January 22nd, 2014

SKETCH: Labour Bravely Faces the Good News Disaster

Ed Balls’ face said it all. Serious, sombre, stoical. What substance he has, what fortitude. He really has the gravel to face the worst.

Yes, the employment figures were in and they were catastrophic. So wholly and voluptuously positive that If you had instructed your statistician to come up with a Balls-crushing statistic and he’d produced this you would have said: “Steady, we want to be a little bit credible.”

The very morning of PMQs heralded the biggest quarterly rise in employment since the Norman Conquest.

Ed Miliband began a line of questions with the words “today’s welcome fall in unemployment” and prompted the longest, uninterrupted barrage of Tory artillery we’ve had for many years.

A welcome fall, he said. Welcome.

Was that an accurate account of his feelings when he heard the news? Did his spirit actually lift? Did an involuntary, “Thank God,” escape his lips?

The Tories thought not, and voiced their feelings in a long roar of happy, angry triumph. The Speaker let the Labour leader face it alone, that Total Roar is currently beyond his reach.

If articulated it would be rendered as: “You little freak, you think that only the state, only the Government, only YOU have the power to get an economy going. Only YOU can get people working by splashing tax payers’ cash about. Well you were WRONG and the reason we’re so happy is that we were terrified you might have been right. But you WEREN’T! And WE WERE! So SHUT UP!”

“Just braying like that doesn’t do anyone any good,” Miliband said. I suspect anyone of a Conservative disposition would have made allowances.

Real wages have started to rise but they’re still lagging. What happens when – if – they do outstrip inflation? Will the altruistic Eds “welcome” that? Will they happily fight an election on a fuel price freeze and two new banks, while celebrating the Tory achievements in employment, wages and reducing the deficit?

PS: The Speaker has – since yesterday – dropped his arch manner. He was calling people in a sensible, professional, unaffected way. When he chastised the House saying, “This is questions to the Prime Minister not a Punch and Judy show,” he directed his disapproval at the Labour side.

What a mutant he is.

The temptation will be the way he calls Andrew Selou (hitherto pronounced “Androo S’loooooo?”). He will deserve a cheer if he can play that with a straight bat.


  1. 1
    Ed Balls - Shallow Chancer says:



    • 5
      retardEd Miliband says:

      You thilly thauthage! I never wanted you ath my Chanthellor anyway – I much pweferred Alan Johnthon. He knew more about economicth and finanth that you, even if he uthed to thtack shelveth at Tethco.


    • 14
      Psychiatrist says:

      Hey. I haven’t finished with the last thread yet!!!! :(


    • 17
      Balls wallows in bad news says:

      Without a shadow of doubt, the worse the news the happier the Balls was and now the reverse his true.

      He could not give a shit about the country, all he wishes is for the government to make a pig’s ear of the economy.


      • 28
        moderate me would you? says:

        From a purely partisan point of view you can understand how he thinks. For most people it would be that bitter-sweet feeling the previously star goalkeeper gets, sitting on the bench, week-in, week-out, wanting the team to win but secretly hoping your replacement fucks up or breaks a leg.

        With Balls it goes deeper than that though. He doesn’t want his replacement to fuck up so that he can show how good he is. He just wants Osborne to fuck up soi that he can fuck it up even more.

        This is a guy who, when he had Brown under his control was happy to, in 2008 when it all went to shit, continue to hire public sector workers and give them all payrises.

        Balls doesn’t care how fucked up it gets as long as he’s the one fucking it up.


      • 130
        The BBC says:

        We’re not happy about this either :-(


    • 170
      mrs balls says:

      But he is dynamite in the sack, my eddie


  2. 2
    neitherdeadnoralive says:

    You could see the disappointment etched on the Labour faces as it is dawning on them that the economy is improving !


    • 11
      Former Labour voter says:

      And that disappointment is proof (if proof were needed) that Labour don’t have the country’s best interests at heart. They want things to go badly and their core voters to suffer. Labour thrive on despair, they are absolute bastards.


    • 114
      I dislike socialists intensely says:

      The whole shadow front bench looked as if they were sucking a lemon.
      It must break Miliband and Balls heart with the upsurge in the economy .


  3. 3
    Calamity Clegg, Chief Cockroach says:

    I am the Leader of the Party of Sleaze.


  4. 4
    Chris Patten says:

    We at the BBC will continue to give full prominence to good news as we did yesterday burying growth figures as penultimate item before FA report!


  5. 7
    Labour says:



  6. 8
  7. 9
    Food Bank says:

    Give free money to banks. More credit cards to consumers. Jam as long as we are out of the Euro.


  8. 10
    cep says:

    I want to season my chips with the tears of Ed Balls.


