I love Blackpool.
I know a review of the Speedy Pass scheme at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (BPB) is a little beyond the scope of an Aberystwyth food blog, but I feel passionately that it is a disgrace to the people of England, and a potent symbol of the moral bankruptcy of British people today.
I don’t understand how and when pushing into queues become socially acceptable.
BPB is celebrating its 120th birthday at the moment, and I feel I’ve been with them most of the way.
I went on the Revolution & Big One rides as soon as they opened, and have taken my nephews to the park as soon as they were old enough to feel fear then elation.
So I was horrified to learn on a recent visit that the park is now encouraging people to buy a Speedy Pass.
There are different levels and costs, but the result it the same – people can now pay to push in.
The queues are always the worst thing about theme parks, I know, but the solution is not to let people pay to jump the queues. That just means others wait even longer.
My nephews queued for the Big One for 35 minutes, and just as they were about to get on their prized front seat, people from the Speedy Queue kept them from their prize.
They had sneaked up the exit ramp like guilty rats and pushed in ahead of two lovely little lads.
“How are they are able to push in ahead of us, Auntie?” they asked me, tearfully. “We’ve been waiting here ages!”
Well, how could I answer them?
Waiting your turn is fair, and our family likes to believe in a fair country.
People deliberately pushing in, without any shame, shows where our country has now sunk.
Paying to push in doesn’t make it right.
I shook my head and tried to explain to the children that these people were selfish and horrible, like the criminals who ruin society for everyone.
At about the same moral level as thieves, burglars and flashers.
But that’s only part of the story.
A second, greater shame lies with Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a once proud & decent company, now encouraging the morally and spiritually weak to jump queues.
“Go on”, say these venal corrupters of our country, “pushing in isn’t bad. You deserve it!”
Look at the proud history of BPB, and weep at the craven venality of the current generation of the Thompson family.
The original motto talked of “inspiring gaiety of a primarily innocent character“. It doesn’t mention corrupting the moral character of our country.
But the blame also lies with a third set of people.
The bovine customers who meekly accept it.
Once, British people stood up for what was right.
We still worship the generation who stood up to Hitler and fought for our freedoms.
Now we stand by, and watch people paying to jump a queue.
Not a sound is made, not a shout of “Pushing In”.
The Jumpers don’t catch our eyes, and look away, rightly embarrassed.
We look away too, ashamed of what people have become.
I thought they were supposed to be blunt, honest, unafraid to stand up to blatant unfairness in front of them.
When did Northerners become supine cowards, letting the worst people in society walk all over them?
The Speedy Pass people try to justify paying to push in by saying it saves them time – we know that! We know pushing in suits you!
I am fit, strong and determined.
I could easily push the weaklings out of the way and get myself to the front of the queue, and I wouldn’t even have to pay.
But that doesn’t make it right.
Don’t accept it.
If I, an old woman, was able to shout “Pushing In!” every time I saw it, then why can’t fit and healthy young people? People shrugged at me – “What can we do?”
We could start fighting back.
It doesn’t take much.
Liverpool fans left a game early, and the owners backed down right away.
If we stood up to the Thompson family, if we didn’t give up our seat to someone who had stolen it, then we could start to take our country back from greedy people, greedy companies.
We could get rid of the shame.