September 28th, 2012

Ed’s Zero Base

Labour have spent the last week fretting about economic credibility, the cause is the realisation that the economy has probably bottomed and growth is returning. In fact yesterday saw an upwards revision of previous GDP figures which effectively halved the supposed depth of recession. The unemployment figures are going in the right direction, private sector growth is still anaemic though getting healthier, the re-balancing of the public sector is proceeding. The much awaited expansionary fiscal contraction is, whisper it quietly, almost upon us. This will fatally undermine the Balls mantra of “too far, too fast”. When Shadow Minister Ian Murray endorsed the idea of reviewing every single piece of public spending, he sent Balls into a spasm. Nobody came out to defend the policy or Murray, especially not Chuka Umunna, who despite numerous opportunities, ran to the hills. Now Ed Balls has stolen the policy in an interview with the Guardian.

In what looks like a a pre-conference policy side-step, Ed Balls has jumped on the “Zero Base Policy” bandwagon this morning. This state-slashing policy was outlined by Labour’s Miss Goody-Two-Shoes Stella Creasy earlier this summer. First advanced by the Adam Smith Institute this sensible policy is one that every government should embrace. Incoming governments should assess every single line item and every penny of taxpayers’ money spent. That should not be controversial.

Guido is glad that Balls has come round to this idea, though he does find it odd that just 48 hours ago Labour were trying to distance themselves from the very same policy when we asked. The problem Guido has with this Damascene conversion from Labour is that they have had years to review their spending. Instead of tackling waste they borrowed to spend and spend and spend – like a drunken sailor in a knocking shop. Balls has consistently denied debt fuelled overspending was ever a problem, repeatedly claiming (as recently as last month) that it was all going tickety-boo until the 2008 bank crisis hit. The metamorphosis of Balls into a supposedly frugal fiscal hawk willing to cut spending is something to behold.

Guido will only believe Balls if he announces – before the election – plans for line item spending cuts, in detail, in every government department and agency to balance the budget. Ed Balls won’t because he is only shifting his position because he knows an expanding economy with healthy growth will leave him looking foolish come election day. The only thing that is “zero based” is Ed’s fiscal credibility.


74 Comments

  1. 1

    RetardEd Ballsup – lying sack of shite.

    Like

    • 2
      Balls says:

      Bollocks!

      Like

    • 4

      P.S – Sorry 8illy – 2 L8!

      Like

    • 37
      Religion: God's curse on Mankind says:

      Balls demeans the word shite.

      Like

    • 52
      Dr Nuts says:

      I am confused – truly.
      While Labour overspend was going to cause a deficit…

      Can any explain how the Banks bailout wasn’t a problem which effectively blew the UK Govt finances out of the water?
      Give the size of the Bailout and explain how that’s a small number.
      or is it the Conservative Party adherents here refuse to recognise that’s a problem because of George Osbournes own speech 2006?
      http://www.conservatives.com/News/Speeches/2006/04/Osborne_Building_a_competitive_economy_-_tackling_the_skills_gap.aspx
      Regulation too inhibits enterprise. For example, speak to any business in financial services – from the largest investment bank to smallest independent financial adviser – and the threat of future regulation from Whitehall and Brussels is now their number one concern. Para 39

      .. banks should be further deregulated. The cause of the banking collapse was what? Who in the Labour Party forced the banks to rack up the debts on the stock market based on greed?
      Names please, and the method of coercion!

      So I have an intelligence problem – who to vote for? Labour who’re not credible, or Conservatives who’d have made the whole Banking Collapse worse and now lying about it?
      Talk was in 2010 about possibly needing the IMF, if Conservatives had been elected in 2005, we would have had to get an IMF loan in 2008.
      OR Conservatives would have exterminated your savings, while making sure you keep your debts.
      Got to love the Conservatives!

      Like

  2. 3
    Denis McShane's Shed says:

    The day that the Labour Party start being responsible with tax payers’ money is the day that I win Miss World. The party in general (and Balls in particular) are opportunists of the first order concerned only with winning power. Once gained, they’ll be hosing the cash at every Socialist idea they can find.

    Wankers.

    Like

    • 12
      • 38
        Dr Nuts says:

        Yep, like the Conservatives – it’s all about Ideology!
        I cannot see any difference between the two – Left Wing Ideology based on theory which describes reality, in a hope it’s true or
        Right Wing Ideology based on theory which describes reality, in a hope it’s true!

        Why can’t we have a party who’re concerned about reality and work the policies based on that.
        Racism isn’t racism if it’s true!
        Best Person for the job, not based on colour, gender or religion (both parties pander to Positive Discrimination). Positive Discrimination is still Discrimination.
        We have a house of elected morons because the country have at least 50% population of morons (IQ 100 or less), who’ll vote by rosette colour. We need a steering House of Experts – the Morons argument is – we’re so infallibly fantastic you need two houses of us!
        Election promises should be precisely that. I hope Nick Clegg is slaughtered in the elections to send a clear message to the other parties, you promise, you deliver or we’ll have our say. Pity that didn’t happen in 2001.
        On that point, we need the right to recall based on MP based on MP’s deception.
        That’d start to clean up the House of Commons…

        Like

        • 62
          Pleb of the world........ says:

          Gan on Dr Nuts….

