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.