Posted by Richard Rawlinson
With Funeralworld including many small businesses, will their owners and employees be voting in the 7 May General Election for the party they feel supports the UK’s 4.9 million small businesses the most?
But what can a government actually do other than make supportive noises encouraging enterprise, and championing the role of small businesses in economic growth? Cut business red tape? Improve access to finance? Lower business rates?
One regret for me is that the Tories have allowed environmentalism to become a left-wing cause (eco-warriors fighting for the future victims of capitalism). In fact, environmentalism is not just about the radical re-ordering of society, but also about conservative causes such as conservation and safeguarding resources. It’s what Edmund Burke describes as a partnership between the dead, the living and the unborn.
It was the state-controlled projects of the Soviet empire that destroyed landscapes and poisoned waters. It’s private ownership that more often than not confers responsibility for the environment.
A fine example of this is woodland burial sites. It’s a shame that these pastures green are sometimes perceived as more for alternative types than mainstream conservationists who are equally keen to leave nature in good shape for future generations.
Will any of the party’s manifestos propose, even in small print, legislation in favour of the re-use of graves after a period of, say, 50 to 75 years? Doubtful given the fear of tabloid headlines about MPs digging up great grandma.
When reuse has been piloted in London, there’s only been praise that traditional graveyards are no longer dead space.
In Greece today, and some other Orthodox countries, a body is buried only for about six years, at which time the grave is reused. There’s no scandal when, in a religious ceremony, bodily remains are dug up, the bones cleaned and stored in an ossuary.
Perhaps the disused crems of our utopian future could reinvent themselves as ossuaries.