A Note from London

Posted by Kelvyn Gardner on March 23, 2017

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I’m sure I was not alone yesterday in receiving a good many email, text and WhatsApp messages from licensing friends, colleagues and contacts wishing me to be safe and well away from the London terrorist attack. I thank all of you for your care and concern. In fact, I was in London but some miles from Westminster where it all occurred. Having lived in London throughout the IRA years of terror, I am well used to Londoners’ response: stoic refusal to bow to such tactics and an unfussy determination to carry on.

The care shown by our licensing fellows towards me was manifest just as I was reading the Light Fund’s annual submission to the UK Charity Commissioners about our work in the last year. What a contrast to reflect on the goodness and generosity of licensing folk against such a tangible example of the sort of mean-spirited and life-denying actions that constitute the output of indiscriminate terrorism.

What made yesterday’s attack even more pertinent for reflection here is that many of you reading this, if you have attended LIMA’s 2015 and 2016 Retail Panel Debates in the House of Commons on the eve of Brand Licensing Europe, will have stood within yards of the tragic events in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster. Where you entered, through the public access gate at Cromwell Green, you will have encountered police officers, armed and unarmed, and noted the vigilance that they temper with a friendly face for the many legitimate visitors to the seat of British democracy. You and I may even have encountered Police Constable Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old husband and father, who was brutally slain there yesterday in the line of duty.

I’m writing this in Blackpool, where I am attending the first major Light Fund event of the year. I am moved and touched by the context of all of this in these short twenty-four hours. I trust that you will understand why I have taken the liberty of addressing this in the normally business-focused LIMA blog. It’s abundantly clear that there is a great deal of love and care among licensing professionals. We must work to keep it that way, and thus do our bit to expose and reject the calumnies of terrorism.

Thank you for reading this.