Posted by Richard Rawlinson
Paul Flowers was a successful man: chairman of Co-operative Bank, Labour councillor and Methodist minister. He’s now shunned by all three pillars of the establishment—business, politics and church—after his penchant for taking crystal meth with male prostitutes hit the headlines.
When Flowers first hooked up with Manchester Lads escort Ciaron Dodd, he took him to see the play, You Can’t Take It With You, at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre. This was, of course, followed by sex and drugs back at the hotel.
You can’t take it with you. This is certainly true of a fat cat salary. But you can spend your earnings in plenty of ways that don’t stop you taking your reputation with you.
We’ve all met characters like Flowers: high-achievers and do-gooders who also live dangerously by indulging their less reputable side; risk-takers who want to have their cake and eat it.
We often feel some satisfaction when such human juggernauts are stopped in their tracks, when those made ebullient by deference to their status are brought down to earth when they’re given a dose of humble pie after their flaws are exposed.
Flowers may become a better man as a result of his downfall. He’s deemed a useless banker due to his involvement in the Co-operative Bank, whose massive debts may yet result in the selling of Co-operative Funeralcare. He’s also deemed a hypocritical sleazeball due to private decadence in relation to his socio-political and religious roles in the community.
How would a funeral celebrant deal with such a eulogy challenge?
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