Talk:Hard left

Active discussions

Requested move 18 August 2015Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus to move. The long-term title has been restored, as it should be considering there was clearly no consensus to move it in the first place. No prejudice against merging, though that is outside the scope of RM. Jenks24 (talk) 16:32, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Far Left WingExtreme Left – The existing name is inaccurate. There is already a full and comprehensive Far Left pshr. Estreme Left would be more suitable for this page Garageland66 (talk) 05:48, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

These terms have no meaning except in context and should be merged into left-wing. TFD (talk) 06:57, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
'Hard left', which was this page's previous title, has a clear meaning within the context of the British Labour Party. I strongly suspect that this page has been moved as a response to Jeremy Corbyn's candidacy for leader of that party, as his name has been edited out of the page where it once appeared prominentlyStratpod (talk) 14:36, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as proposed The English-language Wikipedia is not the British Wikipedia. These terms are also used outside the UK. Both "Hard left" and "Extreme left" should redirect to far-left politics; This page will necessarily need to be renamed, either Hard left (UK politics) or Extreme left (UK politics) -- (talk) 05:28, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
    • If this article is to be merged, then it should be merged after the article is moved to include disambiguatory material, since this term "hard left" should redirect to "far-left politics" ; If this is to be deleted, then this term should still redirect to "far-left politics" after deletion. -- (talk) 04:31, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
  • 'Hard left' is a pejorative used by the media and should be described as such. It is not recognised in academia, in political science. The terms left wing and far left are the recognised terms used in political science. Support merging into left-wing as a subsection of pejoratives used to describe left wing politicians. (Garageland66 (talk) 08:55, 19 August 2015 (UTC))
  • Wikipedia is supposed to be impartial and factual. Describing Tony Benn as hard left is neither impartial or factual but is insulting.(Garageland66 (talk) 20:16, 19 August 2015 (UTC))
  • Comment/weak oppose The BBC alone has used the term "hard left" 622 times [1] on their website. It seems to be common currency in the UK with relation to the Labour's left-wing and left-of-Labour groups. --Pudeo' 15:50, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • The BBC linke does not take us to 622 uses of hard left but just to a article quoting Rhodri Morgan using the term "hard left". (Garageland66 (talk) 22:08, 23 August 2015 (UTC))

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

Those commonly branded as 'Hard left'Edit

Garageland66, you cannot just omit those who are commonly branded with the term years later because you believe it's 'disrespectful', regardless if you consider it pejorative or not. Everything else you modified is completely unsubstantiated, which is unsurprising from someone associated with the Trade Unions as denoted on your page. Attractel (talk) 12:41, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Garageland66, I see you've decided to continue with your reversals without talking on this page - I know you've read my comment because you've quickly removed your declared association with trade union(s) from your user page after I denoted your probable bias. That's quite sly, wouldn't you say. Attractel (talk) 19:15, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
  • In response to the removal of 'trade unionist' (which was not sly but pragmatic); being transparent about my political position was clearly a mistake. Most others, including Attractel, are not nearly as honest. Instead of trying to second guess the political persuasion of contributers, how about we stick to trying to get as near as possible to an objective description of a term such as hard left. (Garageland66 (talk) 14:20, 10 September 2015 (UTC))

Andy Dingley has edited this page but is not contributing to the Talk page. It cannot be right to smear current politicians with the Hard left label. Yet this is being dismissed as an edit war. Unless those names have the description Hard left used on their Wiki profile pages it is surely wrong that their names are included here. What is the consensus? (Garageland66 (talk) 10:02, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 10:02, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a source for itself. Also WP:OSE, a corollary of which is that sometimes other stuff doesn't exist.
It does not matter, for our purposes here, whether Ken Livingstone is described as "hard left" on that page or not. We go by whether an objective sourcing (or the best we can do from independent RS) describes him thus. Then, we see about making both pages accurately reflect how he's described.
Incidentally, he is of course described as being "situated on the party's hard left" within the first paragraph of that article, just as we'd expect. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:36, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

So leave Ken Livingstone there and remove the others. Also the sources are not objective. They're mostly partisan publications. (Garageland66 (talk) 10:57, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 10:57, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Is there a consensus to compromise on this. Leave Livingstone in the article (however the Hard left reference on His page is unsourced) and at least remove Corbyn? No one has dared put Hard left on his Wiki profile. It can't be objectively referenced as only media opponents use the pejorative to smear him. Can we compromise? Is there a consensus? (Garageland66 (talk) 11:08, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 11:08, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Given the way that all other editors seem to be reverting your blanket removals, then no. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:16, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Also could we remove the Breitbart references? Breitbart is a right wing news source. Hardly an objective point of reference for the left! (Garageland66 (talk) 11:18, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 11:18, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Breitbart's in there because it's a right wing source. Some of the others are theoretical texts on Marxism. It's a range. You can find sources describing them as "hard left" (and pretty much the same group of people) from across the spectrum. If you think that each name needs a source from academia, the left UK press, centre UK press and right-wing press, then go for it. That's quite a lot for a generally undisputed point though. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:50, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Andy there has only been one other editor aside from you and me. And the third editor has made clear his views on the left and trade unionism? I'm politely asking for a compromise. Corbyn must surely be removed. He is only described as Hard right by opponents and others seeking to undermine him (Garageland66 (talk) 11:22, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 11:22, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

