June 24th, 2014

SKETCH: The Ghost of Coulson Reaches Treasury Questions

Treasury questions began with the single most depressing sentence that can fall on Labour ears. The fact is, Osborne declared, we are experiencing the fastest growth in employment since records began.

What a terrible time to fight an election from the left – its ideology is being cut to ribbons by events.

In a time of public sector cuts, employment is unaccountably soaring.

Tax cuts are perversely producing higher tax revenues.

Austerity refuses to stifle growth even though anyone who is anyone knows it must.

And while the Right keeps talking about its long term economic plan (14 mentions today), the Left has neither a long term communications strategy – or even a short term one (their Leader’s Welfare reforms from last week: 0 mentions).

Ed Balls looked like the stuffing had been knocked out of him. That’s a lot of stuffing.

But wait. At Topical questions the energy flooded back into him. His power and purpose returned. What could have invigorated him – a bank failure? The closure of a car plant? The collapse of the global economy? The fatal struggle of his leader with a trouser press?

No, he rose to inform the House that Andy Coulson had just been found guilty of phone hacking. Would the Chancellor now accept –

The Speaker rose, a little embarrassed at having to interrupt his old friend. He pointed out apologetically that Andy Coulson didn’t have any immediate particular obvious connection with the British economy or the Treasury. And if there had been a relevant connection it would surely have emerged by now? Or wouldn’t it? Oh, go on then, have another go.

Balls had another go. Hadn’t Osborne brought the Treasury into disrepute by hiring Andy Coulson? Tory rage, a biting reference to Damian McBride, cries of “Disgraceful!” from all sides.

Eyes bulging, voice booming, rage blossoming. It was good to see Ed Balls’ spirits restored.

Poor fellow, he fears with sick dread that tomorrow will heap more disaster on his head: more employment, higher growth, lower inflation. They might even not put up interest rates and he would have to admit that everything he’s ever believed was wrong.


  1. 1
    Ed Balls says:

    Ed Balls

  2. 2
    Diane Abbotopotamus says:

    We may be experiencing growth but we are not experiencing growth. Resign!

  3. 3
    Nick Clegg says:

    Coulson guilty Brooks innocent Cameron??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwh6-lJY26Y … it’s the conspiracy that’s the real crime

  4. 4
    St. Diane of Tower Hamlets says:

    I’m experiencing growth alright.

  5. 5
    Ghost of Leon says:

    Cameron brought me in from the cold !

  6. 6
    Ed BollockChops says:

    I get slapped more times than Kim Kardashians arse!

  7. 7
    The 1922 Committee says:


  8. 8
    Laughing Curve says:

    “Tax cuts are perversely producing higher tax revenues.”

    Everyone knows this is what happens.

  9. 9

    What’s the point of the Left?

    Why do they need to exist, let alone have a “communications strategy”, whatever that might be – let alone any “policies”. We’ve seen Lenin and Stalin and Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao-tse-Tung, so we don’t need any educating about what socialist policies are.

    Let them be prevented from standing in elections, and let the “Fabian Society’s” “archives of minutes of private meetings since 1884″ be seized and analyzed, and you’ll see that we are right.

  10. 10
    Socialism and the Twats of Doom says:

    Employment does not count when it is tory-induced employment.

  11. 11

    I wonder who’s cupboards she’s left her various skeletons in then.

  12. 12
    Yasmine & Diane (the new Hale & Pace but definitely not white because white people are racist) says:


  13. 13
    DtP says:

    Ed Balls admit he was wrong about everything all of the time? Are we talking about the same chap?

  14. 14
    WMD - Weird Milliband Disaster says:

    Who is Ed Balls?

  15. 15
    Marais Erasmus is the world's greatest umpire says:

    Pradeep strays onto middle and leg, and Root unleashes a well-timed on drive for four. Eyes of steel as he glove-punches Moeen between deliveries. But Sri Lanka are jubilant as he tries to force the ball to leg again and edges to gully.

  16. 16
    Yasmine & Diane (the new Hale & Pace but definitely not white because white people are racist) says:

    How can we shoehorn waaaycism into this?

    Ah fuck it we give up.

  17. 17
    Public Sector Pinko says:

    Vicious cuts in the number of unemployed people. Same old heartless tories! Let’s have a strilke or two, the weather doesn’t look too bad.

  18. 18
    The Thick of It says:

    Time to investigate the BBC and the hounding of Rebekah Brooks, the misuse of public money to attack Murdoch and other rivals

  19. 19
    Wacist says:

    The only growth I see is the Flabbutt herself

  20. 20
    Now that I've been found out, of course I'll do what is right says:

    Ed Balls, a car crash.

  21. 21
    Hideously White says:

    Only when the BBC is 99% effnik will all be well

  22. 22
    Out of the red? says:

    The figures are in black and white?

  23. 23
    Yasmine & Diane (the new Hale & Pace but definitely not white because white people are racist) says:


  24. 24
    Jiminy says:

    I should love to knock the stuffing out of Ed Balls. And not in any hypothetical sense either.

  25. 25
    Taxpayer. says:

    What tax cuts? Mine haven’t been cut one iota. In fact they are going up everytime the zero band is increased.

  26. 26

    Not nearly endogenous enough.
    Not post neoclassical enough.
    Not theoretical enough.
    Just growth – without Balls.

  27. 27
    Ticket collector says:

    No no – do keep up. It is the UKIP mob that don’t compute (according to your mate with the extra large thing on his lefty wrist)

  28. 28
    Orwell's ghost says:

    Labour hoping for less employment.

    That be doublespeak.

  29. 29

    The ghost of Jimmy Saville reaches out and touches many at the BBC even today!

  30. 30
    Chocolate Fireguard says:

    I see his old mates over at the TUC are organising a rash of strikes, the teachers are going on strike again, and to help them along the lollipop ladies and men are going on strike too, what’s that all about? there will be no kids going to school, yet they are going on strike, what a load of numpties.

  31. 31
    BB says:

    We didn’t say ‘no more boom’, we only said ‘no more Tory boom’ – so the growth doesn’t count because it has happened under a Tory-led government.

    Gord, errr, I mean Ed B

  32. 32
    Robert Dylan says:

    No comment on security clearance being circumvented to get into no.10 – dictators must mock our ‘democracy’ when our leader was warned about Coulson, then sneaks him into heart of govt. Corrupt sleazy Tory leader, but hey, let’s mock Balls & ignore it, eh?

  33. 33
    Robert Dylan says:

    No mention of Pinochet? His callous murders acceptable as he was Maggie’s friend, eh? Let’s not stop there, no mention of the intellectual rigour of such right wing luminaries as Reagan, Dubya, Schwarzenneger, Palin…oh you are so true, what do we need a ‘left’ for…cretin

  34. 34
    Lenin Cohem says:

    Hey Bob the times they are a changing and youve not noticed this Guido article is about the economy.
    Which shows all you lefties have got each and every predictions wrong.
    So now all your policies are the opposite of whats working all you have left is personal attacks.
    Pretty desperate.

  35. 35
    Anonymous says:

    Chile is the nicest country to live in in South America now. Stable, wealthy, relatively free of corruption.

    The Miracle of Chile is a very bad example if you want to prove how awesome left wingery is. If anything it proves that when communists and student union lefties are on the verge of taking over you got a choice between shooting them or facing grinding poverty for the rest of your life.

  36. 36
    geordieboy says:

    A product of Dr Frankenstein only he forgot to put a brain in .

  37. 37
    geordieboy says:

    No corruption in the Labour party then?

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