edits. I have created a much better map, one that does not distort geography, and even includes the EU. What, on earth, is wrong with it? Just because all those articles on foreign countries have similar maps to the old one, that is no reason why the UK should. I shall re-insert my map and if you wish to get rid of it, please state some cogent reasons that are not based on other articles. TharkunColl 14:58, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Many Wikipedia infoboxes contain standard material that is repeated across multiple related pages. It is disruptive to keep changing this in this way without going through the process of at least trying to gain acceptance - one more change and you are reported. Thanks. MarkThomas 15:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

New map: Let's have some open debate

UK location in EU (light green shade),
map mainly of Europe
(TharkunColl style map)
UK location,
map mainly of Europe
(TharkunColl style map)
UK location in Europe (clear areas)
(David Liuzzo style map)
UK location
- in EU (light orange shade) and
- in Europe (EU shade + clear areas)
(David Liuzzo style map)

The topmost map on the right is the one I created today, specifically to take into account the opinions of those for whom the EU is important. The map below is the one I created yesterday, and the bottom one is the map currently in the article. I am placing my versions here because I suspect very few people have actually seen them, since they were both reverted very quickly.

I have a simple question: which is best? The bottom one is certainly colourful, but in my opinion that's all it has going for it. It is cluttered with rivers and other superfluous features, and most of the countries are all crammed into the bottom half and appear tiny. This is a direct result of the projection used, which is highly inapropriate for the area covered. Sweden, for example, is not twice the size of Spain, but is actually smaller than it. The map, therefore, is untruthful.

It has been argued that since all the other EU countries have versions of the same map, then so should the UK. I have a simple question to this - why? In the interests of truth, and in order to not present a gross distortion of geography, I contend that either of my maps are better. And there is nothing to stop anyone from downloading my map, and adapting it for those other EU countries. TharkunColl 16:46, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

"Why" is to harmonise a related group of Wikipedia pages (those belonging to EU countries). Relieved to see that you are at last discussing this sensibly as opposed to using tricks to get round 3RR. MarkThomas 16:59, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Only one of us here has violated 3RR, and it isn't me. TharkunColl 17:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I asked "why" those countries should all have the same map, and instead of answering, you merely restated the question. So I'll ask again: Why should they be harmonised? What is the advantage? TharkunColl 17:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I take your question to mean "why have infoboxes for multiple pages across a related subject that have strong replication?". The reason for doing this is to enable users to be familiar at a glance with the context of pages, to enable them to quickly see what relationship each article has to the overall subject, to be able to browse quickly between pages and to understand the whole topic better. Finally, the EU is sovereign over the UK in many ways and other EU countries and this needs to be reflected therefore with each member country shown as a subdivision of the overall EU entity. MarkThomas 17:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Same style map is useful for many reasons; in an encyclopaedia, a consistent style looks more formal, professional, and allows people to easily take in the same information from each one. The bottom map, with the EU in one colour and the member state in another is by far the nicest map available, as not only does it display additional information, it does so in a way that is easy to see - the light green on the new map in particular is quite lurid and difficult to look at. As regards projection issues, that would be a reason for redoing the projection, not necessarily changing other things, such as the colours, and changing only a single map out of the many that use that style is... odd, at best. As it is impossible to accurately represent a sphere on a flat screen, there will always be projection errors, which mean that the new one must involve them as well. --Mnemeson 17:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
What you are doing here is making a political judgement about the EU, and allowing it to influence how maps on Wikipedia are organised - but this, I'm afraid, is highly inapropriate. Which polity is more sovereign, the UK or the EU? And what is this article about, the UK or the EU? The EU may indeed be very important politically, but then so is NATO (in very different ways). The map as it stands is simply wrong. And how would it be possible to "change its projection" anyway? But you appear to be willing to overlook its inaccuracy for the same of Euro-conformity. TharkunColl 17:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I am making no political judgement; the maps for Iceland and Belarus are the same style of map, without the additional EU colouring, despite the fact that neither Iceland, which is EEA, nor Belarus, which isn't even Council of Europe, are EU states. It is simply a much nicer map. I do feel that the additional colouring is useful; it seems that you dislike the EU, and wish to remove it from the British map, but doing so does a diservice to users, as a consistent style is easier to read off quickly and accurately. I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by "And how would it be possible to "change its projection" anyway?" - one of your points arguing for the use of the lurid green map is that it is a different projection, so... well, that's how you change a projection :) The bottom map is far more attractive to the eye, and using a common style helps users. Whether you like ir or not, the UK is a member state of the EU, and showing which nations are and are not on the relevant maps again helps users - NATO is expressly a military alliance, which makes it a whole different kettle of fish. --Mnemeson 17:33, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Despite TharkunColl's behaviour, I actually prefer the projection in the upper green map he presents, but prefer the colour scheme in the lower map. I lack the design skills to combine them or create a new projection for the lower map, which is probably needed. No disagreement that TC is right about that. It's not really political POV either to claim that Britain is in the EU and the EU is of key importance as an international body since both are clearly facts, something TC acknowledges in his green map despite all the talk. MarkThomas 17:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Mark, I think you're dead on - as I said at the start, there's a reason for redoing the projection of the map, and if all the European maps were redone in the projection of the new one, with the colour scheme of the lower one, that would be ideal - I too lack the skills to do this, and I feel that unless it's done as part of a mass change for all the European maps, it would be better to stay as is, for the consistency and ease of use the current lot give. --Mnemeson 17:45, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
The colour scheme on the first map can easily be changed, but if the same base map is used then rivers, oceanic contours, and all the other things that (in my opinion) clutter the current map making its presentation of information less straightforward, cannot be added. Apart from its inapropriate projection, the bottom map also suffers from being an essentially physical map with political information (such as boundaries) superimposed. The first map, on the other hand, is specifically designed to show political boundaries. It also, again because of its projection, manages to have a larger overall scale, whereas the current map has a lot of wasted space. TharkunColl 19:17, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree with the use of the middle map (that is, political and without the EU). The shading of other EU countries really isn't on, because the fact that Slovenia is in the EU (but Croatia isn't) is really nothing to do with the article on the United Kingdom. The previous 'compromise' maps (e.g. Image:Europe location UK.png) are still somewhat obscured by rivers and mountains, so they are also inappropriate IMO (hence my reversion in the case of Luxembourg). Furthermore, whilst it is true that there can be no 'perfect' projection, maintaining all metric properties, there are projections that are better than others, and the one used for the EU maps stinks. Bastin 19:38, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I shall change the colour scheme to something based on shades of red, unless people would prefer something else. I also propose a new suggestion: showing the UK in a dark shade, the EU in an intermediate shade, and the EEA and/or Shengen area (the only difference would be Switzerland) in a light shade. This would have the effect of giving even more info than the current map, and at the same time giving a more rounded impression of the UK's involvement in pan-European international bodies (of which the EU is by no means the only one). So what it really boils down to is this: just because the editors of the articles on other European countries are content with a crappy, contorted, cluttered, and basically untruthful map, does not mean that we here should not strive for excellence. I therefore propose a vote - Accuracy or Conformity. TharkunColl 09:20, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment: There couldn't be an over-lapping Schengen area map, since the UK and the Republic of Ireland are outside Schengen. However, I'm still firmly opposed to any additional levels of shading. Bastin 09:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Except for cross-border policing and other such matters, which the UK and RoI take part in. But yes, in general I tend to agree. It seems odd to single out the EU as the overriding international body which needs to be highlighted. After all, the USA is not shown as part of NAFTA. My intention in proposing the EEA (which I think is preferable to Schengen anyway), is that if we must have the EU (and I suspect we "must"), then showing the EEA as well will simply give an even more comprehensive picture of our international commitments and treaties. It's a pity the map could not easily show NATO as well, which must surely be just as important as the EU. TharkunColl 09:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Accuracy is always infinitely better. TharkunColl 09:20, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Accuracy. Bastin 09:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Schengen is a distraction, it's just a set of rules about border checks. NAFTA, mentioned above, is irrelevant - it is just a trade agreement, whereas the EU is a whole set of interlocking supra-national institutions and even has a parliament. The only other world body remotely analogous to the EU is the UN and since we're all in that, it's pointless adding it to every map. It would be much better not to get distracted and keep with a simple map that shows the EU and the UK within it. Now the problem is that it would also be much better if those were the same across the EU so that a WP user moving from article to article sees the same map. If you have a different map for the UK, you should really create multiples for all the other countries. It would therefore be better to create a variant of the current EU map and recommend it rather than just changing the UK map. See also Talk:European Union. MarkThomas 10:15, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree with that point above. Came into this late but I think Tharkun's top map is aesthetically the most pleasing. Such a map is easily created in paint, by the way! I think its helpful to have the EU highlighted. --Robdurbar 10:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Even newer map

UK location
- in EU (dark pink shade) and
- in EEA (EU shade + light pink shade),
map mainly of Europe
(TharkunColl style map)

So far we appear to have 3 votes in favour of my map, and 1 against. Have I read the most recent two comments correctly? Anyway, as promised, I have re-done it in shades of red (which are hopefully less lurid), and also included the EEA. The fact is that what we think of as a defining characteristic of the EU - the ability to live and work in any participating country with no entry restrictions - is actually a function of the EEA, which is both larger than the EU (as it includes Norway and Iceland), and separate from it. To not show the EEA may give the false impression that the EU is responsible for all these pan-European agreements, whereas this is very far from the case. TharkunColl 13:05, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The EEA is interesting, but it's still effectively just a distraction; the EEA is now effectively just an "offshore" EU for people who don't want to join but want some of the benefits. TharkunColl I have to say this - your POV is chrystal clear. You can't stand the EU and therefore take every effort to thwart what you wrongly perceive as pro-EU POV - the fact is, even if you don't like it, the UK is in the EU and the EU is a supra-national entitity above the level of it's member countries and the fact that it exists is a fact and the fact that it's a semi-state is a fact. You can't change that with map tinkering on Wikipedia, and the whole thing is sad because casual visitors to WP get misinformed by the POV-ist attitudes you and other EU-bashers offer. MarkThomas 13:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Once again you feel compelled to resort to ad hominem attacks and unwarranted assumptions regarding my opinions. It is you who are pushing a nationalist agenda, a Euro-nationalism that would trample on all individual differences in the name of conformity. But, to return to the points raised - if, as you say, the EEA is just an "offshore" EU then that is even more reason to include it, to show the true extent of the UK's European involvement (and the UK is a member of the EEA you know, as are all other countries in the EU). The fact that UK citizens can live and work in Norway is surely just as relevant as the fact that they can do so in France. TharkunColl 13:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Again irrelevant - the EU is a superpower and supra-national state, the issues of which country people can work in are totally trivial compared with displaying this basic fact on our maps. Anyway, if you want to get the basic mapping changed, you should really discuss it at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries where the whole thing is under review - your POVist attempt to alter the maps here at the UK only is effectively a waste of time. MarkThomas 13:51, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The ability to live and work in those European countries (and for their citizens to live and work here) is the major way that such European agreements affect our lives - and this is the responsibility of the EEA, not the EU. What have you got against the EEA for goodness sake? And the EU, by the way, has no ability to collect taxes and has no armed forces... some superpower, eh? As for changing maps, I am soliciting the votes of editors of this page. I have no intention of changing maps on the pages of any other countries, and therefore do not need to participate in any general debates. Others are free to adapt my map for those pages if they wish. All I intend to do is make this page better. TharkunColl 14:02, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I have nothing against the EEA, we are talking about the context of using this map. I just think it's too minor to be worth including and confuses the average WP user. Also as has been said before, infoboxes frequently carry standardised information repeated in a templated form across many related articles, so your attitude that you only care about this page is against the best interests of Wikipedia as a whole. MarkThomas 14:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

One more thing TharkunColl - you keep repeating as a mantra that the EU does not have an armed force - not that this is the only valid criteria for being a state - but you are (as per usual) misleading people - it does. European Union Force. MarkThomas 14:16, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh yeah, 7000 personnel, some of them from Canada (that well-known EU state). Incidentally, given your edits to Second city of the United Kingdom, where you seem incapable of accepting that Manchester is only half the size of Birmingham and therefore is not the second city, I don't really think your blinkered POV should cut any more ice here, either. TharkunColl 14:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

So now you do admit that it does have an armed force, something you previously categorically stated was false? OK. Next subject. Manchester half the size of Birmingham? I take it you are referring to the narrow definitions of local auhority populations? By that criteria, London does not exist and Birmingham is the largest city in the UK and Europe. So shall we have an intelligent discussion about it, or just let you rant on? MarkThomas 14:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