And what's my views on the left and trade unionism? I've never commented on trade unions or the left other than pointing out your potential bias as a self-declared trade unionist yourself. It's you who believes that Breitbart should be removed as a source because you believe it's "biased". If we started removing all sources from left and right-wing sources from Wikipedia because they're "biased" to one political viewpoint, there would be no Wikipedia at all. Furthermore, as seen over the past few years, there has clearly been a silent consensus among the editors that the information you're trying to blanket remove is indeed acceptable and relevant which is why it wasn't previously disputed. You're a one-man band. Attractel (talk) 22:37, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

  • As Garageland66 is no longer replying above, I'll call for any opposition to make themselves known. I would like the edit to be reverted back to the original as seen in my protected edit request below. These names have been commonly associated with hard-left for decades. There are probably hundreds of instances of where they're regarded as hard-left in reputable media sources. If there's any opposition, please make yourself known - also list the reason(s) as to why you oppose the edit being reverted. Attractel (talk) 01:41, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Current politiciansEdit

It doesn't seem right to categorise current political figures as hard left. The term is not used in academia. It's not used by any of the listed political figures themselves and its hardly impartial to use such a controversial term to describe such people especially in the light of the current Labour leadership contest. Describing Corbyn as hard left is not a matter of fact. It's surely a matter of subjective political interpretation by elements in political debate that are opposed to Corbyn. Unless there is a consensus to keep these names, I suggest removing them. (Garageland66 (talk) 13:20, 10 September 2015 (UTC))

  • No one is being branded as hard-left by anyone on Wikipedia. It's a statement of fact, and has been agreed upon for many years that those individuals were the ones branded as such by the media - which is entirely relevant as that's where the term sprung up. We wouldn't just remove something Hitler said about the jews, because you believe it's offensive. That's history, and it's being documented here on Wikipedia. Attractel (talk) 22:18, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Poor analogy. If Hitler referred to the Labour left as the hard left it would not make it fact. Nor does such a description by a minority of the mass media. (Garageland66 (talk) 03:44, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 03:44, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

  • You just don't seem to be able to comprehend the difference: We're relaying the history of where the term hard-left originated from and who were commonly branded as the term by the media, whether they are that term or not. The Wikipedia article is not calling them hard left whatsoever, and therefore you have no reason to delete it unless you're actively seeking trouble from Wikipedia staff. Attractel (talk) 22:24, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Hard RightEdit

No page exists for Hard Right. Hard right redirects to Far Right. Can I suggest that the same is done with Hard Left. The Hard Left page be put into the Far Left page. Is there a consensus on this? (Garageland66 (talk) 13:26, 10 September 2015 (UTC))

  • Hard Right has never been defined as being anything other than interchangeable with the far-right. However, the Hard Left has been, as denoted in the very Wikipedia article you're trying to redirect. The only reason you don't like this article Garageland66, is because you've continuously tried to remove names which were commonly branded with the term which are entirely relevant to where it originated from; the media. No one is saying they are that term as described nevertheless. I'm sorry, but not you may not like everything on Wikipedia, but that doesn't mean it's going to be removed. Attractel (talk) 22:29, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting removal. I'm suggesting merging it with Far left just as has happened with the Hard right. Surely, for reasons of impartiality, this would be the right thing to do (Garageland66 (talk) 03:48, 13 September 2015 (UTC)) Garageland66 (talk) 03:48, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

  • For the reasons of impartiality? That makes no sense. It doesn't need to be redirected or merged, because the Hard Left--in Britain at least-- has a sharp distinction from 'far left'. Attractel (talk) 22:25, 13 September 2015 (UTC)


Due to ongoing edit warring this page has been protected for a week to encourage discussion rather than continuing to revert. Any further edit warring after the protection expires will be viewed very dimly. Stifle (talk) 07:33, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 16 September 2015Edit

The following:

Politicians commonly branded as hard left in the Labour Party included Derek Hatton, Ken Livingstone,[1] Dennis Skinner[2] and Eric Heffer.[3]

Should be reverted back to (replaced) with:

Politicians associated with the hard left in the Labour Party included Diane Abbott,[4][5] Jeremy Corbyn,[5][6] Ken Livingstone,[7] Dennis Skinner[8] and Eric Heffer.[9]

The reason being:

The original version should be restored because there was no consensus to change it in the first place. And it has not been changed for many years without anyone disputing it either. There is zero consensus for it to be the current version as it is now.

The only person disputing to omit a few names was Garageland66 as seen on the talk page - he's the only person who wanted to change it, and the individual who kept reverting it back to his version without using the talk page first. No one else over the years have disputed it, and me and Andy Dingley have evidently been opposing its' change.

The article was protected on the version of Garageland66's edit without consensus because he was reported by another editor with the support of myself for changing it in the first place and continuing to revert edits back to his version with clear opposition and no consensus. I refrained from reverting his edit again because I was hoping the admin would do something about it. It should be changed back to the original version of which we can then try to reach a consensus to change it.

