Twenty-five years ago, when Mothers Square was the Mothers Hospital and the year-long miners' strike had just come to an end, Hackney Council was in the thick of a rebellion against a government attempt to restrict local authority spending. Along with several other Labour London boroughs and Ken Livingstone's Greater London Council, Hackney tried every political and legal means to defy Margaret Thatcher's "rate-capping" legislation before half the Labour group joined with Tory and Liberal Councillors to vote through a budget that was acceptable in the eyes of the law. The Town Hall chamber was invaded. The group leader resigned. Fur flew. But in the end all the rebel authorities complied with Mrs T. What became clear then remains just as clear now - the failure to set a legal budget would mean a hostile Tory government stepping in to set it for you.