Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't want to queue, then just barge in!

Okay, the British are famous around the world for forming a queue. Foreigners can laugh but this is our sense of fair play. Forming and standing in a queue is democratic, fair and treats everyone the same. Queue jumping is frowned upon and rightly so, however there is a hardcore minority who will use any ruse to jump to the front of a queue.

We are used to the owners of the most expensive motor cars aggressively forcing their way to the front of traffic queues. Their attitude is clearly "I have more money than you so get out of my way" as they believe that their wealth gives them the privilege to barge into the front of any queue.

This "me first" mentality has now spread to our airports where flashing the cash can get you to the front of a queue. Airports have started charging up to £5 for the right to save up to half an hour in queueing time. Luton has become the first large airport to introduce the fee following Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol. BAA, which owns Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh and Glasgow, is considering the scheme. Unlike existing fast-track systems for business and first-class passengers, there is no separate security scanner for Luton’s “priority lane”. Passengers simply enter a channel taking them to the front of the queue. Luton introduced the £3 fee last month after observing a similar scheme at Liverpool airport, where about 10 per cent of passengers pay to queue-jump. If a similar proportion of Luton’s passengers were to pay the fee, it would raise £3 million a year. Liverpool’s fee began in 2007 at £2 per passenger but is now £3. Leeds-Bradford also charges £3 and Bristol £5.

So we have the cash rich who can jump the queue simply by waving their wallets. This is disgusting and I am totally against this practice and I think this attitude simply stinks. It is most unfair and the public should simply form a queue for everything as everyone should be treated equally and without favour to any one group.

There is another group of people who use their status to jump to the front of queues. These are people who love to be classed as disabled because of the advantages that some people put their way. It is not just the special parking spaces enjoyed by the disabled but other transport concessions. These disabled people enjoy free local bus travel and reductions of up to 50% on coach travel. The free bus travel and reduced fare coach travel are political agenda agreed through our democratically elected parliament. So the disabled should queue up with everyone else and board a coach just like everyone else. Ah but we have the wonders of the Help Point staff at London Victoria Coach Station who will fast track passengers who claim a disability. Time and time again there are queues of passengers lined up orderly to board a coach when along comes a member of the Help Staff who then tries to bully the driver and push the claimed disabled passenger onto the coach ignoring all the other queuing passengers. This is morally wrong, we form and respect queues here in Britain. These passengers enjoy the financial benefits of their claimed disability yet cannot be arsed to queue up like everyone else. Levels of disability vary and there are many disabilities that qualify. Tell me what makes a mentally handicapped person unable to stand in queue? What makes a deaf or blind person unable to stand in a queue? What makes a mobility restricted person unable to queue? Any severely physically handicapped person would be sat in a wheelchair and could queue all day long! Add to this the further insult to all other passengers that the disabled demand the front seats on a coach, not because of their disability but because they can.

This queue jumping by the cash rich and the disabled should stop. We should all treat each other equally and not allow some minorities to barge into the front of queues. Fair play for everyone by forming a queue. By respecting a queue we develop a respect for each other rather than the adoption of a two class state.
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