7000 men do not an army make. Try pitching those against China and you'd see which was the superpower I think. And I am, of course, referring to the city of Birmingham - after all, the article is entitled "second city". But if you want to use conurbations then B'ham's is still bigger than Manchester's. Or how about metropolitan counties? Darn, B'ham's is still bigger than Manchester's! TharkunColl 14:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Damn, you're as slippery as an eel! :-) As soon as you lose one argument you claim all along you meant another! MarkThomas 14:35, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't really think that merits an intelligent response. TharkunColl 14:37, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It was about as intelligent as your "points" that an army is not an army if it has 7000 men and that Manchester is half the size of Birmingham. I too can always have the last word! Enough already. MarkThomas 14:54, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Those troops are on secondment from the national armies of 33 different countries (not all of which are members of the EU). Their command structure is derived from the NATO force in Yugoslavia. But all this, when it comes down to it, is irrelevant. You are arguing for the inclusion of the EU on the map - and it is on the map. You were arguing earlier against the inclusion of the EEA, and my point was that the EEA, being the body responsible for the free movement of people and jobs, has a very profound impact on our way of life, and deserves to be included as well. There may even be those out there who believe that this is a function of the EU, and by showing the EU and not the EEA on the map we could be guilty of perpetuating this and similar misconceptions. As for the relative sizes of Birmingham and Manchester, Birmingham has a population of 1,001,200, and Manchester of 441,200. So when I said that B'ham was twice the size of Manchester, I was actually being rather generous - to Manchester! TharkunColl 15:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Erm, wern't we meant to be discussing a map???? Anyway, I think we all seem to have reached an agreement that there needs to be some sort of inclusion of the EU on the UK map. The red is better colouring; the inclusion of the EEA is OK, its also not the end of the world if its not there. However, an argument against its inclusion would be that it is solely an economic thing - perhaps such a map could be used on 'economics of the UK' or whatever. But I don't think its a big issue.
How are we doing for this on an EU-wide basis? Will people on Finland have seen these new superior maps? --Robdurbar 16:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Eh, totally avoiding the Manchester/Birmingham aspect of life... I like the new map proposal. Easy to look at, provides information. My one comment is that in order to help people take the same information from the side boxes of each national article (I'm still not making a political judgement, I'm making a style judgement about Wikipedia as a formal Encyclopaedia), the maps should be the same for the ones that warrant one (as stated earlier, Iceland and Switzerland, EEA countries use the misproportioned map, as does Belarus which is nothing to do with any of these). I will state that the EU is a political entity, whilst the EEA is economic-solely, so it makes less sense to have the EEA on a national article (wheras a map showing the EEA would make perfect sense on Economy of the United Kingdom). Therefore, I feel that if the change is to be made, and I have no objection to that with the new red-shaded map, I feel it should be made across the articles that use that style. Are you prepared to do the shading for the 30-odd maps that involves? If so, you have my total support, otherwise I'm slightly concerned about the style implications for the 'pedia. --Mnemeson 17:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Get's my vote, but looking at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Countries#A_final_solution_for_the_entire_maps_issue.3F it looks like most people are now saying they should rationalise to a global map standard, so maybe this discussion needs to move to there and TharkunColl propose his map to the experts. MarkThomas 17:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It seems that everyone, or mostly everyone, is agreed that my map is actually better. May I suggest, then, that those who feel strongly about having conformity with other articles - if they really do believe my map is better - should go ahead and adapt it for those other countries. My own view is that such rigid, inflexible conformity is not at all necessary for understanding. The two maps, though of different design, quite obviously depict the same area, so what is the problem? My desire is to make this article better, because it's a subject I care about. I don't edit articles for which I have no interest or knowledge. As for the EEA, such a massively important thing as free movement of people and jobs cannot fail to be political, as all this current controversy about Eastern European immigrants proves beyond doubt. It is all part and parcel of European integration, and to make it seem as if this is a purely EU affair is highly misleading. TharkunColl 18:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't be pretentious... "Mostly everyone"? I only see 4 people discussing the whole issue here. Well, I like the previous map better (incidentally, I added it again in the UK page). For the time being, it's the map standard that is used on almost all EU country pages. If you want to discuss the map issue, do it somewhere on page where people from all the EU actually will join the discussion, and not on the page of the most EU-skeptic EU-member. Luis rib 20:46, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
You appear to have missed the point. There is no reason whatever, either in Wikipedia policy or common sense, to use the same map on this page as on every other page. I shall not discuss it on pages other than this one, as this is the only page I wish to add it to. Others may do what they like with it elsewhere, or not, as they see fit. All I want is to make this article better. The consensus as I interpret it is that my red-shaded map is the best so far, and I shall now add it to the article. Any reverts without further discussion and voting I shall interpret as deliberate and blatant vandalism, and a subversion of the established Wikipedia policy of debate and consensus. And dragging people in from other EU countries with no special interest in Britain, just to distort the vote, would be the worst type of underhand and dishonourable tactic. TharkunColl 23:48, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
TharkunColl, you seem to be misunderstanding a few very basic things about Wikipedia, although judging from your comments on other pages, I can't help wondering if it isn't a posed misunderstanding. :-) (1) Articles on WP are not islands; anyone can edit them and comment. It isn't an offence to raise the issues that affect related pages across those pages. All EU country page articles are related because they are all in the EU. (2) There isn't a consensus for your map change across all those related article pages. (3) A good Wikipedia editor thinks about the good of the whole of Wikipedia, not just their own in-article agenda. In this case, even if your page is approved for this article, it needs to be looked at as part of another Wikipedia project, which is seeking to harmonise maps for Europe and the World in the interests of making Wikipedia better. Therefore nobody is "dragging people in" as you put it, the aim is to improve Wikipedia. Your revision needs discussing and if you implement it arrogantly it might keep getting reverted, just a friendly warning so you don't waste loads more time on this. You have been asked if you want to generate maps for all the EU countries and you have stated that you don't want to, which is fine, but that's what is actually needed. MarkThomas 23:54, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Then you are deliberately allowing accuracy to be sacrificed in the name of conformity. As for my map being approved for this article, it actually already has been, if I read the above discussion correctly. But I suspect this won't make any difference to you either. TharkunColl 00:12, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
It's a complete straw man to represent this as an accuracy/conformity debate. It is perfectly accurate to describe the UK as part of the EU. Now on infoboxes and their use, I wonder if TharkunColl from his many edits is really aware of what an infobox actually is for? One thing it certainly isn't is a soapbox for political opinions. To quote from Help:Infobox, opening words:

An infobox on Wikipedia is a consistently-formatted table which is present in articles with a common subject to provide summary information consistently between articles or improve navigation to closely related articles in that subject. (An infobox is a generalization of a taxobox (from taxonomy) which summarizes information for an organism or group of organisms.)

What's the bit about "consistently-formatted" and "articles with a common subject" and "improve navigation" that you don't understand? MarkThomas 21:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

We're far from consensus just now, please do not take this to the article. Thanks/wangi 00:14, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Another point: The map in the article has no title, so how are people supposed to know what is being indicated? It also appears to be impossible to add a title, which seems to be a result of the type of infobox used. In the absence of a title the only sensible thing to do would be to highlight the UK and nothing else. TharkunColl 00:26, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Erm, I think it can be fairly asserted that readers are wuite capable of recognising what they are looking at, if only by the name of the article. Crimsone 00:32, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. And the name of the article is United Kingdom - it says nothing about the EU. So the EU has no place on the map. TharkunColl 00:39, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
There I'd have to disagree. It demonstrates the UK's political ties with its neighboring nations, it demonstrates the UK's geographic position as an island on the eropean continent, and it demonstrates that (whether it's popular or not) each subject of the UK is equally a citizen of Europe and thus subject to some of both the positive and negative influences, atributions, politics and laws of the EU. Any one of these facts is reason enough to include it. The EU is an important factor of relevance to the UK. Crimsone 00:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
That's not the point. The map as it stands does not say what the light red shading means, and no title can apparently be added. A completely ignorant person, coming to Wikipedia for information, would still be in the dark. As you pointed out before, all we can sensibly show, in the absence of an explanation on the map itself, is what the article itself is titled - i.e., in this case, the UK, and nothing else. TharkunColl 00:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Following a similar tack, why not include the Commonwealth too? I'm sure there must be some kind of justification for colouring in most of the whole world. What about the English-speaking countries? After all, the English language is also an important factor of relevance to the UK! Matthew 20:04, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Because people are not citizens of the Commonwealth, there is no Commonwealth right to residence, there is no Commonwealth parliament, etc, etc. EU-bashing is fun, but sadly, now almost consigned to the dustbin of irrelevancy; shame that WP readers are to be denied this useful feature (harmonised maps for Europe) on a few countries because of the pathetic anti-EU obsessions of a minority of unfortunately very vocal editors. But then that's Wikipedia all over! Amazing that it ever progresses really. Much of it is sadly a sort of neutralised hash of watered down lowest-common-denominator uninformation to fit the moodiness of this type of editor. MarkThomas 21:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
From what I can read, it's a desire for a clear and unambigious map, rather than an 'anti-EU obsession', that is driving TharkunColl. What's wrong with people clicking the link to European Union, available from the introduction, if they want to see which other countries are in the EU? Matthew 21:55, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, the solution can certainly not be that the UK has a totally unique map format. There must be some consistency. After all, the infobox is also the same for all the countries. The new EU map is much more appealing from an aesthetic point of view. One can discuss if the EU should be shaded or not - in my opinion it should because of the political importance the EU has (after all, most UK laws are nowadays based on some EU directive) - but I'm not dogmatic on this issue. Obviously, if the discussion leads to the conclusions that the map is wished by the majority of EU countries' wikipages, it should also be added on the UK page. Luis rib 23:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Exactly Luis rib, infoboxes are to do with related articles and should be guides for users moving from article to article as well as information about the article you are looking at; this is a quote from TharkunColl above: I try to avoid making edits to articles on subjects that a) I don't care about, and b) that I have no knowledge of, so all those pages about European countries are none of my concern - this is really the problem, that we have here an editor only concerned about the UK infobox trying to change something that needs to be europe-wide or worldwide, which is why I reverted his change originally. BTW, he has been reported for 6+ reverts in 24 hours Jan 16/17, which will I hope add to his current collection of three previous blocks. MarkThomas 23:49, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed on the consistency point. Given this, this talk page is probably the wrong place to be talking about this matter. Presumably there's some Europe Wikiproject that would be a good place to point further discussion towards? (Incidentally, my position is that I don't mind whether or not the other EU states are shaded on the map or not, but if they are then there should be some explanation somewhere of what the shading means. Not everybody is worldly wise, and without explanation the shading could be ambiguous to such people.) Matthew 00:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
So the fact the the EU is not even labelled on the map is of no concern to you User:MarkThomas? TharkunColl 00:17, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

There is a very extensive and detailed discussion on it going on at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries where the aim is to try to standardise the formats of geo-locator infobox maps for all countries, so after some considerable exposure to this discussion, I now realise we should all participate in that where we have views. Personally think though that the new EU set would be better than the current random acts by in-article editors each doing their own thing, which is why I and I now am glad to see many other editors keep reverting TharkunColl to the Euro base map, which whilst not perfect is better than the random brain outputs of Tharkun. MarkThomas 23:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

You are a sheep. TharkunColl 00:19, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

And you are trolling - but you have it is quite clear absolutely no idea what Wikipedia is for. It isn't a collection of entirely separate articles run by maniacs. Which appears to be your wish. MarkThomas 00:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

And you still haven't addressed the issue. The map that you love so much has no title or description, so how are people supposed to know what it is showing? TharkunColl 00:24, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Another debate, for a different map entirely

Having attempted, unsuccessfully, to add a title or description to the map, I am now of the opinion that any map that shows the EU (or indeed shades any country other than the UK), without explaining what it is showing, is fundamentally wrong. It was argued earlier that it is desirable to have all EU countries showing the same map because this is less confusing for the readers of Wikipedia. My contention is that showing a map without explaining what it is is infinitely more confusing for the reader, and could actually lead to genuine non-comprehension. Indeed, showing such a map degrades Wikipedia and should never have been contemplated in the first place. Presumably, in the lemming-like rush for conformity at any price such details as telling the reader what he is actually looking at were forgotten, or at best brushed aside as an irrelevant inconvenience. Given, as seems to be the case, that it is not possible to add a title or description to the map as it currently stands within its infobox, I propose that we substitute a map that shades only the UK and nothing else. In the absence of a title or description attached to the map, we can only show what is indicated by the name of the article itself, i.e. United Kingdom. As for whether we use the one I designed for this purpose, or the old distorted map, is - I now believe - a much less important issue, and I would be content with either. I shall first attempt to add the one I designed, however, simply because I think it's better. If this gets continuously reverted without a proper debate, I'll try again with the other one. TharkunColl 10:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a view that I generally agree with. I haven't been following all the reversions, and I know this isn't the map we are discussing now, but a map such as Image:LocationUKinEU.png is typical of an unhelpful map. Which is the UK? The latest map, Image:EU location UK.png follows the same vein. Are the light orange bits lesser parts of the UK? What have the white bits (like Switzerland and Norway) got to do with the UK? the map should serve to distinguish the UK alone, and anything else that is not immediately obvious (such as the sea which is normally blue) needs a legend. If the EU is to be colored it needs to be much more subtly coloured than it is in the latest map. -- zzuuzz (talk) 00:32, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The infobox maps are intended to quickly and at a glance geo-locate the country in question. They are not intended as definitive maps of the territory concerned. The one we're looking at now is not a useful guide as it's a defective version loaded by TharkunColl in his latest fit of pique. The Euro one we have been discussing shows Britain in relation to the EU, which is useful, although it is correct that the current base version of that map has flaws. The main bone of contention is that it would be better (because of the purpose of infobox maps) to have a generic base map that is used Europe-wide or worldwide. This is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries. The argument that there should be a separate base map just for the UK in the infobox is really just a silly minsunderstanding as that is not what infoboxes are for on Wikipedia. MarkThomas 00:39, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
And so the fact that the map is not labelled as the EU does not bother you at all? How are people supposed to know what is being depicted? TharkunColl 00:45, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a bilingual (German/English) map legend on Commons
EU location legend.png

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:18, 20 January 2007 (UTC).

