Wednesday, January 8, 2014

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…

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

8 Loony Left Over Reactions to #BenefitsStreet

And Guido’s favourite, the Liverpool Labour activist who wants to kill the producers:

The revenge of the Welfare Party.

UPDATE: With an eye on her future political career Jasmin Amelia backtracks and apologises for calling for the murder of TV producers:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ed Balls Denies He Predicted a Double Dip Recession
(Except of Course He Did) 

Ed Balls told Adam Boulton on Sky  News that he had never predicted a double dip recession:

Except of course he did…

See also: Ed Balls denies that he denied there was a structural deficit.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Balls Launches Career Saving Cost Review For Third Time

Fighting for his job, Ed Balls has done what Ed Balls does best and relaunched an old idea to try distract from his current woes. Labour have today announced a zero-base cost review of all public spending: “a root and branch review of every pound the government spends from the bottom up”. Which is all well and good.

Labour are saying that they are launching this review today. Except for the fact that Labour already launched it. Here is Ed Balls in September 2013

“Of course Labour will always make different choices. We will combine iron discipline on spending control with a fairer approach to deficit reduction. And with our zero-based review – a review of every pound spent by government from the bottom up – Rachel Reeves and my Shadow Cabinet colleagues have begun the work of identifying savings so that we can switch resources to Labour’s priorities.”

And here is Ed Balls launching it in September 2012:

 “The public want to know that we are going to be ruthless and disciplined in how we go about public spending. For a Labour government in 2015, it is quite right, and the public I think would expect this, to have a proper zero-based spending review where we say we have to justify every penny and make sure we are spending in the right way.”

Ed Balls should know by now that just because you say something three times, it doesn’t make it true.

He’s going to have to try harder than this.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who is Miliband Going to Fire?

Miliband’s policy on anonymous negative briefings could not have been made any clearer when McBride’s book came out in the autumn. Here is Chuka explaining where they stand:

“One of the things Ed has been so clear about – and I remember because I was in the shadow cabinet meeting – is he will not tolerate any of that kind of behaviour. If anybody is found briefing against anybody, you are out.”

Today the Sun quotes a “senior Labour insider” as saying Balls has nine months to save himself from being knifed by Miliband:

“If we’re still in difficulty on the economy by the time of the party conference in September, then he will do it. You should not underestimate how ruthless Ed is. He will not let anything stand between us and the election, and that includes Ed Balls.”

So Ed, who you gonna fire?

Friday, December 13, 2013

52% Dislike Ed Balls’ Policies

This should do wonders for Ed Balls following his nightmare fortnight. A new Ipsos Mori poll finds that Balls’ policies are rejected by the public by two to one, with 52% disliking and just 26% liking his plan for the economy. Balls is now well behind Osborne on trust as well, 40% prefer George and only 29% Ed. Just 39% of Labour supporters said they like Balls. Wonder if he gives a toss yet?

Friday, December 6, 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.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

IDS Responds to Balls Jibe

The Work and Pensions secretary’s reaction to Balls’ “IDS – In Deep Shambles” line today.

Red Balls

Osborne’s reaction to Balls telling him he is in “denial”:

Which, judging by the colour of his face, hit Balls where it hurt:

Worst Balls performance since… well, his Autumn Statement reply in 2012. This is looking like justification for moving Balls before the next election. Miliband looks pained.


Seen Elsewhere

Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester
Scotland Surges for Freedom | Times


VOTER-RECALL
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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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