Saturday, 28 March 2015

UK Metal Detecting: Fiction Relentlessly Presented as Fact

I was amused to see that about the same time as I pressed "send" on my "Metal Detectorists Get Confused", a new post appeared on The Heritage Journal ('Metal detecting: all’s well that’s Orwell?', 28th March 2015, where both mention detectorist-blogger John Winter's comments on the Lammy gaffe:
fiction relentlessly presented as fact [...] Mr Winter benefits from the fact some of his readers are pretty uninformed so it's easy to play to the gallery. Thus he has just resurrected Minister Lammy's "heroes" statement using the same selective justifications, emphasising the positives and totally ignoring the massive downside, the widespread knowledge theft. That might get you backslapped Mr Winter but it's not being honest with the public.
They go on to make a similar point about the PAS:
Who can fail to notice that much of what it says and does is devoted to delivering a relentless propaganda of success, presumably to promote its own continuance? [...] Metal detecting is simply not as heroic or educated or moral as PAS constantly portrays it to be. Like in the case of Mr Winter, presenting a concocted account is not honest, it's Orwellian. 
The example is given of the Lenborough Hoard Fiasco, which Roger Bland represents as
"a rescue job and Ros, as our sole FLO at event with about a hundred metal detector users, did a heroic job in the circumstances and ensured that all the coins were recovered".
HA comment on this in their usual trenchant form:
Note the use of the H word, heroic, instead of hurried, echoing Minister Lammy. Pure Nineteen Eighty Four! It was a rescue alright, but presented like a corkscrew. Why not tell the public straight out (rather than coyly hinting it to those in the know) that the main peril was from some of those present? And why not admit that the FLO's otherwise inexplicable and otherwise unprofessional decision not to ensure the hoard was guarded overnight was due to pressure and opposition from those around her? Had they been amateur archaeologists the matter would have been dealt with properly. Fact.
Fact, not fiction. Why can we not have the facts about current policies n UK artefact hunting out in the open instead of the boxload of fob-off fictional mantras and refusals to discuss the issues frankly and openly which is all the PAS and its metal detecting "partners" have to offer stakeholders?

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