Corruption Smells Like Burning Human Flesh 90


What does the stink of corruption smell like? In Scotland, it smells like burning human flesh.

How close would you like to live to a crematorium? Serious question, and I would ask you to kindly pause for a moment to consider the answer before you read any further. How close would you like your flat or house to be to a crematorium?

In Scotland, the current legal limit is two hundred yards. Most people think that is about right. We know that, because the Scottish Government held a public consultation on this issue and the large majority of respondents replied that 200 yards was about right. Which makes it rather strange that this week the Scottish Parliament will finally pass into law an act reducing the distance to nil. Yes, nil.

I want to make this very plain. It just does not mean that new homes can be built close to crematoria. It means that somebody can build a crematorium right next to existing homes.

The Bill has been working through the committee stages at Holyrood, and at every stage the committee strikes out the abolition of the distance between crematoria and homes. A the next stage the Scottish government simply puts it back. This week the Bill will finally be passed, with the SNP using its majority to override everybody else and insist crematoria should be built right next to homes.

Why? The truth is, Scotland does not have a massive population or a shortage of land – there are plenty of places away from homes where crematoria could be built.

Here lies the extremely ugly truth. Crematoria are profitable private businesses. Private business interests have been investing in new crematoria – through sticking the furnaces into existing buildings – for the last three years, under ministerial assurances that the bill will be passed. There is one in Haddington only thirty yards from homes, and with its exhaust chimneys actually below the level of people’s windows. Planning permission was given on the absolutely extraordinary grounds that the present law does not forbid the construction of crematoria close to homes, only the carrying out of cremations. So they can be built waiting for the developers’ ministerial pals to ram the law through Parliament.

Here is the nub. In what kind of banana republic are businessmen able to spend millions in preparation to carry out an illegal activity, safe in the knowledge that their ministerial chums will change the law for them? What does that say about our democracy and the functioning of Holyrood? What incentive do those ministers have to approve a policy so irrational and unpopular as this one, and keep ramming it through against the opposition of public consultation and the relevant parliamentary committees?

As we move forwards to independence, we are fools if we do not face one fact. Just being independent, or even just throwing off the Labour Party, does not rid us of the culture of corruption which we all know has bedevilled Scottish urban politics for decades. This all seems to me just like witnessing the handling of contracts by Dundee Council in the 1970s.

Sadly, Scotland does not have investigative journalists, only unionist stenographers, which is why you have not heard of this. The government will reply that modern technology makes crematoria emissions safe and clean. I do not care. It is an activity which ought to be secluded, for the dignity of both mourners and local residents. People do not want particles of someone else entering their homes and nostrils, no matter how microscopic or sterile. The Scottish Government’s behaviour in this matter is atrocious.

You simply cannot get more neo-con than the de-regulation of death itself for private profit. There could be no more stark example of the SNP acting against everything it is supposed to stand for. How ministers can do something so shameful, while acting in a manner so arrogant, is quite beyond me. I can think of only one possible reason, and it is not pretty.

At least after Independence we will only have corrupt Holyrood politicians to jail and not Westminster ministers too.


90 thoughts on “Corruption Smells Like Burning Human Flesh

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  • MJ

    “Scotland does not have a massive population or a shortage of land – there are plenty of places away from homes where crematoria could be built”

    In which case I don’t understand why anyone would want to build a crematorium in a residential area in the first place. Land prices are likely to be higher in these areas. Unless of course the objective is to drive residents out of the area and buy up their properties on the cheap. Then scrap the crematorium idea and make a killing reselling the houses. Or something like that.

  • craig Post author

    Sam

    Precisely what I am saying. It was amended in committee last week, against the votes of all the SNP members on the committee and because one SNP member had left the committee before the vote was taken. I expect the government will put it back again at stage 3. That is precisely why I am blogging now to try and stop them.

  • craig Post author

    MJ

    Idea is you buy up a cheap pre-existing property in an urban area and stick a crematorium inside it. There are plenty of large old buildings in deprived urban areas. Cheaper than a new build in the countryside.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Crematoria are probably undesirable for all sorts of reasons. P{ollution nearby and pollution of beauty spots where people go to scatter ashes. Places with fragile ecosystems are ruined by influx of ‘nutrients’
    there was a UCLA paper written about seven yrs ago-sorry can’t provide a source-about nutrients for agriculture and it said that we would have to consider the ‘recycling’ of human waste and human remains by about 2030.
    I remember a while ago doing some research int this morbid subject. At the time maybe, 15 yrs. ago
    there was a process of freeze drying being developed in Sweden which seemed t be rather more environmentally friendly, in that the noxious gaseous products of crematoria are eliminated.The body is dried and ground up and becomes a manageable material that can be interred in some way without the use of a lot of gas and production of combustion products. The theory of modern crematoria is that they can raise the temperature to a point that everything is oxidised fully but there is still a lot of NOX ,SOX, gases and Carbon dioxide.
    It is certainly a problem. Is this the measured response of capitalists to the impending Bonanza of Baby Boomer Burnings? A good chance to make a killing?

