Karl Marx – Highgate Cemetery – ‘What are we doing here mum?’
Sometime in the mid 1990’s on a family outing to Highgate Cemetery against background wails of “What are we doing here?” and “Why can’t we just go to the playground like normal children?” I was asked by a Japanese tourist for directions to the grave of Karl Marx. Having sent her on her way and before she was safely out of earshot I was asked “Who is Karl Marx?” Long gone are the days where I stopped to reflect on the ignorance of youth or the wisdom of my own outing choices I launched the standard explanation as fast as I could before the children inevitably ran off into the distance to get away from me. Recently I learnt that the new Bridge Theatre in London will open with a play ‘Young Marx’. It is billed as a comedy. It reveals that this German philosopher, thinker, revolutionary and author of the Communist Manifesto felt thoroughly at home in London over the 34 years he chose to make it his home. Apparently he loved seaside resorts, had a deep personal affinity for the British Library and even became an aficionado of that great national tradition, the pub crawl. So in every way not what you would imagine from the memorial in Highgate. What this brought home to me is what makes London and the U.K. the hot bed of creativity that it is. Statistically London is the creative capital of Europe and that must in part be attributed to our tolerance and openness to ideas. As long as you stay within the law (i.e. no hate crimes) everything goes. It is this spirit that makes the practice of intellectual property law in the U.K. so rewarding. The sheer number of new business we see every week, the diversity and originality of their ideas never fails to both surprise and delight. It keeps our interest and our enthusiasm. Karl Marx said “Philosophers have interpreted the world, the point however is to change it.” We agree that is what businesses are doing every day through their creativity and energy. Long may it continue.