Friday, 16 January 2009

Queuing...

I had a realisation recently... Maybe even an epiphany... Or maybe it was just a thought.

Anyway, whatever it was it had to do with the humble queue. It seems like the British are obsessed with queueing up. It is almost an automatic reaction. We see a queue, we get to the back of it...

I think this had a lot to do with the collapse of the Northern Rock (a building society in the UK). As soon as a few people panicked and wanted their savings back a small queue formed, and then the British, being the British just joined on the end of the queue, and before you know it you have queues round blocks and a run on the banks... I bet if you asked the people in the queue, half off the didn't even have Northern Rock accounts!

But the British obsession with queuing isn't all bad. You see, I think it lies at the very heart of out democracy. You see; in a queue everyone is equal, implicitly. If you arrived last, then you get served last. It doesn't matter how rich you are, or how important you think you are, in a queue you just wait your turn...

So the equality of everyone in Britain (as in a Democracy, one man = one vote), is enshrined in the very attitudes of the population. I have a suspicion that those countries that don't really understand queuing, and we've all been in one (as British people we are infuriated when we see someone cut in the front of the queue and also as British people we politely don't say anything for fear of offending someone...), have a weaker grasp on democracy and the idea that everyone should be equal then those fellow countries where a queue is sacred...

Actually, on reflection, I think it was just a thought...

2 comments:

Missy J said...

It's not just the brits, a lot of people automatically goes to the end of the queue, its called courtesy :P

except in cases of urgency, in a lot of asian countries people just start swamping in and stepping on each other :P

Kathryn said...

Actually it's an accurate observation. One reason why it's necessary to adapt democratic structures to the country rather than just impose them is because if they don't fit with the culture, they just don't work as well.