The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Lobbying scandal strikes Funeralworld?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013



Lorely Burt MP opening the National Funeral Exhibition 2011 watched by men in chains

The lobbying scandal presently raging in Parliament has drawn the spotlight to all-party parliamentary groups — APPGs. Three dishonourable Labour peers were caught by undercover cameras (remember them?) telling reporters that an all-party parliamentary group could be set up as a lobbying vehicle for a fake South Korean solar energy company. The ignominious Patrick Mercer declared his willingness to set up an APPG in favour of Fiji. 

There’s an APPG for funerals and bereavement. It is chaired by Lorely Burt, Lib Dem MP for Solihull. It is funded by the National Association of Funeral Directors. It contains no representatives of consumer bodies and is arguably the poorer for that. It represents the interests of the industry, and these are often the interests of consumers, too. They are presently pressing the case for increasing the social fund funeral payment. 

Short of sending in our own undercover cameras, we are of the impression that this is an APPG which may be designated blameless, if possibly a little one-sided. 




17 comments on “Lobbying scandal strikes Funeralworld?

  1. Mr XX

    Thursday 6th June 2013 at 4:48 pm

    All above board I’m sure Charles – however, can one ask why is the sponsoring Mp from Solihull? Is this mere coincidence, or does the NAFD pay him to sponsor and Chair the group?

    Why do other Mp’s become members, what is in it for them?

    If the press is to be believed, anyone getting a parliamentary pass as a member of such a group has had it suspended pending enquiries. All rather interesting.

  2. Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Good to see that even in chains most are still in the traditional hands across the balls for the free kick stance. It’s like a kitemark for respect and dignity.

    • Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 3:42 pm

      As is the reflexive placing of a lightly clenched right hand over the heart every time you say the word ‘family’.

    • Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Brings a whole new meaning to ‘chain and ball’

      • Jed

        Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 11:53 pm


  3. Jed

    Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 12:41 am

    Quite the wrong sort of chains – IMO

  4. andrew plume

    Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 6:30 pm

    ……………look it’s the great and the good from the board of NAFD………………

    you know, those chaps who instruct their colleagues to visit premises such as that of the excellent Nick Gandon and report that……………………oh well

    can anyone identify those “weighed doen by their chain of office”?


    • Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 7:34 am

      The one in the pink tie is clearly not at all happy about his chainlessness…

      • andrew plume

        Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 7:50 am



      • Kitty

        Thursday 6th June 2013 at 8:56 am

        He does look miffed.

  5. Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 1:30 pm

    To the best of my knowledge with these things, Jonathan (based on my last experience with an APPG which was concerned with Religious Education) you can contact your own MP requesting that he’she joins it and/or you can write to it explaining issues you would like to see it engage with.

  6. Kitty

    Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 10:30 am

    I’m ashamed to say (but only slightly) that I didn’t know there was such an APPG. So thank you Charles for bringing it to my attention. And the photo of the men in chains.

    • Jonathan

      Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 1:03 pm

      I’m glad I know about these lobbying people now, too. Has anyone found anything they’ve published about the vexing matter of the funeral payment? And what else are they lobbying about? How do we contribute to their debate?

      Men in chains… I see what you mean, Kitty.


  7. Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 10:18 am

    No, Ian. I have said that the issue of lobbying and APPGs is very much in the news just now, but that no sleaze attaches to the funerals and bereavement APPG. The tone is slightly ironical, I concede that. The example I quote of the campaign for higher social fund payments is intended to demonstrate its credentials, not to disparage it.

  8. ian

    Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 10:12 am

    I’m no fan of the NAFD, particularly, but am I right then that basically you have published a blog suggesting that there might be a lobbying scandal involving the NAFD/an APPG but then said that you don’t think that there is…so surely then the title should be ‘No lobbying scandal in funeralworld’ (without a question mark…).

  9. ian

    Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 10:00 am

    what exactly does ‘designated blameless’ mean in relation to the above, Charles?

    • Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 10:02 am

      It’s kosher, Ian. It is wholly reputable.

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