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

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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Red Ed Wine

Co-conspirators searched far and wide for a photo of Miliband drinking in a pub, and on the evidence above it seems pint-less Ed isn’t too keen on the stuff. That is unless the pub in question stocks Lanson champagne. These pics were taken at the Old Star pub in St James’ Park, where Ed spoke last month to a fitting backdrop:

Bottoms up!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Labour Owe Troubled Co-Operative Bank £3,391,000

The Co-Op bank’s £1.5 billion black hole will see 50 branches closed after the ‘ethical’ bank went cap in hand to hedge funds rescuers.

In 1999 the Labour Party borrowed £3,580,000 from the bank and only £189,000 has been repaid.

Miliband and Balls owe the troubled lenders £3,391,000. How many jobs could they save if they paid it back?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Balls in Bed With McBride

Perhaps the most awkward anecdote yet from McBride’s book. Passed out drunk and naked on his bed at Labour conference, McBride had to be woken by Ed Balls. With mentally scarring consequences:

“When I felt Ed grasping me by the shoulders, shouting quite loudly and giving me a shake I became about a quarter awake but unfortunately – in my addled and still drunk state – my mind interpreted what was happening as some amorous play-wrestling from a female bedmate. I started to roll over and try to pull ‘her’ onto me with a winsome “C’mere”, at which point Ed sharply lurched away from the bed with a “Good grief!” As I fully woke up, it was difficult to work out what was happening. I could see my bedroom door was open. apparently with several people whispering outside. I could hear bath water running with lots of irritated swearing coming from the bathroom – and I was stark naked with my clothes in front of the bed. As I sat up, Ed emerged from the bathroom with a face like thunder and hurled a binful of cold water over me, shouted: “Now for f***s sake get up” and stormed out.”

Probably one story Balls is less keen on telling about his old pal “Mr McBride”…

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Plan B: Re-Write History

A rather kind piece on the BBC website from Stephanie Flanders about how Ed Balls will react to Osborne’s speech. She helpfully lists possible lines for the Shadow Chancellor:

“In reply, Mr Balls will say:

1. He never said that austerity was the only thing holding back the recovery
2. Nor did he say that recovery was impossible without Plan B, though observers would say he came pretty close”
3. There have been many factors holding back growth since 2010, including the eurozone crisis.”

Really? Balls may well say that, but that does not mean it is true.

Firstly Balls told the BBC in May of this year that the Osborne was sticking to a plan that “isn’t balanced, which is a drag on growth, which has choked off recovery in my view.” Which sounds a lot like austerity holding back the recovery.

Secondly, Balls told the Commons in January 2011 that he believed the Prime Minister ‘is going too far and too fast with deficit reduction and that that is what is inhibiting growth in this country’. Yet growth has come without Balls’ Plan B for slower defect reduction.

Thirdly, Balls wrote in the Mirror in January 2012 that “now it’s the Eurozone crisis – why do the Tories never take the blame? Cameron and Osborne have only themselves to blame for what has happened on their watch.” So when it’s going badly the Tories can’t blame the Eurozone, yet when it’s going well, he can? 

Balls made these claims over and over again for three years, yet somehow Stephanie is giving him wriggle room. Guido didn’t realise that they were still friends withbenefits…

Friday, August 23, 2013

Labour Big Beasts Bash Balls

No other way of reading this piece by John Denham and Peter Hain in today’s Guardian other than as a thinly veiled slight at Ed Balls. They talk of Miliband’s perceived recognition that “many of the problems facing Britain required fundamentally different approaches and new solutions” than offered when the Shadow Chancellor was running the show behind the scenes, before concluding:

“The most valuable members of the shadow cabinet have been those who have set out radical long-term visions for their area of responsibility, such as Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall on the need to integrate a National Care Service into the NHS. Labour has been at its strongest when we have risen above the party political dogfight to speak the truth about what needs to be done.

There’s nothing to worry about in our current position so long as the entire Labour leadership team swiftly rediscovers the ability to do the same.”

Who could they possibly be talking about?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Labour Stars Turn Out For Fabian Gala Dinner

Finally Ed Balls has turned up. The suspiciously absent Shadow Chancellor held court at the Fabian Society’s champagne reception at the National Liberal Club last night. Following in a tradition their predecessors would have no doubt have approved of, it was survival of the richest at £100-a-ticket. Labour bloggers Laurence Durnan, Mark Ferguson and James Bloodworth chin-wagged with the party’s former head of digital Sue MacMillan before their Norwich North PPC Jessica Assato kicked off the much-needed money-raising auction. Tom Watson generously donated a signed copy of his DCMS committee report, vowing “if you do win it [he] promises not to invite you to a Drenge concert”. The report went for £100, paid by Ken Livingstone’s old pal Nicky Gavron. Worst party ever…

Monday, July 1, 2013

Balls Limo Ran Over Pensioner

A 65-year-old retired journalist has accused Ed Balls’ limo of running him over then driving off at a TUC conference. Tony Patey was admitted to hospital with a gashed leg after the alleged incident. He told the Sun:

injury“It rammed the front of my left leg, throwing me against the passenger door. I’m not sure who was more shocked, Mr Balls or me. His eyes and mouth were wide open.”

When will our streets be made safe from this menace?


Seen Elsewhere

BBC: It Was Guido Wot Won It | MediaGuido
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian
UKIP Winning Class War | Tim Stanley


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Ralph Miliband on the English…

“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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