I’m dying to nationalize the undertaking industry.

In recent years the cost of dying has rapidly outstripped the cost of living according to many articles I have just read. The reported rise in disposing of the dead is undeniably steep and why should this be? I daresay if I consulted undertakers they would trot out the usual guff about rising costs of materials etc but if that was the case why then are not beds, for instance, not subject to the same precipitous rise in costs? My own theory is that undertakers are hiking prices because they can and not because they have to. There is another factor that I am sure is fueling the upward trend and it is simply that grieving families, partners etc would find themselves embarrassed to quibble over funeral costs, no doubt feeling that it is in some way disrespectful to the recently deceased to think of anything other than sorrow and I have no doubt that for many are so overwhelmed by the sense of loss that they do not even address the issue. Whenever I see lavish funerals with horse drawn hearses and the like I am tempted to find it all a little distasteful; is it not somewhat ostentatious to spend thousands of pounds on a journey whose destination is exactly similar as that undertaken by many a pauper? People claim they wish to give their loved one a ‘good send off’. That might be quite laudable but they willfully overlook the small problem that the loved one- being dead- is quite oblivious to the excessive vulgarities being executed in his or her name. Surely it’s enough to dress soberly, talk quietly and sincerely about the dearly departed one and to bury or cremate him or her in a decent but unpretentious coffin?

Perhaps the best way to counter this upward spiral in funeral costs would be to nationalize the whole business? Surely the state could provide decent funerals which are respectful and proportionate to both the dead and the living? Coffins I’m sure, need not cost the earth and in any case there are many of our poorer families who rely on the state to cover the costs of burials and cremations. The state would actually save money while still meeting the urgent needs of the wounded; what could be more laudable? I am if you will excuse the weak pun in deadly earnest on this subject as I always am whenever I sense that greedy profiteering can be halted without causing harm to anyone but the rich men in black.

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