Talk:People's Pledge

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This campaign is indisputable Eurosceptic. It is unacceptable and against Wikipedia's neutral point of view to paint it in the introduction as a simple campaign for a referendum just because one or two pro-European people are supporting it on the basis of just having a referendum to settle the issue - nobody is stupid here, and the sources reflect the widely held view, the campaign as an entity and in its core leadership fully expects the referendum to say No, that is why the campaign was set up, and it has clearly stated its reasons for having a referendum on indisputably Europsceptic terms (cost, loss of sovereignty, etc etc). The neutral point of view is not about ignoring such obvious facts of life and paintning things as something they're not. I've requested semi-protection to prevent the variouus IPs and unconfirmed users (who I suspect are one and the same person) trying to make this change repeatedly without justifying how it meets our principles. MickMacNee (talk) 14:53, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree with that. We don't need to make our own characterisation of the group. We should just say what they are aiming to do and people who know anything about UK politics will see that they are related to Euroscepticism in some way. Later on we have someone describing it as Eurosceptic, which is fine. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:38, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
This is not Wikipedia making up its own characterisation. The British National Party is a far right party. It's described in the article introduction as a far right party. While that statement cannot be made if it's not supported later on in the article, there's no obligation on Wikipedia not to do so if it is. There's no difference here. The campaign is broadly Eurosceptic, and the article sources support that. And frankly, we do that precisely because we are not in the habit of misleading readers who might not know anything about UK politics - the opening line is the intorduction to the topic, and readers are not required to read the entire article to learn that very basic defining aspect of the topic. MickMacNee (talk) 17:36, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
No, WP:NPOV indicates that we should let facts speak for themselves. A campaign for a referendum is what it says it is. Commentators will attach labels, which is fine. We should avoid blanket labels if we can. I agree that the campaign is broadly - broadly Eurosceptic, but is not the definition of "Eurosceptic" a shifting thing? It adds nothing in the lede sentence to call it that. Also, I think the whole long story of the UK entry into the EU, when we had a referendum, how we haven't had a referendum for a long time, yada yada, opens up the whole article to POV-pushing. I'm seeing that all the time on Israel-Palestine and other nationalism articles, how in the interests of "background" masses of history is retold, and then those of us who want to check for NPOV have to monitor dozens of articles simultaneously. This campaign is notable, but not all that prominent, and the article should be kept short and sweet. If this goes on I am considering stubbing it down. (Taking for granted your good faith, hope you will see mine too.)Itsmejudith (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
This is an article about a campaign on the UK's membership of the EU. For historical background, a paragraph on how it joined, and a second on the prevailing political situation when the campaign launched, is far from unreasonable. I don't much care for the comparison to what goes on at IP articles frankly, I find it almost insulting. I've disputed your removal of it once, so kindly do not attempt it again without seeking a consensus that it's not needed, or irretrievably biased.
Second, on the intro and NPOV, you've simply completely misunderstood the fact that stating the People's Pledge is simply a 'campaign for a referendum' is not 'letting the facts speak for themselves' at all, it is the active ommission from the introduction of "all significant views that have been published by reliable sources", in a way that will mislead readers and allow a fringe view (that this is just about wanting a democratic vote on the issue) to be presented as the prevailing view. This is most definitely not what NPOV is about. You can argue it adds nothing all you want, that's only ever going to be your personal view of what readers do and don't want. It's not what NPOV mandates. MickMacNee (talk) 12:57, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
To use "Eurosceptic" in the lede we would need a substantial number of independent sources calling it that. I am very wary of using the UK press on this. The anti-EU side has a number of papers actively supporting it, while I see Michael White in the Guardian calling them "mostly europhobic", but that is just one commentator, op-ed rather than news or even analysis. Leaving it out is the default option. On the History section, it reads very oddly starting "In 1973" for a campaign launched in 2011. I am going to retitle it "background", but experience shows that "background" sections are a magnet for POV-pushing and I think it will still need reducing. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:53, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
