Sunday 18 July 2010

Express story goes down the drain

When the media writes myths about the EU, they either claim that something innocuous is being banned (milk jugs, a dozen eggs) or that there's some devilish, intrusive plan to force the EU's will on us (European income tax, Sharia law).

An eye-catching headline in the Express on 8 July fell into the latter category:

EU’s plan to liquify corpses and pour them down the drain.

The following day, the paper printed a letter from Ann Masters, one of the Express' regular correspondents, who reacted exactly as they hoped:

I felt sick to my stomach when reading the article "EU's plan to liquefy corpses and pour them down the drain" (July 8).

If this abhorrent act is to become law under EU ruling I hope David Cameron will be strong enough to say this would never be allowed in our country.

The thought of a loved one's body being poured down the drain fills me with horror. Having my mother cremated when I was just 15 was bad enough and very hard to bear but this is too repugnant to contemplate.

Where would be the dignity in such an awful way of saying goodbye to someone you love? This of course is all about reducing the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere.

It really does beggar belief.

Ann Masters, Barton-on-Sea, Hants

Indeed it does.

Because when the Express said 'EU's plan' what they actually meant was 'Belgium's Flemish Association of Undertakers' plan'. It's easy to confuse the two.

The EU Representative to the UK pointed out:

Whatever Belgian undertakers decide regarding funeral arrangements is a matter for the Belgian authorities. Just like it’s a matter for the UK authorities in this country.

The EU has no competence in this matter and to suggest otherwise is wide of the mark.

The Express has since removed the article from its website.


  1. Please feel free to liquefy my corpse and pour it down the drain, so much better than burning me and so adding to pollution and climate change.

  2. A story calculated to generate not only the usual outrage and fury but also needless distress to many. They really are despicable.

  3. We should be thankful it was merely Belgian undertakers, and not Musllim ones, else we'd have had a headline like "Muslims poison water supply - with themselves"

    Can't help feeling the Express missed a trick there...

  4. And, like I said on LibConspiracy, they haven't gone so far as to correct the 'mistake' or publish a retraction. Oh no.
    Many people will have read it and assume it to be true and see no reason to believe otherwise.

  5. Belgian undertakers....European Union.... I agree it is easy to confuse the two.

  6. I dont see the problem with the process they are suggesting anyway. Rather than burn them at very high temperatures, they are using a special chemical to turn the body into the same remains that can be put into an urn.

  7. Brilliant.

    Cherry on top - the process was developed and is being driven by a British company:

    So, Belgian undertakers are considering an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation pioneered in Glasgow.


  8. The Express might have removed it - but my local paper's happy to spread the word:


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