December 6th, 2013

Balls Out, but Who Next?

Guido has surveyed the runners and riders battling it out to replace Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor for the Paddy Power blog today. You can read his analysis here, while there are a few other names thrown into the mix below:

  • Alistair Darling - The favourite. Labour needs someone who can give them at least semblance of economic credibility. Darling has the experience, all things considered is relatively liked, and his plan for the economy was arguably more austere than what we have ended up with from Osborne. If Mrs Darling doesn’t mind…
  • Yvette Cooper – Might make things at home a bit awkward. The new Plan B is to get Cooper in as the next leader post-Miliband, so would she even take the job?
  • Alan Johnson - Things could have been so different if it hadn’t been for that unfortunate “personal reasons” business back in 2011. Would be the ultimate revenge for the former Shadow Chancellor.
  • Chris Leslie - Balls’ deputy and Brown’s photocopy boy, Leslie has spent the last few months looking like a rabbit in the headlights in TV interviews that his boss wanted to dodge. A brave bet on account of his general incompetence.
  • Rachel Reeves - In charge of the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury brief until the reshuffle, perhaps boring, snoring Rachel could bore the Tories into submission in 2015. Has friends with Ed’s ear.
  • Liam Byrne - Baldamort rises again? Ed could do worse than sending for the acceptable face of Thatcherism to sort out his party’s economic policy. If only he were not too scared of the unions.
  • Chuka Umunna - Deeply unpopular within his own party, though his background at shadow BIS puts Labour’s pretty boy in the frame. Lord help us.
  • Stewart Wood - Would be nice for Miliband to have a friend as Shadow Chancellor. A long shot given he is a Lord.
  • Hilary Benn - Has an economic background, and it would be fitting for a Bennite to take over the Labour Party. At least Owen Jones would be happy.
  • Peter Mandelson - Would get rid of some of the wealth-creator bashing rhetoric, though is more interested in working for third world dictatorships these days. They couldn’t afford him anyway.
  • Gordon Brown - Things aren’t that bad. Well, not quite.

Once there would have been a worry that Balls would be a threat from the backbenches, and do Yvette’s bidding. After yesterday he’s a busted flush. Let him stew… 

Pic via @HuffPostUKPics.


  1. 1
    Ed Balls says:

    red ed balls

    • 9
      Diane Abbot says:

      What about me?

      I’m eminently suitable as I can turn a weekly household shopping budget of £12k into thousands of meals.

      • 32
        Mitch says:

        You’d have to have a heart of stone not to find Balls’ predicament extremely amusing.

        • 49
          yes ukip can says:

          If only Reverend Flowers was an MP he would have been favourite.

          • RomaBob... says:

            Using the bank switch guarantee, after 42 years with the not so ethical Co-op, I am switching to a foreign owned bank :)

          • unPC says:

            Rachel Reeves!!!

            She’s only 34 FFS!!!

            The young, by definition, are always unwise and stupid.

        • 57
          If you can't take it; don't dish it out !! says:

          Can’t see how he can complain…it is merely giving him the treatment that he metes out with his idiotic flat-lining hand gestures and catcalling from a sedentary position…so absolutley no sympathy and well deserved

      • 44
        Di Abbot says:

        I invest in a public school for my son’s education.
        I’m well used to the life style of a minister still. I use a taxi or chauffeur driven cars where ever possible. No walking the streets or trains for me. NO politician ever uses a bus or coach. That is for them.
        I like to wear something every day. Mrs May look out.
        I am ever ready to sit down and wine and dine.
        I went to Oxford University.
        Michael Portillo will be on hand 24hours to write every word in my speeches, tell me what decisions to make, what meetings to go to, who to be seen with etc etc and push me into the taxis.

      • 86
        Bob the Bildeberg Balls says:

        That nice Flowers chap wound be a safe pair of hands. He’d look after the Co-op divvies.

    • 14
      Tony Blair says:

      I’m waiting for the call.

