Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Balls Loses Another Internal Labour Battle

Ed’s snoozefest about local government infrastructure reorganisation in Birmingham today has not set the world on fire, despite the protestations of his adoring fans:

There is one interesting thing to note though, this is yet another nail in the Ed Balls coffin. As Rawnsley deigned to tell us a week or so ago, Balls has been fighting the local devolution policy, which he described as a “profound and important fault-line with big implications for how Labour might govern”. On one side of the fight was Cruddas, Andonis and Byrne with opposition “coming from more conventionally-minded types on both left and right”. Like Balls:

“Ed Balls is regarded as a key figure in this debate. There is a traditional Treasury objection to loosening the reins of control, which is almost invariably shared by chancellors and would-be chancellors.”

Well Miliband sided against Balls. Again…

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Muppet Miliband and Balls

“You know what Mr Speaker, I will take a lecture from almost anyone in the country about the sale of Royal Mail, but not from the two muppets who advised the last Chancellor on selling the gold.”

An attack lined ruined only by the manifesto blunder by the PM – Dave claimed Labour promised to privatise the Royal Mail – actually they were going to part privatise it and keep the majority shareholding in the government’s hands.

Monday, January 27, 2014

IFS Demolish Balls Plan

Balls couldn’t resist a love-in with the Institute for Fiscal Studies back when they were criticising the government in 2012, crowing that:
“The IFS is right to cast doubt over the so-called ‘findings’ of the review of the 50p top rate published by the Chancellor. They say that it is uncertain that the cost of cutting the 50p rate is as low as Ministers claim and that it is too early to judge the true effect.”  

Well for some reason he doesn’t seem to want to listen now that they’ve demolished his 50p tax rate plan this afternoon. In a withering assessment, the IFS concludes:

“The best available estimate of what reversing the cut would raise is therefore about £100 million too… at the moment, the best evidence we have still suggests that raising the top rate of tax would raise little revenue and make, at best, a marginal contribution to reducing the budget deficit an incoming government would face after the next election.”

 What was that about always listening to the IFS?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Employers Condemn Balls Tax Rise

That radical new Balls policy: increase taxes. Don’t say the bosses of some of the largest employers in Britain didn’t warn you:

  • Rob Templeman, chairman of the British Retail Consortium, Gala Coral and the RAC: “this tax increase would be bad for business in Britain. It would put the recovery at risk, deter investment and  ultimately cost jobs”
  • Sir Stuart Rose, former executive chairman of Marks and Spencer: “This will put at risk all the good work that has been done to put the economy back on track.”
  • Mike Lynch, co-founder of Autonomy Corporation and former Labour donor: “The proposed tax increase would put jobs and the economic recovery at risk and discourage investment into the UK.”
  • Ian Cheshire, chief executive of Kingfisher: “Putting up the percentage rate is the wrong answer. When the rate was cut the total tax paid went up and the top 0.1% now pay over 30% of all income tax. Raising the rate is bad economics and sends an anti business message that may undermine investment plans and the recovery”

Dracula will be a vegetarian before Ed Balls balances a budget.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Balls Silence Not Built to Last

Ed Balls has spoken, finally. Trying his best not to sound sad at the IMF upgrading Britain’s economic outlook by more than any other major economy this afternoon, Balls reckons:

“With business investment still weak and the IMF forecasting that UK growth will slow down again next year, it’s clear that this is not yet a recovery that is built to last.”

Built to last, you say? That was the very phrase that sparked the infamous leaked “nightmare” emails before Christmas, when Miliband adviser Torsten Bell and loyalist Greg Beales ripped into the Shadow Chancellor:

TB: “As an example of why we’re having problems on EB messaging – this is his current three-part argument: Cost of living; Recovery built to last; Economy works for working people. Nightmare.”

GB: “When did built to last become a part of our thing?’

No wonder they want him to shut up…

BBC Balls Belly Bias

Now where had Guido seen the photo that the official BBC News Twitter account just used to illustrate a story about weight loss before?

Ah yes, that’s the one:

Now that’s just uncalled for…

UPDATE: Balls’ spokesman says: “I think he may be “too busy training for his third Marathon” to complain about that one.”

Where’s Ed Balls?

The silent Shadow Chancellor is still keeping quiet despite some heavy briefing against him from colleagues at the weekend. One Labour MP told the Mail:

“Balls used to throw his weight around in Shadow Cabinet meetings and ignore Ed Miliband when he spoke. Now Balls is totally out of sorts. He doesn’t say much at Shadow Cabinet meetings and when he does, he is the one who is ignored. He has lost his mojo.”

Silence yesterday as well. So where was he? Hidden away at a very safe distance up in Scotland bravely knocking on doors with his old boss Gordon Brown, it turns out:

Anyone would think he was cursed…

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cool Clegg Down With the Kidz

Either very late or very early for Ed Balls Day. Or some amusing retaliation…

UPDATE: The Son of Brown can’t let his Gordon’s favourite debate phrase:

Chuka Squirms Over Anti-Balls Briefing

Chuka Umunna was confronted on the Daily Politics with allegations that he may have been behind the Economist piece about Labour expanding BIS to neuter the Treasury if Labour make it back into government. Ed Balls will be delighted…

Yesterday Labour Uncut made the link that the author of the piece, one Jeremy Cliffe, who used to work for Chuka. To be fair it’s denials all round:

But fun to watch Chuka squirm.

Video via @liarpoliticians

Gordon Plotting By-Election With Balls
Shadow Chancellor Lovebombs Clegg, Who Hates Him

Leaving aside the naked positioning and re-writing of history by Ed Balls in his New Statesman interview, there was one line that the fearless interviewer did not pick up on. When asked when the Shadow Chancellor last spoke to his political father Gordon Brown, Balls replied: “he actually emailed me today about a by-election coming up in the next couple of weeks”. Well we are certainly overdue one in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath…

The other line that made Guido chuckle was Balls’ claim:

“I can disagree with Nick Clegg on some of the things he did but I’ve no reason to doubt his integrity, we’ve never, I don’t think, ever had a cross word.”

Which will come as news to the Deputy Prime Minister, who said over Christmas:

“I always try to keep a good sense of humour, and if I have an argument with someone to keep the argument about what the argument is about and not allow it too often to become sort of personal. I make one exception, for a man named Ed Balls. But other than that I try not to make it about insults and stuff.”

Well we can forgive him that…


Seen Elsewhere

How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie
Left-Wing Anti-Semitism is Nothing New | Dan Hannan
Coe Pulls Out of BBC Trust Race | Mail


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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