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Boaty McBoatface
marymary100 - 17-4-2016 at 19:59


Forget the EU referendum. The major test of modern democracy has fallen into the hands of the Natural Environment Research Council – over the naming of a boat.

As the polls finally closed for the naming of its new polar research ship, the NERC confirmed that the votes were overwhelmingly in favour of RRS Boaty McBoatface.

The suggestion, which sent the competition viral last month, received 124,109 votes, four times more than RRS Poppy-Mai – named after a 16-month-old girl with incurable cancer – which came in second place.

The chief executive of the NERC, Duncan Wingham, with whom the final decision lies, now faces the dilemma of choosing between the credibility of his organisation – and its £200m arctic explorer – and the overwhelming burden of public opinion.

If Wingham does bow to the Boaty McBoatface campaign, it will mark something of a departure from previous royal research ships named in honour of arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and naval officer James Clark Ross.

Man behind RRS Boaty McBoatface disavows his name for polar vessel

Read more

The name was first put forward by former BBC radio presenter James Hand, who expressed surprise at the furore Boaty McBoatface has caused.

“This is actually nothing to do with me,” he said. “I made the suggestion but the storm that’s been created – it’s got legs of its own. I just feel it’s a very British thing, which a lot of people have pointed out.”

Hand added that while he stands by Boaty McBoatface as a “brilliant name” for the research ship, he actually voted for RRS David Attenborough, which came in fifth with 10,284 votes overall.

Tweeting after the poll closed on Saturday, Hand said it had been “a crazy few weeks”.

The NERC thanked everyone for their suggestions on its website, posting: “We are no longer accepting suggestions to name our ship as we have now reached the closing date of 16 April.

“We’ve had an extremely high volume of suggestions and will now review all of the suggested names. The final decision will be announced in due course.”

The research council received more than 7,000 entries during the month-long competition period, including RRS Onion Knight, RRS I Like Big Boats & I Cannot Lie, and RRS Capt’n Birdseye Get Off My Cod.

LSemmens - 18-4-2016 at 08:34

I hope they go with it. It appeals to my sense of the absurd. I'd have voted for it, too. :D

Katzy - 18-4-2016 at 10:06

I think I would have, too. I kinda like "silly"... :D

Theravad - 18-4-2016 at 10:54

Just goes to prove something about democracy ;-)

John_Little - 18-4-2016 at 15:05

Its got my vote.

LSemmens - 19-4-2016 at 00:26

You are absolutely right there, Simon, look at the people we elect to run the place.

the bear - 20-4-2016 at 21:51

I'll go with that, so will thousands of children I would imagine.

Regards the Bear waveysmiley