You are currently browsing the daily archive for 12/01/2013.

Alan Titchmarsh a complete muppet says Cabinet minister
According to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, Alan Titchmarsh is “a complete muppet” for criticising the Government’s policies towards the countryside as he has “missed completely everything we’re doing”. Or is it that Mr T. has done the reverse and has noticed the plan to build thousands of executive homes on the green belt in preference to brownfield sites. He wouldn’t be the only one. Presumably Mr Paterson would call The National Trust complete muppets as well.

Judge embarrasses archaeos
Speaking during the trial of some nighthawks in Northampton, Judge Richard Bray regretted they could only be prosecuted for Theft and said “I think there should be some form of cultural heritage act which could be used to protect sites of archaeological importance”. He has a huge point. If you steal something of cultural importance that happens to be worth only tuppence the only crime you’ve committed is the crime of stealing tuppence, whereas the harm you’ve caused can be immense.

So who can argue? There should be a specific offence of cultural theft. Trouble is, ALL metal detecting without reporting what you find would need to be included. We’ve been saying that should happen for years so it’s nice that an eminent judge is now saying it. What remains to be seen though is whether the Archaeological Establishment gets behind his call or whether it defends the right of metal detectorists to be free to choose whether they steal historical knowledge or not. If you jump on an illogical horse the dismount is bound to be tricky. And embarrassing. But that’s no reason to stay on it forever, is it?

Our customers too dumb to stay long imply Stonehenge tour operators!
Tour operators are complaining, at this late stage, that 2 hours will be too long for some of their customers to spend at Stonehenge so they may drop it from their itineraries. But we rather agree with David Andrews, Chief Executive of VisitWiltshire, that “Stonehenge is iconic enough that coach operators have to include it and they will have to change their programme.” Indeed, maybe Stonehenge can well afford to be without the sort of visitor that can’t devote two hours to it!

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