December 5th, 2013

SKETCH: The End of an Error. New Balls, Please.

Don’t let’s forget the way Ed Miliband was looking up at his bellowing shadow chancellor.

The look started out supportive and attentive, then went objective and cool, and then passed into dreaminess. Procedural analysts agree he was choosing the exact spot, between which two hairs, the ice pick would sink most easily into.

Balls is a phenomenon. Everything he has predicted has turned out to be wrong. He is like the 364 economists who wrote to the Times in 1981 warning that austerity would cripple the economy. They were wrong. He followed their lead. And now he’s wrong.

He stood up into the famous wall of noise that 200 Tories can produce, and he roared that the chancellor was “in denial”.

That was the beginning. But in another sense it was also the end.

Just out of camera shot, his front bench buried themselves in their Blackberrys. Behind him, his party slumped in a sick funk. The big argument of the last three years had been lost. The big bet had failed.

Their champion was flailing around like a punch-drunk, black-eyed, broken-ribbed, flat-nosed heavyweight swinging too hard to keep his balance.

The sound coming at them was fantastic. And so was the fury.

Hoarse with roaring, red with humiliation, Balls swung and punched his way into the fray with jokes poor enough for Tories to jeer at, and laughable accusations – of “letting the market rip” for one. Oh, if only!

The Speaker had lost the House. Every now and again the Balls paused, panting. Paused to point satirically or accusingly or primly with his pursed little lips – but actually to recover the strength to launch himself back into the fight.

Osborne’s peroration is worth quoting in full – it just kept coming, a relentlessly personal attack.

Get him on the ropes and pound him:

“They can’t talk about their record because they had the biggest recession ever. They can’t talk about the deficit because they’ve got no plan to deal with it. He can’t talk about infrastructure and his much vaunted plan for a cross-party consensus because he was the person who tried to break the consensus on the biggest project of all. He can’t talk about housing because there were 420,000 fewer affordable homes at the end of the Labour government. He can’t talk about business rates because they went up 71 per cent under Labour. He can’t talk about support for business because he wants to put taxes up on business. He can’t ask about standing up to the powerful because this is the week they caved in to the trade unions. He can’t ask about jobs because he wants more jobs taxes. And he can’t ask about banking and financial services because the person they hired to advise them was the Reverend Flowers.”

And Balls’ only response was to point and go “Ooooo!” as if to suggest Osborne and Cameron had taken cocaine themselves.

It was far from a complete response to a massive reputational attack.

Can Labour go into an election with a liability like this? Osborne must be hoping they can.


  1. 1
    Peter Grimes says:

    I was hoping he would burst a blood vessel!

  2. 2
    kay burleyhuman says:

    I’m just a fatuous, thick headed sky journo

  3. 3
    Peter Grimes says:

    You’re fugly too!

  4. 4
    Mike Hunt says:

    They have no choice:
    To fire him would be a humiliation.
    He will never resign because labour members never do.
    They have no one to replace him with that has any credibility.

    Thank goodness.

    Roll on GE2015

  5. 5
    broderick crawford says:



  6. 6
    HJ says:

    “Balls is a phenomenon. Everything he has predicted has turned out to be wrong. He is like the 364 economists who wrote to the Times in 1981 warning that austerity would cripple the economy. They were wrong.”

    The thing is, Balls still doesn’t realise that they were wrong. In his ‘Bloomberg’ speech (of which he is so proud) he claimed that the 1981 budget caused a recession, whereas a couple of minutes research would have told him that the economy grew thereafter. The recession was already over in 1981.

    He’s a dipstick.

  7. 7
    Axe The Telly Tax &Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Sun Headlines “Miliband To Have Balls Out By Christmas” :-)

  8. 8
    G Brown says:

    A really performance from Balls. He has one narrative & one personal style. He is a liability to Labour. He can’t survive.

  9. 9
    Fiona 'Roadshow' Bruce says:

    ME ME I’m best at acting the News. I can raise and lower my voice 3 times a word. WATCH ME . The content is unimportant

  10. 10
    Axe The Telly Tax &Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Sun headline “Miliband Loses Balls” :-)

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    Balls by name Bolloxed by nature. How can someone be so wrong and he’s married to Yvette Cooper that’s another huge error.