  • George

    [mods: caught in spam filter. Timeatamp updated]

    Have you received a reply from the SNP regarding your resignation letter yet, Craig?

  • CanSpeccy

    Where will Craig go to live when he realizes that the Scotch are at least as corrupt and loathesome, by his standards, as the English?

  • Republicofscotland

    Thank you for that information Craig, I was unaware of that.

    The SNP also used their majority to partially stifle the Land Reform bill as well, by 80 to 33 votes. Letting the current Duke of Buccleuch (the first Buccleuch was the b×stard child of Charles II) off the hook.

    That reticent action allows lands in Scotland to be owned through offshore account in the Cayman and British Virgin islands. Police cannot follow up on crimes (wildlife) committed on those lands because the owners name is unknown.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Erik Sandberg

    Welcome to this blog. I believe you were the main (indeed the only) commenter at the recent appearance of Craig on the live-streamed interview.”
    _____________

    Habb.

    Yes that’s correct, and if memory serves me you didn’t have a good word to say about the man.

    Have you washed both your faces today, by any chance? ?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    What s SEPA for?
    True story
    Used to do a lot of Kayaking. Was getting out at the River Dee at Banchory.The pool was utterly disgusting. Full of human poo and toilet paper.I know that sewage can’t be released like that and went investigating. Very nearby was a caravan park and I could see (mobile) caravans were pouring tanks of sewage into a rain water drain which obviously ran down to the river.
    Had words and said I was phoning SEPA. Took details etc. and duly phoned SEPA. Notes were taken.
    About six months later I got a phone call about the incident. Nothing, it transpired had been done. I think someone had just sat on the complaint or maybe wiped his bottom on it and flushed it away. So there was some nonsense about needing witnesses and there had been no-one available to investigate. The attitude was laid back, to put it mildly. Perhaps even horizontal.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    That reticent action allows lands in Scotland to be owned through offshore account in the Cayman and British Virgin islands. Police cannot follow up on crimes (wildlife) committed on those lands because the owners name is unknown.

    I am not defending obscure ownership by trusts hidden in offshore accounts etc but in the event of an environmental crime such as raptor killing etc the people who are responsibe for the running of the estate are liable and this usually means a factor or gamekeeper or other flunkey.It seems very unlikely that there would not be an administrative and land management of some sort.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Republicofscotland

    “Habb.

    Yes that’s correct, and if memory serves me you didn’t have a good word to say about the man.”
    ______________________

    You have a good memory, RoS – I am flattered. I recall saying that Erik Sandberg seemed inarticulate and confused (or perhaps it was rambling?). Have I missed out an adjective?

    But he may become a veritable Demosthenes in print on this blog, who knows.

    Something you will never be, mon cher ami!

  • Republicofscotland

    “I am not defending obscure ownership by trusts hidden in offshore accounts etc but in the event of an environmental crime such as raptor killing etc the people who are responsibe for the running of the estate are liable and this usually means a factor or gamekeeper or other flunkey.It seems very unlikely that there would not be an administrative and land management of some sort.”

    ______________

    Agreed Deepgreenpuddock, but I’m also pretty sure that the lairds or estate owners,( absent or not) would given permission to their game keepers to remove raptors.

    But putting that aside for a moment, vast swathes of land in Scotland are owned by faceless men from offshore accounts. I find that completely unacceptable.

  • bevin

    ” I am flattered. I recall saying that Erik Sandberg seemed inarticulate and confused (or perhaps it was rambling?). Have I missed out an adjective?”

    An Egomaniac writes.

    And is at pains to emhasise the inferiority of others

    “But he may become a veritable Demosthenes in print on this blog, who knows.

    Something you will never be, mon cher ami!”

    The anatomy of trolling: generous self congratulation. And relentless ad hominems.
    So much easier than considering a question on its merits and the risk of offending the powerful.
    Habbabkuk: bullying for the sake of bullies everywhere.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “But putting that aside for a moment, vast swathes of land in Scotland are owned by faceless men from offshore accounts.