Attractel (talk) 02:09, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Hill, Dave (2002). Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory. Lexington Books. p. 188. ISBN 0739103466.
  2. ^ Andrew Roth (20 March 2001). "Dennis Skinner". The Guardian. Andrew Roth's parliament profiles.
  3. ^ Thorpe, Andrew (2008). A History of the British Labour Party (3rd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 228. ISBN 1137248157.
  4. ^ Lauren Fedor (18 August 2015). "Labour MP Diane Abbott: Can the left wing regain City Hall?". City A.M.
  5. ^ a b Liam Deacon (29 July 2015). "Labour's Hard Left Revival Gathers Momentum: Jeremy Corbyn And Diane Abbott Back Rent Controls, Stronger Unions and More Immigration".
  6. ^ Stephen Castle (12 September 2015). "With Jeremy Corbyn Elected as New Leader, Britain's Labour Party Takes a Hard Left Turn". New York Times.
  7. ^ Hill, Dave (2002). Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory. Lexington Books. p. 188. ISBN 0739103466.
  8. ^ Andrew Roth (20 March 2001). "Dennis Skinner". The Guardian. Andrew Roth's parliament profiles.
  9. ^ Thorpe, Andrew (2008). A History of the British Labour Party (3rd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 228. ISBN 1137248157.
  1. Protection is not an endorsement of the current page version. See m:The Wrong Version.
  2. The page does not have to be reverted in order for anyone to start discussing the potential changes (and nobody has started any discussion yet).
  3. Protected pages are only edited where the edit is uncontroversial or supported by consensus.
Get talking. Stifle (talk) 08:52, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
The usual arrogance of an inept admin, I see. See #Those commonly branded as 'Hard left' for a section that has already been discussing this for a few weeks. You and Garageland's unreferenced version has no support, other than you two. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:09, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree, Andy. This is utterly absurd. Whether it's an endorsement or not, there was no consensus to change anything in the first place. We've already been discussing. The arrogance is astonishing to say the least. Once it's no longer protected, I will revert it back myself - there was no consensus to change it, and the only person engaging in an edit war was Garageland66, which may I add, edited it after I created a topic on the talk page and only decided to reply once I reverted it yet again. Furthermore, Garageland66 hasn't even replied to me. He's no longer talking whatsoever. I suppose I should just talk to a brick wall then, shall I. Attractel (talk) 10:43, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
The problem now is to decide what the consensus is. There only seem to be two people opposing my changes. The article originally did not have names such as Jeremy Corbyn. There is no consensus in the media to describe someone like Corbyn as Hard left. And the term is certainly not used in academia. So to describe the current leader of a large mainstream party as Hard left is simply wrong and can surely not be allowed on this a website which prides itself on impartiality. The origins of the term lie in the right wing media who use it to smear political opponents. To give it such recognition is to give credence to this media smear. (Garageland66 (talk) 12:40, 18 September 2015 (UTC))
I have tried to compromise. I've returned the name Derek Hatton to the article. I've used Attractel's phrase "commonly branded as". I haven't reversed the omission of the word pejorative although it is still my contention that this is, self-evidently, a pejorative used only by British media opponents of the radical left. I compromised on leaving Ken Livingstone in because his Wiki profile does describe him as Hard left. I've also compromised on leaving some of those highly questionable and highly subjective references in. So I can only hope that others are willing to compromise so we arrive at a consensus. (Garageland66 (talk) 12:40, 18 September 2015 (UTC))
It is also my hope that Hard left be placed in the Far left article. This would achieve parity with the Hard right which redirects to the Far right. (Garageland66 (talk) 12:40, 18 September 2015 (UTC))
One other point; it does seem very wrong to leave such a respected figure as Dennis Skinner in, but I'll have to take some of these smears in order to compromise and achieve a consensus. I hope others are willing to do the same. (Garageland66 (talk) 12:43, 18 September 2015 (UTC))
The article should stay much as it was, with inclusions and references. To address your points:
  • Hard left is far from a synonym for Far-left. As you point out yourself, "hard left" has generally been applied as a pejorative term by right-wing newspapers. It has been applied to members on the left wing of a fairly centrist Labour party. These people are not "far left" by the standards of much of European politics. Most oddly, you are trying to merge Diane Abbott into "far-left" with this approach, yet you objected strongly to the Communist Party of Britain being labelled as such. Diane Abbott is on the left wing of the Labour party for sure, but she's no Communist.
  • The term should not be restricted to the Labour Party. Otherwise it's difficult to cover such prominent hard left UK politicians as Hatton, Galloway or Terry Fields. Maybe current or past members of the PLP would be workable.
  • We agree that the term has developed pejoratively. Yet it's a feeble insult. Those subject to it have never hidden their leftward position. Are you willing to tell Dennis Skinner that's he's not up to being part of the "hard" left? I think that's the way one gets one's head acquainted with the pavement.
  • I'm equivocal on Corbyn's inclusion here. He's left wing, he's consistently and honourably left wing, but how "hard" left is he? Economically he's not as far left as he's usually portrayed. Sourcing will of course now support anything from "Hard left" to "Spawn of Satan" and "threat to Your Security!!".
You seem to think than "Hard left" is incompatible with "respected". Why? For a professed trade unionist, you seem unwilling to stand with a socialist principle. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:33, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
You see, this is your problem Garageland. You believe that you're making a compromise by not omitting Dennis Skinner from the list because he's 'respected' - whether they're 'respected' or not is irrelevant. Are they commonly branded and/or referred to as hard-left in the media? If so, there's no need to remove any of names and I still propose to reimplement those you continuously reverted. You shed light on the fact that there's only two of us opposing you, but I would consider those who left it untouched for a few years as being a silent consensus. There's no real reason to remove anything. You believe that they should be removed because it's considered 'slander' and 'disrespectful' - but then again, you're a self-declared trade unionist after all. Your edits are motivated by a strong bias (something the admins seem to support.) Attractel (talk) 02:22, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
  • "Hard left is far from a synonym for Far-left." I agree and so I'm proposing not that the pages be merged but that there is a subsection on the Far left page for the Hard right. This would deal with your point about Diane Abbott.
  • "We agree that the term has developed pejoratively." So can we include this point in the article?
  • On your point about Skinner, on the left recognize the term is a media constructed pejorative. Just as Hard democrat, Hard liberal or Hard progressive would be pejoratives. The term "Hard" self-evidently is designed to give a political perspective a negative connotation.
  • "I'm equivocal on Corbyn's inclusion here." So can we agree to leave the name out?
  • Attractel appears to be unwilling to compromise. But on the point about names of politicians, those names were not, in fact, in the original article. (Garageland66 (talk) 15:02, 19 September 2015 (UTC))
There's nothing to compromise with, Garageland66. You want to remove names simply because you don't like that they're there - I won't compromise with editors who have biased motives like yourself. Also, you seem to have replied to me using quotes from Andy Dingley -- please reply to the right people next time. There are signatures above. I'm going to cease concerning myself about this. It's quite clear that this admin bureaucracy is killing Wikipedia. I'll let Andy Dingley do the compromising with you on my behalf. I'll just let it go. Attractel (talk) 06:37, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
There has been an attempt to add the name Jeremy Corbyn without any discussion. I'm willing to have the discussion here. I would assert that the use of the term hard left is only used as a pejorative by those in the media opposed to the left. To use it to describe the current Labour Party leader is to smear his reputation. There are plenty of places where you can do that if you want. However hard left is NOT recognised in academia. As someone who holds a PhD in political science I can certainly vouch for this. Wikipedia is not the place to smear public figures but to provide objective information.