I've added a caption to the UK in EU map, with a link to the legend above. This should help explain the UK in EU map. --h2g2bob 16:51, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it is pretty obvious in the Image:LocationUKinEU.png which areas are part of the U.K. and which are not, particularly with the descriptive the caption. The table would be useful but is too big for the infobox of the article. My main concern though with the Image:LocationUKinEU.png map is its large amount of distortion. Countries close to the poles are expanded and ones close to the equator are shrunk. For example: Sweden appears to be by far the largest country in Europe, Scandanavia is the size of India, Scotland appears to occupy almost 50% of the Britain and Iceland is virtually the size of Britain), clearly this map is unsuitable due to these distortions as such distortion is not even necessary on a map only showing Europe. It is a shame however because I otherwise like that map a lot. Canderra 15:53, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
"Such distortion is not even necessary on a map only showing Europe" - well, it's not about being necessary - it depends on what projection you use to represent the curved surface of the earth on a flat projection. This map uses the Mercator projection, the problems with that projection are the ones you cite, but it's distorted by design because of its property that "scale is the same in every direction, around any position", to quote the WP article. Gsd2000 00:19, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
ps I'm not defending its use in this article! Gsd2000 00:19, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
User:The Proffesor reverted the UK location map a couple of times after it had shown the European Union in a separate shade. Just after the survey on the WikiProject Countries talk page closed without clear answer regarding EU-highlighting, I had found 25 out of 27 EU member states to be using the EU-highlighted map. Sweden awaited the outcome of the survey and meanwhile adopted the EU-highlighted map as well. Under such circumstances and knowing that both an earlier poll and the survey on the WikiProject talk page had shown contributors to put great weight on having a certain uniformity for location maps, that revert was highly improper. One mustnot show the EU member United Kingdom with the style of maps that only appears for European non-EU states: that misleads readers and is utterly unencyclopaedic. Please respect Wikipedia's policy of NPOV and avoid making an undisputedly false suggestion. The only other EU-member that has not yet adopted the EU-highlighted David Liuzzo location map, is Spain which uses an entirely different kind of map (at least it does not suggest that Spain would not be a European Union member). — SomeHuman 23 Feb2007 05:00 (UTC)
By the way, the argument used on this talk page that the Liuzzo maps do not have a caption explaining what the map shows, can easily be helped: either by a comment at the 'image' level (as I already have shown at several maps on this talk page), or as part of the Template that shows the image. — SomeHuman 23 Feb2007 05:06 (UTC)
PS: all or most articles on EU members and on non-members at this moment have an appropriate caption text, compare e.g. Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monaco. — SomeHuman 26 Feb2007 02:22 (UTC)

David Liuzzo location map for the UK

A I had explained at 23 Feb2007 05:00 (UTC) here above, the location map that User:The Proffesor had put in the article makes to any average reader the statement "The UK is not a member of the EU" (a clearly false statement, not a mere POV, thus utterly unencyclopaedic), because all other EU members appear to have adopted the EU-shaded map and all non-members the plain Europe location map. There are very few exceptions and not one makes that kind of false statement: Spain (with an entirely different style of map that does not suggest it to be a member or not to be a member, and David Liuzzo was contacted in order to possibly make a minor modification on his map for Spain so as to fit a particular Spanish concern), Russia which of course extends far into Asia, finally San Marino and Vatican City because there are no maps available, David Liuzzo was contacted...
Though a few contributors are clearly still in disagreement, possibly only one (who got blocked for 4RR while three contributors were reverting his 'old' map back to the Europe of EU location map), an overwhealming number of countries's articles and their respective large number of regular contributors appear to have adopted or at least accepted this uniform style for European countries. The concern for a same map style had been clearly brought forward by defenders of the 'old' maps and by those for the Liuzzo maps. In order to bring also the UK article in line with this style, and certainly because the present 'Europe location' map style is most clearly to reserved for non-members of the European Union, this change would be required: In the United Kingdom infobox,
|image_map = Europe location UK.png
|map_caption = Map showing the location of the United Kingdom.
IT SHOULD BECOME (AS THE MAP HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE): (copy from here viewed page, not from nowikied source here)
|image_map = EU location UK.png
|map_caption = Location of the [[United Kingdom]]  (dark orange)<p style="text-align:left;margin-left:1.2ex;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:-2px;line-height:1em;">– in the [[European Union]]  (light orange)<br/>– at the [[Europe|European continent]]  (EU + clear) <span style="display:none;">— ([[:Image:EU location legend.png|Legend]])</span></p>
(Notice that the disputed bilingual German/English link is not displayed. The caption text gives enough information for the small locator in the infobox. Unfortunately, if one clicks on it to open the large image for closer inspection, one can not reach the then usefull more detailed 'Legend' from there either.) In case the UK contributors could not possibly accept the de facto consensus for European countries (though I would dare to strongly recommend to follow the dozens of countries), one might replace the location map with the old style image:LocationUnitedKingdom.png: that style is obsolete for European countries but it does not suggest European Union membership nor denies such. Another emergency rescue fix might be image:LocationUK.png though it is no standard anywhere. The overall importance is that a location map mustnot make the false statement "this is not a EU member state.": it must either state the truth or not make a statement at all. The change would then be limited to:
|image_map = Europe location UK.png
|image_map = LocationUnitedKingdom.png
|image_map = LocationUK.png
Perhaps a visualization helps:

EU location UK.png
Liuzzo style created for all EU members, in case entire-EU colouring were to be accepted; while then all European non-EU members would use the other Liuzzo version →
Europe location UK.png
Liuzzo style created for all European non-EU members; and extra only in case the EU-colouring were not to be accepted, also for all EU members.
Unacceptable for UK article

Most European countries use the Liuzzo maps the way these were originally intended: with the entire EU coloured only for EU-member states and uncoloured for the other countries (the few exceptions do not use any Liuzzo style map); as long as this situation remains, usage of the second map for a EU member (e.g. the UK) is falsifying information and absolutely inacceptable, regardless one's personal views: If the UK uses a Liuzzo map, it can only be the first (EU coloured) style unless all other EU countries would stop using that first style as well. Both series must remain available for each EU country because the maps on Wikimedia Commons are also used by other language Wikipedia's at which the other choice might be made.

A Liuzzo map as the one on the left  simply does not exist for a dark orange Switzerland, such would be no less or more acceptable than only  the UK using the map to the right.

'old' style (assumed obsolete for European countries, but it still has its adepts and is undisputedly strictly neutral)
TharkunColl style (a hybrid for European countries, depicting the European continent much like the Liuzzo maps while its 'old' style colours and little detail warrants it to be undisputedly strictly neutral; the map was presented on the UK talk page though did not receive much enthousiasm; it may not have versions for any other countries)
Rei-artur style, recent (which was not sufficiently discussed generally and did never appear preferred or discussed for the UK, the reserved image space did not yet get a proper map for the UK (see here - available maps in Rei-artur style are undisputedly strictly neutral for EU matters)

Kind regards. — SomeHuman 26 Feb2007 02:11 (UTC)

  • I totally agree with everything said by SomeHuman. Given the standardisation undertaken by all EU countries, it is senseless for the UK to do otherwise. DJR (T) 02:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Assuming this is the chat for the current map (there is rather a lot of it) the current map legend uses the colour "camel" which is not one I've ever heard of. I always thought it was an animal. Maybe light orange would be a better description? Micah23 17:57, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The map does, in my opinion, imply that the UK is a constituent of a bigger state called the EU, thereby misleading casual readers. It also fails to include other significant regional and global organisations of which the UK has membership. And it presents a POV biased towards those who would <like> the EU to be something more than it is. If the maps on all other EU member states have the same failing, then they should all also change to reflect NPOV. SeymourJ 12:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


I've noticed on the Scotland article editors won't allow the fact box map of Scotland to display the rest of the UK in a shaded colour, making Scotland seem like a separate country outside of the UK. Can editors from here who support union the UK please help make sure that UK country fact boxes keep the rest of the UK shaded in a lighter colour especially with how popular Wikipedia is on the internet now and at a crucial time for union of the UK it's silly and dangerous to the UK for people to push separatist POV on UK articles unless people want to see the future of the UK become like that of the Balkans. Please help keep the UK together for everyone's sakes.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

If the article is about Scotland, then what's wrong with showing just a map of Scotland? I also notice that the map is untitled, so showing anything else would lead to confusion. This is exactly the same principle as the desirability of just showing the UK in the UK article. TharkunColl 13:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The article is about Scotland here on the UK page is clearly shows Scotland as part of the UK there is not need to use different shading on the Scotland map --Barrytalk 14:25, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

National Anthem?

I'm rather confused about this. It might just be due to that I'm an American (and used to a legislative government-- the UK's government confuses me no end), but how can this article assert that "God Save the Queen" is the national anthem solely through tradition? (That's the only reason that's given;

It seems to me that "Jerusalem" (popular song; it's used as England's cricket team's anthem), "Land of Hope and Glory" (It's used as the anthem for England at the Commonwealth Games), and "Rule Britannia!" have just as good a claim through tradition as "God Save the Queen." I don't know what changes should be made to the article (if any), but I would like to have this cleared up. Maybe the others should be mentioned as alternitaves. The Luizer 18:31, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

If you think that's crazy you should read Constitution_of_the_United_Kingdom, it'll blow your mind. « Keith t/e» 23:12, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Jerusalem and Land of Hope and GLory most certainly do not have just as good a claim. If the UK has a national anthem, then it is God Save The Queen. I suppose the article is describing the fact that the phrase "The National Anthem" is synonymous in everyday speech here with GSTQ. Dmn Դմն 01:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
There's some info on the British Monarchy website about how the national anthem came to be. . As I think Keithgreer may have been suggesting too, a lot of "official" stuff in the UK has never been written down in a constitution or law. It's not very helpful to Wikipedia - the idea that something is correct because "everybody knows" it is correct isn't encyclopediadic, but it's the way the UK sometimes is. By the way, Jerusalem is usually associated with England specifically, and not the UK. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hobson (talkcontribs) 02:30, 28 January 2007 (UTC). Edit - Yeah, the bot is a little fast Hobson 02:32, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. I didn't seem to notice that LoHaG and Jerusalem are peculiarly English, not British. Sorry about that. I also understand the "Unwritten constition" idea, though I think it's too loose to hold the government in check. (But, that's not my business. That's up to you folks.) What I don't understand is how I'm supposed to find out the exact prodecures and powers of the different branches of the government if they've never been laid down in one place. Parliament's website is hopelessly convoluted to me. I can't find out how someone becomes the Gentleman if the Black Rod or what names you're not allowed to call an MP on the floor, although it's information you'd need to know to serve. More on topic, I associate "Rule Britannia!" with the UK more than "God Save the Queen," if only because we sing the same tune here as "My Country 'Tis of Thee." It does seem that "GStQ" is more "official" if only because it's used more. The Luizer 16:57, 28 January 2007 (UTC) has quite a lot of useful information however I'm not sure if it includes that sort of traditional information, you could try searching for it over the internet. All I know is that an MP can't accuse another MP of being drunk in the house! Constitution isn't necessary in the U.K. as people aren't quite as paranoid of the government as in the U.S. :)
'God save the Queen' is definitely the national anthem though, surprised a better reference on its status isn't given. I'll try find one. Canderra 19:51, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
How about this? Matthew 20:56, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Use of the ambiguous 'billion'

Am I the only one to find 'billion' ambiguous wherever it's read? At school I was taught that it was 1012 and that 109 was an American thing. I know that the American usage is becoming more prevalent in the English language (though, interestingly, in many other European languages, words that sound like 'billion' (eg the Swedish 'biljon') mean 1012, with words sounding like the English 'milliard' (unambiguously 109 - eg the Swedish 'miljard') mean 109. The older the Brit the more likely he is to find 'billion' ambiguous. THEREFORE (and there is a point to this) I propose that the 'billion' in this article, which is ambiguous in UK contexts, be changed to the entirely unambiguous 'milliard'. Matthew 11:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Milliard is obsolete. See Long and short scales. The short scale has been officialy used in government statistics since 1974 - well before you were born. Jooler 11:56, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
No to milliard! I'm well educated but I've never heard of milliard so my confusion would be total (unless it was wikified but the reader should not have to leave the article to find the meaning). If an amount is £120,000,000,000 then I (in England) would call it 120 billion (which, I believe, is now the worldwide definition). You want to call it £120 milliard? Why not call it £120,000 million then all people worldwide will understand it. I know that my idea means typing a few zeros but clarity is all. However, in the end, since billion is now defined as 10 to the power 9, what's the problem? - Adrian Pingstone 12:13, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that 'billion' is ambiguous in British contexts, and confusing to those who haven't grown up thinking of it as 109. This population includes me and many older Brits. And, less obviously, many speakers of other European languages to whom 'billion' in English would appear to map to their own equivalent, which is 109. Matthew 12:29, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you're rather overstating the case. Your user page says you're 20-something. I'm 48, and while I was aware in school that "billion" had in the earlier part of the last century meant "million million", I have never personally used it to mean anything other than "thousand million". -- Arwel (talk) 17:09, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm 40 and likewise have only ever used it to mean as 109. I think Matthew you must have had rather eccentric teachers. Jooler 22:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Let me dig out some further information - I'm sure I have some back at home, but in paper rather than electronic format. Matthew 22:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Like Arwel, I'm 48 and I agree with him and with Jooler. To get over the slight chance of confusion, I would go with the "thousand million" suggestion but in my view "milliard" is a historical item and should stay that way. -- Derek Ross | Talk 01:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
'Thousand million' is just as good as 'milliard' for me - it's a few more letters to type, but is just as unambiguous. Matthew 21:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, so how about 'billion' being replaced with 'thousand million'? Again, it is entirely unambiguous, whereas 'billion' is not. Matthew 12:29, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
'Milliard' is never used in the media. Since Wikipedia is part of the media, we should follow the conventions laid down by everyone else. That is to say, if people are expected to understand the meaning when the Times or the BBC use it, they ought to be expected to understand when Wikipedia uses it. Bastin 13:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The Times or the BBC are writing for an audience substantially smaller in scope than that of Wikipedia - that is, English speakers resident in the UK. So this line of argument does not extend to the millions overseas who do not speak English as their first language. It would be interesting to know if the BBC World Service has any kind of policy on this. NB all see also Ask Oxford for more on the ambiguous nature of 'billion'. Matthew 13:53, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

For what its worth, I agree that milliard is out-dated. I'm 36 and I've never used it. However, I was always taught that a billion was a million million - a million to the power of 2 ("bi"), a trillion was a million to the power of 3 ("tri") etc. It makes far more sense logically to me that we should only have invented new words for numbers once we had run out of descriptions. Therefore "thousand million" is always how I have viewed and described numbers of that magnitude.

