Hump day hilarity – Democracy poll toll

Josh writes: There is a delightful story in the UK news this week:

After Internet users overwhelmingly voted to christen Britain’s new $300 million research ship “Boaty McBoatface” in an online naming poll, a government official suggested the name wouldn’t be used.

“There is a process now for us to review all of the public’s choices,” Science Minister Jo Johnson told the BBC Monday, per Newsweek. “Many of them were imaginative, some were more suitable than others.”

BBC host Nicky Campbell exclaimed that the government would “ride roughshod over democracy” if it did not go through with naming the ship “Boaty McBoatface,” which garnered 120,000 votes — four times that of the next closest choice.

More at the BBCGraunMirror and, well, everywhere.


Cartoons by Josh

94 thoughts on “Hump day hilarity – Democracy poll toll

  1. Old Blighty McBlightface should be proud of “Boaty McBoatface”. Off to do McScience, no doubt.

  2. from the link: “Maybe the people who voted online have correctly grasped the “gravity and importance” of what you’re up to.”
    You betcha

  3. And no doubt should the UK people vote to leave the EU, then the Prime Minister will proclaim ““There is a process now for us to review all of the public’s choices,””

    • My prediction is that if the vote is to leave then there will be “exceptional difficulties” in negotiating exit etc which will require a further referendum …. the EU doesn’t do democracy – it won’t stand for an electorate which won’t comply with the EU’s views. The normal practice is to rerun the referendum, and again if necessary until a majority is obtained that ‘agrees’ with the EU stance – then, like climate science, the matter is “Settled”.
      And heaven forbid that a member state elects a president that doesn’t toe the EU line – they replace him with an EU placemen who will do exactly what they want (Greece, Italy, Austria).
      With Obama’s passion for control regardless of democracy – small wonder that he is campaigning for Britain to remain a subject nation of the EU.

      • Seriously, if the referendum result for ‘Leave’ was to be ignored, there would actually be people on the streets of our cities – it wouldn’t be pleasant. I (completely law-abiding, tax-payer, middle-aged and conformist) would be leading the rioting. I’m not joking.
        Obama? He’s gimp. What really annoys me about Americans who can’t help themselves, and need to support Britain staying in the EU, is that they would never, in a million years, allow the US to be ruled over by some combination of states in South America. The idea is totally unthinkable to them (rightly so). And yet they feel the need to open their big mouths and pass some inane, glib comment. Shut the f*ck up, and stick to the problems in your own country.

      • As to allowing states south of the border to run the US.
        Mexico effectively runs our immigration policy.

      • But you wouldn’t want them running your defence or police! If we stay in the EU, they are going to want access to our defence forces to have an EU military force.

      • bazzard1959. Please don’t confuse Americans with Obama. Any American who’s knowledgeable realizes that Great Britain shouldn’t stay in the EU under current rules. Keep in mind that Obama hates Englishmen for what you did to Kenya and his dear father [who he meant twice] but, then, he doesn’t like Americans much either.

    • Vail Colorado held a similar contest to name a new bridge. The winner? Bob. They went with it. Probably had no choice given the folks who populate Vail so its Bob the bridge.

    • That was the point of open-door immigration – to swing the referendum. We couldn’t have a referendum until they’d imported enough people to get the desired result.

  4. In certain UK government funded research centers it has already been aptly dubbed ‘RRS Grant Seeker’

    • I’ve lost track of the number of times a socialist has lectured on how the will of the majority is paramount and must always be obeyed when the majority agrees with him, only to see the same person take the position there must be limits on democracy when the majority disagrees with him.

      • Nobody wants THOSE ignorant bastards to run things. All sort of depends on what policy priorities you put in for “those” doesn’t it? I’m no fan of direct democracy but it sure is fun seeing those who are falling all over themselves to distance themselves from Mc Boatface.

      • That’s why the best govt is a small, limited one.
        Let the people run their own lives. That way any mistakes that are made are small and self correcting.

      • Are you suggesting that the Conservative politician Jo Johnson is a socialist? If not, what is the point of your comment?

      • MarkW
        The problem is the masses are such a rude bunch – completely untrustworthy with actual votes that have meaning. What is needed is an elite, say forming a party of the clever, who will cast the ‘real’ votes so as to guide the unwashed. We could call them ‘super-delegates’.

  5. It would have been simpler for them to simply name it the “Sir John Franklin” but it matters not now because whatever they call it, it will always be known as Boaty McBoatface.

  6. Endurance II.
    Shackleton’s Endurance was of course caught in pack ice in the Weddell Sea and crushed.

  7. And politicians wonder why people despise and distrust them.
    “Boaty McBoatface” isn’t really any more ludicrous than “Titanic”, named after the Titans of Greek mythology (and unsinkable before it sunk).

    • Just to be fair, it was the press that proclaimed the Titanic to be unsinkable, not the owners or builders.
      Back then the idea was that the purpose of lifeboats was to ferry passengers to a rescue vessel, which is why they didn’t emphasis having enough lifeboats for all passengers.

      • On lifeboats, it was suggested that one of the lifeboats on the new vessel should be named Boaty McBoatface as recognition of the public poll result

      • At a time when enough lifeboats were not required by law. Many lifeboats were removed from the original design in favor of…luxury! Esp after bulkhead 6 from the bow. It was also claimed the bulkheads were watertight, they were not.