          Erudite and qualified……

          You don’t see much of that on here.

          Have I spelled erudite correctly ? I’m judging the fact that I don’t vote by rosette colour as a marker for my IQ being above 100. Then again I spoil ballot papers!

          Well said from a pleb.

          Like

        • 69

          Oh, you know, you’re so right.
          Except that you don’t know what the Tories would have done in 2008, so that’s a nonsense approach. Or indeed that any of your subsequent suppositions (careful choice of word) would have played out in exactly the way you say. So, actually not right. At all.

          But, as Tony might say, Hey, I’m a straight talking kinda guy – lets shoot the messengers.

          Like

          • Dr Nuts says:

            Erudite?
            Whatever!

            I keep reading the Right Wingers claiming to be so perfect in what Conservatives are doing and would have done while ignoring reality,
            I then keep reading Left Wingers claiming Labour were near perfect in what they did.
            Neither side appear to consider reality!

            Labour overspent – yes, but Conservatives would’ve put us straight into a recession – that’s the whole of their ideology and politics!
            The Banks then blew a massive hole in the National economy.
            What I remember is Bremner, Bird and Fortune – as a comedy show were pointing out exactly what was going to happen from 2004…
            So what are everyone’s excuses for their lame right-wing, left-wing die-hard endearence if it isn’t Stupidity?

            Like

    • 32
      Sniper says:

      Tick VG

      Like

    • 39
      I promise to pay the bearer..... says:

      To be fair it’s not even real money is it?

      Like

    • 48
      Anonymous says:

      Dear Miss World…

      Of course the lie boer (war) party is responsible with your money.

      Wasn’t G4S appointed during their reign of terror?

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2209831/Two-G4S-directors-resign-wake-Olympics-fiasco–chief-executive-Nick-Buckles-keeps-job.html

      Must be a nice guy, lovely smile, reminds me of a photo of gordonzola.

      Like

  3. 5
    Tooth fairy says:

    Chuka will come out of the woodwork now I suppose.

    Like

  4. 6
    Steve Miliband says:

    Can we expect a ”je suis désolé” video from President Hollande this afternoon when he announces his budget will after all have to introduce some austerity?

    Like

  5. 7
    Anonymous says:

    From the Guardian article:

    ‘The budget review, expected to report within a year after the next election should Labour find itself back in No 10′

    Shouldn’t we get to find out before the election? How about what spending Ed does/doesn’t endorse right now?

    Like

  6. 8
    Mr Helpful says:

    Balls has agreed to “review every single piece of public spending”. After which he’ll no-doubt conclude (or rather, his union paymasters will conclude) that it’s all fine and dandy, although it could do with increasing a bit, quite a bit, rather a lot, massively, more than you can imagine, along with taxes.

    Like

  7. 9
    nellnewman says:

    bullyballs is simply spouting lies – this leopard will never change its spots. But he will say anything to try and get re-elected to government in 2015

    He’s a spendspendspend merchant with ,as you say, no fiscal credibility or in my language ‘NO money sense’

    Like

  8. 10
    Sid says:

    socialists in whatever guise in the end always run out of other peoples money

    no doubt the phrase tory cuts v labour investment will be wheeled out again at some point in the future once the economy is stronger

    and the same will happen again, liebour always (check your history books, though, you won’t find it in any UK school) end their period in power with too much debt and too much public spending, it is in their DNA

    I have a feeling that balls is such a liability to labour that milipede will “grow some” as the popular phrase goes and sack him before 2015 just to get back into power

    Like

  9. 13
    jack welby says:

    Socialists cannot be trusted with money as pfi for hosPitals for 100s of milions of punds the payback is the closure of the essential A.E departments throughout the Uk.

    Like

    • 54
      Steve Lloyd. says:

      A&E depts closing. Medical centers opening all over Londinistan. Medical centers owned and operated by Mee healthcare, director one Cherie Blair. Do the math.

      Like

  10. 14
    Sophie says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/gordon-brown/9571894/Gordon-Brown-cancels-a-UN-press-conference-after-just-one-reporter-turns-up.html

    You would need a heart of stone not to wet yourself laughing.

    Brown cancels press conference after just one journalist turns up.

    Crying with laughter, it is soooo difficult to type….read it & weap…

    I look forward to the day when Ed balls cannot muster tumbleweed to listen to his fiscal lunacy & dogma.

    Like

    • 19
      ho hum says:

      Is that weap as you so ?

      Like

    • 28
      Religion: God's curse on Mankind says:

      Name and Shame the reporter.

      Like

    • 34
      Cato Street Conspirator says:

      This is terrible. Brown was going to announce that he’s saved the world once again. Now none of us will hear this fantastic news.

      Like

    • 60
      Anonymous says:

      Fucking hilarious.

