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  1. Wealth
August 13, 2012

Can London Keep Its Newfound Community Spirit After The Closing Ceremony?

By Spear's

After a rollicking closing ceremony featuring everyone from One Direction to The Who, I’m left thinking about London 2012’s legacy and in particular whether an accurate image of Britain has been projected.

After a rollicking closing ceremony featuring everyone from One Direction to The Who, I’m left thinking about London 2012’s legacy and in particular whether an accurate image of Britain has been projected.
 

The Olympics have been branded the friendly games ever since Thomas Heatherwick’s cauldron of 204 petals came together in unison. But I believe that businesses relocating to London will not find July’s antics reflective of the year-round national spirit.

Far from the grinning volunteers lining streets corners from South Kensington to Stratford, Londoners are a more cynical bunch. They won’t wish a happy day to firms funnelling finance through the City as, at heart, the capital’s workers are still uncomfortable with engaging strangers on a personal level.
 
Yet I hope that the Olympics will have a lasting effect on the national psyche and alter British custom, for the enjoyment of everyday life has blossomed over the summer every bit as much as the weather.
 
The community spirit that we have witnessed has shown that Britain is at its best both in adversity and celebration. And the army of volunteers has demonstrated that, as Cameron’s Big Society predicted, the public can rise to the occasion every bit as much as Team GB.
 
Britain’s economic strategy in the 21st century is to be the home of the world’s best rather than the creator of them. So, for me, the lasting memory of the London 2012 will not be the heroics of Mo Farah, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, but rather of the city uniting in a truly golden manner.

Read more from Spear’s about the Olympics
  
Read more by Freddy Barker

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