I think it should be included in a Manual of Style for UK-related articles. --Mal 18:14, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I've changed all instances of 'billion' to 'thousand million' as people either seem to agree with this or not mind either way. Mal - you sound like you were taught in the same way as I was 12 years later! Good suggestion re the style manual - I'll try to follow this up. Matthew 12:23, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I edited part of the Transport section with the word "billion" in late January mainly because some editors have a rather annoying habit of writing enormous numbers in numeric form, (e.g. 287,000 million is 287,000,000,000) which is surely counterintuitive and a pointless waste of space. I am Australian, and while official government documents have a preference for the "thousand million" usage, "billion" is widely understood to mean the same. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rcandelori (talkcontribs) 13:30, 4 February 2007 (UTC).
If another voice is needed, I was also taught that a billion is a million-million (am now 23), perhaps there was a trend amongstUK state schools, but anyway I agree that there is a distinct advantage in the usefulness of data, if it is rendered "thousand million" or 1,000,000,000. Graldensblud 00:53, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Billion is most commonly used as 1,000,000,000 around the world, and not only in the United States. Flag of the United States.svgChiss Boy 12:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Used most commonly to mean 1,000,000,000 ; yes, it is. Used universally thus, no it isn't. Most commonly could have anything up to 49% of the world using something else. Therefore we need something which isn't ambiguous. Billion certainly is, see how many people are talking about it *points up*. Graldensblud 18:17, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

New Table

I would like to start a debate regarding the use of a new template on various UK settlement pages, to include the union flag at the bottom, unlike the English version (Template:Infobox England place) in the hope that it will increase public awareness of the difference between England and Britain. In order to do this a concensus is necessary and I would therefore appreciate any possible support. A copy of this template can be seen on the Market Deeping page or here is the actual template Template:Infobox England place with UK flag for UK map. The current use of the England flag at the bottom of such tables lacks continuity between the map of the UK and the English flag, creating confusion, but since there are two templates maybe individual pages could decide or, a template could be created with both. Many Thanks. --Ash online 17:32, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Support Settlements in England, Scotland, Wales and NI are also in the United Kingdom. Can we find a way of expressing this? Normalmouth 18:56, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
How about an infobox that shows the Union Flag AND the flag of the relevant home nation? Matthew 19:41, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Support wholly. I'd be in favour of removing the 'England' bit entirely, but I doubt that would be very popular. Dmn Դմն 18:06, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Support (and, in fact, support Dmn). The infoboxes refer to the counties and Government Office Regions, which are defined as being in England, whilst only a single reference is made to the United Kingdom in the entire infobox. Hence, the question is, why need English flags? To promote POV, no doubt. Bastin 02:07, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Why is the England Infobox being singled out here? The user who is pushing for for this, openly states on their user page that they wish to remove every reference to England and the reasoning used on this page was suggested by another user. The fact that each infobox for England, Scotland & Wales states that each is the constituent country and the UK is the sovereign states seems to be being ignored here.

To avoid any possible misunderstanding - the comments below this are mine, the ones above this are not. It would avoid confusion if every editor signed their comments. Hobson 12:26, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Are you also suggesting removing the Scottish and Welsh flags from the infobox for Scottish and Welsh settlements? If not, then English entries should surely stay as they are. Alternatively, every entry could have both the relevant nation flag (English/Scottish etc) and the UK flag, as Majab suggested. Presenting English settlements as UK settlements and Scottish settlements as Scottish settlements would not reduce confusion about the difference between England and the UK (or Britain), I think. Hobson 01:17, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Yet another place where pointless wee flags cause unneeded hassle... WP:FLAGS. Thanks/wangi 13:57, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I am
       for: either both flags
       or : remove flags from tables altogether

there is no need in my view to stick flags on EVERYTHING! It just creates arguments and hastle, especially over a divisive issue like the UK and the status of its parts/home nations. Not all countries have flags in their town templates. However, it's really not that important, since as one user said the template does recognise the UK as sovereign. Lofty 15:58, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

If Scotland articles stick a Scottish flag at the end of every fact box then UK and England articles should do the same. What's with the whole anti English/UK thing? Somethingoranother 23:15, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Northern Ireland

According to the lead paragraph, "The United Kingdom is a political union made up of three constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales, and also that part of the Irish Province of Ulster known as Northern Ireland." I'm not too happy about this. I understand why Northern Ireland is not listed directly alongside England, Scotland and Wales, but why bring up the "Irish Province of Ulster"? In my opinion, it only creates confusion, which is something that should be avoided in the lead paragraph. The specifics of Northern Ireland are explained further down in the article, and in our Good Article on Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the country is called the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", not the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and that part of the Irish Province of Ulster known as Northern Ireland." I believe that it would suffice for the lead paragraph to say something to the extent of "The United Kingdom is a political union made up of three constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales, and also the administrative division Northern Ireland." Any thoughts? AecisBrievenbus 11:59, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Probably best asking User:eog1916 for the rationale behind this direct on his talk page, as he made this edit the other day. I did wonder at the time if he was pushing a political view, but then got busy with something else. Matthew 12:04, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
That's just something that been snuck in unnoticed while everyone's been charged up over the maps... I've reverted it back to the accurate and stable description: "The United Kingdom is a political union made up of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland". Thanks/wangi 12:05, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Out of interest on this point, can someone remind us of the precise status of Norther Ireland? I believe it's the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - does that signify that Northern Ireland has a different status to Wales and Scotland? Genuine interest, not point scoring. MarkThomas 12:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually I think I answered my own question. It appears that the current status is an amalgam of surviving pieces of legislation from the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 and the various Anglo-Irish agreements. The precise status does not appear however to be a "constituent country", and here is the current definition from the Act:

It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland remains part of Her Majesty's dominions and of the United Kingdom, and it is hereby affirmed that in no event will Northern Ireland or any part of it cease to be part of Her Majesty's dominions and of the United Kingdom without the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1 to this Act.

It would appear to be a dominion part of the United Kingdom. Any questions? :-) MarkThomas 12:33, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

"Her Majesty's dominions" is a wider phrase referring to all the places of which she is head of state. In addition, as the quote makes clear, it will also remain part of the UK. In the official title of the UK it is mentioned separately to Great Britain simply because it is not part of Great Britain (the island containing England, Scotland, and Wales, and their outlying minor islands). TharkunColl 12:39, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, yes. I think what I'm casting doubt on is wether it's really a "constituent country" in the same way as Scotland and Wales are. I don't think so, it's actually got a separate status covered by the Acts and Anglo-Irish Agreements which is something like "mutually protected semi-disputed territory that is officially British until the people there decide otherwise" - not sure there's a simple phrase to cover that! The government obviously struggle too, which is why we have the "and". MarkThomas 12:43, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
There are apparently official government websites that call it a "constituent country" (but I don't know for sure), but in normal English usage this would be very strained, and I've never heard it used. The reason is also fairly obvious - NI is not a country, it is part of a country. Calling it a province is very widespread, and this makes a lot more sense, as it is based on a traditional province (though smaller than it). TharkunColl 12:54, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Northern Ireland is 6 years longer in the United then Scotland yet Northern Ireland is listed last. SGAtlantis 00:21, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

And your rationale for this astonishing statement is ... Derek Ross | Talk
Because if we want wikipedia to be with all the correct facts we should have the countries in order when they joined the united. SGAtlantis 11:26, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, obviously, but you have just made the astonishing statement that "Northern Ireland is 6 years longer in the United then Scotland" and I'd like to know why you believe that. -- Derek Ross | Talk

Official language(s)

The table states that Welch and Cornish are de facto official languages too. Isn't that confusing officially recognised minority languages with official languages? (The article official language says: "Officially recognized minority languages are often mistaken for official languages. However, a language officially recognized by a state, taught in schools, and used in official communication is not necessarily an official language."). Marcoscramer 01:49, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I can accept that Welsh and perhaps Cornish are respectively de facto languages of Wales and of a county of the UK, but is it right to say that they are de facto languages of the UK as a whole? Matthew 09:27, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
A similar discussion has been held on the Netherlands, about the status of the Frisian language. The consensus was that it is an official language in the Netherlands, but not an official language of the Netherlands. For more on this, see Talk:Netherlands#Frisian is NOT an official language. AecisBrievenbus 09:38, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
It is confusing, especially considering that Cornish is NOT widely spoken in Cornwall, in fact less than 100 people are known to speak the language fluently, therefore it cannot possibly be considered a de facto official language Angryafghan 16:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


The article states;

London is by far the UK's largest city. After that, the definition of largest is dependent upon the criteria used, but no one city stands out as larger than the others.

I don't understand this. As anyone who has spent long periods in various urban centres round the UK knows, Birmingham is significantly larger than it's nearest rivals in both size and population. Is this easily verifiable and common fact some bone of contention here? Because it shouldn't be.-- Zleitzen (Talk) 09:54, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

It is no doubt a product of the "Manchester is the second city" POV pushers. In fact, of course, Manchester is less than half the size of Birmingham. I suggest that the article be amended. TharkunColl 10:20, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I've had a look around and found this rather strange. Apart from the statistics which show Birmingham to be far larger than other cities, the scale and size are immediately evident if one were to travel around a bit and take an objective view. I checked the archives and someone was touting Leeds! Despite the fact that the distance between the centre of Leeds and the outskirts is perfectly walkable in an hour or so. The Manchester conurbation perhaps rivals Birmingham city itself, excluding Leigh and various other disconnected towns, but the continuous Birmingham conurbation including the Black Country and the Boroughs (Solihull, Sutton Coldfield etc) is larger than the Machester conurbation again. I assume the latest inflated statistics for Leeds, which is still smaller than both of the above, includes disconnected towns such as Otley and Keighley. Basically, Birmingham is the second largest city on all counts by a "country mile" and I've never understood why this is an issue.-- Zleitzen (Talk) 11:11, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Hear hear! Rednaxela 12:05, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Depends if it means "largest by area", "largest conurbation" - Manchester and Birmingham are so close on this that the difference lies within the error margins assigned by National Statistics to their own data, "largest local authority" - that's Birmingham but does not cover the conurbation comparisons, "travel-to-work-areas", or "contiguously built-up conurbations not officially defined but existing - on this latter point Leeds/West Yorkshire does have a good claim. One of the problems is that people having this argument frequently use shorthand terms ("Leeds" / "Manchester" / "Birmingham) when really they mean something more complicated. There is considerable debate and this is described at the article Second city of the United Kingdom. MarkThomas 12:49, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Britain's second and third largest city?

At the moment, editor TharkunColl is listing Glasgow as third-largest city in the UK, which is obviously wrong. He states on Talk:Second city of the United Kingdom that he is drawing figures from List of English cities by population although this page warns at the top that they disregard conurbation populations - in other words, he is basing his edit on local authority populations. These are widely disputed as being an objective guide to the size of British cities, whose built-up areas frequently exceed (significantly) local authority boundaries. Therefore can other editors take a look at this please and make adjustments? I proposed what I hoped was a more objective summary and was (against WP:CIVIL) accused by TharkinColl of "wrecking the page", which I don't think is fair - I was trying to make it objective and Wikipedian. Please review, thanks. MarkThomas 13:31, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

List of English cities by population specifically does not base its figures on local authority boundaries. Please read what it says. TharkunColl 13:33, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

OK, they are adjusted local-authority populations - I quote directly from the introduction of the article:

"These figures, on the other hand, should also not be confused with the population of conurbations. The original ONS statistics were calculated and presented in that format; but in this list urban areas and urban sub-divisions recognised as towns with a population greater than 100,000 have been extracted and listed separately. Thus, for instance, the Greater Manchester conurbation has a far larger population than that accredited to Manchester here; this list counts towns such as Salford, Sale and Stockport separately."

