I meant to mention a couple of weeks ago the special ‘networks’ issue of Forbes magazine after Chris Anderson pointed it out (I’m not a regular Forbes reader, I have to admit). It’s an interesting read and has quite a lot of similarities with the Demos collection that I edited with Paul and Helen called Network Logic a few years back.
Anyway, the fact that it was Forbes reminded me of a blatant name-dropping story from my short stint as a humble intern on Newsnight. George Bush had just made his axis of evil speech and I was dispatched off to help a team find an American foreign or military policy specialist to get a response. We hit lucky and found out that former US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger (since departed) was in London and staying at the Forbes house in Battersea.
Off we went to get a few minutes of Caspar (the friendly defence secretary as he was referred to by the editor of Newsnight at the time) on tape. He was already heavily showing his years but as soon as the camera started recording a sparkle returned to his eye and he gave us some brilliantly barbed comments about George Bush junior.
While all this was going on we were being looked after handsomely by the Forbes housekeeper and fed the spare food from a dinner that had been held for Caspar the night before. It was only as we were leaving that the camera man looked in the visitors’ book to see who had been there. The last name stood out. Margaret Thatcher. We’d been eating her leftovers. Suddenly the taste in my mouth wasn’t quite so sweet.