  8. In the same way that tribal shamans gave people the illusion of control over nature, democracy today gives people the illusion of control over the government.

  9. The victory of the establishment over populism.
    Just think of the pride of the commanding officer of the Boaty McBoatface as he or she crosses the brow, hears the bells, and then over the 1MC (or whatever the British call their intercom), the bosun’s mate announces “Boaty McBoatface Arriving.”

  10. Actually if it were a democratic thing, “Blas de Lezo” should have won, and it had so much more personality! But they didn’t allow it to continue in the contest (it was in the lead by the time it was removed). After all he did for the British knowledge of the submarine world!

  11. Boaty McBoatface…why do I keep picturing in my head something that could be a companion of Thomas the Tank Engine from the island of Sodor?

  12. This has nothing to do with democracy, it was an online POLL furcrisake. Like opinion polls are supposed to find out what people think, they do not determine the next government.
    What this internet pole established is that no one gives shite about the name of the boat.
    Jo-Jo said: fine, we just though we’d ask. Since no one gives a shite, I suppose we’ll have to think of one ourselves.

  13. After Internet users overwhelmingly voted to christen Britain’s new $300 million research ship “Boaty McBoatface” in an online naming poll, a government official suggested the name wouldn’t be used.
    “There is a process now for us to review all of the public’s choices,” Science Minister Jo Johnson told the BBC Monday,

    Here is an opportunity for the press to enforce the will of the people over the will of Science “Reich Marshal”l Jo Johnson. Use the peoples choice of name whenever reporting on this boondoggle and ignore any other name given.

  14. The National Hockey League learned its lesson about online voting when it allowed “fans” to vote for its All Star team this year. John Scott, who charitably could be called a fringe player (i.e., a goon whose sole skill is fighting other players) was voted as a starter.
    What year is it now?

  15. It shows how humourless, fold and lacking in imagination the idiots running the country are. Just give it a sensible official name (the master is not going to want to use that as a callsign) but flood the nation with Boatie McBoatface merchandise, open a website to track its research, give the crew jackets and T-shirts with the name and a cute logo. No-one cares what the name on the register is. They care how it is presented.

    • I agree with the merchandising aspect. But now the ship will always be known as ” Boaty McBoatface”. The elites will try and impose their ideology, and whilst I initially regarded this as a silly story, it is an affront to democracy. “They” know better hence the EU president and Council of Ministers are appointed.
      It is inconceivable that the people should have a voice in the matter of naming a ship. They may vote for the wrong sort of government and we cannot have that. “We” know best.
      Democracy is government of the people, for the people, by the people. Tyranny and dictatorship are the alternatives.
      So now I have concluded the ship should be RRS Boaty McBoatface. It is a memorable name and people, especially, children will follow its important research activity.
      On a lighter side, woebetide any Chancellor of the Exchequer talking of scrapping or selling the RSS Boaty McBoatface due to austerity measures. There will be riots in the nurseries and primary schools up and down the country and putting a wailing child to bed will upset a lot of mothers and fathers. And they have votes.

  16. Most scientific organisations would pay big money for such name recognition.
    Here it’s being given to them free and they don’t want it. Sheesh.

  17. They are looking for the original source. Best guess to date a zoo owl, named by by his sponsor, Hooty MacOwlface

  18. I don’t know what the research vessel is going to be researching. Maybe it’s a good thing. I don’t know.
    But from the name and the cartoon, is the captain going to be Donald McDonalds? 😎

  19. I believe Boaty McBoatface is here to stay, like it or not. I don’t know what would annoy Gang Green more, the name or the sense of humor shown by the “common” people. That they are not taking the science ship’s missions seriously is, of course, a boon. I do like the merchandising idea and I hope somebody runs with that.
    Rising up in fun to mock this foolishness is wonderful (better and less deadly than rising up in anger). More power to it, I say.

  20. The ancient British tradition of taking the pi**, it’s how we won the war, singing rude songs about AH’s testicle.

  21. Itler, he only had one ball
    goering had two but very small
    himler was very similar
    and poor old goebals had no balls at all

    • Time for another verse or two featuring sex poodles and hokey shticks. There’s another war to be won.

  22. this explains why the site was down for repair & remodeling and I wasn’t allowed to contribute my suggestion for the boat name.

    • When did you try to vote? At one point the site crashed due to the number of people trying to vote for Boaty McBoatface

      • might have been about a month ago. The website said something about enjoy watching the cute penguin while you wait….
        I didn’t know anything about Boaty then, or I would have been on board with that name too.

  23. Looks to me like an object lesson about how intelligent “the consensus” sounds to everyone else.
    On the other hand, it’s also a reminder of what the current generation finds humorous… which is pretty horrible on its own.

  24. I have concluded the ship should be Boaty McBoatface RRS. It is an easy name to remember and people, especially children continue their important research activity.
    On a lighter, poor Minister of Economy talking about scrapping or sale of the RSS Boaty McBoatface due to austerity measures side.

  25. And in related news, apparently the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier is to be named Warshippy McWarface. Vladimir Putin is already shaking in his shoes.

  26. This reminds me of an online poll I saw some years ago, in which NASA was looking for a new motto. The leading entry at the time was “All your space are belong to U.S.” 🙂

  27. But “Boaty McBoatface” was arrived at by consensus, and the consensus is NEVER wrong!

  28. Boaty McBoatface cannot be a research ship. There’s no research to be done. The science is settled.

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