Like you, I haven’t a clue what this ‘ere Big Society is all about. They say, I think, that it’s all about empowerment. It sounds more like the government walking off the job. It certainly means less of everything and of course it’s entirely like politicians to try and kid us that less = more.
Wha’ever. If there’s an upside it is that publicly funded outfits are being creative, looking for new revenue streams. And it seems that, according to blogger Dizzy, Canon’s High School in Edgware is hiring out its hall at weekends for funerals. I can’t find any corroboration of this. According to Dizzy “This has meant some kids have witnessed the coffin, people in black and all that goes with funerals.” He concludes: “Not an image that many parents may want their kids witnessing you’d think.”
It’s a customary and not unboring response. The presence of a corpse in a room has been shown to lower air temperature by ten degrees centigrade for at least six months; to induce poltergeist activity; to infect children with melancholia, nightmares and religious mania; and, worst of all, to impact on teaching and learning, causing a school to miss its targets by miles.
If these cuts can break down the barriers between the bereaved and the ungriefed that will be a beneficial if entirely unplanned spinoff. We need more mortality in the community and less of the prevailing apartheid.
So we may take heart from the prevailing financial plight of our crems, I think, as many of them wonder where the heck they’re going to find the money for new filters or even a fresh coat of paint.
There’s no way they can turn a profit operating as they do, five short days a week (around 40 hours out of a possible 168). They need to up their occupancy. There aren’t enough dead people to do that so they must set out their stall for the living. And what a great venue a crem would be for all sorts of things – lectures, recitals, taiko drumming, ballet classes, birthday parties…
Of course, they’d have to tear up the fixed seating. Hey, and that’s only the start!