Can I suggest that if it is being claimed that the term applies to Jeremy Corbyn, then can you add it to his main Wikipedia page. There are few people discussing this page; but there is considerable interest in the main Jeremy Corbyn page. If using the term hard left on his main page is accepted then I, for one, would be willing to accept it on this page. There have been a number of discussions and compromises but there's been no new discussion on this. Can I ask that those want to change this page wait for the conclusion of a discussion. And one last point of information; Jeremy Corbyn was not originally included on this page. (Garageland66 (talk) 07:46, 29 September 2015 (UTC))

Some seem to be intent on an edit war by including (and thereby smearing) the names of serving shadow cabinet members. Should Nigel Farage and George Osborne be added to the Hard right page? If not, then can the same respect be shown to serving leaders of the Labour Party. At least propose and discuss suggested names on the talk page first. (Garageland66 (talk) 11:55, 29 September 2015 (UTC))

If there's a place for this article at all on Wikipedia, there's certainly a place for Corbyn in it (and probably John McDonnell too). Whilst he's spent much of his career under the radar, I can't think of anyone that's had the descriptor applied to them more frequently by a wider range of publications over the last year, including in articles which are not polemical in tone and comments from those generally considered to be left of centre. To be honest if "only used by media outlets not actively supporting the cause" was a criteria for excluding a term from WP we'd have no article on the far right - also commonly applied as a pejorative term - either. UKIP *is* described as "radical right" in its article, because various reliable sources describe it as that (and similarly, the party's supporters are very unhappy and claim it's bias on the part of all the sources). Osborne isn't described as "hard right" by Wikipedia because he isn't described by a WP:RS as "hard right", and the label doesn't really exist in UK political discourse anyway Dtellett (talk) 12:37, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Unsurprisingly the inclusion of the term hard left in the Jeremy Corbyn article has been overturned. The alleged "reliable source" was rejected. I will therefore go ahead and remove both source and the reference to Corbyn from this article also. If anyone is still disputing this then I propose that you contribute to the Jeremy Corbyn talk page in the section where this is discussed. (Garageland66 (talk) 11:49, 10 October 2015 (UTC))
There's been another attempt to include the name Jeremy Corbyn. This has been discussed extensively. Calling Corbyn Hard left was decisively rejected on the Jeremy Corbyn page. It was likewise dropped on this page. Please can this decision be respected. (Garageland66 (talk) 13:45, 29 October 2015 (UTC))
Jeremy Corbyn is not being called hard-left, it is being stated that he has been called hard-left. These are very separate things, there is no suggestion that he is hard left. Reaganomics88 (talk) 15:12, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Denis Healy was once described as hard left. That doesn't mean it belongs on this page. Please respect the earlier discussions. If you really want to try, then try it on the Jeremy Corbyn page.(Garageland66 (talk) 18:16, 29 October 2015 (UTC))


Stating that hard left is a pejorative used by conservative elements and using this source would breach WP:PRIMARY which states "This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources." The source does not state that hard left is a pejorative used by conservative elements and therefore the statement counts as original research. Reaganomics88 (talk) 19:18, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