The reason it has a number of Euroceptic papers giving it support, is because it's a Eurosceptic campaign. It's not POV pushing to reflect that in the introduction, and NPOV is not about ignoring these basic facts. If you could find one independent source describing it as being largely an EU-neutral campaign, I'd be surprised, and if you could show that this was the position of the majority of them, I'd be amazed. And all this ignores the basic fact that the term isn't half as loaded as you seem to think it is. We're not talking about terrorist/freedom fighter here. This term is on a par with 'liberal' and 'conservative' in domestic UK politics as far as being an 'avoid at all costs' case. MickMacNee (talk) 15:17, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
A number of respectable papers like the Telegraph and Evening Standard as well as downmarket ones like The Sun. Of course I would strongly oppose it being described as "EU neutral". That's not the point. It's whether we - in Wikipedia's words - can oversimplify this issue, which is well within the main political debate in the UK. I don't even know if the word is loaded or not - it may be for some readers, not for others. I am struggling to see what are good sources for this article. The campaign itself, obviously, and the fact that the campaign has studiously avoided the "eurosceptic" label should raise a WP:REDFLAG if we are considering attaching it. The newspapers - well, they take either one side or the other. Some years from now political scientists will summarise today's climate. In the meantime, we have very little neutral to work with. So I think leave out. I agree it is not loaded like "terrorist" but if you think it is in a similar case to "liberal" and "conservative", sometimes they convey information but in many cases also they don't. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
The only REDFLAG here is the claim that they aren't Eurosceptic, given the lack of any source, or even common sense interpretation of UK politics either of today or historical, that supports that idea. If you aren't sure what the term means within the mainstream political arena, then you really shouldn't be claiming to know why the campaign would or not use it should you? Let alone be making judgements about it on behalf of the reader, that NPOV frankly doesn't call for. MickMacNee (talk) 18:08, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, the onus is on you to find a source to support the description. Preferably several sources and preferably with some kind of objectivity/neutrality in UK politics. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:49, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not, and the onus is on you to show you understand that in the absence of any contradictory sources whatsoever, let alone of any reliability or objectivity, that this is not a red flag, as is clearly explained in WP:REDFLAG, and as such, I'm under no obligation whatsoever to ignore what sources and evidence do exist, never mind common sense based on its common usage and common knowledge of what it means in UK politics, in order to have this article represent the NPOV from the very first line, rather than deliberately mislead the reader, from the very first line. Alternatively, we can be ultra safe, and delete the whole article, as in your view, there's clearly not enough coverage at all to ensure the NPOV can be presented at all. MickMacNee (talk) 16:27, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, the onus is on editors who want to include material to source it properly. I think there is enough evidence for a short article on the campaign. But there is a dearth of independently written material that would allow us to allot it definitively to a particular category. My own view is that to the extent that the campaign takes off, it redefines the territory of "euroscepticism". At least that is its aim. However, it attracted an initial flurry of interest, not much since. So in the end it may not redefine anything. Surely it's possible to write neutrally about such a normal, rather banal, part of UK public discourse? Surely we can see that "if in doubt, leave it out" applies here as in other potential POV-magnets? I am mystified by your assertion that to leave out an unsourced one-word categorisation in the lede is to "mislead the reader". If the reader has followed the debate on the UK and EU s/he will assess for him/herself what the implication is of a campaign for a referendum. If s/he hasn't followed the debate on the UK and EU then the simple word "eurosceptic" isn't going to provide immediate enlightenment. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:00, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Thinking that a simple RfC might bring some more eyes to it. What do you think? Itsmejudith (talk) 20:06, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