    • 18
      Ralph Miliband in next world says:

      My son could do the job of chancellor as well as leader.
      The liberal party, i think, had a couple of leaders who combined both jobs.

      That way he would know whats going on.

      • 139
        broderick crawford says:


        OH ….HOLD ON …

    • 24
      Whiffler says:

      Leslie has just told Daily Politics that Balls was being barracked by 350 or so Tory MPs.

      Were that figure true there would be no coalition. He also denied that Welfare cap proposed by Gideon included pensions, which was clearly dismissed in the Autumn Statement.

      So, he can’t count, doesn’t understand what’s going on, and doesn’t listen. A good case for shortening his odds, as he has all the usual qualities of a Labour Chancellor.

      One odd thing, why has Brillo given him such an easy ride in the last few days?.

      • 60
        All socialists are hypocrites says:

        Sympathy for a man out of his depth trying to defend the indefensible ?

      • 149
        Baldrick's burger bar says:

        Probably to prevent him pis*ing himself laughing at the answers he would get if he ever asked anything really serious.

    • 26
      Mandy says:

      Balls up, oh dear.

    • 45
      Selohesra says:

      How about Len McLusky – make him a Lord and he can do it from there. Will be easier for him to keep eye on Ed then too

  2. 2
    Eh???? says:

    You’re not trying to tell us that Thatcher and Mandela had an affair are you?

    • 7
      vile labour ruined my wife says:

      Thatcher thought he was a terrorist, the establishment hated that he proved that some violence and struggle could defeat them. can’t have that can we.

    • 56
      Jabba Le Chat says:

      Just another example of the ongoing cranial rectal inversion sweeping the world today over a dead flipflop…

      • 107
        Guido Fawkes says:

        Today I’m wearing my “Hang Nelson Mandela” t-shirt as a mark of respect.

      • 120
        Rufus Stone says:

        The BBC & Guardian are both grateful for the passing of Mandela as an opportunity to bury bad news – that of Balls’ performance in the HoC & speculation of his imminent removal.

        BBC news is saturation coverage on a chap who, whilst no doubt worked for a better culture in South Africa, had little impact on the UK. I don’t recall similar OTT reportage following Margaret Thatcher’s death who, whatever your political leanings & whether or not you agreed with her policies, had a greater effect on Britain.

        As to who Moribund would/could replace him with, none of the above are attractive alternatives. No doubt Leonid McCluski will push for Flowers.

  3. 3
    Liebours friends at the BBC - All the staff!! says:

    Yvette has a flustered bush!

  4. 4
    Kebab Time says:

    David Miliband would be perfect

    • 35
      All socialists are hypocrites says:

      NOT whilst “Little Bro’ is Leader…he wouldn’t take the job. SOME things can NEVER be forgiven

    • 65
      Milibandwagon says:

      Like most weak people, I do not like competition. While I will hold my rivals close to me, they will not be in positions of influence. Alisatair Darling is too independent and is not sufficiently socialist (my Dad would never approve of him). So that leaves Rachel Reeves as the only candidate.

  5. 5
    Cassandra says:

    The BBC are delighted they can use Mandela as an excuse to ignore the Balls-up , how much longer are they going to give 24/7 pseudcover to SA? Not of course what is really happening in SA just their usual divorced from reality of course.

    • 21
      Steve Miliband says:

      Is there anyone left in the UK or have they all fucked off to SA at our expense?

      • 54
        yes ukip can says:

        Surely covering last night’s storm surge and giving advice and the latest news to all those poor wretches caught up in it was what the BBC should have been concentrating on, not the death of one 95 year old foreigner.

        • 92
          unPC says:

          You are of course correct. But look on the bright side in terms of the self inflicted damage done to the BBC last night.

          Every cloud etc. etc.

