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 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:
— Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) January 8, 2014
But fun to watch Chuka squirm.
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…
— The Web of Evil (@webofevil) January 7, 2014
The tory affiliated media machine working overtime here, conditioning minds further 4 the next general elections. #benefitsstreet
— London-Dude (@TwiitMonster) January 7, 2014
blaming a tiny group in society for the vast, global economic situation we are suffering, remember germany in the 1930's? #benefitsstreet
— stephie mackinnon ⚓ (@stephmackinnonx) January 7, 2014
Goebbels made films about the Jews likening them to rats , dirty & spreading disease,CH 4 does this for benefit claimants #benefitsstreet
— martin ellis-hall (@cutter78) January 7, 2014
And Guido’s favourite, the Liverpool Labour activist who wants to kill the producers:
Honestly never been so angry at anything other than when watching #benefitsstreet. Actually just cried. I want every producer at C4 dead.
— Jasmin Beckett (@JasminAmelia) January 6, 2014
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:
Ed Balls told Adam Boulton on Sky News that he had never predicted a double dip recession:
Except of course he did…
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.
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?
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?
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:
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…
Labout Have Learned Nothing | Jeremy Warner
How Cameron Can Return to No. 10 | Telegraph
Balls Speech Was Mush | FT
Labour Makes a Mess of Its Big Moment | James Kirkup
Miliband Must Win Back Blair’s Englanders | Rachel Sylvester
Ed Balls’ Speech Was Pointless | Dan Hodges
Media Movements: James Lyons to Sunday Times | Media Guido
Rebekah Brooks in Line for £7 Million Payout | Times
A Different Sort of Class War | Telegraph
Labour Candidate’s Links to Ex-BNP Member | Breitbart
McVey Dodges White Dee Debate | Speccie
Eddie Izzard, in his thirteenth year involved in politics, says he’s not cursed because it took Sir Alex Ferguson “seven years to win the premiership so it doesn’t really matter.”