Cool heads, warm hearts

Charles Cowling



Anticipation is building in advance of ITV’s upcoming exposé of the funeral industry. We don’t have to tell you that the industry’s pulse is beating fast in anticipation of ITV’s upcoming shocker. Pre-emptive fury and sulphurous denunciation have already broken out in the comments columns of our blog, threatening to subvert the civility and coolness which normally characterise debate here. 

A more judicious course for all of us at this time would be dispassionately to appraise the evidence uncovered by the programme after we have seen it, consider the reactions of viewers — once and future clients of funeral service — and respond constructively. What some of the more intemperate writers of comments on this blog fail to understand is exactly how their ranting and stigmatising makes them look. You thought it was bad when you watched the programme? Look what these guys say, look at the way they say it.

As Bryan Powell (commenting under his real name, as he always does) points out here, the story of Funeral Partners is not all bad.  Well, it was unlikely to be as simple as that, was it? If you know enough, it’s impossible not to feel conflicted. One of the most superb funeral directors we know works for Funeral Partners. 

At the same time, it looks as if FPL is going to have some explaining to do. There will be different schools of thought on how such a deplorable state of affairs could have developed. 

The effectiveness of the NAFD will once again be called into question, and there is likely to be renewed call for regulation. The stated position of the NAFD is as follows:

Members of the National Association of  Funeral Directors are totally committed to raising and maintaining the highest level of customer service through the strict adherence to the Association’s Code of Practice. The NAFD supports the principle of self regulation of the funeral sector, whereby any business wishing to operate within the United Kingdom would be required to be in membership of a trade association operating a strictly monitored Code of Practice and a robust and independent client redress scheme.

Looking ahead to Wednesday (ITV, 10.35) there will be facts and there will be context. Let’s not generalise. The upside of a bloody awful mess like this is that it offers an opportunity to put things right. Cool heads and warm hearts  are called for. 
















2 thoughts on “Cool heads, warm hearts

  1. Charles Cowling
    Teresa Evans

    I have no doubt that there will always be people calling out for regulating the funeral sector. What is really needed is a better system in the public sector which makes the journey easier for the bereaved to hold to account those working in crematoria and cemeteries bereavement services (some councils referring to this service as waste and recycling) including NHS bereavement services, for failing to do their jobs properly. Those that don’t do their jobs properly are effectively wiping their hands of responsibility and pushing the bereaved into the hands of some very unscrupulous undertakers without a care in this world. They enable ‘the bad undertaker’ to continue behaving badly and the secrecy that surrounds the complaints process will not force the bad guys out of business and off of our high streets. With or without regulation, they will go forth and multiply…cause they can!

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Beverley Webb

    I could not agree with you more Charles, the opportunity to put things right is long overdue

    Charles Cowling

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