To just take this in the introduction of United Kingdom as fact gives a very misleading impression. There is debate about which is second and third, but the usual contenders for that title are Birmingham and Manchester, not Glasgow. MarkThomas 13:36, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you are confusing "city" with "conurbation". TharkunColl 13:38, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

The point is not if I confuse it - the point is what the average reader of Wikipedia coming to this article thinks it means. Specialists argue about what it means - you are taking one narrow interpretation of it and dumping it into the article because of your intense pro-Birmingham POV. I even agreed in my edit that the conurbation of Birmingham is second-biggest and you deleted that and replaced it with a narrow and distorted view. Most average people don't think it means "ONS scientifically-adjusted LA boundary+related towns" - they think it means the biggest and most important urban areas and that in Britain means either Birmingham or Manchester. MarkThomas 13:42, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

But your pro-Manchester POV doesn't allow you to admit that most people can indeed understand the difference between a city and a conurbation. It's not rocket science. TharkunColl 13:44, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a pro-Manchester POV any different to a majority of the British population who poll after poll shows consider Manchester to be Britain's second city. And your latter point was exactly what my edit attempted to explain, which you deleted! MarkThomas 13:47, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Your POV is obvious (see your various diatribes on Talk:Birmingham for example). And, for once, we are talking just about size here, not "second city" (which you imagine to mean something different). The City of Birmingham is more than twice the size of the City of Manchester, and in a list of cities this is a basic truth that you cannot squirm out of. TharkunColl 13:52, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

My POV is that Brummies tend to be slightly over-confident that they are the second city of Britain - that's different to a pro-Manchester POV, but it's a difference you don't get, which is fine. And the criteria you draw on for a list of city populations are misleading to average readers, since even a quick glance at a map shows Manchester is far bigger than Glasgow. Now we should stop this and leave it to other editors to decide, but I would ask editors to review TharkunColl's change to this and see if you think it's correct. Thanks. MarkThomas 13:56, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

A quick glance at a map might indeed show that the Manchester conurbation is bigger than Glasgow's, but - once again - we are talking cities here, not conurbations. You are deliberately conflating conurbation with city - presumably because the City of Manchester is so small. TharkunColl 14:00, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I think I'm with TharkunColl on this one (subject to the wording on the UK article), as the section of the article is purely about the size of the cities and not of their conurbations or of the areas that they influence. For instance, my home village is of comparable size to others around it, but it benefits from being the hub village, so it has many services that the villages around it, despite being of comparable size, just do not have. Just because there are places around it that influence what my home village has on offer does not mean that the size of the village should be inflated to take this into consideration. In size terms it's nothing more than the other settlements around it. Compare with cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, etc. that have other settlements around them, such as Wolverhampton, Stockport, Paisley, etc., each with their own identities. Matthew 14:07, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
NB the usual stereotype is the other way round - anecdotally, Manchester is seen as having a swagger and being very capable of blowing its own trumpet, and of having a council that talks the place up. Birmingham, on the other hand, is typically self-effacing, and has a council that enjoys petty political points scoring and infighting more than serving the people of the city! Matthew 14:09, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

One problem with the TC edit is that he's not using UK figures - he's using English City ONS figures + a figure from Glasgow based on different criteria. If we're going down this path, we should be using this page as the source: List of metropolitan areas of the UK. MarkThomas 14:15, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't like that metropolitan-areas page at all as it doesn't list a single source, plus the article mentions London's city size and not its metropolitan area, which arguably encompasses the whole of the UK, we're that centralised as a nation! :-) If Glasgow's being measured differently then it would perhaps be easiest to list Birmingham as the second-largest city and mention the population of approximately a million, thereby demonstrating the gulf in size from London to the other cities of the UK, and then say that beyond that there are around half a dozen cities with populations of approximately half a million. Matthew 14:28, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that seems reasonable. The Glasgow figure, by the way, is based on its current unitary authority. According to Politics of Glasgow, this is smaller than the previous local authority district that existed until 1996, so I thought it was a reasonable approximation to the ONS list. Nevertheless, I'm happy with your suggestion. TharkunColl 14:38, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Co-incidentally, Manchester has been voted Britain's second city, getting 48% compared to Birmingham's 40%. See BBC story here. RHB Talk - Edits 14:55, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Mm, I've just written something in consideration of this here. Matthew 15:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
The BBC article states "This is despite Manchester being far smaller than the Midlands city". Which pretty much sums up my point in the higher thread. Why on earth would our article carry the line "no one city stands out as larger than the others" when Birimingham clearly is larger than the others? An objective verifiable fact well known and obvious to anyone who has lived in various cities including Birmingham and Manchester. "Second city" refers to cultural impact, Manchester being the "capital of the north" etc, and has no relevance to this point.-- Zleitzen (Talk) 15:32, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Entirely agree, where we are showing the populations of the cities. Matthew 15:38, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and the question then is which figures? What about for example List of conurbations in the United Kingdom - that would be more in line with what I suspect most people think of when they think "size of city". That gives the top five as:

I think it would be interesting to have this. MarkThomas 17:29, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Tried a new edit which hopefully takes the above discussion points into account. MarkThomas 17:40, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm still not too on the use of the populations of conurbations. Going to the London article, for instance, tells me that there are 7.7 million people and not over 8 million. But I think that the gist of the edit is fine. Matthew 17:46, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
NB before too long we'll be able to cite Wikipedia talk pages for the 'considerable dispute' that you mention! :-) Matthew 17:48, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I hope everyone's happy with the change I've just made. It should now be clear that the figures given are those of conurbations, with links to the conurbation pages given. It also mentions the cities within each conurbation, and so avoids the Birmingham = West Midlands and Manchester = Greater Manchester error, which is demonstrably false, but avoids using any figures for the actual cities, whether Local Authority (like List of English districts by population) or Urban Sub-Area (like List of English cities by population). Fingerpuppet 18:15, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Someone's already been in to change it! Matthew 18:17, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I know - I've just changed it back since that contributor claimed that Liverpool was the third largest UK city - which is not the case using either Local Authority or Urban sub-area figures! Fingerpuppet 18:22, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a good edit and it's more in line with city size comparisons elsewhere in WP, where they usually take Metropolitan Urban Areas as the criteria. MarkThomas 18:45, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

It does make clear that the figures given are for conurbations, but that section of the article is about cities. Cities are not the same as conurbations. Feel free to add in a section about conurbations if you want to! Using conurbation figures for the section of the article dealing with cities is confusing, even if you explain it in the article. Conurbation figures should be in a different section, possibly subheaded conurbations. In any case, the population for cities should be in there somewhere. I will put the population figures for cities back in, using the Office of National Statistics population figures gathered from the 2001 census. If anyone feels those figures are unreliable, please explain which statistics are more reliable, and why, and we'll use those. But it doesn't make any sense to say that city population figures are wrong because they show the populations of cities and not something else. Hobson 23:20, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I am posting my edit here so people can see it in case it gets reverted. If this version does not seem reasonable then perhaps it could be discussed a little. I hope we can at least agree that the the city populations should be used in a section dealing with city populations - if conurbations are also important, we can have that too. Hobson 23:33, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

(cities section below)

The four capitals of the United Kingdom's constituent countries are London (England), Edinburgh (Scotland), Cardiff (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland). London is by far the UK's largest city, with a population of more than seven million. Birmingham is next with around 970,000, followed by Glasgow, with a population of around 578,000.

There are many different statistics and debates on which cities are the UK's largest, due to differences between the administrative boundaries and metropolitan areas of cities, and because of merging of settlements into conurbations. After London, the West Midlands conurbation (which contains the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton) is the second largest urban area with around 2.28 million, followed by the Greater Manchester Urban Area (which contains the cities of Manchester and Salford) with 2.24 million.

There is considerable dispute over which is the second city since this concept includes cultural factors.[1] Hobson 23:33, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Looks perfectly reasonable to me - it satisfies both views. Matthew 23:45, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes - a section entitled "cities" should certainly give prominence to actual cities. It is a noteworthy phenomenon that after London, Birmingham is an order of magnitude bigger than the half dozen or so that hover around half a million. I would add, however, that the last sentence, about what constitutes the "second city", seems rather out of place. We are just talking populations here, and it has been forcibly argued by Manchester supporters that when it comes to the second city, size isn't everything. TharkunColl 23:51, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm happy with that too. Fingerpuppet 08:58, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The public generally favours keeping the Pound Sterling...

Myself, Gwernol and Majabl have reverted the following addition by This has been adding in again by Somethingoranother "Information given is completely backed up by references to the CIA World Fact Book. Stop pushing Pro Euro POV and denying factual information which balances the article and creates NPOV". The edit is contention is:

"However the public generally favours keeping the Pound Sterling, which is the United Kingdom's own sovereign currency. Support for the Pound has been kept high due to its historically stable nature. Since the Euro was launched major economies in the Eurozone have generally struggled while the United Kingdom's economic growth rate has been faster than any other major European economy.<ref></ref> <ref></ref>"

The supplied two references do not back up the three claims, in turn:

  1. "However the public generally favours keeping the Pound Sterling, which is the United Kingdom's own sovereign currency" — no support in either of the sources for this claim; it's a given that the Pound is the UK's currency.
  2. "Support for the Pound has been kept high due to its historically stable nature" — not supported by either of the sources.
  3. "Since the Euro was launched major economies in the Eurozone have generally struggled while the United Kingdom's economic growth rate has been faster than any other major European economy" — 1st source states that "The economy is one of the strongest in Europe" and "Critics point out that the economy is doing well outside of EMU". The 2nd source has the UK as entry #175, with the EU as a whole above it at #171 and Eurozone country Netherlands at #164 and other Eurozone countries above it (without an exhaustive search Luxembourg is at #71). None of these support the claim.

Without references that support the claims they should be removed. Thanks/wangi 23:44, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I didn't say the UK's economy had grown faster than the Eurozone I said Since the Euro was launched major economies in the Eurozone have generally struggled while the United Kingdom's economic growth rate has been faster than any other major European economy emphasis on major which means faster than Germany, France, and Italy, which all use the Euro. 00:47, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Then please be specific and say that the UK's economic growth has been faster than Germany, France and Italy, since "major" is open to interpretation. Further this isn't supported by the reference you cited. If you can provide a reliable supporting citation I'd support inclusion of that sentence. The other sentences seem to be veering into providing a specific analysis of the facts. For example "Support for the Pound has been kept high due to its historically stable nature" is not supported by the references you gave and seems like your original research. It seems reasonable to say that "Support for the Pound has been kept high", but "due to its historically stable nature" is problematic. Gwernol 00:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The first source from The CIA World Fact Book article says: The economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low. The relatively good economic performance has complicated the BLAIR government's efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Critics point out that the economy is doing well outside of EMU, and public opinion polls show a majority of Britons are opposed to the euro. It explicity says the majority of British people oppose the Euro. The second source from the CIA World Fact Book shows a table which clearly shows the UK's economy has a higher growth rate than Germany, France, and Italy. I love how you try to say the CIA isn't a reliable source lol. And if you want i'll paste the whole economic growth table here if you're disputing what it says. Germany, the UK, France, and Italy are the major economies of Europe because they're the only 4 that hover around the $2 trillion mark. I love how you tried to dispute that too lol. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Who said the CIA wasn't a reliable source? I said that the CIA source did not support what you said and you needed to find a source that did. Of course the CIA Worldbook is reliable, it just didn't say what you claimed it did. Gwernol 01:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Strange anomaly

Could someone please explain why the intro says (incorrectly) that the UK is the second most populous state in the EU, yet when I go to the edit page to change it to 'third most populous', it already says third there (but not on the real page)?--Triglyph 22:43, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

It says third in the intro for me. Maybe there's an issue with your browser? Cordless Larry 22:57, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Constitutional status of Cornwall, Cornish ethnicity and calls for a Cornish Assembly

I stuck in the very slightest mention of cornwall into the UK history under the section of acts of union etc, because there is a very reasonable academic debate about it's status, albeit not one with any sense of urgency. If anyone has a thought as to a better way of mentioning it discretely without distroying a well-written article, naturally, discuss. My thought is that it should be mentioned in passing at least, not least since the laws giving it in theory quite a reasonable level of autonomy are still on the statute books. Graldensblud 00:38, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Have added the following references regarding the constitutional status of Cornwall, Cornish ethnicity and calls for a Cornish Assembly / Cornish self-government movement.
Okay, so someone deleted the entry. Do I put it back or is someone gonna give a good reason not to? Graldensblud 18:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect Term

The first sentence in the article says the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is shortened into certain terms including the incorrect term Great Britain. The article should promulgate proper usage. If you want to keep it in, why not say incorrectly shortened to Great Britain? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mickraus (talkcontribs) 11:20, 14 February 2007 (UTC).

Perhaps "Casually shortened"? With the fact implied that any such casual terms are usually less particular about precise details Graldensblud 00:57, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it may also need to be added that the United Kingdom is very rarely shortened to "Great Britain", most people who generally shorten the names of countries and not use the official name usually shorten it just to "Britain" which, since "Britain" has no legal meaning, is not really incorrect or correct, exept for the fact that citizens of the UK are legally refered to as "British Citizens". I think maybe the article should stop saying that the United Kingdom is shortened to "Great Britain" completly, as I said, it happens very rarely. Whats more, the citation the user who wrote this comment uses to justify his claims that the United Kingdom is sometimes shortened to Great Britain has a diagram which clearly shows that Great Britain is merely one part of the United Kingdom, the other being Northern Ireland. - Supertask 23 Feburary 2007 18:14

Great Britain and the UK are different things. I agree with Graldensblud, although it should be common knowledge that Great Britain includes the Republic of Ireland and the UK does not. Ninington 16:41, 12 April 2007 (UTC) is not the UK TLD

Hi The top righthand bar states that the uk top level domain is Most sources i have read state that the tld is .uk not i suggest that this is changed from to .uk

Ckeene 15:24, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Ckeene - You are correct, it used to be .uk in the article and someone appears to have changed it back since your post - thanks for pointing it out :) Benbread 17:15, 18 February 2007 (UTC), and are other site URLs using .uk. You are technically correct in that is not the only UK domain, but it is the most common.

