At last - some good news!
Davendar Kumar Ghai has won his appeal to be cremated according to his religion. Regulars at the Tavern will recall our indignation that government lawyers opposed Mr Ghai's request for a burning site in a remote part of Northumberland on the grounds that it would be 'offensive to the majority of British people'.
Admittedly open-air cremations haven't figured largely in British tradition - the damp climate may have something to do with it - but it's not as if Mr Ghai planned to do it in a built-up area or on the Millenium Bridge. In any case, his wishes can be satisfied within walls providing there is an opening in the roof; the presence of open air and the scattering of ashes at sea are, I believe, the critical requirements here.
Mr Ghai's reaction was dignified: "I always maintained that I wanted to clarify the law, not disobey or disrespect it. The Court of Appeal understood my request was consistent with both the spirit and letter of the law and my only regret is that tax payers' money would have been saved had that been recognised in 2006".
Too true! For the record, I should like a full Viking's funeral at Blyth with gallons of beer and a burning longboat (and ideally a selection of my enemies despatched at the same time). Not for any religious reason, you understand; just to annoy the hell out of Newcastle City Council.
Update: This on Birmingham City Council's plans for spending cuts -" The council has also identified several areas where it can increase its revenue. These include looking at what can be done to increase revenues at its cemeteries and crematoria..."
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