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  1. Wealth
October 8, 2008

The source of London's greatness

By Spear's

It was sweet, this bizarre agglomeration of people from all walks of London life.

I went to the 1000 Most Influential People in London party Monday night. Though I can’t possibly imagine why we were invited, both my husband and I were on the guest list. It was certainly a grandly packaged affair: large flames outside the pillars of the Wallace Collection and huge queues of private cars outside presaged the party within.

So you can imagine my amusement when we arrived and were handed name badges – no, not the “My-name-is” variety with the sticky back, but the rather posher version with hard clear plastic cover and a pin to attach to your lapel. So in I walked, labeled, for all to see, with my married name.

Everyone was wearing them: name on first line, organization on second. But our tags only had our names, floating in solitude in a rectangle of white. It rather pleased me my tag had no organization listed on it, as if my name alone should have been enough – though I suspect it had more to do with the fact that no one could find a suitable justification for my being there. It felt like a salesmen’s convention, walking around to see with whom I should network.

Yet it was sweet, this bizarre agglomeration of people from all walks of London life, being celebrated for their hard work that often goes unrecognized and unrewarded by their more headline-grabbing fellow-citizens. So it was a pleasure to trot around, teetering champagne glass in hand, reading people’s name tags: this one from University College London, that one was Ambassador’s Theatre Group. It reminded me what I love about London, and who makes it great.

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