Monday, 29 October 2012

Richard III 'Debate'


I've already blogged about the search for RIchard III's remains, and it's been interesting to follow the archaeologists' search.



But now we have the unedifying  sight of politicians getting involved...

Last week Leicester, Nottinghamshire and York MPs discussed where the king should be re-interred.  According to the BBC
Campaigners from both York and Leicester have said the remains, should they prove to be the king, ought to come to them. 
In the debate, Labour MP John Mann, from Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, offered Worksop as a halfway point between the two.
An MP sent the justice minister Helen Grant  a Written Question on the subject (why?).  She confirmed that 'it is the plan' that he should be buried at Leicester Cathedral (which happens to be the closest church to his current burial site, so would be the usual choice in the case of archaeological excavation of Christian remains).

In the meantime Prof Lin Foxhall, head of archaeology and ancient history at the University of Leicester has issued a statement in which she basically tells the MPs to butt out
It is premature to speculate on the outcome of the investigation – and people should certainly not jump to any conclusions. 
As archaeologists, we go where the evidence takes us, but we have not yet proven that these remains are Richard III, because we do not yet have the evidence to do so. I'm worried people will lose sight of how cautious we were when we announced our findings – it is part of the rigour of academic research that we thoroughly examine all the evidence before reaching a conclusion.
It's important for the integrity of our work to conduct our research unencumbered by speculation linked to a particular outcome.

It seems that there are suggestions today that the minister spoke too soon. This evening I had the misfortune to hear these buffoons continuing the debate on the radio along with cries of 'Government U-Turn!'

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