Location maps available for infoboxes of European countries

On the WikiProject Countries talk page, the section Location Maps for European countries had shown new maps created by David Liuzzo, that are available for the countries of the European continent, and for countries of the European Union exist in two versions. From November 16, 2006 till January 31, 2007, a poll had tried to find a consensus for usage of 'old' or of which and where 'new' version maps. Please note that since January 1, 2007 all new maps became updated by David Liuzzo (including a world locator, enlarged cut-out for small countries) and as of February 4, 2007 the restricted licence that had jeopardized their availability on Wikimedia Commons, became more free. At its closing, 25 people had spoken in favor of either of the two presented usages of new versions but neither version had reached a consensus (12 and 13), and 18 had preferred old maps.
As this outcome cannot justify reverting of new maps that had become used for some countries, seconds before February 5, 2007 a survey started that will be closed soon at February 20, 2007 23:59:59. It should establish two things: Please read the discussion (also in other sections α, β, γ, δ, ε, ζ, η, θ) and in particular the arguments offered by the forementioned poll, while realizing some comments to have been made prior to updating the maps, and all prior to modifying the licences, before carefully reading the presentation of the currently open survey. You are invited to only then finally make up your mind and vote for only one option.
There mustnot be 'oppose' votes; if none of the options would be appreciated, you could vote for the option you might with some effort find least difficult to live with - rather like elections only allowing to vote for one of several candidates. Obviously, you are most welcome to leave a brief argumentation with your vote. Kind regards. — SomeHuman 19 Feb2007 00:29 (UTC)
Good idea to publicise the vote in this way. But isn't it a bit disingenuous to publicise the vote for the new maps like this while retaining only the small vote for the split between new/old? Potentially you could get a new audience of hundreds of people who prefer the old maps, who are now being told that that decision has been made and it's a case of which new map is best. Surely the process should be entirely restarted with notifications placed in the right kinds of places right from the start? Matthew 13:54, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Though all European countries obtained a (late) invitation, very few votes came in; hundreds of people seems optimistic. The new maps appear to have been discussed on many countries' talk pages while mentioning the relevant discussions on the WikiProject Countries talk page. The idea was to close the matter and the edit-warring that had continued to linger on for several months, and now quickly too, precisely because a temporary solution might offer a better opportunity to figure out what a series of really good maps should look like and then create such. No map so far appears to withstand proper technical scrutinizing, restart discussions for available maps would be futile; even the best conceivable maps (e.g. accurate, suitable contrast even for the colour-blind, a projection for minimal distortion of the depicted area, scalable graphics, and other factors that allow objective judgement) would still have a few choices to make (e.g. location mainly towards neighbouring countries or on a much wider scale; putting the country in the centre and thus showing its relevant environment equally far in every direction while one needs to get one's bearings for each different map, or keeping a fixed frame for a large area as e.g. Europe and thus facilitating actual location while accepting that for peripheral countries relevant neighbours may fall outside the map, showing a very plain map that offers clearest location regarding country borders and land/sea-shapes or showing great detail that offers supplementary location regarding mountain ranges and major rivers and/or for relevant countries possibly also location in EU). Continuing from an earlier poll on 'old' or 'new' maps with the survey seemed interesting to find out what preference people in general would have regarding the EU as this is discussed rather vigourously at many talk pages and will be an issue for any style of maps that depicts the entire continent, but there came no clear answer at all. Nevertheless, for nearly all (25 of the 27) EU member states, the David Liuzzo maps with EU indicated have become used and it seems resistance (if any) became subdued on many talk pages, thus a de facto consensus once one gets used to it, might appear. One thing relevant for the UK discussion is, that both the first poll and the now closed survey clearly show many contributors (regardless the preferred map) to put considerable importance on having a standard style for all countries. — SomeHuman 22 Feb2007 02:19 (UTC)
So for the UK, we have a Mercator projection map, of Europe, shading the EU, without a caption to that effect. Brilliant! Really great, I like it. This is the sort of heavy going that means a lot of people can't be bothered with this stuff. I can't blame them. Hopefully whatever conclave will sort something out at some point.Stevebritgimp 15:22, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

The problem is just lack of editors with the right map-drawing skills and the time to create a set of maps for Europe to come forward with alternate proposals. In the meantime, infoboxes are meant to provide consistent information across related articles, which these maps do. They aren't perfect, but they're a start. If you want better maps, why not create some? MarkThomas 08:50, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Category:Germanic culture

The countries of the UK have been added to the new Category:Germanic culture by an editor. Please discuss this to ascertain whether this is appropriate or not - and act accordingly.-- Zleitzen(talk) 13:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Adding the UK to Germanic Culture category contradicts the description of Germanic Culture on its own page, as it is focused around the German language. "Germanic culture (German: Deutschsprachige Kultur) is a term that refers to the heritage and worldview of the people from the German-speaking world, or Deutschsprechende Welt." UK does not belong. Hughsheehy 11:11, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

It is supposed to focus around Germanic languages, not the German language. English is a Germanic language like Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Frisian, German, Letzebuergs. The main Indo-European language groups in Europe are the Germanic, Romanesque ('Latin languages' as French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian), Celtic, and Slavonic ones. "Deutschsprachige Kultur" means German-speaking culture, which is a concept utterly different from Germanic culture. Though the English language has more loanwords from French than any other Germanic language, the structure of the language and its most common and oldest words are clearly Germanic (just think of 'Anglo-Saxon', of 'Normandy as once a country of Normans, and the many English terms that show an Old Norse origin, and the oldest Dutch writing that had been found actually in Southern England by some to have been considered Old English). Thus apart from Northern Ireland, Wales, and the Hebrides, the UK has a Germanic culture, and not just England: the Orkneyinga Saga is one of the major old scripts of the Germanic languages and when I visited Lerwick a few decades ago there had just been a gathering of people who had emigrated from the Shetlands and following the Northsea oil industry returned, it was called "Heemfaehren" (compare with English 'home', older Dutch 'heem', German 'heim' and with English 'fare' (what you paid the ferryman), Dutch 'varen', German 'fahren'). The Germanic languages and language-related culture is a lot older than Germany and all are as old and original as the predecessor of the present German. The name for this group of languages, and for the German language, and much later for the country, is derived from Germania Superior and Germania Minor (parts of Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany... that had been Roman provinces). — SomeHuman 22 Feb2007 18:56 (UTC)
I refer to the definition of the Germanic Culture category on its own page again, which would exclude the UK from the category. In any case, even if you say that English is a Germanic language (which it partly is, although English is a wonderfully mongrel language) the category is Germanic Culture. The UK does not generally have a Germanic culture, even if parts of it have a strong Nordic influence. It's not enough to have some local influences of a Germanic influenced culture to qualify as a Germanic Culture. On that ground the UK should also be in French Culture, Spanish Culture, and a zillion others too. Hughsheehy 08:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
English is technically a Germanic language, but probably the least Germanic of the Germanic languages. It's primarily an amalgamation of Germanic, French and Latin, with lesser elements from other languages, such as Greek. You COULD put British culture under Germanic culture, but that would be pushing it. Flag of the United States.svgChiss Boy 12:26, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

User:Somethingoranother, User:Sally-is-the-best, User:

The individual behind these user names is causing real trouble with this article. They were responsible for the lockdown [4] that occurred a couple of days ago, because they kept reverting to "their" state of the article, over twenty times in one 24 hour period. When banned because of 3RR violations, this user simply creates sockpuppet accounts or arranges for new IPs from which to continue their edit wars.

This individual's latest unconstructive behaviour is to repeatedly add "The City of London is a major business and commercial centre, ranking alongside New York City as the leading centre of global finance", to the "economy" section, despite the fact that two paragraphs later, it says "The service sector of the United Kingdom is dominated by financial services, especially in banking and insurance. London is one of the world's largest financial centres with the London Stock Exchange, the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, and the Lloyd's of London insurance market all based in the city".

Any suggestions on what we can do with this contributor?

Gsd2000 02:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Can't you ban IP Addresses? JoWal 17:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

It says above that this user arranges for new IP addresses to get round his bans. Matthew 17:43, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, presumably this user's internet provider uses dynamic IPs. Anyway, this user has shown themselves willing to create sockpuppet accounts. Gsd2000 23:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
If enough evidence is collected, and this becomes a persistant problem, you can have an IP range block placed upon this user - though this is used generally for only the most problematic of users. Failing that, Semi-protection will help for a while. Jhamez84 13:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Clarification in History section

The following sentence, located at the end of the second-to-last paragraph under History, is wordy and unclear:

Following a period of economic stagnation in the 1970s after global economic downturn, and the rule of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, for critics and supporters heralding respectively greater division and economic recovery, the preceding decade has been dominated by the leadership of Tony Blair.

It should be re-written to something more along the lines of:

The United Kingdom faced a period of economic stagnation in the 1970s after global economic downturn, which the rule of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s attempted to assuage. Thatcher's free-market strategy for economic recovery gave way to more moderate reform. The preceding decade has been dominated by the leadership of Tonay Blair and his "third way" economic policies.

or something like that. I think the sentence as it stands is simply confusing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:13, 22 February 2007 (UTC).

'The preceding decade' is bad wording - does it mean the 1960s? Surely, having spoken about the 1970s and 1980s, the 1990s is the following decade? Matthew 20:54, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

They seem to mean 'the past ten years'.

It was a rhetorical question! Matthew 22:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

"Her Majesty" Caption error

Under the photograph of the current monarch, the name given is "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II" "Her Majesty" needs to be removed from the caption as it suggests subservience to the British crown.

For instance, beneath the photograph of the current Dalai Lama we see the caption "The 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (born 1935)." without "His Holiness." The current Catholic Pope is merely designated "The current Pope is Benedict XVI...". While these are religious examples, we find the lack of full-designation in the Saudi Arabia page where the current king is referred to as simply "King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia" rather than "The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques", etc. There are more examples.

This disproportionate caption was evidently created by an enthusiast, and appears to be spam.

On the current monarch's entry (under the same portrait, mind you) the less obsequious caption reads:"Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown and fur cape and holding the Sceptre with the Cross and the Orb at her Coronation (2 June 1953)"

Which is sufficient. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Or instead of taking this belligerent and accusatory tone, casting aspersions on other editors, and using all sorts of insulting adjectives, you could just fix the caption politely. Doops | talk 20:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
My apologies; the page is protected at present so you can't; nor can I. Still, what I said about politeness still goes -- just ask nicely and somebody will fix it. Doops | talk 21:01, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Since this is a matter of preference rather than a matter of fact (as the next issue on the translation of the motto is). I'd rather that we waited until the article was unprotected. Having said that I think that the proposed caption would be fine. Certainly more informative than the current one. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:22, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I thought it was a fairly well-established custom not to use "majesty" and other styles? My suggested wording for the caption would be The present queen, Elizabeth II or, if a full sentence is preferred, The current queen, Elizabeth II, was crowned in 1953. Doops | talk 16:51, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not denying that. I think that it's a perfectly reasonable change to make. It's just that the page is already protected because of other disputes and I would rather that they were cleared up first before we introduce anything else which has even a whiff of controversy surrounding it. -- Derek Ross | Talk 20:29, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
On a slightly related note, can the image be changed to one from Commons: Category: Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom? The image on the page is fair use, and should be replaced with a free content alternative (see fair use policy). --h2g2bob 16:40, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

United Kingdom's Motto

"Dieu et mon droit" is actually an ancient spelling of "Dieu est mon droit" and therefore should be translated by "God is my right". By adopting this motto, Richard I meant that he was king of England by the grace of God and owed nothing to the king of France. See [5] for more explanations.

-- 22:57, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Good point, thanks. You're right of course. I've fixed it for you since the page is protected (for unrelated reasons) at the moment. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:14, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Both translations seem to be quite commonly used. We really need to find a reliable source for which is correct (or mention that two translations are possible). WjBscribe 15:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The meaning of Dieu et mon droit is "God AND my right", not "God IS my right". "God is my right" would be written as "Dieu est mon droit". The words "et" (and) and "est" (is) were already clearly distinguished in medieval French writting, and were never written as the same. The link given by the anonymous IP above does not say that "et" should be interpreted as meaning "is", quite the contrary, it says that the meaning is "and". I don't understand how some people make changes to the article without even reading the document given as a reference for the change!! There are many many references that prove that "et" means "and": [6], [7], [8], etc. This practice of having a motto in two parts separated by "and" is nothing special to the English monarch. There exist many other such motto in Europe. For example: the motto of the canton of Vaud in Switzerland is "Liberté et Patrie" ("Freedom and Fatherland"), the motto of Cheshire in England is "Jure et dignitate gladii" ("By the right and dignity of the sword"), the motto of Tasmania is "Ubertas et fidelitas" ("Fertility and Faithfulness"). As for the motto of the French constitutional monarchy set up in 1791, it was "La Nation, la Loi, et le Roi" ("Nation, Law, and King"). Last but not least, the motto is not written in Old French, it is written in modern French as is explained at Dieu et mon droit. The spelling has been changed to conform to modern French. Godefroy 16:54, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Eh, I wouldn't use the word 'prove' so lightly, especially not for links like the ones you give. The fact is, most web references linked to here, and most found by a quick google, seem simply to assume the one translation or the other, without considering BOTH possibilities in an academic way. The queen's website goes for the standard 'and' ([9]) but as is widely-known, that website itself is ridddled with errors so we can't really trust it. Still, we'd better say 'and' for now and then, if we can ever find a serious reference arguing for 'is', mention it too with citation. Doops | talk 20:13, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
That seems reasonable. I apologize for being a bit too eager to make the change. -- Derek Ross | Talk 20:22, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
My apologies as well, Godefroy. When reverting another part, I had inadvertently also reverted your proper edit (while actually leaving in a part that should have been removed even though it did not show). I fully agree about an unusual translation requiring a proper source. When I had incidentally spotted that 'Old French' claim yesterday, I tried to find a reliable source for it, but couldn't. Curiously enough, there are lots of texts in French language stating "Dieu est mon droit", often in conjunction with "honni soit ...", while in English texts the phrase in French appears nearly always as "Dieu et mon droit". But in about an hour time I was not able to find a proper comparison between the two interpretations, other than a blog. Of course, my failing does not prove anything at all. — SomeHuman 26 Feb2007 20:42 (UTC)

Constituent Countries' Articles

I think it would be useful to standardise the terminology used in the constituent countries' articles by discussing it here in the UK talk page, rather than each individual article debating it separately. The present situation is that England is a country and constituent country, Scotland is a nation and constituent country, Wales is a constituent country and Northern Ireland is a part of the UK. These discrepancies will only lead to confusion for people trying to inform themselves about the structure of the UK. What do other people think? AlexOUK 09:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

On a similar note, how come in the political divisions section of this article; England is listed as a Kingdom, but Scotland is listed as a realm? I agree (to some extent) that Wales is a principality and that Northern Ireland is a province, but I don't understand why Scotland is shown in a light which is dimmer than England's? --MC 18:37, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I am a bit uncertain that either designation is "official". There is for example no mention of such designations on the official UK government page about the different parts of the UK. Where do these designations come from - history books? MarkThomas 18:43, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I've changed Scotland back to Kingdom. The clue's in the name. Kanaye 23:19, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

sovereign state ?