I've thought about this and redirected the page because there's no clear definition of the term anywhere that I can see. It is hopelessly vague label that applies to anything the newspapers want to paint as extreme. The alternative would be deletion I reckon --  20:04, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
I was asked to look at this page. I know very little about British politics, but it seems to me that word pairs like hard/soft, far/center, extreme/moderate are applied equally to left and right to place people or groups on some political spectrum. I would want to see more sourcing that specifically says "hard left" is/was a thing in its own right in British politics, not just a common adjective applied to a political label to distinguish the position of two camps within a political party at some moment in time. There is room for discussing better wording, alternately an AfD or a merge request might be the next step.--agr (talk) 04:19, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I would say that this ought to be on the Far left as a subsection. Wouldn't that count as a merger? (Garageland66 (talk) 16:40, 15 October 2015 (UTC))
agr, surely the statement 'The'hard left' is a pejorative used used by conservative elements in the media' cannot be backed by these sources:[1] [2]. The first is a relatively obscure book which may be written by a biased author and the second's usage would be in contravention of WP:NOR.Reaganomics88 (talk) 12:42, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
@ArnoldReinhold: I don't think it is a thing in its own right at all. It is entirely vague and interchangeable with every other such 'extremist' pejorative label. I did redirect the page, but this was reverted. So can anyone demonstrate this is an actual thing in it's own right? I suspect there would be a consensus for deletion or merge. --  19:39, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I think a merge seems appropriate, maybe to British Left or History of the socialist movement in the United Kingdom. --agr (talk) 00:22, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Not to Far-left politics, or do you think that too should be merged/split? --  00:25, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
I think it would be appropriate to have this page as a sub-section of the Far left page. Someone's recently added the SWP, AWL, SPEW and Left Unity (which could hardly be considered Hard left) but all of these are on the Far left page. So some sort of merger would make sense. (Garageland66 (talk) 12:00, 25 October 2015 (UTC))

@ArnoldReinhold: Can you please answer my query. Reaganomics88 (talk) 14:21, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

I think Far left has some of the same issues as this page, a vague, somewhat negative label for a political category with no clear test for membership, so I suggested pages with more specific content. But I would not oppose merging with Far left as a start.--agr (talk) 17:04, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
@ArnoldReinhold: Sorry, let me clarify, presumably, as an admin, you would be able to provide an answer to this query: "agr, surely the statement 'The'hard left' is a pejorative used used by conservative elements in the media' cannot be backed by these sources:[3] [4]. The first is a relatively obscure book which may be written by a biased author and the second's usage would be in contravention of WP:NOR." --Reaganomics88 (talk) 17:38, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
If "which may be written by a biased author" is the best argument you can make, I don't think you are going to convince anyone here. It is a reputable work available in libraries across the world. --  18:25, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
I was asking User:ArnoldReinhold actually. --Reaganomics88 (talk) 19:41, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Well there's two points to that. You don't get to pick and choose who can discuss improvements to articles on talkpages. Secondly, it was me that added the source you are questioning. I think I've fairly rebutted your spurious argument. Anything more to add? --  19:50, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Only that you should calm down and try not to overreact, take up yoga maybe?--Reaganomics88 (talk) 21:43, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

A couple of things. My role as an admin does not give me any extra weight in editorial decisions. I do have a role in encouraging civility and would suggest the the question at hand does not require tempers to be raised. But as to the question asked, I speak only as an editor with some experience and very little knowledge of British political usage. I don't think the Sun source carries much weight in this. It is only one example of the term's usage. The Wilson book, on the other hand, obscure or not, only confirms common sense understanding, at least on this side of the Atlantic, of terms like hard- or far- as attached to political labels. I suspect additional sources would not be hard to find. That said I think the lede sentence might better begin something like "Hard left is a political label that characterizes a person, group or idea as being at an extreme end of the political spectrum. Like hard-right or far-right it can carry negative connotations, and is often used that way used by adherents of the opposing persuasion." That would be well supported by the Wilson source. Using the contentious label "pejorative" to characterize another label, "hard left", seems contrary to Wikipedia guideline WP:LABEL. Again I'm not convinced that "hard left" is a well defined term as opposed to a noun amplified by an adjective and would therefore prefer to merge this article rather than argue about the lede.--agr (talk) 20:47, 27 October 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Condemnation by label is a favourite tactic of political antagonism...Descriptions like 'hard left', 'far left'...all have extra connotations, political under-meanings to damage the people they describe" - p203 of Understanding Journalism: A Guide to Issues by John Wilson
  2. ^ "Bunch of red cases". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Condemnation by label is a favourite tactic of political antagonism...Descriptions like 'hard left', 'far left'...all have extra connotations, political under-meanings to damage the people they describe" - p203 of Understanding Journalism: A Guide to Issues by John Wilson
  4. ^ "Bunch of red cases". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
Well it's rather ironic to claim that pejorative is contentious when the very term hard left is highly contentious. (Garageland66 (talk) 10:01, 28 October 2015 (UTC))
Reaganomics88 has stated "Reverting removal of sourced an relevant content, if you really have time to spend endlessly trolling on Wikipedia then I feel sorry for you." This is someone clearly opposed to the left and determined to have the description of socialist elements as Hard Left a matter of fact rather than opinion. (Garageland66 (talk) 16:43, 28 October 2015 (UTC))
"Someone clearly opposed to the left", hmm, interesting. So you think that articles about the left should only be written by the left? Reaganomics88 (talk) 10:27, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Luke AkehurstEdit

What on earth is Luke Akehurst doing on here? He's a solitary figure in the Labour Party and a centre right critic of the Labour Left. Why on earth would his views be considered of any validity or worth? He's not an MP and he's certainly no academic. (Garageland66 (talk) 16:52, 28 October 2015 (UTC))

I agree and have removed this. --  21:43, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

"Centre-right critic of the Labour Left"-Oh dear, I am afraid you are simply deluded. You actually think that a Labour activist is centre-right. --Reaganomics88 (talk) 10:46, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


I have removed references to 'modifier' because it was written incorrectly, and didn't add anything to the article. Hard left isn't a modifier. 'Hard' is a modifier, 'left' is a noun. 'Hard left' is a political and perjorative term. To mention the former is an absurdity. You don't start an article about a 'bridge' by saying 'bridge is a noun'.

