Sunday, 19 July 2015

PAS Meltdown: Muddy Cottons on...

Dodos, replaced first with volunteers
and then phased out
Duh. I wrote about UK metal detectorists being slow off the mark in comprehending the significance of the PAS meltdown. Proof positive is the revelation by one "Muddy Fingers" that he has just stumbled across the question and answer session in the House of Commons  about the apparent lack of concern there about the future viability of the PAS (Sometimes it pays to keep up: see 'What hope for the Future Viability of the PAS?' The Blog no Metal Detectorist Reads Tuesday, 7 July 2015).  "jcmaloney" is startled too (Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:41 am) 
Maybe members of the hobby need to get writing to their MP`s either individually or as Clubs??
Yeah, that's a good idea, show how up-to-date and vitally concerned you all are about changes discussed back in March and implemented on 1st May. If you are quick you might get a letter to them before Roger Bland's last day at the BM. Blinkered idiots.


heritageaction said...

More misunderstanding from another one of them I think. Hopes the Govt. "will continue to realise what a political useful gem they have". Isn't the exact problem that the Govt. has just realised the opposite, thanks to the non-participation ogf his thousands of mates?

Paul Barford said...

The "political gem" will be presented to the public as such even if they have "over 30000 find recorded by out volunteers this year". The PAS have so persistently plugged the "wotta lotta stuff we got" message that any big number will do. The issue is they NEVER said, "this is what we've got and this (larger number) is our target if we are to say we've got this problem solved". Thus the "problem is solved" by "anything better than nothing".

So Mr HMG going home beaming is not going to have any effect on bringing the PAS back up to what it was, let alone developing it further into what it should have been all along.

J C Maloney said...

Hello Paul,

I was refering to individuals rallying some support for the protection of the PAS as a whole team rather than the job of one individual.Sadly it is the nature of life in the UK Public sector that, as cost savings are implemented,casulties occur along the way.
It would be interesting to know your views on the effect the next round of cuts may have on the traditional soft targets such as museums, arts & culture.

Kind Regards


Paul Barford said...

So was I. Can you imagine how sad it must be for Roger Bland, who went through a lot to help save the reputation of you lot (more than you will EVER know) and there was no notice taken at all of the discussions going on for several months, and the changes which took place in May? Can you imagine how disappointed he is in his "partners"? I can. You should all be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.

And who is taking an interest now? There's just sixteen posts in that thread. Sixteen. What does that say about the social consciousness of UK metal detectorists? Actually it says exactly what I and Heritage Action have been saying all along, you are a bunch of worthless exploiters only interested in yourselves and not a bit interested in what is going on around you (as can be seen in how you react to the discussions of others - such as this blog). Roger Bland would once have disagreed, I wonder what his thoughts on it are now? Disappointing, but not at all unexpected. Worthless bunch of scroungers.

"Oh let's write to our MPs" (apostrophes do not make plurals) was the appropriate response in March, but by then in fact (listen to Geoman) it was already too late to save the PAS in a viable form. Doing it now really makes the lot of you look foolish. And what are you going to go to Whitehall with? By the BM's own figures last year, one in five artefacts was being recorded, the rest was slipping the net. Now maybe in British hospitals saving one in five cancer patients because of a lack of beds for the rest might be regarded as a great success, I do not know, but in terms of detectorist compliance its a crashing and expensive failure. THAT Mr Malony is why the cuts are being made here, it's been a waste of public money, because after coming up to twenty tears of trying it is clear that PAS has not achieved a major part of what it was set up to do. This is not "just about public spending cuts", the government has washed its hands of the PAS.

The effects of the current cuts which you ask about are going to be museums cutting back. Already one third of the local partners on which the PAS relied for their national reach were threatening to withdraw. As you see I have written earlier - if you admit to reading my blog - it is quite clear from the documents I have seen what will happen to many of the rest. Local resources will be gobbled up merely to increase the kudos of the BM which wants to increase its own influence. Should your local council be funding the expansion of Bloomsbury? As a consequence of the realignment of the internal policy of the BM, other local partners will drop out, FLOs will be laid off, the national coverage will become patchy and the PAS as we know it will contract and become a public relations exercise on behalf, no longer of detectorists, but the BM and its "volunteer" programmes. What benefit is there in that for detectorists and the image of artefact hunting? Well, actually none whatsoever.

I addressed a number of questions to the LVA PAS some time back about the future running of the Scheme. Will you join me in urging that the LVA get around to answering them? It affects you too. With PAS gone or in vestigial form, I am sure you can see that artefact hunting will be in a very precarious position. I am sure you have as much interest as me in where these policy changes are leading for us all.

J C Maloney said...

Back again, there is much in your blog that makes sense.... if only it came across in a more balanced manner, rather than the pseudo aggressive ramblings, it would be better understood and accepted.

Things are changing across the entire UK public sector, Mr Cameron sold it to the electorate as the "Big Society" which seems to be morphing into "Run by volunteers & paid for by the users".
Be that right or wrong we in the UK have to live with it. PAS was never going to be exempt from such changes and may still be able to flourish (sorry you won`t like that!) under LVA at the BM.That will be done by sourcing alternative revenue streams that are reliant on recruiting "volunteers". That is already building a good head of steam and is being well organised from its initial start here in Leicestershire.

As far as I am aware no FLO`s have been made, or faced redundancy although it went close to the wire for some so whilst some may wish to hasten the demise of PAS & the PAStExplorers its not likely in the immediate future.

Best wishes


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