The league table -
by Channel 4's "The Best And Worst Places To Live In The UK: 2006" which puts Hackney as the worst place to live in the UK shows the silliness of relying totally on numbers and not actually asking about factors like people's perceptions.
My post on Saturday shows I am not starry eyed about the borough I live and am a councillor in - by any objective analysis it does suffer from amongst the highest levels of deprivation and crime in the UK - though on both counts the numbers are moving in the right direction. Indeed, the reason why I am a councillor is to try to make some kind of contribution to dealing with those problems.
The take up of "I love Hackney" badges during the council campaign of the same name earlier this year shows residents don't like the place being talked down by outsiders and are intensely loyal to it. I can't imagine kids in other boroughs wearing "I love Redbridge" or "I love Croydon" badges.
In fact one of the major problems Hackney faces is that too many people want to live here: I'm in the middle of moving flat and every single property we looked at this summer went for the asking price. The local housing market is booming to such an extent that middle income families are unable to buy here and there is a crisis around affordable housing for key workers.
Loyalty to the borough isn't confined to owner-occupiers either. Loads of the casework I get is about tenants wanting to be re-housed in larger council flats because their families have grown. In 95% of cases they are insistant that they don't want to move out of the borough, even though this would make it far easier for them to find a new home.
Channel 4's numbers don't seem to have taken account of the things that make people passionate about living in Hackney: more green space than any other inner London borough, fantastic restaurants and bars, proximity to central London, a feeling of community, and above all a model of multi-culturalism that actually works.
My suspicion is that Hackney residents will stick two fingers up to Channel 4 by continuing to be proud of their borough and to know that the huge social and economic problems it faces are challenges to be tackled, not badges of shame.