‘Hearse-chasers?’ BBC Scotland scare ‘investigation’ finds 0.04% of dead bodies being left in hospital mortuaries



(c) arnesantics.com

Six times this morning, BBC Scotland headlined with:

‘Dead bodies are being left in hospital mortuaries, in part, because families can’t afford funerals.’

See that nervous wee ‘in part’ there?

This is one of the best/worst examples of the early-morning scare story to effectively frighten the old folk into thinking conservative. I’ve written about this before when they chose pregnant mothers as the target population, at:

The Power of Early Morning Nightmares and Expectant Mothers: BBC Scotland callously undermines the morale of midwives, their patients, expectant mothers and their relatives, with highly selective and un-contextualised information

Helpfully, for me, and typically numerically naïve, BBC Scotland, they told us that 22 bodies are currently ‘waiting’ (?) in hospital mortuaries. Helpful, also, the BBC Scotland website report tells me that, typically, there are 55 000 funerals per year in Scotland. So, 22 out of 55 000 or 0.04%.


Footnote: As I carried out my ‘investigation’ looking for an image of a ‘hearse-chaser’, I found few good images but a film and a band! See:



15 thoughts on “‘Hearse-chasers?’ BBC Scotland scare ‘investigation’ finds 0.04% of dead bodies being left in hospital mortuaries

  1. David Howdle June 7, 2018 / 10:13 am

    I used to be a Procurator Fiscal. Sometimes bodies are left because they are not claimed by next of kin! Eventually, but not quickly, the local authority will bury or cremate them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gerry Robertson June 7, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    You do not even have to believe in an Independent Scotland to see thro’ the disgusting antics of this corrupt organisation anymore. They are just now fighting dirty for their own survival no doubt instilling the workforce with the belief that they need to defeat nationalism at all costs to keep their jobs.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ludo Thierry June 7, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    The Scottish Press and broadcast media is really going to the dogs. We remember The Record’s key role in The Vow. Now we see The Record show the Scottish Courts the same contempt that they showed the Scottish People in 2014. See an edit from the Scottish Legal site today:

    Daily Record fined £80,000 for contempt of court over ‘severely prejudicial’ articles relating to criminal proceedings
    Published 6 June 2018

    The publishers of the Daily Record have been fined £80,000 after pleading guilty to contempt of court over articles which appeared in the newspaper and on its website relating to two separate criminal proceedings.

    The article in relation to the accused in the first case named him and printed photographs of him, and referred to him as a “gang boss” and “cocaine kingpin”, while the story concerning the accused in the second case also named him and included photographs of him as he was arrested by police, with quotes from Facebook describing as “beastie scum”.

    In the first case the newspaper had taken legal advice from a solicitor who was “heavily sedated” and “incapable of rational thought let alone advising clients on legal matters”, while in the second case the editor acted against legal advice to the effect that there was a risk of contempt.

    The High Court of Justiciary imposed the fine after the newspaper owners admitted that there was a “substantial risk” that the course of justice in the cases in question were “seriously impeded or prejudiced”.

    The judges imposed a cumulo sentence – a fine of £80,000 – after observing that both contempts were “serious” in nature and noting that the admissions came late in the day.

    These clowns are endangering major cases being undertaken in Scottish Courts. In the first case the editor seems to have taken advantage of the paper’s solicitor who was unwell and on such medication that she couldn’t possibly offer reasoned advice – and in the second case the editor simply ignored the legal advice given. This is what Scotland’s media has become – clearly we are now seeing the barrel being well and truly scraped.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Alasdair Macdonald June 7, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    This feature on GMS sounded to me as something which had been ‘placed’ by the funeral businesses as a PR piece to try to achieve a) an increase in the grant paid to the family of the deceased (funded of course, via our NI contributions) because it contained information how the death grant had fallen in purchasing power between two arbitrary dates and b) to encourage people to take out ‘funeral plans’.

    The funeral business, like any other legitimate business, is entitled to advertise/promote its service. Most of us at a time of bereavement have been generally satisfied with the sensitive approach of most funeral directors at a time when bereaved people are a bit fragile. There is a case for grants to keep pace with inflation and, like other insurances, it is something which people might well want to consider.

    But for the broadcaster to adopt the tone that it did, and to follow GMS with a phone in on this subject suggests that it was showing partiality. Mr George Osborne, in his position as editor of the Evening Standard had proposed that the columns of the paper be open to pieces by vested interests. This was a departure from the traditional advertising which has funded newspapers. This was a significant change, and it is one from which he has stepped back, at least temporarily.

    If it had been the funeral industry which had provided the ‘alarming figures’ it was surely the duty of a broadcasting service which has a duty of impartiality to have subjected these assertions to the kind of scrutiny Professor Robertson has given here. That they did not leaves them open to bias and to suspicions that they are continuing to pursue ‘Project Fear’. While this theme was not directly attacking actions by the SG, it is contributing to a general ‘discontent’ ethos, which often focuses on whichever party is in power. It is an example of ‘dog whistling’.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Paul D June 7, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    I am sure I heard them say at one point that 10% were held up from hurrying due to cost. That means the real figure for those unburied for cost reasons is ~2 per year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul D June 7, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Burrying not hurrying obviously! A rather unfortunate autocorrect.

      Liked by 3 people

      • diabloandco June 8, 2018 / 7:18 am

        I liked the first one – many a cremation I have attended and many times been hurried out so that the next one could get in.

        Of course my ‘favourite ‘ hurry was Dave Allan’s skit with 2 rival burials trying to beat each other to the cemetery.

        The BBBC in Scotland is a complete farce , if the truth punched them in the gub they would still make huge efforts to discredit the Scottish Government.

        I wonder if they will lead their news bulletins with the winner of the project of the decade , the Queensferry crossing, or will they find some whinger on the street complaining that the SNP is not doing enough to alleviate some nonsensical ,petty gripe. – no answer required!

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Ludo Thierry June 8, 2018 / 10:40 am

    Noticed this item on beeb N. Ireland site – Having no connection with religiosity or with these particular churches the development is, arguably, none of my business. However, can’t help feeling that these ‘historical’ ties being loosened and left to fray is, on balance, very much a positive thing and further indication of our new and better Scotland embedding day by day. From beeb N. Ireland page:

    Irish Presbyterians vote to loosen Scottish church ties
    By Mark Simpson BBC News NI

    The Presbyterian Church has voted to loosen its ties with the Church of Scotland due to its more liberal attitude to same-sex relationships.

    The vote was taken on Wednesday at the decision-making General Assembly in Belfast.

    The vote was passed by 255 votes to 171.

    The result means the head of the Church of Scotland (moderator) will no longer be invited to the annual meeting of the General Assembly in Belfast.

    Scotland’s history is what it is – but some episodes add value to none of the parties involved and should be permitted to become the historical footnotes they actually are – rather than promoted and pickled in political formaldehyde because they happen to support a particular ruling class ideology. Given the strange connections between these ‘Churchy’ issues and the origin and maintenance of the various unions of Crowns and Parliaments on these Islands it strikes this observer as a genuinely healthy step en route to fully restoring our Scottish parliamentary and popular independence.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. daibhidhdeux June 9, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    I will hoist a dram to that, Brother Ludo, with a large one set aside for Auld Nick as his Angel’s Share. Slainte and may your god bless a re-unified Ireland and re-independent Scotland well free of the reactionary metaphysics of the theological hoodie craws.

    Liked by 1 person

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