Secondly, I have removed some examples of newspaper usage, because without a source which says 'it is used by centre or non-partisan, you are substituting your opinion of where publications stand on the political spectrum. That point may seem obvious to some editors, but it is not uncontroversial and does require sourcing. In fact one of the sources I have added discusses the use of the term by Blairites, so that might be something we wish to look into for more context. Happy to discuss further here.

Finally, there's been quite a bit of edit warring here recently, with editors far exceeding WP:3RR. I have already left warnings for a couple of editors personally. If there's any more of it from anyone, they can make an account of themselves at ANI. --  20:17, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to redirect article to Far leftEdit

Proposal to redirect article to Far left as there is little sourcing to demonstrate that 'Hard left' is a particular concept or distinct in any way from similar descriptions mentioned in the far left article. There is no clear definition of the term anywhere that adds special illumination to this here, and we are left with a hopelessly vague article which is only really been developed by pointing to examples of the term's usage in the press. Further, the article is frequently being used as a vehicle to try to attach this perjorative term to current politicians in a way that was rejected from the subject's biography as inappropriate. This redirect has been mentioned several times in previous discussion on this talkpage. I have previously redirected but this was reverted, so I am formally setting out the proposal so a reasonable poll can be made of support and opposition to gauge consensus.

  • Comment: If we redirect this page to the "far left" article, what do you think should happen to the "soft left" article? – Zumoarirodoka(talk)(email) 01:22, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
My initial guess would be redirect to Centre-left politics, but if you want to put forward that proposal on that talkpage, we can pick it up there. --  01:47, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support redirect with no support for any merger of current content, any content merger would need discussion and consensus on the Far left page. Govindaharihari (talk) 09:41, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. The page does arguably cover a discrete sub-topic, relevant to factional disputes and categorisation in the British Labour Party in the 1980s. It's not just a general term or one that is synonymous with far/radical left. That's the way the page is currently structured, and the term is found with this discrete and specific usage in plenty of serious sources. I'd also suggest that the sources in that link cast doubt on whether it is, unequivocally, a pejorative term. N-HH talk/edits 15:44, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
ps: I agree that the basic term "hard left" should probably redirect to "far left" as, in general or global terms, it means much the same thing. However, this page and its content could and probably should remain, albeit retitled for disambiguation to something like "Hard left (UK Labour Party)" or something, on the basis of the points above. N-HH talk/edits 16:04, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Even in the search you have provided, if you substitute '"far left" labour britain' you'll get double the number of hits approximately, and if you use '"extreme left" labour britain' you'll get even more hits than either. Google searches really don't mean much, but that shows that there isn't much substance to the case for making this a distinct thing. This is just politics by labelling rather than showing up a genuine theoretical distinction. The Labour Party, as any party, has a spectrum of opinions on a large number of different issues. Hard Left is not any more meaningful than saying 'extremist' because that is exactly what it means, everyone is always keen to label their political opponents as extreme, whether those opponents be from inside or outside the same party. There remains no clear definition about this term. There remains no consensus about who it should be applied to, and to paint living individuals as extremists purely on the say-so of their political opponents is quite problematic. There remains the reasonable bones of a discussion about far right on that page, and I would maintain that the redirect is the only sensible option. --  19:02, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, but my point wasn't about relative numbers as much as the topic being identified by the term. The searches with "far left" and "extreme left" bring up results about broader and longer-term issues relating to the more radical non-Labour left over history; the "hard left" option brings up, as suggested, very specific references to intra-Labour disputes of the 80s. It's a term of art, used by reputable political writers and academics in a large number of published works – not at all just by political opponents – to refer to a precise and discrete thing in history. It's both notable and separate from the broader, slightly more abstract concept of radical leftism as a whole; nor is it necessarily a pejorative or polemical, as opposed to an objectively descriptive, term. Just because it's open to misuse, it doesn't mean it has no validity or no place in the historical record (see also "fascist" of course). N-HH talk/edits 22:24, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid I really don't see that there has been any case made here that 'hard left' is distinct in any way from the terms 'far left', 'extreme left' or radical. Insofar as they have any meaning, they are synonomous --  22:35, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Well I've pointed to a Google-derived list of hundreds of books, including political glossaries, that use the specific term for the specific thing as explained. You and anyone else can look at that in more detail. I'm not sure what more I can do to convince anyone that there is a valid point here. N-HH talk/edits 22:47, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
How about providing a well sourced accurate and precise definition that clearly distinguishes it from the other terms 'far left' and 'extreme left' and 'radical left', rather than just pointing to lots of articles where it is used in lots of different ways in a very vague way that is synonymous with the other terms? --  22:49, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Er, I just did? The Longman Companion to the Labour Party has entries for "soft left" and "hard left", tying the terms to specific factions/tendencies within the Labour Party in the 1980s, using the term, as noted, far more precisely that just as a vague synonym for the more general extreme left. This book by Labour's Andrew Adonis, and this book, published by Manchester University Press, rely on exactly the same usage. If you'd actually looked at the results of the original Google search rather than airily waving the results away, you would have seen that the books listed were using the terms in that very specific way. This is getting ridiculously difficult. There's room for debate about what to do exactly here, but there's not room for debate about the terminology and how it is/was used. N-HH talk/edits 09:17, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
My point is that there is no agreement in the sources about which terms were interchangeable or meaningful - see for example "The terms 'Hard left', 'Far left' or 'New left' have all been employed when identifying the policy designs and main motivations of Tony Benn and his colleagues from 1979 onwards. However, this chapter will use the term 'New left' to identify the Bennites from 1979 onwards as it is understood that the Bennite left was the modern continuation of the extra-parliamentary and radical left-wing agenda from the 1960s, which was termed the New left." p58 of The Political Philosophy of New Labour by Matt Beech. This clearly shows the hard left is just another synonym for far left or new left, not a distinct concept, and hence a redirect is entirely reasonable approach. --  00:39, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
That's true, but havng variant names for the same thing is not a new problem; you just have to look for the predominant one. You cite one book that prefers the term "new left", but even the writer appears to admit, if only by implication, that it's not the usual term. And of course it's just as ambiguous, given the usual, more general, use of that term. Ultimately the point is of course that WP pages are about topics, and there is a coherent and discrete topic here: the more radical elements of the Labour left in the struggles of the 1980s. Those factions were, as the overall balance of evidence shows, usually referred to as the "hard left" of the party, contrasted with the "soft left" (see also, for example, "Left Opposition" and "Right Opposition", "Wets and Dries" etc, all of which, too, are arguably more general terms as well; general terms can sometimes acquire more specific applications of course). As I noted, it may be better to redirect the general term "hard left" to "far left", as it is in the wider world more or less synonymous with that, but this page and its content, retitled for disambiguation, should probably remain rather than being submerged into it too. N-HH talk/edits 09:41, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: The term is far from a synonym of far left and has great significance when discussing the hard left/soft left divisions within Labour. Reaganomics88 (talk) 17:40, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support This article is basically a dictionary definition and as such does not belong in Wikipedia. TFD (talk) 23:23, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