    • 39
      walking into darkness says:

      go and ask a white South African how good their country is now. Apartheid still exists, it’s now though with the blacks are in control whites can’t go in any freedom around the country. Blacks are given senior jobs they can’t possibly do, and you can’t start a business without a black partner for example. The political inconvenience of which is steadfastly ignored by the BBC and the other mainstream media. None of this is necessarily Mandela’s fault, he is on public record to state how his successors in Mbeki and Zuma have bulldozed the good work he ever did. If you look at the BBC news site today the Mandela story is the 6th or 7th most read, that about sums up where I and most people are at. The funeral will be the definitive photo shop op of the year for Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Prince Charles and usual suspects.

    • 52
      Try complaining to points of view and they'll just tell you to f*** off says:

      It’s merely another example of the BBC going OTT…by all means report the event and give some analysis and coverage but NOT to the exclusion of all else.

  6. 6
    Stella Creasy says:

    Me me me me me me me me me me

    Pick me. Please pick me. Pretty please.

    I am a Fabian, you know. And a Labour Friend of Isra-el (though I hide that from my constituents). And I am blonde. And a Co-op MP (though I have never heard of Mr Flowers). And I take money from UNITE. Did I tell you I am blonde.

    Oh, please pick me. I will do anything.

    • 39
      Luciana Burger says:

      Pick me! Pick me! I am from solid working stock yah! I represent my constituents in the North really well. They even have a wine bar in Liverpol or where ever!

  7. 8
    Genghiz the kahn says:

    Today is a good day to bury Ed Balls.

    • 36
      yes ukip can says:


      • 73
        walking into darkness says:

        it was the way the bloke second to right of Miliband on the front bench pretended to be reading notes out of some sort of filing briefcase whilst Osborne talked about Balls yesterday, superb

  8. 10
    Peter Hain - The SA connection says:


  9. 11
    Ed Miliband says:

    Under Labour NHS smears will be banned.

    • 84
      BBC News and Propaganda Unit says:

      We already comply master.

    • 152
      Matilda says:

      Brilliant idea Ed – so we can now announce the impending closure of all the gynae units?

      Your brilliantfulness leaves me in utter wonder at where you get these wonderful ideas from.

  10. 15
    East Anglia says:

    I see that the Prime Minister has expressed his condolences to the South Africans this morning.

    Will he be visiting the scene of the disaster in England or is that a job for Obama?

  11. 16
    Shooty* says:

    Chukka can’t be unpopular. That’s not allowed. He enriches the party, so must be universally liked, surely?

    Balls will stay.

  12. 23
    Steve Miliband says:

    More likely that Balls ousts Miliband?

  13. 27
    BBC salutes a Terrorist says:

    Well if anyone was in any doubt that the BBC was political then their wankfest of Mandelamania should remove all doubt.

    • 47
      The most amusing claim ever says:

      You have to appreciate that many in the Corporation were active in the Anti-Apartheid movement when they were at uni……………

      • 70
        danny nolan says:

        … and the silly young ones believe utterly in all that happy clappy rainbow nation tripe (while never wishing to be seen dead within a hundred miles of a township).

      • 156
        Baldrick's burger bar says:

        So they were anti-govt subversives even way back then? Plus ca change, innit….

    • 67
      walking into darkness says:

      at least it’s saved us hearing the BBC’s usual bodily discharge of linking global warming or whatever they call it nowadays to the tidal surges,

      • 98
        Wankfest says:

        Tidal surge was probably casused by the crocodile tears shed at the BBC for Mandela.

      • 115
        (Not so)Dangerous Brian says:

        But, doncha know, global man made climate warming storm clouds the death of nelson is all the fault of…………………………………….

  14. 28
    Tom Wätson - Universal Soldier says:

    I have my orders. No mission creep this time – target is one Ed Miliband

  15. 29

    Ed Balls is flatlining.

  16. 30
    Steve Miliband says:

    A true legend died last night. Who can forget his performance in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’?

    • 71
      Wikus van der Merwe says:

      Or François Pienaar’s brilliant impersonation of Matt Damon pretending to play rugby.

