It is with great thought and advice that I prepared the following statement for the IFA council and read an extend version on Wednesday 16th 2008 in London.
I have always honestly believed in all the ideals and principals of the IFA, even if I have often disagreed with the exact implementation or directions of certain aspects. However, at this point in time, the potential for me to reconcile my own ideals with this has been compromised by some recent and not so recent events, comments and actions.
I began to doubt my effectiveness as a Council member due to a growing sense of background conflict (in certain areas) that whether real or perceived was affecting the work that was required in what is an important post.
I have no desire to undermine the valuable work that is taking place now, and stress this is a personal decision, the full reasons for which I do not intend to make public, and I therefore wish to continue to support the IFA in all aspects of its work where my assistance will be seen as appropriate and an understanding of working towards a common goal are agreed.
I felt that, although I wished to be a part of the new and exciting directions that archaeology in general must take and having received a trust from people who voted me onto the Council to represent them within the IFA ( my greatest regret), I had no other option than to resign from both the IFA Council and (for the present time) the IFA a decision I have not taken lightly.
I have a great respect for members and colleagues in the IFA, and wish them the best for the challenges that lie ahead. BAJR will continue to unilaterally support (in its’ small way) active initiatives designed to move the profession forward.
I will continue to give my wholehearted support to the Diggers Forum and other initiatives. It is also my intention to continue as an external participant, in the creation of an ethics committee, that should both strengthen the profession and prevent some damaging disciplinary cases. I also wish to work to ensure and encourage a more proactive approach when dealing with matters relating to ongoing archaeology projects, as it has become clear that action after the matter, is very much a closing the stable door after the horse has bolted situation, and leads only to conflict, rather than resolution.
This has been a troubling decision to make, but I hope a brave one. BAJR has always been an independent voice, based on the thoughts of the many, from Digger to Director and Curator to Consultant. I do hope you will understand my motives, and apologies again to those who may feel let down.