    How long before David Milliband comes back after his wilderness years to try and save the sinking labour punt

  12. 12
    Coeur_de_lion says:

    For the last 6 weeks, I could not see why, as Labour floundered from one horror show to another – Grangemouth, Falkirk, The Co-op bank failure, Reverend Flowers, letting them score points with unworkable policies, the Tories hadn’t landed even one killer blow. It seemed Labour hadn’t gotten through all these disasters unscathed.

    But reading Osborne’s scathing attack on Balls above, it all seems as it was being saved for the perfect moment to kill Balls credibility and career. Night Ed.

  13. 13
    Ah!!!!!!!!!! M says:

    Balls, a 21st Century Version of Wedgewood Benn. God’s gift to the Tories.

  14. 14
    Displaced Brummie says:

    I shall watch this later this evening when I get back home!

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Quite honestly, most of the Labour MP`s who comment in the media come over as overwraught and hysterical, i have noticed it getting worse over the past year.Nobody can believe Milliband, Hattie,Balls,Mrs Balls, Angela Eagles etc etc seem balanced and rational or even very nice people.Its obviously dawning on them that they will be out for a fair while !

  16. 16
    Check Facts First says:

    Miliband has no option but to get rid of Balls, sooner rather than later as he is now a total embarrassment to Labour. He is just becoming a much too easy target for the Tories. One down, one to go.

  17. 17
    With apologies to any pan-troglodytes who may be reading this says:

    It is truly disturbing that our economy is under the control of the participants in a chimpanzees tea party.

  18. 18
    Ah!!!!!!!!!! M says:

    I hope that 5 year old breaks them both.

  19. 19

    …the 364 economists who wrote to the Times in 1981!

    Remember that so well! Presumably they wanted a wrong economist for every day of the year but one pulled out at the last moment (if you will forgive the unintended double entendre.)

  20. 20
    Axe The Telly Tax &Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Only David “Bananman” Miliband can save Labour now.

  21. 21
    Kev. Ipswich says:


    What a hilarious train wreck, must be one of the worst speeches I’ve ever heard, Millirunt was squirming in agony as Balls just got angrier and crazier – brilliant TV.

    The effect was enhanced spectactuarly by Gideons surprisingly deft and effective slap down response. His pisstake about Balls missing his piano lessons and Liebors total and utter failure on the economy…and well everything really was a genuinely good slap down response – the mental image of a serene and ernest Balls hunched over a piano concentrating so hard his tongue is poking out…and the reality of his pathetic red impotent FUMING face mumbling like a mad tramp was priceless.

    Wierdly the BBC didn’t manage to fit this bit onto their website, but here it is – check out the slapdown at about 12:25:

  22. 22
    Ballox Economics says:

    Balls response to the economic realities is simply to be a profit of doom! His previous arguments have all flatlined and he is clutching at straws with his cost of living pantomine policies. He has no answers on the economy, just doom and gloom statements! We have finally come out the gloom that Labour created but Balls insists we stay there and only aspire to get a few quid taken off our energy bills while Labour hold energy firms hostage with tinkering that smacks of communism. Balls is ridiculous!

  23. 23
    Labour: wrong on everything. says:

    “He can’t talk about business rates because they went up 71 per cent under Labour.”

    He also can’t talk about solutions to a ‘cost of living crisis’, because council tax went up in real terms (adjusted for inflation) by just under 70pc under Labour (band D average of £688 in 1997-98 to £1,439 in 2010-11).

  24. 24
    Yvette says:

    I’m in my other home tonight. Health and Saftey.

  25. 25
    Mornington Crescent says:

    But it’s not just Balls, of course. Neil Kinnock? No, the whole pathetic bunch of them on the Shadow front bench are starting to make Michael Foot and his crew look like competent pros.

  26. 26
    Anonymous says:

    Milliband chops off Balls ?

  27. 27
    Chimp says:

    We could give you a few tips.

  28. 28
    Chimp says:

    Economus Interuptus

  29. 29
    Andy Burnthem (1200 deaths and counting) says:

    If Miliband loses his Balls does he then become a eunuch?