  17. 32
    Licence fee payer says:

    My national broadcaster is now as good as fucking useless for getting news about a massive event currently affecting my nation.
    It has gone into a self indulgent sulk over the death of Mandela and as far as they are concerned bollocks to everything else.
    People like myself with friends and family in flood areas are desperate for news about what’s going on.

    • 38
      Causal Observer 4 says:

      License fee funds terrorism.

    • 64
      yes ukip can says:

      And SKY News was just as bad as the BBC. The newsmen on the ground must have been really pissed off wading in all that water to find they had been cut off and left dangling their microphones by the natural death of a 95 year old foreigner.

      • 78
        Noël Coward says:

        Very wet, Norfolk.

        • 88
          i want my money back says:

          The BBC must have thought Christmas had come early.
          They basically ignored Osborne’s success and Ball’s

          • Afghanistan Banana Stand says:

            I wasn’t watching, but my dad who was tells me that the BBC cut into their scheduled program to announce the death.

            Does anyone recall if the Beeb interrupted their schedules when Thatch’s death was announced?

            Just asking.

  18. 34
    a non says:

    George needs a challenge to keep him on his toes and most of Guido’s list are has-beens.
    Consequently with Labour needing new faces to front this shadow appointment and the HoC resembling circus acts these days may I humbly suggest for diversity’s sake the Eagle brothers tag team.

  19. 43
    Stan Lee says:

    Ed Balls looks like the Red Hulk.

    ‘Hulk smash puny human!’

  20. 46
    Causal Observer 4 says:

    Darling would be the best bet of that lot.

    At least that would provide some reassurance that if Labour do get in next time economic policy will not degenerate into the lunatic farce that it did as a result of Ed Balls’ influence.

    Ed Balls needs to be hanged.

    • 97
      I fought the Laws says:

      Did you miss the bit above about Darling cosying up to the City and paving the way for the disaster that followed? Presumably not.

      • 104
        A plague on all of them says:

        Darling is the least unrespectable/discredited of them.

        Now remind me how many times he flipped his homes to maximise his expenses…

    • 122
      Rufus Stone says:

      Is Darling not a Scottish MP? If so, should the Scots vote to pull out of the UK, he will no longer be an MP at Westminster.

  21. 48
    A tub of lard says:

    I am evidently the most qualified candidate.

  22. 51

    Comments are now off for Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

    I hope CO4 will forgive me for reposting his piece, which would otherwise be lost:

    Casual Observer 4 says:
    December 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    He fought for the right cause in the wrong way.

    The left bigged him up and wanted to hijack his cause but the photo above and history of the 80s is testament to who stopped a’partheid.

    RIP Nelson

    The photo is of course of Margaret Thatcher with Nelson Mandela on the steps of No 10.

    • 158
      Just a decorative blonde says:

      Guido should have photoshopped Cathy Ashtray in the middle then the headline would have been The Good, The Bad and…well, you know the rest.

  23. 55
    Jack Dromey. Labour says:

    I like looking at Black cooks.

  24. 59
    bring on paddy power says:

    Think we should get in the chap from Paddy Power. Who ever can use their own team. It would save us and the co-op loads of cash.

  25. 61
    The BBC is the sick man of TV says:


    They have set up ma Mandela Timeline which totally omits his guerilla warfare training, his Marxism, his bombings and his leadership of the armed ANC.

    Why are they re-writing history?

    • 69
      yes ukip can says:

      How long before the Pope makes him a saint? It just shows what a load of bullshit all the Bible stores are when people can twist the truth into lies so easily.

    • 94
      Cato Street Conspirator says:

      Probably because like most sane people who don’t wear brown shirts they see apartheid as one of the evils of the post-war world.

      • 109
        The Real World says:

        Mandela started off as a bad person fighting bad people in a bad way. He ended up as a peaceful person trying to make peace for all in an unpleasant country.