  9. 12
    Tantric Chris and his Crab menagery says:

    I really want someone from Central Office to come and discipline me.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, Don’t make me beg.


  10. 15
    AnusButtocks says:

    so amusing listening to radio five live vermin trying to push millipede’s agenda re cost of living, rather than focusing on a stunningly good figure

    This news is a disaster for them

    Cmon Tories break up the BBC.


    • 36
      Wait - what! says:

      If only there was a party that had in its manifesto that within 2 years of being elected it would:
      Leave the EU
      Privatise the BBC
      Slash the public sector by 50%


      • 73
        I t s Obvious says:



      • 123
        Politicians.Parasites,Benefit cheats,and all those toughing at the public purse says:

        Yeah brilliant and winners all three,unfortunately no one brave enough to implement.We will continue on our downward slide into oblivion.You should also have added no more refugees,benefit tourists,money to Syria,Iraq and all the other shitholes ruined by Islam.


  11. 16
    Anonymous says:

    Of course the ease of sanctioning claimants so they disappear, people only needing to be employed for 16 hrs pw, being placed on training schemes amongst other wheezes wouldn’t have anything g to do with this.

    Also I wonder how well paying all these new jobs are?


  12. 18
    Ah! Happiness Index says:

    Murray’s challenge ended by Federer


  13. 19
    Tu Chin Cloth says:


    • 111
      Jasmin "cock sucker" Bennett says:

      I still love you Big Ed!

      But does this mean I might not get that top job as Youth Commisioner you promised me after 2015?


  14. 20
    Hancocks's Half hour says:

    “He therefore believes the report which he has not seen is likely to be one-sided.”



  15. 22
    Ah! but says:

    Looking at the number of single leaflet deliveries I get every day, I can see where the uptake is.


  16. 24
    Johan says:

    Another great sketch, thanks!

    A question… why is Bercow now in retreat? How has his situation changed?


  17. 26
    Ah! wonder says:

    Who will deliver the white feather to Clegg?


  18. 27
    jmf says:

    “Disgraced Vicky Pryce returns to Whitehall advising Vince Cable on the economy”

    Only Vince Cable.


  19. 31
    Nigel Garage says:

    I mean, what have the Romanians ever done for us?


  20. 37
    Doctor Smythe says:

    Labour are flatlining


  21. 40

    Greater love hath no man than Rennard, that he lay down his friends.


  22. 43
    Ah! Blue...( Sky ) says:

    Blue Diamond ‘Worth Tens Of Millions’ Discovered.

    Even the diamonds are showing their colours.


  23. 44
    Gordon Brown says:

    I would like to suggest that food banks be merged and that regulation be taken over by a triumvirate of hungry Ed Balls.


  24. 50
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    What rightists don’t realise is that lefties – not the Labour party, that’s a different matter – real lefties, genuinely welcome a fall in unemployment and a rise in employment. It increases workers’ bargaining power under capitalism, it increases workers’ confidence, it makes managers warier of being petty tyrants… A good thing all round.


    • 57
      Kim Jong-Un says:

      Yes like North Korea where there are 6 people to sell you a postcard. One to wrap, One to hand write the receipt, One to validate the receipt with a stamp, one to operate the Till, one to hand you any change, and a supervisor.

      Any manager becoming a petty tyrant is shot


      • 168
        Cato Street Conspirator says:

        Kim, you don’t have free collective bargaining. You are the ‘libertarian’ dream – all power to the bosses, none to the workers.


    • 102
      Mr Potato Head says:

      What lefties don’t realise is that in order to get a growing economy and lower unemployment you need to make it worth the while of employers to take on workers.


      • 117
        Anonymous says:

        What the right don’t realise its that it’s not upto the state to subsidise the poor wages companies so they can boost their profits which they then hide away in tax havens.


    • 119
      FFS says:

      The Labour party are reall lefties – just happen to be of the crypto-Marxist flavour.

      I’m sure there are other lefties out there, they just don’t have any political representation now that the LimpDems have made it clear they are only into kinky sex and corruption.


  25. 53
    JH40598430958-2340 says:

    Jolly good stuff, isn’t it strange that good news for the country is bad news for Labour.

    Funny, that.


    • 65

      There is a crumb of comfort for Balls/Miliband/Balls.

      The more the economy picks up, the greater potential for clusterfucking it up is afforded to Labour.


      • 76
        JH40598430958-2340 says:

        No doubt, once the economy is returned to health and we all start feeling optimistic again the electorate will look at Labour and go – oh go on then! One more chance!

        Then they will leave the country in a far worse state than they found it.

        Like they always do.

        Every. Single. Time.

        Mind you, has there ever been a Labour party with such an absolute deficit of talent or ideas?


