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 the greedy rich today (and why people let them get away with it).
I don’t understand how and when pushing into queues become socially acceptable.
(Food reviews will be resumed afterwards.)
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 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.
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?
Do you want to know how a cabal of old Etonians run this country for the benefit of the rich? Do you know why benefits are cut for the poor, why Sports Direct workers are treated like animals, why Google don’t have to pay tax?
Because we all let them. It would take some effort, some backbone, some fight to change things.
Oh look, Crystal Palace are playing Man City on Sky Sports, let’s watch that with a Carling.
“Isn’t it terrible all these immigrants coming in and ruining our country!”
We kick those weaker than ourselves, as we in turn are kicked.
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.