Let me explain why the opener "Hard left is a political and pejorative term" is wrong and violates WP:NOR. NOR states that what is prohibited includes "any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources." The source does not state that hard left is exclusively a pejorative or that it is a pejorative at all. If there are no objections I will assume a consensus has been reached. Reaganomics88 (talk) 09:48, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

It's perfectly acceptable to describe a term as pejorative or derogatory or offensive. Here are just few examples (Garageland66 (talk) 13:03, 1 November 2015 (UTC))

That's true, and the term "Loony left" for example undoubtedly qualifies. However, as the Google Books link I cited above in the merge discussion suggests, "Hard left" is a more objective classification, which was used to distinguish between the Labour right, Tribune types (the "soft left"), and those associated with the Socialist Campaign Group or Militant (the "hard left") in the 1980s. It's used in sober academic and political books. It may sometimes also be used as a pejorative term, but I'm not sure the opening sentence should automatically define it as such. N-HH talk/edits 15:52, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
It may not have been perjorative in the 1980s, but it certainly has become so now as evidenced by the significant enthusiastic use of the term by right-wingers during the early 1990s political campaigns in the UK, and to some extent also by Blairites keen to demonise anyone who opposed their strategies, points both discussed in some detail in James Curran's Culture Wars: The Media and the British Left --  19:08, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
As noted, yes, it's used loosely and pejoratively, but for example the term "fascist" has similar problems. It doesn't mean we should just drop the term or pretend it doesn't have a more objective and precise usage as well. The book you cite, based on my quick skim through its use of the term via Google, doesn't appear to make any explicit judgment about it being exclusively negative or critical. It simply quotes some political opponents using it from time to time. It would be far more accurate to say it is a term "sometimes used pejoritavely" rather than WP claiming outright that it is a pejorative term. N-HH talk/edits 22:35, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, my issue is not with it being stated that it can be used as a perjorative but with it being stated that it is exclusively a perjorative (i.e. defining it as a pejorative). Reaganomics88 (talk) 23:23, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
I have to take issue with the claim that "It's used in sober academic and political books". It is not. I hold a PhD in political science and can vouch for that as a fact. It's used pejoratively by the mass media and originated in the print media. It neither originated in, or is used in, academia. (Garageland66 (talk) 08:15, 2 November 2015 (UTC))
I know a thing or two about British politics as well. And as the Google search and Longman entry linked to in the above section show, you're just plain wrong. Claiming "I have a PhD in political science .. and therefore everything I assert without evidence is true" is not going to prove anything, especially when the actual evidence flies in the face of those assertions. It may not be 100% clear where the term originated, but it's most certainly used in political glossaries and academic writing, and by Labour politicians. N-HH talk/edits 09:21, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Apologies. I didn't mean to say that "everything I say without evidence is true". All that I can say is that in my research (into the Labour movement in the eighties and nineties) I never came across the term 'hard-left' in academic studies. I only came across it in the print media. (Garageland66 (talk) 11:51, 2 November 2015 (aUTC))
While I would love to be enlightened by the presence of someone who has "a PHD in political science" and has conducted research into "the Labour movement in the eighties and nineties", I am afraid you have no way of backing these claims up and therefore for all we know you may be simply making it all up. Thus I am afraid your assertions lead you to carry no extra weight in the discussion.
Anyway, presenting the term hard left as purely a perjortive used in some kind of right-wing media conspiracy is simply farcical and undermines the Wikipedia project itself. Reaganomics88 (talk) 17:24, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Well we can all state our educational and professional credentials, but even if they were verifiable, they don't give us infallibility. Especially when trying to say something can't be the case because I've never seen it. It only takes one counter-example (and there are many more here of course) to prove that statement wrong. As has become clear in this case, those examples seems to have been simply missed. On the point at issue, I'd seriously recommend a change in the first line to, as suggested, "sometimes used pejoratively". N-HH talk/edits 09:47, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I wish I hadn't mentioned it now. I was simply trying to make the point that I never came across the term 'hard left' in academic study (only in the print media) and that my study was an accredited thesis. If you think I'm making up my academic qualifications then fine. As for the media conspiracy point; I wouldn't say it's a conspiracy only that the term originated within the print media in the UK. (Garageland66 (talk) 17:46, 5 November 2015 (UTC))
In discussing the conflict between people such as Scargill and Blair, some writers use the expresson "hard left" to identify one side. But there is no agreed definition. I do not think that just because it is possible to describe a noun with an adjective that we necessarily need an article. TFD (talk) 21:10, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