  26. 60
    Sir Barrington Minge says:

    Ed Balls….has a face that I could never get tired of hitting with a baseball bat!

    What a twat!!


  27. 68
    Mark Wouters says:

    The PHS ombudsmans email address is either incorrect or all our emails are being messed with by the government so that our complaints are or cannot be accessed by the PHSombudsman.


  28. 71
    Ed Balls - Shallow Chancer says:


    • 120
      Anonymous says:

      16 hours pw is considered full time employment at which point you have to leave JSA and disappear from the jobless figures.

      With that in mind those figures can be taken with a pinch of salt.


      • 129
        Politicians.Parasites,Benefit cheats,and all those toughing at the public purse says:

        I rather like Maldon.


      • 133
        Bemused says:

        OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! You don’t like this one little bit do you!

        Ha Ha!

        Fact is the private sector is growing like crazy. It easily growing by 4% p.a. at the present time. That’s equivalent to a 4% increase in man hours required in the last year alone. That equates to 0.8million full time jobs required in the last year. So if anything, jobs growth is lagging behind real growth in the private sector.

        Explains why there was a big spending splurge at Christmas and the January sales – lots of people working overtime!

        Come on now Labour voters! Sing it! “Things can only get better! Can only get, from here on in!”. I’m singing it! You know I am!



        • 150
          Partisan cock^ rejoicing at tractor stats. says:

          I hate Labour, but your off your head if you think unemployment is down

          Compare cost of benefits this year to last. It’s higher. A lot higher.

          It’s twats like you that perpetuate the parliamentary merry go round.

          I rest my case.


  29. 73
    cured lefty says:

    labour troops must groaning in despair their front bench are now starting to look like
    the dock at the nuremburg trials they know the eventual outcome but can do fuck all about it


  30. 78
    Wallace Miliband says:

    The more I look at Kathy Newman the more I think of that gorgeous Piella Bakewell from A Matter of Loaf and Death.

    Anyone got a picture of her?


  31. 79
    Fuck the LibLabCon says:


  32. 80
    cep says:

    When is the next ‘state of the parties’ poll..?

    Y’know Yougov or Comres….or whatever.


  33. 82
    Ian Smith says:

    Universal Credit will be delivered on time and on budget.


  34. 85
    Anon. says:

    BBC “moderate” muslim blames the west for the burka or something?


    • 139
      Bemused says:

      10 years of war by Russia (not exactly “Western”) – subsequently defeated by the Mujahadeen supported by the West

      10 years by NATO, largely at the request of the Afghans.

      What about the other ten years? Fucking rag-heads build their arguments on foundations of sand.


      • 155
        Really don't like moooslims says:

        They make their house out of it, too.

        A simple rule of thumb: if the country ends in ‘stan’, it’s a filthy shithole that should be left to implode. Where this is not possible, glass it over with a nuke.


    • 152
      NE Frontiersman says:

      He’s saying that it’s the West’s fault that the Fundies are in charge; or something.
      Why we’ve seen a similar process over the last thirty years on the Lea Bridge Road is another question.


  35. 87
    Mustapha Shag says:


  36. 88
    Will says:

    You would have a heart of stone not to laugh T labour predictions being so wrong.

    All we need now is for the psbr to fall so we can start paying back the amount borrowed. For lloyds to be fully privatised and debts to be paid back and the economy.

    Come 2015 the Tories can then say if you vote labour they will fuck it up for you. Ps give us a majority of seats so we don’t have to deal with the liberals as they are a bunch of useless twats and perverts.

    Pps ed millibars stabbed his brother in the back to become leader and his brother decided to more to America so that’s how much he trusts him


  37. 92
    • 110
      confucius he says:

      never, ever, under any circumstances, compromise with evil


      • 157
        What is the point of modern prisons? says:

        Never, ever, under any circumstances, let prisoners think they can do what they like, whether that is wearing poppies or moaning about it.

        No visits, no TV, no mail, no internet.


  38. 93
    Anonymous says:

    Owen Jones raising money for the Labour party,again.


  39. 95
    nell says:

    We should show some compassion to poor militwit and bullyballs – they find themselves in a most depressing situation as the economy recovers and employment rises – and these, of course, are with REAL jobs not gordon brown’s non jobs of people checking other folks refrigerators and stuff. Sad very sad!!



  40. 98
    Politicians.Parasites,Benefit cheats,and all those toughing at the public purse says:

    Vicky Pryce brought back into government by Vince Cable,a lying scheming bitch living with a serial trougher liar and full time Hunt and is now advising Government only in Britain,no the wonder we are fucked.


