Titbits – selective voices and multiple choices

Titbits bird

◆ Hackney Council’s traffic light system for deciding which motions are heard at Town Hall meetings has come under fire in recent times. After receiving a suggestion that each party should get one motion apiece, Labour councillor Kam Adams is said to have complained that it wouldn’t be fair when his party has many more seats than both the Conservatives and the Greens. Funny, Titbits was under the impression that Labour isn’t in favour of proportional representation!

◆ Hackney’s mayor Caroline Woodley was effervescent in her enthusiasm for the 13th-century St Augustine’s Tower as she tweeted out a photo of her standing atop Hackney’s oldest building. No such effusiveness following her visit last month to Pitcairn House, which despite being built around 600 years later, is in a decidedly worse state than the looming landmark.

◆ After returning from a two-week break, our reporter entered the Town Hall chamber to mutterings from Labour councillors. “That’s the journalist,” one whispered to a neighbour. The acoustics in the room might make it difficult to hear anyone who is actually addressing the meeting, but it turns out they carry a hushed tone from the back benches surprisingly well. Always nice to know that our reporters are causing a stir!

◆ In a publicity drive for Multiple Casualty Incident, the Yard Theatre tweeted out a quote from a Guardian review: “As power structures shift, the reality of conflict closing in, how much it would take for a well-intentioned person to lean into a little corruption. Don’t even the best of us, [the play] asks, have a price they would fall for?” Titbits splutters into her tea.

Titbits is pleased the council’s new Speaker is self-assured enough to issue a tweet from @hackneyspeaker lauding her own achievement: “Congratulations to Cllr Sheila Suso-Runge, who has been elected Speaker of Hackney for 2024/25.”

◆ “It warms my heart to see my boss Sadiq Khan meet the Pope,” posted Sophie Linden, former deputy mayor of Hackney and now London’s deputy mayor for policing, along with a photo of Khan with the bishop of Rome. “Yeah, the Pope looks thrilled,” came one sardonic reply.

◆ “What is the difference between an ‘unsuccessful’ and a ‘successful’ low traffic neighbourhood? Time.” The wistful words of erstwhile Hackney cabinet member Jon Burke, on reading an admission from a former anti-LTN campaigner that his local low traffic scheme had “improved our family’s lives immeasurably”. Vindication is a wonderful thing.