Talk:David Owen

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The insufferable Dr Death[edit]

Odd in this article about probably the most vain, self-regarding and eventually useless politician in British post-war history there is no mention of his Private Eye nickname "Dr Death". Strange indeed when you consider his role in prolonging the Yugoslav war.

[edit]

8th December 2006- yet more editing by me of libels and gross exaggerations.

I've deleted several references to books that are given to -uniquely- invite the reader to read Owen from the viewpoint of his alleged enemies. There was a outright libel about his time in the Balkans which I have deleted and will delete again if needs be.

Correct!David Owen is married to Debbie. Needs to be corrected! Pupil from India

Does anyone know if Lord Owen was one of the later SDP MPs who voted for Foot to ensure that Healey didn't get in in 1980 and create the party crises.

There's no way off verifying this - Ivor Crewe and Anthony King uncovered this when interviewing ex-Labour/SDP MPs 'off the record' and this was told to them in confidence. The names of the MPs remain unknown, and it could be any half-dozen of the 27 ex-Labour SDP MPs. Perhaps someone would like to ask old Doctor Death himself...

It is ironic given the subject matter that the last contributor(s) have chosen not to reveal their own identities! Philip Cross 07:13, 13 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We know for a fact that owen voted for Healey because he cast his vote publicly, along with Bill Rodgers, we know this because he tells us! Fry2000 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fry2000 (talkcontribs) 18:55, 3 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's some material in the section on an event at Chester University that is presumably inaccurate -- it seems to be written in a deliberately over-the-top way ("Woodstock of the new millennium," etc.). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.250.21.50 (talk) 03:53, 20 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photograph[edit]

Now, I realize that Owen is a pretty divisive figure, but would a more neutral headshot of him be able to be used? The current one makes him look a bit like some sort of villianous evil genius stereotype. -- User: Lawrence142002 —Preceding undated comment added 00:33, 22 November 2010 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved per WP:COMMONNAME and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. The argument that the gentleman is better known by his name rather than his title is persuasive as does the argument that this is the more obvious, concise, and precise name. --rgpk (comment) 10:24, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

David OwenDavid Owen, Baron Owen — Per WP:NCPEER, "Members of the British Peerage, whether hereditary peers or life peers, usually have their articles titled "Personal name, Ordinal (if appropriate) Peerage title". There are a few exceptions to that, but none of them apply here. A quick check of Google news archives show that he is most commonly known by his title. Finally, the use of his title will help with disambiguation as there are several people of the name David Owen in Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:41, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support - He's about as well known by his title as by his personal name for the exception within WP:NCPEER to not apply. Some exceptions have been recently created life peers, but David Owen has been a peer for over 18 years now. Zangar (talk) 09:10, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. He is now almost exclusively known as Lord Owen. -- Necrothesp (talk) 17:19, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose There is an exception which clearly does apply. "Peers who are very well known by their personal names and who only received a title after they retired: e.g. Anthony Eden (not "Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon"), Margaret Thatcher (not "Margaret Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher")." I think most people still think of him as plain David Owen, the length of time he had his title is irrelevant, Thatcher and Eden both had theirs for a while. If this move is supposed to help with disambiguation the implication is that he should be demoted from the primary meaning of David Owen, which I would also oppose. He was a major if controverial figure in British politics for several years, I see no other person of comparable notability. PatGallacher (talk) 12:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is nothing in WP:NCROY to indicate that this exception only applies to "recently created life peers", this would be a fairly serious change, and the two examples given are contrary to this approach. Thatcher has had her title for roughly as long as Owen. Eden had a hereditary title, not a life peerage, and held it for 16 years before he died (considerably longer than he was Prime Minister). We also have Paddy Ashdown, who is a similar figure to Owen, played a significant role in international politics after he got his title, but remains mainly known for his time as a party leader in Britain. If the proposal is to "demote" this person as the primary meaning of David Owen then his title would be a legitimate disambiguator, but this implies a move of David Owen (disambiguation). PatGallacher (talk) 15:42, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