In what kind of sense the UK is a sovereign state? As part of the EU it has transfered considerable parts of politics to Brussels and other EU institutions. It should be rephrased. 00:23, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Among other things, a sovereign state is one that is capable of transferring a portion of its legal powers to an international treaty organisation such as the EU or NATO or the United Nations. The vast majority of sovereign states have done this to a greater or lesser extent. Non-sovereign states are incapable of doing this type of thing. So the fact that the UK has done what you say proves that it is a sovereign state in the "able to delegate its powers" sense. Contrast that with Scotland which, despite its separate legal jurisdiction and devolved parliament, is unable to delegate its powers, and hence can only be classed as a non-sovereign state at best. -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:53, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Who removed country from the intro? I thought the consensus was that country was OK? I can't find any discussion regarding its removal. AlexOUK 10:40, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Technically, every American state is also a sovereign state (though not by the UN definition). As the UK is more independent and sovereign than an American state currently, and is able to declare and conduct war unilaterally (as opposed to American states--the main point why they aren't considered sovereign by the UN definition), it easily qualifies (at least currently) as a sovereign state. Flag of the United States.svgChiss Boy 12:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Five paragraphs

The opening section of United Kingdom does not currently conform with WP:LEAD, and in turn is in breach of the WP:GA terms. Articles must have a maximum of four paragraphs for the lead.

Perhaps the small amount of info on the constitutional monarchy status could be merged somehow? Jhamez84 15:47, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I've rearranged the five paragraphs into three, without taking away any information. The first covers the location of the UK, the second covers the politics of the UK and the third covers international affairs. I hope that is more in conformity with WP:Lead. Green Giant 13:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks much better. I've split the first paragraph into two seperate ones as we require four paragraphs for this amount of text. Jhamez84 18:41, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Sectarian Constitution - Established Church

Just wondering if the UK's sectarian constitution and the fact of an established church in England is adequately covered. Even just the fact of an established church is rare (a few Euro countries, Saudi Arabia and Iran, etc.), but the fact that the UK has a constitution that excludes the Head of State either being, or marrying anyone, from possibly the largest religious group in the country is highly unusual and surely should be covered in some depth. Hughsheehy 17:05, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I also thought it odd that "citation was needed" for the UK being a Christian country since it has an established church. Nickjost 00:33, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
The UK does not have an established church, and never has done. England has an established Church of England and Scotland has a national Church of Scotland. There has never been an established church in Scotland, nor have there been established churches in Ulster or Wales since Church of Ireland and Church in Wales were disestablished. Bastin 18:57, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
True, but since England does have one and the constituent countries share a Head of State it's a somewhat grey area. The acts that require the head of state not to be or to marry a Catholic apply to all. The UK is by no means alone in this (Sweden, Denmark in Europe, Iran and Saudi Arabia - probably Indonesia, but I don't actually know), but it's still an important constitutional apparently lightly opposed by the expected next Head of State..Prince Charles. Hughsheehy 20:09, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


The footnotes at the bottom of the infobox take up a significant chunk of the infobox. It would be better to incorporate them into the main references section at the bottom. Is there any good reason to keep them in their current location? Green Giant 13:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Largest Mountain

The largest Mountain in Great Britain is not Scaffell Pike, I'm only 15 and I know that. It is Ben Nevis in Scotland —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:41, 10 March 2007 (UTC).

The article doesn't say that Scafell Pike is the tallest mountain in Great Britain. It says that Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the UK and that Scafell Pike is the tallest in England. Matthew 22:00, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Usually shortened to...

i changed the beginning to try and make it clearer and less cluttered. thank you! Why oh why not? 02:53, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I reverted this change, because you not only snipped out information, but you're going against the consensus reached after a lot of debate that can be found in the talk page history. Gsd2000 03:23, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I found some of the history - but what you've ended up with here reads like crap. Seriously - it's not good! I'll do a little compromise, and see what you think.... Why oh why not? 23:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Again, there was an extensive debate on the exact wording, and a majority decision reached after much wrangling. Please stop changing it. It doesn't "read like crap". Gsd2000 00:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Ok, sorry i was rude - i guess i just am. ANyhoo.. it seems to be a fucking wiki epedemic to say something and then have some bullshit explanation in parentheses - i think that makes it look goddam awful. If everyone wants it to look that way, then hey ho, whatever.... but it doesn't have to be that way. It's also really friggin' confusing because it says that UK is Britian, then it says the UK is Britain + Northern Ireland. I think there's a contradiction in there - it certainly doesn't make much sense to me... ho hum. Have a nice day. Why oh why not? 02:57, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

There's a difference between "Britain" and "Great Britain" Bluap 05:04, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Social structure of Britain

I have discovered an orphaned article on Social structure of Britain. I'm not sure what to do with it, so am listing it here for people's attention. Bluap 04:53, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Infobox straw poll & debate

Hello fellow editors. A straw poll has opened today (27th March 2007) regarding the use of flags on the United Kingdom place infoboxes. There are several potential options to use, and would like as many contrubutors to vote on which we should decide upon. The straw poll is found here. If joining the debate, please keep a cool head and remain civil. We look forward to seeing you there. Jhamez84 11:32, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Map is wrong

I've just looked at the map in high resolution and noticed that whoever made it has made a fundamental error. He has shaded the Channel Islands pink, as if they were in the EU. It's odd that he should have made this error since he correctly shaded the Isle of Man white. Still, whatever the reason, we need to get rid of it. TharkunColl 14:17, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Not saying you are totally wrong Tharkun, but the situation regarding ownership of the Channel Islands is very complicated and not clear-cut; they are often depicted as belonging to France on maps, as for example on the map on the main Wikipedia article. To quote.... "The Channel Islands fall into two separate self-governing Bailiwicks. Both the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey are British crown dependencies, but neither is part of the United Kingdom." Therefore they are possibly not in the EU either and do not have representation in the EU. Most people tend to think of them as loosely under the British crown though but semi-independent, hence their status as tax havens. I think the most sensible thing would be if they were colour-coded blank as with the Isle of Man. MarkThomas 08:40, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I've just had a look at the map on the France article, and it too has the same mistake. France is red, and the Channel Islands are pink, like an EU country. But they are definitely not in the EU, and should be white, like the Isle of Man. I think someone needs to have a word with the creator of these maps, because I have a nasty feeling that every single one of them is going to be wrong (and that's even ingoring the fact that Sweden is not twice the size of Spain, but is actually smaller than it). TharkunColl 14:31, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
TharkunColl, your last sentence betrays a misunderstanding of the Mercator projection. Look at a map of the world that uses this projection [10] and you'll see the same problem. It's just that the distortions of this projection become more pronounced as you get closer to the poles (e.g. compare Greenland and Africa in that map), and arguably more pointless as you zoom in (e.g. the map you dislike). In other words, the map isn't "wrong", it's right, according to its projection. It's the projection you should be arguing against, not the map. (I know you use the term "wrong" in relation to the Channel Islands, but anyway....) Gsd2000 14:47, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I fully understand the Mercator projection. My point is that it is wholly inappropriate for the area covered. Also, at that scale, showing rivers, contour lines, seabed depths, etc. is also rather inappropriate for what is essentially a political map. It's all too cluttered, too squashed with most countries crammed together in the middle, and now it appears to be factually incorrect as well. TharkunColl 17:45, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Apologies then. There was another map that periodically this one got changed to, more of a "standard-style" WP map. What happened to it? It was much better. Gsd2000 17:51, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
We've (attempted) to discuss this before, haven't we TharkunColl. Your problem is that the maps show the EU at all, not the projection. If it is the projection and the colour-coding of individual territories, why not publish a fresh draft so we can all see, comment and possibly admire your handiwork? I have also asked you to do that before and so far you have declined. MarkThomas 17:56, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, I have showed my maps many times. Please take a look at my user page and scroll down, where there are three different maps, each of which would be better than the current one, and two of which clearly show the EU. TharkunColl 17:59, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
That's the one - the first one. All it needs is to show the UK - the EU is irrelevant. If showing the EU, why not show NATO, and the Commonwealth, and the UN for that matter? I vote we change it to Thark's first one. Gsd2000 18:01, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
That would be my preference as well. TharkunColl 18:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
As stated before in a huge discussion on exactly the same point, personally I would be against this as I prefer infoboxes to offer harmonised experiences for users moving between related articles. The current maps do at least offer that EU-wide. I meant revising the existing maps, not Tharks' maps, which for all their good points do not show the EU, which is central as it at least partly has absorbed the UK into it and is unlike any other international institution in actually partially taking sovereignty by treaty away from member nation states. MarkThomas 18:06, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Two of my maps do show the EU. The basic question here is which is more important, factual accuracy or harmonisation? TharkunColl 18:16, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I hadn't realised you have done some EU ones - where are those located please? MarkThomas 18:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
All three versions of my map are on my user page. Just scroll down a bit. TharkunColl 18:23, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, yes, I have seen those before. The bottom one is good graphically and if you dropped the substantially irrelevant and minor EEA stuff from it would be almost there. MarkThomas 18:37, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Since the right to live and work in those countries is a product of the EEA, and not the EU, I would contend that it actually has more effect on our lives than the EU. It may function as a adjunct to the EU, but it nevertheless still includes Norway and Iceland. Norway, in particular, is a popular destination for Britons working abroad. TharkunColl 18:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the decision, make the colour scheme easy on the eyes: the bright green of the EU one requires sunglasses to view it! Gsd2000 19:45, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Reminded me of BBC Micro graphics c1988. Did you used to have one TC? :-) MarkThomas 19:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with that one. I did it with Paint (software). TharkunColl 21:36, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Since when has the UK been a "country"?

The UK is a collection of states in their own right. Even the '10 Downing Street' website gives: "The UK also has 14 Overseas Territories (OTs) spread throughout the globe. They range from the tiny island of Pitcairn with its 54 inhabitants, set in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to Bermuda, which has a population of 60,000 and is one of the world's major financial centres." 13:57, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I changed that back, since the ref does not support this. As far as I know the territories are not part of the UK proper in any case. Thunderwing 14:01, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
You answer your own question - Pitcairn etc are not countries or states but territories. Maybe you should brush up on your definitions before making future changes Mammal4 14:32, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

You're both confused.
Pitcairn Island has all the characteristics of being a distinct (island) country. But it is not a sovereign self-governing state in the correct useage of the word. it is a dependent territory (or country) of the United Kingdom (in a similar way to the countries of the Raj used to be before 1948).
In the British (, Irish and most Commonwealth) variations of English - and since the article is about a Commonwealth topic it is the British variety that should be used - a "state" is the political or administrative unit and "countries" are cultural units that may or may not have borders co-terminous with a sovereign state.
In this useage it is also possible to have two or more states composed of (part of) the same country viz: The states of North and South Korea (and the former states of North and South Vietnam or East and West Germany). There are probably a majority of current Kurds that could with justification say that their country is divided into parts under the administration of Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq, etc...
The UK, as its very name implies, is a collection of more than 3 separate countries. Even children collecting stamps are aware of this elementary fact.
As far as national identities go, things are even more complicated and shifting but I just don't have the time to explain this...

...GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 14:52, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

You have confused 'country' with 'nation'. Almost all usage of 'country' is synonymous with 'state' (e.g. Spain, despite Catalans and Basques; Switzerland, despite having four official languages; Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, despite their Kurdish populations; Brazil, despite its ethnicity split; conversely, the Netherlands, despite 6m Dutch-speakers living in Belgium; Saudi Arabia, despite it being one of 20 Arab-majority countries). Hence, since it agreed that the UK is a state, by the usual usage, it is a country.
The name of the United Kingdom suggests that it is a single country, since it uses the singular for 'Kingdom'. On the other hand, the plurality of the 'United States' and the 'United Arab Emirates' suggest separation, yet they're still classified as countries.
And, finally, children collecting stamps are aware that there is but one country - the United Kingdom - since there have never been any stamps issued by England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Bastin 15:34, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed - this is old well trodden ground - have a look in the archives. It is a common error (maybe made by children collecting stamps too, I don't know)to refer to England, Scotland, Wales as countries, when in fact they are constituent countries. These are not recognised as countries in there own right in any international sense, and do not fulfil many of the definitions of a country. They are only countries in a historical sense and through historic usage of the term.Mammal4 15:48, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Don't ever visit a Glasgow pub or a Philately CountryDefinitives convention without a stab-prof vest (wan smile).

More seriously, you'll note my last paragraph: "As far as national identities go, things are even more complicated and shifting but I just don't have the time to explain this..."

I still am time poor and I agree that there are at least four nations where I live. I can cheer on the British and Irish Lions rugby team, root for Scotland in the Six nations, have the pleasure of listening to the national news on Radio 4 and, if I live long enough probably sing an EU National Anthem. Few non-mathematical human constructs are black and white and categories overlap and mingle.

My personal opinion is that the USA is both sufficiently patriotic, ignorant and mono-cultural to regard itself as one country but I really suggest you don't test your theories in either the UAE or Antwerp. The UK, like most about it, is a bit of an odd-man-out. It's one country when it wants to be (when the chips are down it fights as one country) but is lucky enough to be able to have genuine "home internationals" in football [unlike the fake "World series" of Baseball.