      Loving the face-saving excuse he tried at the end…

      A spokesman for Mr Brown said he was on a panel with Aung San Suu Kyi and Queen Rania of Jordan “which overran.”

      Aye. He was too busy to go to his press conference which nobody showed up to.

      I imagine all the reporters had similar excuses. ‘Sorry, I had to go to an opening of a McDonalds..’ ‘Sorry, I was delayed, the football went to extra time..’ ‘Sorry, I was delayed, I was organising my canned goods alphabetically..’

      He had to come up with an excuse not to show up to his own press conference. Just like every body else.

      Hahahahahahaha.

      Like

  11. 15
    Silent Bob says:

    Like

  12. 17
    ciconia says:

    Will this be the new ‘golden rule’, also known as GB’s flexible friend?

    Like

  13. 18
    Loungelizard says:

    I’ve had a look inside…nothing, nada, zilch, zero, just another blank piece of paper.

    Like

  14. 20
    The UN Special Envoy for Fuck-Knows-What-All says:

    “A press conference by the former Prime Minister at the United Nations in New York was cancelled this week when not enough journalists turned up to hear him speak. “

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/gordon-brown/9571894/Gordon-Brown-cancels-a-UN-press-conference-after-just-one-reporter-turns-up.html

    Like

  15. 23
    Dr Nuts says:

    The much awaited expansionary fiscal contraction
    Conservative double-speak?

    Like

  16. 24
    Ed Balls - Shallow Chancer says:

    From 1997 onwards, my Master taught me ‘Fiscal Prudence & Stability’, ‘No Return to Boom & Bust’.

    In 2010 we had……

    Like

  17. 31
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    ‘Ed Balls won’t because he is only shifting his position because he knows an expanding economy with healthy growth will leave him looking foolish come election day.’

    Except, of course, there won’t be ‘an expanding economy with healthy growth… come election day.’ More’s the pity.

    Like

  18. 33
    Ichabod says:

    Never mind the recession coming to an end—what on earth is the Royal Opera House doing providing George Osborne, and others, with complimentary tickets for Wagner’s Ring cycle ? Can this really be true ? That a body dependant on public subsidence should provide people in governance with freebies.. it stinks.

    Like

  19. 36
    Sniper says:

    Zero Balls. Preferably, no Balls at all. An absence of Balls as Ed Mountebank has shown is a good thing.

    Like

  20. 40
    Steve Coogit says:

    {Whinge whinge whinge}..I think people who talk with a plummy accent hate people like me..I know for a fact that Simon Callow and Patrick Stewart hate my guts.

    ..{Whinge whinge whinge}.. People who have two million pound houses should pay 100% tax…i would ..I’d be happy too..except I have four houses all at £1.5 million each..so..it doesn’t really apply…

    {Whinge whinge whinge} … private schools should be banned…except the one i send my son too.that’s different…somehow or other…

    {Whinge whinge whinge} … people on six figure salaries need to pay 90% top rate of tax.. Now the fact I’m self employed and use shell companies and assets offsets accountants to reduce my tax bill to a bit more than Jimmy Carr but a bit less than Ken Livingstone, does not necessarily make me a hypocritical lefty upper class warrior…

    … I think i passed the champagne socialist test, eh Polly?

    Like

  21. 43
    Ex-Tory says:

    Your optimism on the economy is admirable. However, I think the markets will soon turn against the UK. The debt levels, both public and private are just unsustainable. Bad times ahead.

    Like

    • 64
      UKIP.i.am.awake says:

      Until the Euro fiasco is sorted out the whole world economy will carry on going downhill – too far too fast.

      Like

  22. 48
    Dave "Butch" Cameron says:

    Ed may very well “zero base”,but I “free base”

    So there !

    Like

  23. 63
    UKIP.i.am.awake says:

    Ed Balls adopts plan B.

    Like

  24. 65
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Ed Balls scores own goal.

    Like

  25. 66
    Mike Hunt says:

    No one with any brains believes a word this idiot says.
    The Guardian and it’s readers will of course lap it up.

    Like

  26. 67
    HenryV says:

    Too manys Ed’s.

    Like

  27. 68
    Squiffy says:

    Balls is only doing this so that he can defer every question about what Labour would do until after the spending review when in Government.

    It’s cynical not principled.

    Like

  28. 70
    Darrol Skinner says:

    The “realisation that the economy has probably bottomed and growth is returning”. Comedy Gold. Keep Em Coming.

    Like

  29. 74
    John says:

    The thing is that even if Ed Balls DID produce a set of line by line spending cuts per Government department, could you trust him to actually stick by what he promises?

    The man lies so easily, so pathologically, that it is impossible to trust a single word he says. He just trots out whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear, or whatever will win him a little bit of support.

    Ed Balls has little if any perception of how the wider public see him. He only just clung onto his seat at the last election FFS. His mates in New Labour might see him as an asset, but I suspect the vast majority of the general public who know anything about him think he is a nasty little c**t.

    Like


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