        If we only focus on the evil he did we are as blinkered as the BBC types who only focus on the good he did.

    • 124
      Lord Duckhouse of Pondlife says:

      Because, like everyone who rewrites it, they can’t let the truth get in the way of their own agenda.

  26. 63
    Miliband ever tanned says:

    Why does Miliband always have a perma-tan.

    • 77
      Mrs Miliband says:

      When he plays with his toys on the lounge carpet every evening, he always sits too close to the fire.

      • 90
        red dwarf says:

        Miliband was a very strange colour yesterday and
        clashed badly with his puce Chancellor.

    • 102
      tn02 says:

      “Why does Miliband always have a perma-tan.”

      Because he is J’ewish.

      As are Helen Suzman and Denis Goldberg in South Africa.

      Look them up on Wiki.

    • 125
      Lord Duckhouse of Pondlife says:

      That doesn’t irritate me as much as Liam “there’s no money left, ha ha” Byrne’s perma-grin.

  27. 66
    The BBC should apologise says:

    Perhaps the Beeboid producers are too young to remember that Mandela was a terrorist and used violence to achieve his aims. Could be they see the nice old man and not the young violent thug.

    But to devote so much Twelly time and not produce one person telling it as it was warts and all is shocking.

    • 93
      Cato Street Conspirator says:

      And what was the apartheid regime up to but using violence to achieve its aims? Remember Sharpeville?

      • 105
        You must be too young to remember says:

        The “regime” were trying to keep law and order.

        The fact that you use the word “regime” instead on “government” tells us all we need to know about you.

        • 110
          The Real World says:

          Yes a government that only about 30% of the country could vote for.

          • Mr Comfortably Numb says:

            Same as the last Labour government, then.

          • The Real World says:

            No, only 30% of those who could vote voted Labour. Everybody over 18 who wasn’t locked up or homeless were allowed to vote. Not that I agree with giving Jonny Chimpanzee the right to vote, but you can see why he would chuck his bananas out of the pram if he was prohibited from doing so.

  28. 75

    Everyone in the Labour movement is now severely damaged by association with

    A. Tony Blair
    B. Gordon Brown
    C. Ed Balls

    Blair allowed Brown to pursue his reckless policies for over a decade and then stepped aside five minutes before the financial roof fell in. Gordon Brown continued to pour petrol on the flames until he was hounded out of office. Balls had the temerity to continue with the theme without any acknowledgement of the dire straits to which he was a direct contributor.

    Ed Miliband is just a minnow in all this. All he wants is to be elected but has no single attribute of the many necessary to perform the task of prime minister. But he had the lack of skill not to lose Balls. For this he will surely pay, as will Balls himself now. Labour is a busted flush (that can be interpreted effectively in a number of ways).

    • 87
      i don't n eed no doctor says:

      Ed Miliband went along with everything labour did, although now he has distanced himself from Brown and Blair, and maybe soon Balls.
      What Robin Cook would make of the labour front bench misfits one can only guess.

    • 159
      Just a decorative blonde says:

      Milipede was also directly responsible for all this weather related crap. Even Ozzie announced extra funding solar panels which really do not work well anywhere north of Madrid.

      Still, all makes work for the hard working Chinaman to do.

  29. 89
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    South Africa along with most other African countries is full of corruption and lawlessness. They do not respect what Mandela stood for in his later years.

  30. 91
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    But why are the Tories so afraid of Balls? All this has the smell of a gang trying to get rid of the one person that terrifies them.

    • 112
      The Real World says:

      The Tories would love for Balls to still be there next GE. He is the gift that keeps on giving. A nice telegenic chap like Darling would be their biggest fear.

      • 127
        Lord Duckhouse of Pondlife says:

        Yes, he looks like a mega-star compared to Balls – and I say that as someone who always compared AD’s delivery of a speech to that of a speak-your-weight machine.

