I have seen the future and it doesn’t work

Charles Cowling

The ability to transmute base metal into gold is a very neat trick. So neat, in fact that, as the record shows, it has never, for all the perspiration of the world’s best brains since the dawn of time, been accomplished.

The reverse is very much easier, and this is the specialism of today’s alchemists – or capitalists, as they have rebranded themselves. Turning hard-earned wages into shit is the specialism of the financial services industry. A forked-tongued charmer wheedles good money from decent folk, pours it into a financial product and hey presto! Shit!

The tragic photo above shows the stark corse of regular blog reader and recreational share trader T Chatterton who died of a seizure this morning after reading his Daily Telegraph. Cause of death? This advice to investors in Dignity by stocks and shares pundit Questor. Sell.

Sell? Why? Questor cites another pundit, Franc Gregor of Charles Stanley:

“We continue to be concerned about pre-arranged funerals and whether these are truly assets in the form of future potential funerals to be performed, or liabilities in the sense that funding may not match the sums needed to perform these funerals at suitable profitability.”

Yes, Dignity’s pre-need plans are beginning to look decidedly sub-prime, a bad bet on nobbut a bubble. Bad cess to them and may they rot, etc. Doubtless, at Dignity HQ, the hushed talk is all about cost savings, the new term for shit service.

My thanks to Mr Chatterton’s family and friends for their courage in sending me this photo, which they hope will act as a warning to all those who might be tempted, on a reckless impulse, to buy something too good to be true. We hope that Age UK, registered charity, will think again about offering this potentially shoddy product to the trusting  public.

Should my views lack balance, ye are hereby to declare it.

Telegraph piece here.

Age UK Funeral Plans

4 King Edwards Court

King Edwards Square

Sutton Coldfield,

West Midlands B73 6AP


Dignity Funerals Ltd,

4 King Edwards Court,

King Edward Square,

Sutton Coldfield,

West Midlands, B73 6AP

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David Barrington
10 years ago

It’s not really a shock that there is concern about dignity’s prepaid prices. If you can sell a prepaid plan for less than an at- need funeral then surely there is something wrong with your strategy??

Thomas Friese
10 years ago

No comment on Dignity, Charles, but your alchemical analogy is one of your best! Aren’t things just like that….

And on a serious note – because I’m always able to find one (!) – I’m reminded of Ernst Jünger’s own parable of death, with its transmutation of the small change of our life memories into gold as we cross through customs into the new continent.

May I include it here, Charles, it’s very beautiful.