Monday 11 May 2020

British MP Approves Looting Again

Searcher magazine claims it has an email from Tim Loughton MP stating individuals and members of the same household can begin metal detecting again on Wednesday 13 May .There is no word on how this will get the economy going again or of the ability of PAS and County teams to offer support and recording.

It is also unclear whether this is the MP's own personal opinion, or the government's standpoint. Collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record is no more "exercise" than rhino-poaching. It is destructive looting. In any normal country a minister found falling over his own feet in his haste to enable looting of the country's historical heritage and the help the removal of archaeological artefacts to feed the antiquities market would have to resign. In Britain he gets patted on the back and gets to judge the looters' competitions with a whole stack of 'The Searcher' in his rooms next to the blocked toilets in the Houses of Parliament (The 'Searcher' Team in the House of Commons). 

UPDATE 11.5.2020
After this announcement was made five hours ago, the NCMD has now issues its own:
Covid 19 Update 11-5-2020
this advice is only for our members in England, the Channel Islands and anywhere else where their independent government has advised it is safe to exercise unrestricted.
Sadly the loosening of guidance on outdoor activities do not include Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We are sorry that this does not cover everyone – we are just reflecting government policy.
Following the change to Government guidance for England announced yesterday we are able to change our advice to you. Detecting individually or with household members can again be enjoyed from Wednesday 13th May.
We are sure you are looking forward to getting out in the fields again.
Please though remember to continue to follow Government guidance. Travel should still be limited and social distancing rules must be adhered to. We also urge you to take precautions to protect yourself and others and, for example, wear gloves going through gates, etc. Also please be respectful of your land owner’s views, and check they are happy for you to continue to detect on their land as their views may have changed over the last three months.
Sadly this pandemic is still very much a risk to us all and so the Government’s loosening of restrictions on outdoor activities does not allow for club or other group digs. Hopefully, if we all play our part, infection rates will continue to fall and it will be safe to resume these sometime in the near future.
We wish you safe and happy hunting. Best wishes
The government advice yesterday was of course that everybody that cannot work from home should go back to work, not go gallivanting about looting archaeological sites for collectables to pocket and sell.


Brian Mattick said...

Tim Loughton is or was co-chair of APPAG. You'd think their secretary would have advised him againast. Or PAS would have. Surely the FLOs aren't going to have to go out to indulge these people?

If so I feel truly sorry for them - in fact if it was me I'd point blank refuse. Why would you jeapardise your family for such an unworthy enterprise when Loughton, PAS management, APPAG and the Government could have simply said no, stay home, go to work, go for a walk but do no bloody harm?

Paul Barford said...

I do not know how many FLOs are in a union, but they have the right to refuse to go to work if their safety there is not assured, and I think sitting in a room with a whole succession of Baz Thugwits coming in and handing them finds that they've been breathing all over is neither safe nor social distancing.

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