A city that is proud of its heritage should surely want to invite international guests and media to a part of London that they could be proud of without erecting a vast and impersonal shopping village and well positioned architectural devices to ensure that the unsuspecting eye, at no point, ever lands on Stratford itself. God forbid the French got a look at Poundland!
When the recession hit in 2007, the majority of economists and retail commentators predicted that the luxury retail market would not fare well, but five years on it has not only survived, but prospered. Only last month Burberry Group posted a 24 per cent surge in its 2011 profits and Richemont (the third largest luxury group and owner of Cartier) posted a sharp increase in sales of €2.62bn.
Brits don't really want to be branded. A favourite pastime might be moaning about the state of our country, but woe betide any other nationality finding fault with our home state. We have the best of everything, and sometimes the worst (I'm thinking mainly about the weather, although you can take your pick from the economy, our teeth and all manner of other stereotypical issues) but it is ours, which counts for a lot. The past week has showcased that in all its glory.