Jumping the queue
THE way a nation chooses to queue says much about its culture and economy. A queue represents, the theorists would say, an imbalance between supply and demand and it is at this margin that the tout and the black-marketeer make a living.
Whatever kind of queue it is, whether in Moscow for the bare essentials of life or in Glasgow for tickets to the big game, there are always people who beat the system. They have friends in places high and low; they pull strings; as the French say, they have pistons. I suspect that I always pay more for my air tickets than the chap sitting next to me because beating the system takes more nerve, time and energy than I am prepared to invest in the task.