Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Who is Being "Deceitful and Dishonorable"?

Dealer Dave ('The Anti-Tompa "Crusade"..', Ancient Coins Collecting Monday, May 18, 2015) reckons there is something (quote) "deceitful and dishonorable" and "unscrupulous" to boot in my asking the Professional Numismatists Guild and the International Association of Professional Numismatists to clarify their position on the public activity of their principal paid lobbyist in recent months. I do not see it that way. What Mr Tompa is publishing on his blog, which is a tool in his work as a paid lobbyist, certainly raises issues, and I think we all deserve to know whether this activity is approved by the organizations that pay for this lobbying.

Why is there anything untoward in trying to get that information? I think that in order to know what they represent, we need to know whether the PNG and IAPN are aware of what is being said on behalf of their members, and whether they agree with it. The PNG has given a cop-out answer, the IAPN is still thinking about it (slow readers some numismatists, apparently). I do not see why asking the PNG and IAPN about this is any more "discrediting" of Tompa than what that lobbyist  writes himself on his publicly accessible blog. It is however discrediting the numismatic trade associations if they cannot give a straight answer to a straight question about their lobbyist's activities. Perhaps Mr Welsh should be addressing them with his anger and frustration.

Mr Welsh considers the problem might be that  "the words ethical, honorable and professional have very different meanings to Mr. Barford than they do to the average citizen of the USA, and quite possibly, also the average citizen of other English-speaking nations". I could not possibly comment on what they mean to others, but I am interested in how the PNG and IAPN (on behalf of their members) define those terms in relation to the sort of things Mr Tompa published on Cultural Property Observer, particularly those constant personal attacks (including those he published by others such as the "Arthur Houghton III" sock-puppet, John Howland and Dick Stout). Or his constant 'two wrongs' manner of argument, the sniping, and the conspiracy theories.

As for the rest, I leave it up to the reader to decide whether any of the rest of Welsh's ad hominem speculation has any bearing on how one should see what Peter Tompa writes in his blog and how that fits the reader's own world view. Have a look: Cultural Property Observer. Pay attention to the points I indicated to the IAPN ('The "Cultural Property Observer" Blog, IAPN and PNG Lobbying: Some Issues' PACHI Friday, 20 February 2015) and make up your own minds whether this is how the heritage debate in a civilised country should look, and whether you think Mr Tompa is enhancing the image of numismatics, or [as I suggest is the case] damaging it. And what of Mr Welsh's attempt to dismiss the criticisms in the way he does?

UPDATE 19th May 2015
I think you'd have to be a mightily self-centred individual to believe that you were the only person who is reading a blog on the internet and therefore not see the significance of the use of the pronoun "we". But then self-centredness oozes from everything dealers and collectors of dugup antiquities write. There are many stakeholders affected by what these people do with the archaeological heritage in pursuit of profit and I think the sooner dealer realise that and accept that they are accountable to them all, the better. Anyway, less of Welsh, take a look at what Tompa writes and make up your own mind what it says about coin dealers and their lobbying.

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