  30. 30
    Ms F Bruce (no relation) says:

    You’re truly brilliant Fiona. The way you can stand next to a big screen to make your newsreading more ‘edgy’ is a sight to behold. Why, you justify the licensee fee on its own. Personally, I think the license fee should be doubled, so you can be paid more.

  31. 31
    Andy Burnthem (1200 deaths and counting) says:

    Miliband hasn’t got the balls to get rid of Balls. He’s terrified of having him and his McBride henchmen attacking him from inside the party. Remember, this is the guy who caved on Falkirk and Unite. Weak as shit.

  32. 32
    Root says:

    How Ed Milliband can think that Ed Balls – the architect of the profligacy of the Brown Project and the transferring of banking supervision to the hopeless FSA – is a suitable candidate as Shadow Chancellor is beyond my political comprehension.

  33. 33
    Ed Balls says:

    Idiot! 1981 was a Leap Year, so there were only 364 days in it.

  34. 34
    bawlsbag says:


  35. 35
    nellnewman. says:

    We must have a #Save Ed Balls Campaign. Now that gordon is gone, bullyballs is the epitomy of failed brownian economics and long may he remain as labour’s shadow chancellor. #SaveEdBalls!!

  36. 36
    RED, RED WHINE says:

  37. 37
    Bercow for Blackpool Circus. says:

    I also noticed that the Little Speaker did not single out one Tory. But two Labour mouths. Now That was interesting. Has he had a visit?

  38. 38
    Sophie Smiley says:

    She’s not as good at me. I can smile as I speak, especially when I’m reporting anything on the R0yals. Watch ME!

  39. 39
    Robert Peston says:

    Well I can pause so long between words that viewers
    have time to pop out and make a cuppa.

  40. 40
    Photoshop says:

    Unrealistic photo. His face was much redder than that.

  41. 41
    Raptor says:

    One of those 364 economists who were proved so spectacularly wrong was Mervyn King, later Governor of the Bank of England under the regime of Blair, Balls and Brown.

    Mervyn and the rest finally got the chance to show what Keynesian squandering can do for the economy.

    We can all see the consequences.

  42. 42
    A reporter from the Daily Planet says:

    Sources tell me Millitwit has gone apeshit about that performance.

    Mrs Balls has gone white and is quiet.

    Alexander is going around with a smile on his face.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    ScUmBalls says:

    So Labour’s economic agenda is to fuck up the economy and force everyone to eat gruel under Conservative rule then Labour complain about it. Labour cannot be trusted to run a tuck shop!

  45. 45
    Fishy says:

    But the BBC won’t show it…you’ll have to go to the House of Commons website to get it.

    Osborne in his reply to Balls was brilliant and merciless.

    Now Ed the Marxist has two lame ducks on his front bench who he daren’t sack, Balls and Bunham…then there’s himself and the rest of his incompetent shower

  46. 46
    Keitho says:

    George Osborne is todays conquering hero. David Cameron and the entire Conservative leadership must be proud and greatly encouraged by Osborne’s bravissimo performance at the despatch box.

    He has stated quite rightly that we must stay the course and there is much yet to be done and thank goodness Britain has the Conservative Party to do just that. Good policies and diligent execution, that is what Cameron, Osborne, May, Gove, Hunt, Hague and all the rest are good at.

    Rock on!

  47. 47
    Nu Attack Dog says:


  48. 48
    Axe The Telly Tax &Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    The fat fuck should lose some weight or he’ll never be able to fit into his nazi uniform from his Cambridge days.

  49. 49
    Lenin McClusterfuck in October says:

    Ed Miliband is the best Labour leader since Michael Foot.

  50. 50
    Popeye says:

    ” the ice pick would sink most easily into.”
    Well Ed does have form, usually relatives.

  51. 51
    The original Red Ed is in it up to his neck says:

    Don’t forget Miliband was Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

  52. 52
    Err says:

    Don’t forget the Whips’ ‘ little black book’!

  53. 53
    Liebours friends at the BBC - All the staff!! says:

    It’s called the support of the BBC (51% of the public’s anti-impartial news and rising) that’s why the Tories have an uphill struggle!!!

    God help the UK if these Liebour traitors get back in again.

  54. 54
    A lesson from history says:

    Never forget who busted the economy in 2007 and who were his two advisors and that should tell you all you need to know about Labour’s economic record and their policies………

  55. 55
    plus says:

    There was more sweat and his veins were more pronounced.

