Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Balls’ GDP Nightmare

The shadow chancellor’s Ed Balls Day hangover has not been helped by this morning’s positive GDP figures. One phrase stood out in his response to the news:

“Now that growth has finally returned, the question is whether ordinary working people will properly feel the benefit and we have a balanced recovery that’s built to last… 

And with business investment still weak, infrastructure output down and housing demand outstripping housing supply, this is not yet a recovery that is built to last.

Labour’s plan will ensure we earn our way to higher living standards for all, not just a few at the top, and secure a strong and balanced recovery that is built to last.”

“Built to last” was the phrase used by Balls that led to Miliband advisers Torsten Bell and Greg Beales calling him a “nightmare” in those awkward leaked emails last year. This morning he used it three times in five lines…

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Balls Flees Crash Scene
Police Probing Ed Balls Car Smash Dash

Ed Balls has picked up another trick from his political father Gordon Brown – going missing, Macavity style, from the scene of a crime. The Shadow Chancellor hit another car in Morley on April 5 but sped off in his Peugeot 306 without contacting the owner or leaving his insurance details. He was only caught by CCTV.

The Yorkshire Post reports that the police have launched an investigation. According to West Yorkshire Police:

We received a report on Sunday, April 6, of a fail-to-stop collision on Commercial Street, Morley, which is reported to have happened the day before on Saturday, April 5. Damage was caused to the front offside wing of a parked black Peugeot 306. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Of course this is not the first time Balls has got into trouble behind the wheel. He claims:

“As soon as I was made aware of what had happened, I took full responsibility for any damage caused.”

Not a mantra he applies to the economy, sadly.

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:


Seen Elsewhere

Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun
Don’t Bottle Schools Revolution | Dom Cummings
Sack Bercow | Melanie Phillips
Tories Should Have Open Primary in Clacton | Mark Wallace
Osborne Tricked Into Haircut | Janan Ganesh
100 Tory Eurosceptics Defy Cameron | Indy
ConHome Manifesto Launched | ConHome
Play the Great Clacton By-Election Game! | ConservativeHome


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Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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