With all due respect, your argument is entirely unpersuasive for the simple reason than any exception which turns on someone getting a peerage after retirement clearly cannot apply to someone who has not retired! Lord Owen was elevated to the peerage in 1992, at age 54. This was no retirement honour, but rather a simple move to put him into the House of Lords where he has served actively for many years. A search in Google News for his name (with title) for just this year so far reveals 548 articles with his activity ranging from AV referendum to the Libyan crisis to relations with Russia. The man is in no way retired. He's a very active member of the House of Lords, and still very much on the UK national - and indeed world - stage.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:17, 19 March 2011 (UTC)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:17, 19 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose as he is not known as David Owen, Baron Owen. Per WP:COMMONNAME it should be David Owen or Lord Owen. Tassedethe (talk) 16:46, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Comment - while this is an interesting view, put forward from time to time, it is at odds with long-standing consensus. It is generally agreed that WP:COMMONNAME is one factor, but not determining... it allows, itself, that other factors come into play. My own view is that arguments of this form (that we should say "Lord Owen" rather than "David Owen, Baron Owen") are a misunderstanding of both WP:COMMONNAME and the English language.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:00, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • My argument is not that we should say Lord Owen but that people do say Lord Owen as evidenced by your link to gnews above. I'm not sure who misunderstands the English language but I'm certain it's not me, The Guardian, The Independent etc. Tassedethe (talk) 17:34, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • I am sorry for being unclear. The man's title is "Baron Owen". So you call him "Lord Owen". The newspapers understand this, and so should Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:17, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • The view may have been at odds with consensus in the past, but in the last few years there has definitely been a shift to favor using the clear, obvious, concise, and precise common name when one is available, and to consider other factors, like what specific naming conventions have to say, only when there is no clear, obvious, concise, and precise common name for the topic, or when the topic in question is not primary for that name. In fact, many specific conventions have this proviso specifically written into them - to add more precision per the convention only when necessary for disambiguation. If this principle were followed more consistently throughout WP, there would be a lot fewer naming disputes. But consensus is moving in that direction anyway, as participation in this discussion seems to show (again).