"Labour [in the early 1980s] was..."Edit

This quote had been repeatedly removed with the following justifications:

  • That it is a "primary large quote", despite it being in fact a published secondary source.
  • That it is "out of date", despite the fact that we are quite happy to use a source published in 1984 to describe hard left as a perjorative.
  • That it is "pointless", I will take this rather vague assertion as a way of saying WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT.

The quote is well sourced, attributed and describes on the historical soft left/hard left divisions within the Labour Party that are already mentioned in this article. Reaganomics88 (talk) 22:15, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

If you read the book, the term is used in a different way from other areas of this article, the hard and soft parts of of a specific democratic coalition on the left of the Labour party, as distinct from two sides of the party. You can't include quotes just because it includes the words hard left, that is totally pointless and undue. The overall impact is to further emphasise how vague and 'not a thing' this term is --  22:33, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Nein, the usage in the article is that hard left is used when discussing "political tendencies within the UK Labour Party". Just because the quote describes the divisions within a group within Labour rather than Labour as a whole doesn't mean that it is not describing political tendencies within the Labour Party.
The overall impact is actually to illustrate the historical relevance of the term and the divisions within Labour. Reaganomics88 (talk) 23:16, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

If there are no further objections I will proceed to add the quote. Reaganomics88 (talk) 17:15, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

No, there have been objections it is for you to demonstrate there is consensus to add it. --  17:51, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
I have explained to you why your objection is wrong and you have not provided an objection to my explaination. I took this as your acceptance of the reality; you cannot simply not provide a valid counter-argument and then claim that there is no consensus. Reaganomics88 (talk) 18:32, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Simply put, your very strong belief in the rightness of your argument does not equal consensus, that is for other editors to decide. --  18:36, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The quote is well sourced.
The quote is relevant
There are no issues with size of the article.
What are your actual issues with these basic facts? Reaganomics88 (talk) 18:45, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
From my perspective you appear to be looking to fillibuster the inclusion of something you WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT by not providing a reasonable argument as to why it ought not to be included and then claiming there is no consensus for its inclusion. Reaganomics88 (talk) 19:06, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Your attempts to add this content have been reverted by several different users. To claim there is a consensus to add it is clearly not the case. Perhaps you can discuss it and convince them rather than continuing to revert. I do not agree that the quote is relevant, it is simply an example of the use of the phrase hard left of which there are many vague uses in the press and it does not help explain what the origins or definition of the term is. --  19:43, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
A) No, the quote is not a "simple example of the use of the phrase hard left", it is an account of the historical hard left/soft left divisions within the Labour Party and is therefore highly relevant. B) If you believe that everything in the article should "help explain what the origins or definition of the term is" then you should go the wiktionary instead of wikipedia, see WP:NAD.
See? I am able to rebutt your every point using simple logic. Regardless of whether there is consensus or not you cannot insist on something being removed from the article without presenting a reasonable argument as to why it should be removed. Reaganomics88 (talk) 20:20, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
"Regardless of whether there is consensus or not" - unfortunately you cannot disregard consensus in this way. If you do not show there is consensus for adding material, per WP:CONSENSUS then it is quite wrong, and contrary to the basis policies of wikipedia, to continue to try and edit war it into an article. --  00:42, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Further to all the above ..Edit

I've slightly trimmed and reordered the content, to at least make it less repetitive and hopefully flow a bit better. As noted, and as discussed, there is a broader debate about what this page is actually about, and whether the term/concept is simply synonymous with far left and should redirect there. The change prior to mine did cut back the opening definition to say exactly that, which I have in turn changed again and expanded slightly, possibly arbitrarily – but given that this page does still exist currently, it can't say in the opening sentence that the topic it covers is exactly the same as something else. N-HH talk/edits 17:51, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

And further to recent flipping ... terms such as hard left, far left etc are used pretty loosely, and sometimes interchangeably. Even when used more formally in academic writing, different authors will mean different things by them and often include different groups under different headings. The point about a WP page is that it has to define a topic or thing under a term, not list, dictionary-style, all the things that might at one point or other have been referred to using the same term. I guess the point is that neither version is "correct", but this page, further to previous discussions, does need to decide what it is actually about and then be organised accordingly. Is it about worldwide politics short of far/ultra-leftism? Is it about all forms of leftism beyond the centre-left (in which case its scope will overlap with those other pages)? Is it simply about the Labour Party factions of the 1980s? Etc N-HH talk/edits 10:53, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

See alsoEdit

I just undid this edit. "See also" doesn't mean "equates to" but links related terms. I think these terms are related. Also, the edit deleted the socialism portal link, which I think was probably un-intended, although maybe it's not appropriate here? BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:10, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

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