If the Conservative Party wasn't called the Conservative Party but the Pink Elephant party, then do you think it would be helpful to the reader or not to remove from the introduction a wikilink to the adjective conservatism? I will not accept your assertion that Eurosceptic is some kind of suggestive or even possibly perjorative term that needs to be avoided, when you flatly refuse to provide any evidence for that claim except the rather dubious argument that the campaign itself don't apply it to themselves. While you might think that supports your theory, it's a form of confirmation bias. I don't see it as anything other than being the same situation as the Conservative Party not needing to label themselves as conservatives. It's basic contextual information, barely disputable at all. Should the campaign ever take off, it would do absolutely nothing to redefine the term. It would still mean what it means, and the campaign's aims and reasons would still be Eurosceptic. 'If in doubt, leave it out' - well, I'm not in any doubt that it's not a red flag, that it's not innappropriate, and that it does not unduly describe the campaign as something it's not, according to all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. But you clearly aren't going to listen to me on that score, so yes, maybe it's time for an Rfc. I suggest you at least notify the UK Politics project. MickMacNee (talk) 22:50, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

People's Pledge, Eurosceptic?

Do sources consistently describe the campaign as "Eurosceptic"? Can the epithet be used in the first sentence without attribution? Itsmejudith (talk) 11:11, 25 May 2011 (UTC)


"Eurosceptic" is a neologism of the first order. Using such a neologism to describe any group requires exceptional sourcing, which is not present. The article on "Euroscepticism" is likely POV and assigns a set of characteristics to such groups which are not specifically present in the case at hand, hence the use of the neologism with its political conotations is improper here. As there is no over-riding need to use the term, it ought not be present. Collect (talk) 12:15, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

"not specifically present in the case at hand" - such as? Please list a single position or belief of the campaign that does not attact the description of being a Euroscpetic position, in "exceptional" sources.
"with its political conotations" - such as? And please explain how a word with with political conotations is not appropritate in a politics article. See above for the example Conservative/conservatism.
"no over-riding need" - please outline a believable scenario where a reader not familiar with the subject is helped by its ommission, being instead forced to read the entire article to divine the perfectly reasonable conclusion from all the sourced content that the group is indeed, Eurosceptic.
MickMacNee (talk) 12:34, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Am I missing something? Of course descriptions should be sourced but it appears that is how reliable sources describe the group. There is nothing controversial about the term, it is what they call themselves. Neologism? Depends on what decade one is discussing. TFD (talk) 13:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
It is not up to us to say "the group is A, B and C and the definition of Gnarfism is A, B, and C" as that is clear synthesis. You need 1. specific cited RS sources calling the group "eurosceptic" .and. proof that they are using the term as defined in that Wikipedia article. Note specifically that Wikipedia articles are not "reliable sources" under any circumstances here. And, if you wish to not cite it as an opinion, be sure that this is the only adjective used to describe the group. As for cavils about "neologism" this for sure as hell is one. If you wish to assert that this is what they self-describe themselves as, then that would be a citable source. Absent such a source, the term, as a neologism, and as being defined by a Wikipedia article, is improper. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:32, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

belies the claim that it is self-described as Eurosceptic, or that all sources so call it (Google News search finds zero such "sources" by the way) While those who initiated the People’s Pledge campaign are primarily Eurosceptic, it has support from those who take a different, pro-EU view, but who wish to see the issue properly resolved by a vote of the British people. Labour MP Keith Vaz, a former Europe minister, is supporting the campaign on that basis and has joined us. So has Green MP Caroline Lucas. Thus one could write

'"with support from across the political spectrum, including Labour and Green politicians."

Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:53, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