  41. 104
    altruism in industry says:

    Does William realize that he is in the big boys yard ? Is he on some bonus scheme.
    He does not look like a ruthless killer, does he know what he is doing ? Is he out of his depth and did he notice that we did not give permission to put our lives on the line. ?


  42. 108
    Jimmy says:

    I thought all these Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants were going to be taking all our jobs?

    Do you mean the right have been lying again?


    • 115
      Will says:

      The Romanian and Bulgarians will be taking entry level jobs barely paying min wage but the problem is that it means more youth unemployment. Also many poles are not keen on them as they might undercut thier wages .


    • 118
      JH40598430958-2340 says:

      Poor Jimmy.

      He knows fucking well that this news makes a Labour win that bit less likely.

      That evil, wicked, nasty private sector ruining all his best laid plans.


    • 154

      Getting desperate Jimmy?


  43. 121
    Window Taxidermy says:

    Ok before you all wet your pants unemployment/ those seeking Jobseekers allowance is now down to roughly the level it was in 96/97 it has a long way to go before it falls back to the level it was in 07/08. Sure if this means Ball looses his job good but, if it menas Osborne keeps his then we are all screwed…..



    • 128
      JH40598430958-2340 says:

      In 07/08 there was a preposterous amount of borrowed cash being pissed about the place, anyone who could fog a mirror could find work carrying some clipboard or another, doing some stupid public sector McJob. Also, do your figures account for the growth in population?

      Not a fair comparison.


      • 132
        Anonymous says:

        Now you can do a private sector McJob on low pay subsidised by the state while the company shareholders laugh all the way to the bank at taxpayer expense.


        • 142
          JH40598430958-2340 says:

          Rapid rebuttal force out in force on this news.





        • 146
          Bemused says:


          Because you see the whole private sector has expanded, which means jobs are being created from top to bottom, not made up non-jobs for Labour chavs with no skills.

          Come on, sing it to me, you know you want to: “Things can only get better”!


          • Window Taxidermy says:

            Agreed there has been an expansion in private sector jobs – most particularly in the last year so unemployemnt as a percentage of the total of working age population is less but in absolute terms is as described – at about 96/97 levels. Can’t comment on qaulity of jobs created one way or the other – though private sector service sector jobs especailly those subsidised by the state are not necessarily better for the economy or taxpayer than public sector non jobs. Neither do anything meaningful for the long term econimc outlook as essentially non productive. The rebalacing to manufacturing is far from happening yet and never will under Osborne (or Balls).


  44. 124
    Mark Wouters says:

    Sovietsalami63 Here ,
    The socalled fall in Unemployment is Fascism speaking ,the Tories of this Condom government will most definateley have stolen Claimants benefitsand told them Theyre our Friends.


  45. 126
    Mark Wouters says:

    Sovietsalami63 Here ,
    Forgot to add ,thets what the Planks do in the USA.


    • 148
      Bemused says:

      Hows that Soviet socialism working out for ya, M. TinTin?

      Troll -lol-lol-lol
      lol-lol-lol, lol-lol-lol

      Troll -lol-lol-lol
      lol-lol-lol, lol-lol-lol


  46. 127
    Lou Rolls says:

    The Tories are not out of the woods yet. Inflation is not under control.
    After 3 years, they only got it back to 2%..

    And real inflation is much higher..
    House prices/rents, transport costs, energy costs and food are rising much more than the fake CPI.


    • 152
      Bemused says:

      It is generally considered a bad thing to have inflation below 2%.

      If you make inflation too low you risk overshooting and ending up with deflation.

      A bit of inflation encourages people to consider that money can “go off” so they either invest it or spend it to retain value. What you don’t want is people hiding it under their floorboards.

      Read some stuff on macro-economics. Self-education – it really is worth the risk…


  47. 131
    Cathy Ashton,Valeri Amos and that other useless twat William Hague says:

    Went the day well.yes day 1 of the Syrian peace conference went as we expected Sunni declaring Jihad on the Shia and the West giving lots more taxpayer cash.I know that the news will be well received in the UK,You Gov have carried out a poll which puts alongside the other most trusted leaders.


    • 135
      JH40598430958-2340 says:

      Sunni vs Shia.

      Like AIDS having a to-the-death battle with Cancer.

      (eats popcorn).


      • 159
        I remember when shia were called shi'ite says:

        The problem is that there aren’t enough sunni to assure mutual destruction of the shi’ites.

        Oh well, let them have a go anyway.


  48. 143
    Winston says:

    Just looked at the breakdown of the figures. Unemployment in East Midlands has dropped from 177k to 149k in 3months – 16% decrease! Looks a bit fishy to me.


  49. 167
    Robbie says:

    Great! Tories certs by 18th September————–> YES


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