  56. 56
    Liebours friends at the BBC - All the staff!! says:

    The sight and sound of Bollox’s pissing into the One Nation Tent will be something to behold. Is that right Len?

  57. 57
    A polite cough from the back of the room says:

    “Good policies and diligent execution, that is what Cameron, Osborne, May, Gove, Hunt, Hague and all the rest are good at.”

    The £33billion £36billion £50billion £70billion HS2 railway.

  58. 58
    D'jango Piccadilly says:

    Milliband has Balls castrated?

  59. 59
    Engineer says:

    No. He remains an EUnuch.

  60. 60
    albacore says:

    Oh my, what a surprise – an M P talking balls
    That is so de rigueur it no longer appals
    If one ever did make a righteous proposal
    The E U would see to his instant disposal

  61. 61
    Last Tango says:

    Is he related to Hain?

  62. 62
    bergen says:

    He didn’t. He wanted Alan Johnson but he had his own problems with ‘er indoors.

  63. 63
    Charlie the Chump says:

    Balls out, Darling in

  64. 64
    Axe'The'Telly'Tax&Religion &Kill All Eco-loons says:


  65. 65
    Engineer says:

    As I read down the thread, I wondered were the trolls had got to…..

  66. 66
    Tory Boys are best says:

    Millitwit is supposed to be organizing a constructive Opposition.

    I know our George was motoring today but that balls was pathetic and should be sacked prompt.

    Thanks to George today we can see just how absolutely abysmal Cameron has been.

    Absolutely fuming tonight about IDS. Just what has this imbecile been up to?

    He has had three years to sort out the spongers and scroungers and now it all goes into” back burner ” mode and we all know what happens next.

    Get IDS out of Cabinet and lets have an orderly hand over of power to George this side of Christmas and come January we can have a new hand to press the start button on social security reform.

    Our people need us. There is not a moment to waste;

    Lets unite behind george and show them what a true blue army can do.

  67. 67
    Engineer says:

    It’s the beginning of a political victory, but it’s not the endgame. There’s a defcit to get rid of yet, and levels of personal debt are still a bit worrying. Taxes are still way too high, and won’t come down until the deficit is under better control.

    Labour’s ‘cost of living crisis’ line does resonate with some, and will for a while yet.

  68. 68
    Engineer says:

    Is IDS incompetent, or is the Civil Service incapable of delivering?

  69. 69
    Phil from Wrekenton seven Stars says:

    We are flooding in Newcastle.

    Repeat we are flooding in Newcastle.

    People are going to die.

    No policemen in sight.

    No soldiers in sight.

    No Conservatives in sight.

    No sign of Liberals.

    Council workers sent home early.

    We need help from London now.

    My kitchen is flooded.

  70. 70
    Tommy Twp says:

    Brilliant Ed! Can I borrow your acabus?

  71. 71

    I still think he was mad to steal my Moniker! The Labour Party claiming that it’s THE TORIES who are in Denial! You couldn’t write it in an Ealing comedy……

  72. 72

    I believe that the appropriate expression is:


    Applies to the other Ed too, BTW.

  73. 73
    trigger says:

    If you sack IDS alongside the Civil service then perhaps progress can be made.

    British taxpayers need to be spared another omnishambles.

  74. 74
    Jack Ketch says:

    But the worst since Gordon Broon.

  75. 75
    Lord Duckhouse of Pondlife says:

    Unwilling, more like.

  76. 76
    trigger says:

    Is that copper still shagging his misses?

  77. 77
    Baker's bloke says:

    Running the Civil Service is easy – it’s only a part-time job.

  78. 78
    Jack Ketch says:

    Observers should have a little sympathy. Balls effectively ended his political career today. His performance was abysmal. the content pathetic and the effect simply hilarious. It topped his stutter speech of a few months ago as an example of stage-fright from an actor who has learned the lines for a different play. I wonder what the odds at Labroke’s are for the date of his demise– I would plump for a couple of days after the Christmas recess.

  79. 79
    Keitho says:

    You guys are amazing. Any support for the Conservative Government is trolling?