    I find that completely unacceptable.”
    _________________

    Let the world tremble!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Bevin

    I know you are annoyed with me because I occasionally demolish an argument of yours. Consider, however, that things could be worse – if I had more time, there would be much more of your stuff which would get demolished.

    You could of course also try to defend the stuff you write when I question it but I realise that would be much more difficult for you than just lobbying a couple of insults on my general direction 🙂

  • Republicofscotland

    “You have a good memory, RoS – I am flattered.”

    _______________________

    Well Habb, some people are easily flattered.

  • Republicofscotland

    “As we move forwards to independence, we are fools if we do not face one fact. Just being independent, or even just throwing off the Labour Party, does not rid us of the culture of corruption which we all know has bedevilled Scottish urban politics for decades”

    __________________

    That’s a very good point Craig, assuming independence comes sooner than later. There is a real lack of viable political parties in Scotland.

    I imagine after independence is obtained many many folk will be looking for alternatives to the SNP. As the SNP are seen by many, as the most likely vehicle to Scottish independence.

    There will always be a degree of corruption in any countries ruling bodies the SNP aren’t unique or pious as some seem to think. But in Scotland right now (the Green party aside) the other prominent political parties at Holyrood are seen as more untrustworthy than the SNP.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Republicofscotland

    Praise from a pillar of this blog such as yourself can only be flattering.

    Have you ever thought of standing for public office?

    You could make make the difference!

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    @ Clark. yes noise abatement orders are given to people, hence the moving on of equipment into another ‘willing’ flat, until they slap another one on, ARISTON and on and on, In a high rise building you could probably keep going for a month.

  • Jonangus Mackay

    Mercury, from amalgam fillings, is a toxin known to be pumped around the locality via a crematorium. I’m, erm, alive to this because I live less than 400 yards from the Kensal Green Crematorium.

  • Valerie

    I must be missing something here. Planning permission was given by the local council, as is the normal process.

    As far as I can see, there was one objection, from the resident in the coach house on the driveway to the listed building that the owner intends to convert.

    I fully sympathise with the objector, as he states he had no knowledge of the plans when he bought the coach house.

    I also understand the point about siting crematoria away from housing.

    The point I don’t get, is why is there no mention of the local councils role in giving permission for ANY developments in their area. The Scottish gov’t sets broad criteria, which councils are free to interpret, adjust for their own local circumstances.

  • Lord Palmerston

    A great example of the mechanism analysed over 30 years ago by Mancur
    Olson. This is the mechanism whereby a small and well organised group
    (here crematoria owners) can extract privileges from a large and
    unorganised group (the public).

    The wheels of this mechanism are well oiled by democracy. Since
    democracy is a god that demands unconditional devotion, Mr Murray’s
    latest post falls into the categories that account for a large
    proportion of ‘enlightened’ output:

    a) condemning some abuse that has arisen from the normal, routine
    operation of democratic governance

    b) condemning some abuse because it isn’t democratic.

    Reconciling these categories is left as an exercise for the reader.

  • craig Post author

    There is an existing law which the Scottish Government is seeking to amend in the Scottish parliament. That law forbids crematoria within 200 yards of a residence. The Scottish government is seeking to repeal that law.

    Local planning permission is a different question. Incidentally the local newspaper in Haddington says there were 26 objections in Haddington, not one.

  • Republicofscotland

    You know Craig, I sometimes wonder that posters on a certain website, (in which you recently had an exchange of views with) can be so blinded by or defensive to a fault over the SNP, that it clouds their judgement.

    I agree with most articles on that site, but some posters can hear or see no wrong doing from the SNP.

    I’m afraid you may be flogging a dead horse, in the eyes of some.

  • DomesticExtremist

    Many moons ago I lived just across the road from a hospital incinerator.
    I don’t know if they put corpses in there, but certainly amputated body parts, sclerotic livers, excised tumours and the like.
    Every now and then you would here a muffled explosion from one of the larger portions of flesh.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Republicofscotland

    Praise from a pillar of this blog such as yourself can only be flattering.

    Have you ever thought of standing for public office?

    You could make make the difference!”

    _________________

    Oh Habb, you fawning old cad, you do know how to butter-up a person don’t you ?

  • John Goss

    I’ve signed even though I don’t live in Scotland. I realise that if that kind of legislation gets approved north of the border it might give the Sassenachs ideas. Have some dignity for God’s sake. The ones I know of around Birmingham are in the countryside like Kings Norton and Sandwell. There is one at Perry Barr near the athletics track and dog-track but I can’t remember houses nearby.

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