Countries are born and die all the time. Cornwall was a country once (and may be again, but not in my lifetime). Yugoslavia is probably dead and buried for all time. Countries and nations are predominantly creatures of emotion and feeling. If enough people are willing to shed blood (theirs or someone elses) in the cause of an entity they believe to be a country then, voila! you've got yourself a country! Germany or Israel, It's only really islands (geographic or linguistic or racial) that tend to be natural countries or nations.......GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 16:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Intro Edit War re British Empire

The result of the little edit war in the intro is now a garbled sentence. It originally said (including MarkThomas's minor improvement): "The UK also has fourteen overseas territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar, Pitcairn and the Falkland Islands which are all remnants of the former British Empire which was, at its height, the world's most extensive.", but now reads "The UK also has fourteen overseas territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar and various archipelagoes such as Falkland, BIOT and Pitcairn all of which are remnants of the former, world's most extensive, British Empire." The original wording was much better, in my opinion: the final clause doesn't read well. Also, "BIOT" seems to repeatedly creep into this sentence - it's a completely non-notable acronym, and given that there are only fourteen, one doesn't really need to list five here. Arguably Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Pitcairn are the most "famous" and the list can be limited to those four. I would change all of this myself except that I've already made three reversions on this article today. Gsd2000 20:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I was saying earlier to Gaimhreadhan who made the most recent edit that I thought BIOT was a kind of yoghurt. :-) Whilst it is commendably comprehensive now, I also find it rather clunky. I am reluctant to edit having fought off one set of edits earlier that seemed superficially to be motivated by POV. Perhaps someone can take another look at this bit - it's worth mentioning anyway and is an important aspect of UK history. MarkThomas 20:27, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
BTW - a "BIOT" Google search backs up my claim that "BIOT" is a non-notable acronym. The only hit in the top ten seems to be Wikipedia itself. Amusingly, another in the top ten hits reads "Biot is an enchanting village about 40 minutes outside Nice". Gsd2000 20:31, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
(Plus, it is bad style to drop an acronym like that - if acronyms are used they should be introduced first, e.g. "The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is comprised of X islands. BIOT is presently uninhabited except for military personnel and civilian contractors.") Gsd2000 20:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Another example of bad phrasing is 'the former British Empire'. As the 'British Empire' has never existed as a formal entity, it can't sensibly be described as 'former'. Pitcairn is as much a part of the British Empire as it was in 1920, for example.-- 22:48, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory, a term introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, and replaced the name British dependent territory which was introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981. Before that, the territories were known as colonies or Crown colonies. Hope that's clear. :-) The British Empire did exist, formally or not. Queen Victoria was defined as an Empress for example, which kind of suggests the empire existed, at least as far as the British were concerned. In 1875 that was all that mattered. MarkThomas 00:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree my phrase is clunky and inelegant. At the time I was ducking revert shells from either side and did not wish to see anybody blocked and simply wished to implement a quick diversionary tactic while folks, presumably, withdrew to work out who the bejayzus was BIOT!
Your ploy worked Gaimhreadhan! I was in awe. BIOT. BIOTICA. What could it all possibly mean? MarkThomas 08:51, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
However, considering that BIOT or the Chagos Archipelago is likely to be the site from which the next nuclear war is launched when the US nukes the Iran atomic development sites, I disagree fundamentally that it is non-notable (as I presume would the evicted Chagosians if they were reading this).
What do you folks think about
or could we just reduce it (bearing in mind that the British Empire and its relevance today is discussed later) to:
I think we need to bear in mind that most people will we be reading on-line where there will be hyperlinks to amplifying articles...GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 00:51, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
The Roman Empire is the Roman Empire, not the former Roman Empire. Same goes for the British Empire. Furthermore, the fact that the British Empire was history's largest is a highly significant fact (far more than the observation that all but one of the BOTs are archipelagos), and worthy of inclusion in the introduction. I'm still not sure why you changed the last version by MarkThomas. Gsd2000 01:04, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry - I see you explained why. Anyway, this ("considering that BIOT or the Chagos Archipelago is likely to be the site from which the next nuclear war is launched when the US nukes the Iran atomic development sites") is crystal ball gazing and OR, and not a valid reason for inclusion of the BIOT! Gsd2000 01:08, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I sympathise with your point of view that it may at first sight be irrelevant that they are archipelagoes but in actual fact it is because of the historical power and spread of the Royal Navy that they became colonial outposts and also perhaps relevant to their current status and political wishes.

The fact that we have TWO articles on BIOT (off to cross-reference) makes my POV about notability for me.

However, I do need to criticise my first suggested sentence above as inaccurate.

It would need to be even more tortuous and long-winded to be accurate:

...GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 01:20, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

It was also because of the historical power and spread of the Royal Navy that plenty of non-archipelagos became colonial outposts. It's ironic that I'm saying the same thing as the original contributor I disagreed with and that sparked this whole discussion, but remember this is an introduction, to an article on the UK. The fact that the UK held sway over the world's largest empire is a very real, material and important fact, and needs to be stated. The fact that eleven out of fourteen overseas territories are archipelagos is totally and utterly irrelevant for an intro to the UK, and any conclusion you are drawing from that fact is OR. Gsd2000 01:29, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Two cases in point: (1) Introduction to the CIA World Factbook entry on the UK - the size of the British Empire appears in the second sentence. (2) Encarta's entry on the UK - the size of the British Empire appears in the introduction in the fifth para. Gsd2000 01:40, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Please state your suggested replacement sentence (or paragraph). We need to reach consensus and get rid of my monstrosity....GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 01:53, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Here goes: "The UK also has fourteen overseas territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar, Pitcairn and the Falkland Islands, remnants (vestiges?) of the British Empire, which at its height encompassed a quarter of the world's surface and population". Gsd2000 02:05, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Good effort!

Why are we mentioning those particular 4 out of 14?

Why do you wish to drop the internal links?

Personally, I would approve

If that sentence is acceptable to you then I suggest we need to wait 100 hours to see what, if any, other POV's evangelise....GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 02:33, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

That's OK by me too. Those four territories I thought deserved a mention because they are more "notable" than the others: the Falklands for its war and ongoing Argentine claim, Gibraltar for its ongoing Spanish claim and frequency in the news for matters related to that, Pitcairn for the Bounty story and the recent news re trials of its menfolk, Bermuda as an exotic holiday destination, particularly for sunburnt wealthy Americans. Gsd2000 02:47, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, so until and unless someone else posts here in the next 99 hours to tell us otherwise, this is the consensus passage:
[I hate to tell you this but, in the meanwhile, newly registered and anonymous editors have been busy with the opening section. I have to go into hospital so perhaps you would gently steer them here in my absence, Sir?]...GaimhreadhanIreland-Capitals.PNG(kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 03:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to hear that Gaimhreadhan, hope you are well and in good shape to return soon! The article will I'm sure be monitored vigilantly during your absence. MarkThomas 09:11, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I have altered the section to get rid of "former, world's most extensive, British Empire", which sounds a little as if Britain had the most extensive British Empire ever. Which is true! But silly. The word "former" is redundant, given that the piece already states these 14 territories are remnants of that empire. However, this is not my preferred wording. It's just an attempt to get rid of what I think is a badly-written sentence immediately. I would have modern geography and political history in separate paragraphs. So, for example:

  • The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy composed of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen and Head of State of fifteen other Commonwealth Realms, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, formally possessions of the Crown, form a federacy with the United Kingdom collectively known as the British Islands. The UK also has fourteen[8] overseas territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar and various archipelagoes such as Falkland, BIOT and Pitcairn.
  • Britain was the foremost great power during the 19th century and the British Empire at its height encompassed a quarter of the world's surface and population. However, the economic cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished Britain's status in global affairs. Today, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a nuclear power, a member of the G8 and the fifth largest economy, Britain remains an important political, economic and military world power.

Hobson 19:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I thought I should clarify, since this "edit war" resulted from my edit.
Frankly, the issue here is not so much that one paragraph or line. But the lead itself. This is a country article, on United Kingdom. The article should be written in summary style. Thus, focus on the subject is the key. British Empire is a part of it's history. And that's where this gets mentioned. Repeating it adds no value to the article. Only contributes to it's bulk. Thus, I think the paragraph in question should simply read: "The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy composed of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen and Head of State of fifteen other Commonwealth Realms, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, formally possessions of the Crown, form a federacy with the United Kingdom collectively known as the British Islands. The UK also has fourteen[8] overseas territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar and various archipelagoes such as Falkland, BIOT and Pitcairn, all of which are remnants of the former British Empire. It' size is already mentioned in the History section. And further details (on the BE) can be obtained from the article British Empire itself. ThanksAJ-India 05:20, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Don't agree AJ-India, I think it is roughly about the right length for a major country of Britain's historical and present-day stature. I would compare it for example with India which has a much longer introduction. Also it's important to realise that many editors and casual readers are often confused about the precise nature of the concept of "United Kingdom", "Britain", "England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland", "other territories", etc and the monarchy, so the existence of the first para is useful in exploring this. That's not to say that small changes couldn't be made but I would be against a major diminution of the lead. MarkThomas 08:16, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, as I think MarkThomas pointed out, the second sentence of the India introduction (an article you were suggesting was "better" than the UK one) says "(India is) the most populous liberal democracy in the world". This is then repeated in the Government section: "India is the largest democracy in the world". And repeated yet again (rather weasel wordily, in my opinion, perhaps even "pompously", to use your words) in the Government of India article, "(India) is often referred to as the largest democracy in the world, and takes pride in that designation.". This is arguably a headline fact about India, so it is right to be repeated. Similarly, the vast spread of the British Empire is a headline fact about the UK, and fully deserves to be in the introduction. Read the CIA world factbook entry on the UK, or Encarta's article on the UK, and you will see they give it very prominent mention introductions too. Gsd2000 12:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
First, I never "suggested" India was "better". The fact that India is an FA, coupled with the fact that United Kingdom isnt, and had failed to qualify, is self explanatory. FA represent the best of Wikipedia. One of the reasons for it's non qualification was it's size. Another was the pomposity.
Now for the lead. the fact that British Empire is a part of United Kingdom's history is known. But that's where it gets mentioned. Not in the lead. Your analogy with India, and the particular line you compare is not a logical one. Let me give you a more apt one. Do you see the mention of the Mughal Empire in the lead on India? To brief you of the history of India, the Mughals ruled India for close to 3 centuries, and ruled more territory than the British ever did (on Indian soil). But still they dont get mentioned. The fact that they contributed so strongly to the culture not withstanding. My point is, because India is about the country India, the history gets it's mention in it's section. Same applies to United Kingdom. Just becuase something is a fact doesnt entitle it to get mentioned in any place.AJ-India 14:30, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
AJ, thanks for coming back on this. You may well potentially be right about certain aspects of the introduction on United Kingdom but you have (I hope you don't mind me saying this) a tendancy to spoil your case sometimes with wrong facts. Clearly the Mughals, powerful and impressive though they undoubtedly were, never ruled 1/4 of the Earth's surface and so your claim above that they ruled more of India than the British is rather pointless, even if accurate, since we are (attempting) to discuss if it's correct to say in this article that we should refer to the magnitude of the British Empire. In fact, the analogy between the problem you claim (pomposity) and the line Gsd2000 mentions as pompous in the India Lead is a good one. "(India) is often referred to as the largest democracy in the world, and takes pride in that designation" clearly contains an element of POV. I agree you made a good call in de-POVing the UK page previously when you deleted the "second only to the US" claim - but if you wish to be a champion of NPOV, shouldn't you also be considering the (rather pompous and POV) line in the India article? MarkThomas 23:26, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, a clarification. One, I never compared the Mughals with the British Empire (grand as they were, as you say, and at their zenieth, the richest in the world). I compared their significance to the respective countries. The Mughal influence is far greater than the British, on India. Yet we dont mention them. That was my point.
The line Gsd2000 mentioned. Again, being a country article, it refers to the present "republic of India", and is very relevant to the article. It is not a historical "fact" like the one in question on this article. Hence, the analogy was inaccurate. And what is a POV in that, I am not sure, as it is just a definition. If it has the largest population, among all democracies, there is hardly any debatability in that (as far as I know, or is there??!!)
Additionally, since India is an FA, I presume it has been reviewed as such. However, feel free to edit it, or if the editors there insist, you may discuss this there. My personal view on it is as above. Which is that it is in sync with the relevance of the article, on the country India, not its 3000 year history (which has enough chest thumping material to out do any other perhaps).AJ-India 04:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

What on earth is "camel"?

It seems to be used on the map to refer to a rather sickly colour that's a mixture of flesh, pink, and all sorts of things. Let's get rid of it. TharkunColl 23:29, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Use dictionaries if you don't know the names of colours. It's about the colour of the animal by that name. De coloribus et de gustibus non est disputantum. In other words, the tanned fleshy pink making you rather sick is no reason to get rid of it: it happens to be the colour in the David Liuzzo maps for EU countries and 'camel' happens to be one of the very few names that actually fits this particular colour (another attempt was once 'light orange' and that is not quite this colour, and furthermore it was far too long to indicate in the map location texts where you found the term). — SomeHuman 9 Apr2007 23:42 (UTC)

Canary Wharf, home of the three tallest buildings in britain.


The tallest building in britain is now in manchester. Someone update this.

Not true. Beetham Tower is the tallest building in Britain outside London (168.87 m); One Canada Square is 235.1 m, and HSBC Tower and Citigroup Centre are each 199.5 m. -- Arwel (talk) 22:26, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

It's fairly simple: Camel is a browny colour, commonly seen as the colour of a CAMEL. Ninington 11:40, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ BBC News - Manchester tops second city poll, 10 February 2007