        • 160
          Just a decorative blonde says:

          With Brown constantly breathing down his neck, his delivery style was perhaps understandable. But give Darling credit for telling Brown to take a hike when the latter wanted him to be replaced by Balls.

    • 121
      Monica says:

      Excellent point.
      You should campaign for him to replace Millionaireband before the next election.

  31. 108
  32. 113
    John Jones says:

    An Ipsos MORI snap poll

    The public agree with Mr Balls over Mr Osborne by 40% to 24%.

  33. 126
    WelshRacer says:

    Chris Leslie MP on Friday edition of Daily politics – Andrew Neil seemed to be hinting at something or more to the point – someone.

    the “er er it’s always off the record” bit almost gives it away………..

  34. 128
    Ballox Economics says:

    Alistair Darling is the only with Economic coherency and could pose a threat to the Tories! The rest are rubbish! But Balls should stay because his ideas are so ridiculous and thus hilarious!

    • 163
      Matt Matishun says:

      But always remember that Darling will still be surrounded by the innumerates who inhabit the Treasury.

  35. 129
    George is ten times the man Cameron is says:

    Our George finished Balls once and for all yesterday.

    He is a busted flush and Millitwitt will be getting rid .

    George could have shown a little humility perhaps to keep the imbecile in situ until May 2015 but remember it is in George that we trust.

  36. 130
    George is ten times the man Cameron is says:

    I have just read that Autumn statement and would like to know the name of the twat who put it together.

    Right at the top of the statement is the bit about paperless road tax discs.

    This is estimated to save all of seven million pounds a year.

    FFS as Dave says this is “a pinprick”. The important figures come in the billions so why the hell are we talking about an inconsequential saving?

    This lack of prioritizing is a worry.

    • 164
      Matt Matishun says:

      yes, in this field, the priority should have been to reduce the cost by at least 70%.

  37. 131
    Tracey says:

    That 1950′s farmer’s haircut has got to go.

    How about an ‘Osbourne’, Mr Balls?

  38. 134
    broderick crawford says:




    • 165
      Matt Matishun says:

      Time you knew that the lefty loony IMF is the preserve of the French. the quid pro quo is the Yanks always get the World Bank.

  39. 137
    Freddie the Fishmonger says:

    This is a job for Tristram .

    I really hope George knows what he is doing.

    • 143
      A taxpaying pleb says:

      If Tristram steps up then we are really in “kick ass” territory.

      The BBC will not be safe under him.

      Eurostar will only be sold at an overvalue .

      If Iceland does not pay up then their Ambassador will be packing his bags.

      And if George Osborne thinks he can smile about economic growth predictions sub 2% and an acceptance of unemployment above 7% he will be slated.

      Also Hunt will want more than 11 minutes notice off announcements to the House.

      When he speaks out in the House it will not be off the cuff but stuff prepared and researched in advance.

      It will be game on.

      • 166
        Labour wrong and wrong again don't vote for them says:

        Yeah and I suppose you have been shrill ing for balls for the last 3 years as well
        You people make me puke its nothing to do with competence and ability to do whats right just about power.
        Just piss off

  40. 141
    Postal Votes are Labour Loo Paper says:

    Fuck bollox. Who cares what happens to this wrecker.

  41. 142
    Postal Votes are Labour Loo Paper says:

    What an unappetizing shower of shit this lot are

  42. 144
    Cynic says:

    Balldevort has risen

  43. 146
    DAVE'S FIRE SALE theres no money left says:

    Has he been sharing a “bottle” with Peter Hain

  44. 168
    Trev says:

    Two names missing
    David Miliband
    Vince Cable.
    Cable is doing his best to make himself available.

  45. 169
  46. 170
    ok says:

    Video Ed Balls: I couldn’t give a toss

  47. 171
  48. 172
    ok says:

    [ustream id=16573315 live=1 hwaccel=1 version=3 width=480 height=302]
    Live streaming video by Ustream

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Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)

Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”

orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?

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