        Let's look to WP:NCPEER and other specific naming guidelines for guidance only when we can't identify the common name, or when the common name is ambiguous with other uses and our topic is not primary. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:43, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose, very well known, clear primary topic, almost never known as "Baron Owen"; I see no argument (apart from the routine trotting out of a guideline which we know doesn't properly reflect current consensus in these matters) in favour of the proposed title. --Kotniski (talk) 07:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Comment - You must have missed my google search, above? He is much more known by his title than not. That's not just the trotting out of a guideline.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:27, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • But the search was for "Lord Owen", not "Baron Owen" or "David Owen Baron Owen". And using Google searches for people who are still active but whose most notable activity was before the days of the Internet is a recipe for recentism. With the passage of time, history will know him as David Owen. --Kotniski (talk) 08:01, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. WP:NCPEER is entirely clear on this. He is undoubtedly and almost exclusively known as and is Lord Owen or Baron Owen. Kittybrewster 10:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That just isn't true. Certainly the "Baron Owen" bit - I don't think I've ever heard him called that, whereas references to him as David Owen are numerous.--Kotniski (talk) 11:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See what I mean? No reasons are being provided for giving this article the odd-sounding title that's being proposed, other than "the guideline says" (arguments have been given which would support "Lord Owen", but not "David Owen, Baron Owen"). Perhaps it's the guideline that's wrong? Can anyone give a defence of this proposed title from first principles, without referring to the guideline? --Kotniski (talk) 10:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes I can do that. But this is not the place. Kittybrewster 10:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Er, given that this is the place where the proposal is being made and where its merits will eventually be assessed, this is most definitely the place. Please go ahead.--Kotniski (talk) 11:08, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Life barons are shown as David Owen, Baron Owen unless they are almost invariably known as something else. WP:NCPEER takes precedence. This enables one to distinguish ranks, as e.g. Lord Campbell. Kittybrewster 11:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, you've still referred to the guideline (and all you've done is effectively restate it). There are no ranks to be distinguished here, particularly if we use David Owen. And the first sentence is manifestly not true - look at other politicians of similar standing from his era - Margaret Thatcher, Neil Kinnock, David Steel - they all have their articles titled with their personal names only, even though it's not true at all to say that they are "almost invariably known" by those names.--Kotniski (talk) 11:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is an argument for moving those; not an argument for going against NCPEER in this case. Kittybrewster 13:48, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's an argument that shows that NCPEER is not literally adhered to, i.e. as currently worded, it does not truly represent consensus. We're still waiting for any genuine reason as to why "David Owen, Baron Owen" might be a better title for this article than "David Owen".--Kotniski (talk) 14:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Disambiguation per Nom. Kittybrewster 16:32, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From whom? He's the primary topic, isn't he? (in fact adding "Baron Owen" to the title will make it less recognizable to the vast majority of the audience, not more).--Kotniski (talk) 16:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • oppose - common name=David Owen. - after re reading this discussion and WP:NCPEER I am moving to neutral, common name to me is David Owen but a good case is being made for the move here through WP:NCPEER. - Off2riorob (talk) 16:48, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. He is primarily known for being Foreign Secretary and then leader of Social Democratic Party (both before WWW) when he was known as David Owen. In addition to the names mentioned above, there are also the politicians Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins, who also have noble titles but the name of their articles is without reference to the title. Outside politics there are the examples of Richard Rogers and Joan Bakewell. They may now be sometimes referred to by their title but they are primarily known without the title. Cjc13 (talk) 15:01, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. As per Cjc13 - Principally known for being foreign secretary and then SDP leader when he was a commoner - his peerage was a retirement honour, not a significant part of his political career.. His role since enoblement in 1992 has been much more low key limited to a news story or two per year at most (outside of the Balkans conflict). New Progressive (talk) 17:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, per Kotniski, WP:COMMONNAME and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC (no one has challenged the apparently obvious fact that this topic is primary for "David Owen", or that the most common name for this topic is "David Owen", so I see no reason to defend that).

    With respect to Jimbo's argument that following WP:COMMONNAME "is at odds with long-standing consensus" because COMMONNAME is but one of several factors, I must disagree. Of course there are exceptions (this is Wikipedia), but in general when there is a clear, obvious, concise, and precise common name for which the topic in question is the primary use (as there is in this case, David Owen), consensus is to use it, unless there is very good reason to not use it (and, following a specific naming convention is usually not considered a "very good reason"). The only reason given here to veer from using the common name is to follow the convention for peers, and that's definitely not a good reason. Again, with few exceptions, other factors, like using naming conventions to determine a title, normally come into play usually only when there isn't a clear, obvious, concise, and precise common name for the topic at issue, or the topic is not primary for that name. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:32, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

external link?[edit]

Would an interview with transcript with David Owen from 1987 be useful here as an external link? Focus of conversation is nuclear weapons policy. http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A44BCE09B6A44731A104406F24CCDD9D (I have a conflict of interest; otherwise I would add it myself.) Mccallucc (talk) 14:56, 23 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Shadow Foreign Secretary and Shadow Energy Secretary dates[edit]

I have noted at Talk:Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change that I think there is an issue with the date when Owen was moved to the position of Shadow Enegry Secretary. It says in that article and in the info boxes here that this move took place on 14th July. However the Shadow Cabinet election result was declared on 14th June and Owen's 'demotion' is reported in the The Glasgow Herald of 15th June 1979 (as I have put in the article).[1]. It is possible the changes did not immediately take effect, but I also think it is possible that the date here (and at Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, is an error and should be 14th June 1979 , especially as the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence article suggests that the change office holder in that portfolio took place on 14th June an error.Dunarc (talk) 23:32, 8 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. ^ Parkhouse, Geoffrey (15 June 1979). "Shore steps up as Owen is demoted". The Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2019.