Health, Education, Housing: Isn’t It Time To Privatise Death?

by richardhutton

All the fundaments of British life are currently being privatised and sold to the most resolute bidders.

The pursuit of knowledge, the maintenance of life and well-being, a place to live: all of these merry features of life have been placed on the market. They’ve sold very well in fact.

Mind you – quite strangely – we’re probably not going to see the truly important elements of society privatised, even though privatisation is claimed to maximise efficiency. The military, the police force, Parliament: all of these are set to remain publicly funded. Banks are an ambiguous area though: private enterprises maintained by public funding.


One area in which potential is clearly being squandered, however, is mortality. So what is the case for privatising death? Well, it’s quite simple actually.

Let’s begin with product placement at funerals. How many coffins have been borne aloft? It must be millions. So why have advertisers been so slow to recognise the creative possibilities? There are at least six sides to every coffin – more if somebody has been unfortunate. Less if they have been really unlucky. On average, however, at least a handful of businesses could take advantage here. Charities could advertise at a discount rate. 

Why, a funeral could almost pay for itself.

Similarly, music soundtracks have proven extremely lucrative in recent years. How many people play songs at their funerals? A song in such a situation should be carefully chosen: a cheery farewell, to the newly, dearly departed. Soundtracks are exactly the same. So why not merge the two? Up and coming artists could gain vital exposure to an emotionally captive audience; while more established figures could see their careers resurrected.

It has also been claimed that competition encourages innovation. This would clearly benefit many funerals. Let’s face it: the burning of corpses has become methodical and grown stale. Burial is moribund. It is high time for much needed originality. Obviously, death can be a grim, lucrative business. We need to turn a dying art into something fresh, and vibrant.

So why not use explosives? A carefully managed spectacle would attract a generous audience. Admission could be charged. Private vendors could be billed for licensed plots, should onlookers wish to buy protective eyewear and sunscreen. 

Autopsies have proven extremely popular in stylish, syndicated television series. Why not sell a relative’s remains to production companies? Everybody wins. Entertainment maintains high standards; the bereaved profit likewise.

In fact, why couldn’t an entire funeral find corporate sponsorship? Why shouldn’t local, regional or international businesses bring burial, cremation and death itself to a profitable conclusion? Everybody benefits. Especially the deceased.

So, all told, in keeping with the privatisation of education, health-care and homes, it is clearly time to privatise death.