Terminological vaseline” Paul Barford calls it, but he’s always been far too polite about what’s going on. It’s actually a series of bloody lies intended to convince taxpayers, stakeholders, landowners and legislators that metal detectorists (and ergo the official organs that accept wages for dealing with them) comprise fine, beneficial  fellows, on balance.

Take this official mantra: “the vast majority of people are keen that their hobby has a positive impact.” That’s a bloody lie (even though it is “quote of the week” in the Antiques Trade Gazette). The vast majority don’t report most of what they find so the real truth is that  “the vast majority of people are keen that their hobby IS SEEN TO HAVE a positive impact”. If they actually gave a damn they would report all their finds, yes?

See also this tweet from PAS on Thursday…. “For the first time in #Ashes17 @ECB_cricket have scored more runs over @CricketAus than finds recorded on @findsorguk in a day!” Light hearted and amusing, eh? England scored 305 runs, which is more than the number of finds PAS has ever recorded in a day. But what they don’t tell you is that metal detectorists fail to tell them about nearly 2,000 recordable finds every single day for 20 years.

See if you can get your head round that scale of needless cultural loss. And then consider whether the endless official praise for their “hobby” is deserved or a national disgrace.

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