    What is it about the effort and application put in by this government that makes you so disdainful of them. I truly think that you in Britain are extremely fortunate to have such able, dedicated and hardworking politicians who do good things for small reward and endless carping from the unaccountable sidelines.

    Be critical by all means but don’t call support trolling.

  80. 80
    yes ukip can says:

    A bucket is on the way. It will be there on Tuesday.

  81. 81
    John Bellingham says:

    When a helicopter crashes there are more politicians around than rescue workers.

  82. 82
    Ed Balls says:

    I have resigned to spend more time with my piano.

  83. 83
    Jock-Strapped says:

    Milliband’s Balls drop

  84. 84
    Red Ed Miliblunder says:

    I am still a dithering, unprincipled, weak geek who took on the unions and lost. My priority is to target the price of mince and make it freely available to everyone and Balls is in the process of conjuring up a magic money tree. Again! Though,our moneytree policies are looking more tragic than magic. But fools buy our Ballox economic and we feed on the fools fears and thus they cannot see the cost of living as being a global problem and not neccessarily a product of austerity. Only a fool would vote Labour!

  85. 85
    Trotsky says:

    To be honest he’d need to use an ice-axe. Using an ice-pick would be a futile exercise.

  86. 86
    Pip says:

    Thanks – brilliant.

  87. 87
    Lord Duckhouse of Pondlife says:

    Which has fewer strings attached than a Co-op donation.

  88. 88
    Anders Breivik says:

    Just shoot the. That’s what I did.

  89. 89
    Blowing Whistles says:

    When are these imbecillic children [Apologies to real children] going on their extended Christmas break?

  90. 90
    FFS says:

    Mrs Balls is absolutely awful.

    Can you imagine what it must be like in their home? Frankly it’s time the children were taken into care.

  91. 91
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Hey there Engineer – do you think that in about March or April 2014 – Cameron will come out and ‘suddenly … and after the fact of his doing nothing’ admit that letting all those crooks in may not have been a good thing; similar to his after the fact [suborned to an EU diktat in reality] he somewhat backtracked of the gay marriage issue?

  92. 92
    FFS says:

    The ONLY thing they might be getting right is the economy but they’ve got a long way to go yet.

  93. 93
    Blowing Whistles says:

    De Nile is a river delta in Egypt – the size of slotgobs mouth.

  94. 94
    Lost in Clacton says:

    Is that Osborne fella going bald?

  95. 95
    John Bellingham says:

    Playstation 4 has some new games:-

    “Big Black Ops” for Mr Dromey.
    “Count-on-a-strike” for Mr McCluskey’s friends.
    “Flatliners II” for Mr Balls.
    Half-Life” for Mr Duncan-Smith

    “Grand Theft Expenses Edition” for all.

  96. 96
    Tom Daley says:


  97. 97
    FFS says:

    The “cost of living crisis” has got more to do with the decline of the £ vs the $ and Euro. But since the £ is now strengthening solidly even that problem is likely to have largely evaporated by 2015.

  98. 98
    lojolondon says:

    Good man George, sock it to em!

  99. 99

    Change the locks on all of your properties dear. Harriet will make sure you get sole possession.

  100. 100

    You didn’t get all of them though, did you? It’s like clearing out cockroaches – you can’t get them all, you just keep their numbers at a harmless level.

  101. 101

    Comment of the Day!

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Nu Attack Dog says:

    That’s as brutal as anything I’ve seen in a while.

  104. 104
    Rupert, Guido's Bear says:

    Milliband is a dirty fucking J.E.W scum C.U.N.T who should be gassed?

  105. 105
    Intellectual Pygmy says:

    A striking resemblance to foul demon.

  106. 106
    Intellectual Pygmy says:

    There’s little point in fixing the engine if you are intending on giving the car away for free.

  107. 107
    Intellectual Pygmy says:

    The real cost of living crisis is being caused by eye watering taxation propping up profligate waste and sky high social spending.

  108. 108
    Leige Asper says:

    Militwat looked like a proper, window-licking, div.

  109. 109
    Curiouser & Curiouser says:

    Moddybotty is distracted by Highgella’s nose perhaps?

  110. 110
    Root says:

    Millipede needs to distance himself from that whole era. Balls is a constant reminder not only of Labours dismal economic history but he offers a horrific vision of the future – more of the same. God knows I am not a socialist but the politics fascinate me.