And so the word is now sourced as noted. Collect (talk) 10:17, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Sourced to the opinion of 1 random MP, a rather left wing one at that according to his unsourced biography here. And the quote from him about a right wing campaign, is by selective ommission making it seem as if there is an even balance in the support of the campaign between Eurosceptics, and pro-EU people, when this can be disproved by simple counting, let alone other sources. And it isn't even clarified in the lede that he is one of named supporters on the 'Advisory Council' of the campaign. All this is supposedly how we write from the NPOV? You're having a laugh. MickMacNee (talk) 17:42, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Rather underlines my argument "if in doubt, leave it out". Do you know, I can find no mention at all of the campaign on either the BBC or Channel 4 websites. We have a real dearth of objective info about the group. How can we attach an epithet unless we have a number of good reliable sources for it? We don't even have one. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:31, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Mentioned in The Times Collect (talk) 18:39, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Getting this straight - the PP is right wing, but has a lot of left wing politicians working for it -- which seems to indicate to most folks that it is not exclusively right wing at all. Are you arguning that the post is not WP:RS when it makes claims about factual composition of backers? Note, by the way, that he properly identified not all that far down the page, and most folks would understand "us" in the quote to clearly mean he supports the PP. I tend to think that editors must rely on what the sources actually say and not edit for the truth Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:34, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
A lot? No, it has 1 or 2, and by no reasonable definition at all, a significant amount. And you've chosen one of them to describe this group in the lede as being half and half, and without even clarifying he is a part of it. You can stick your link to TRUTH where the sun doesn't shine, for you to come out with that nonsense after me having written everything I have done above on this article shows me that you aren't even bloody reading what I write here, let alone understanding it w.r.t. policy. MickMacNee (talk) 19:21, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
8 politicians specifically labelled in the article as "Labour" >> "1 or 2." Or are you saying the others labelled as "Labour Party" are fakes of some sort? Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Let's see. They're supporting a campaign that goes against their party's policy, that (whether people want to admit basic facts or not) has not a single non-Eurosceptic policy justification, that is Eurosceptic in its origins (as if we needed as source to verify that, but apparently we do), that has many right wing papers supporting it and no left wing ones, and finally, they're supporting a referendum that they know has the goal of withdrawal, on the basis that it will be defeated. So yes, I'd say fake is a very good description. At the very least, I'd say using one of these people as the source of the NPOV view of the campaign, is nothing short of ludicrous. MickMacNee (talk) 00:10, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
With Mark Seddon as director it would be weird in the extreme to describe PP as "right wing". It is "cross-party", which you well might think is obligatory, cliched and a bit of a yawn. Cross-party it is though. I am reading and reading WP:NPOV and still not finding anything that would justify using the "eurosceptic" epithet in Wikipedia's voice without a reliable source. Just for info, and I hate doing this, I am personally completely opposed to this campaign. More important for me is quality of WP and NPOV. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:09, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
So, is Sneddon not one of the Founders described in the 'source' as 'Eurosceptic'? MickMacNee (talk) 00:10, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Comment I'm completely uninvolved. I did a Google News search and I did not find a single reliable source connecting these two terms. I then did a Google News Archive search only turns up two hits, the first of which appears to be an opinion piece and the second an article from the Daily Mail which, IIRC, isn't considered in the higher tier of journalistic publications. But even so, neither article explicitly states that the People's Pledge is Eurosceptic. So, on this basis, I would say no, the People's Pledge should not be described as Eurosceptic. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:43, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

While Seddon stated on its launch...

The article states:

The "while" seems to imply that Miliband is contradicting Seddon's but actually has nothing to do with what Seddon said. But I am unfamiliar with British politics. Does the fact that Miliband is in the Labour party imply that the left disagrees with Seddon's campaign? In any case, some clarification (or something) would be helpful to our readers. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:08, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

If Britain leaves the EU, what impact will this have Britain, the EU and the rest of the world?

It seems to me that our article should explain this. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:14, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Why? I do not recall it being in the mission statement for Wikipedia to "tell people what will happen if they hold certain opinions." Collect (talk) 23:19, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Huh? Not sure what people holding "certain opinions" has to do with my question. I assume that if Britain leaves the EU, this will have some social, political and economic impact in Britain, Europe and the world. And yes, it our job to write informative articles for our readers. Are you saying that we don't have any reliable sources in which to cite? Or is this covered in another article? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:27, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
If a reliable source has an opinion that "thus and such may happen" then the opinion from the reliable source can generally be used. Our opinions, however, cannot. I dount that any source can present any results as "facts" in any case. Collect (talk) 23:56, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I think it is probably covered in another article. Trouble is, though, it is a hypothetical. If Britain does get anywhere nearer leaving the EU, there will be a lot of discussion in all quarters. The US government will take a view. The EU might start asking what needs to be done in order to keep Britain in. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:01, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
As opposed to the current discussions on how to push Greece and Portugal etc. out? With or without any UK actions, the fate of the Euro may be problematic according to serious economists. Collect (talk) 15:06, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
One for Humanities Ref Desk, I think. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:18, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Disambiguation with American People's Pledge

In the 2012 campaign for Massachusetts Senate, the candidates signed a pledge to keep out 3rd party spending in their race - they called this the People's Pledge. This is the top Google result for "People's Pledge" in the US.

It's in the news again this election:

Seems like wikipedia should cover this and there will need to be a disambiguation page? Jimgreer70 (talk) 21:28, 3 April 2014 (UTC)