  111. 111
    Linneus says:

    It’s a bi-nomial, so no hyphen in Pan Trogloytes.

  112. 112
    Linneus says:

    Duh spelled Troglodytes wrong

  113. 113
    Anonymous says:

    Lehman Brothers?

  114. 114
    Self Employed says:

    Well it was left late until 1820 on Al-Beeba for Toenails to utter that Balls will be getting some stick tomorrow for the feckwittery he leashed at the Despatch Box! Typical of the earlier Liebour trolls like O’Donohue etc to paper over it! FFS

  115. 115
    Wisley Snepes says:

    Why not scrap ministerial cars and fly the buggers round in choppers instead.
    You never know – we might get lucky.

  116. 116
    Anonymous says:

    Where as you’re a sad and dickless little cretin who hates anyone who makes an effort to better themselves.

  117. 117
    Pick litter for bennies says:

    If you get your news from the BBC,the Coalition never,never land a blow on Labours credibility,and a killer blow ,never,never..

  118. 118
    Pick litter for bennies says:

    The length of welfare reform is directly proportional to the deliberate complexity of the system devised by Broon and Labour.

  119. 119
    Pick litter for bennies says:

    You said it all ,NEWCASTLE,Labour territory,where,s your local Labour MP.

  120. 120
    Pick litter for bennies says:

    And of course your insured?

  121. 121
    Postal Votes are Labour Loo Paper says:

    Pity bollox didn’t have stroke. Worthless sack of shit. Did he do PPE? Must stand for piss poor economics.

  122. 122
    If you want a double enendre, I'll give you one says:

    Balls licked

  123. 123
    cynic says:

    The quality of the politicians and of their policies is irrelevant. There will be more than enough fools, freeloaders, gerrymandered constituencies and fraudulent postal votes to secure Labour a handsome victory at the next election.

  124. 124
    Sausage says:

    Like it :)

  125. 125

    Don’t forget what Balls has on his CV, economic adviser to Gordon Brown!

  126. 126
    Graham says:

    Not forgetting that Miliband was also in the Treasury at the same time.

  127. 127
    Red Ed Balls Up - Shallow Chancer says:

    I plan to complete my grade 3 piano certificate and find myself in smoky jazz bars as a second income to being a major political influence. After all I helped Gordon stop boom and bust AND save the world.

  128. 128
    BBC- biased and bribeable says:

    Not sure if we did the right thing in giving the Shadow Chancellor twice the airtime as the Chancellor.
    It could backfire on him and us.

  129. 129
    What about if... says:

    Spot on. Under common purpose control the senior management teams are deliberately acting like Sir Humphrey and obfuscating like mad.

    Not an EU diktat, but a UK diktat should go out from No 10 to all Perm Secs setting out clearly their tasks and deadlines. Failure to deliver at least 90% of the mission will result in dismissal or return to the lower ranks – in the same Department/Ministry to compound the shame

  130. 130
    Burgers are bad for you says:

    Lots of these ‘victims’ will find life a lot more affordable if they give up the booze, fags and Sky subs and spend their cash on necessities.

    Where do these thousands of football fans get their money to travel to the other end of the country every fortnight to support their team? Must cost a fortune in fares, ticket prices and of course the odd compulsory pint or two accompanied by a few of Mrs Muggins’s “home made” pies?

  131. 131
    Curly says:

    Buy a pump and a sponge.

  132. 132
    Anonymous says:

    Rupert,don’t put that out on Facebook or Twitter as you will find yourself appearing in a Court to answer derious charges. BTW, the ?mark will not help your defence.

  133. 133
    Anonymous says:

    Typo. “serious” not “derious”.

  134. 134
    sheesh says:


  135. 135
    Anonymous says:

    Mrs B seems to be keeping a very low profile just now.Wonder what could be wrong?

  136. 136
    rising above it says:

    We know you’re just a lefty posting your filth pretending to be something you’re not. It’s not big and it’s not clever. *innocent face* won’t help you either.

  137. 137
    retardEd Miliband says:

    I plan to have Ballth out by Chwithmath!

  138. 138
    Poor Bloody Taxpayer says:

    Weed out the Common Purpose scum and shoot them all.

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