Friday, June 28, 2013

Red Balls: Too Far, Too Fast, Too Often

20130628-084005.jpg Ed Balls – well, his lawyer – has been up in front of the magistrates yet again, pleading guilty to his third road offence in three years. Readers will remember how Balls ‘fessed up to being ordered to attend a speed awareness course in April, now our lawless Shadow Chancellor been done for running a red light outside Parliament. And he has the nerve to call Dave zippy…

UPDATE:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ed Balls Photobomb at Hamleys Toy Shop Shoot

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ed Ballses Up Brillo Interview

Under pressure from Brillo earlier, Balls coughed that he believed “the cuts are deeper than they need to be” for the spending review. Meanwhile spinners were pushing the line that Labour will stick to spending cuts if elected in 2015. Which was even on the rather unfortunate ticker scrolling along the bottom of the screen while Balls was speaking. So these cuts are too deep but Labour will stick to them, eh?

Here is the video:

Friday, June 21, 2013

More Bad News For Co-Op

One awkward detail for Ed Balls in the Prudential Regulatory Authority’s first report assessing British banks out yesterday. The Co-Op bank told them they currently hold £1.7 billion of core capital, though adjusted by the PRA to reflect expected future losses that figure falls to a worrying £200 million. In ratio terms the PRA advise banks to hold 7%, crucially today’s figures show the Co-Op holds a dangerously low 0.94%.

They need that £3.6 million Labour owe them more than ever. And what about Balls’ £50,000-a-year?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

Andrew Pierce on Ed Balls…

“Porky Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls sweet-talked guests at a fund-raising dinner by saying if he wasn’t a politician, he would be a chef. That’s not surprising, since he was accused of cooking the Treasury books when he was Gordon Brown’s boot boy.”

Monday, June 3, 2013

Osborne and Balls on Bilderberg Guest List

Selected guest list for this week Bilderberg meeting in Watford:

Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Kenneth Clarke, Cabinet Minister
Peter Mandelson, Chairman, Global Counsel; Chairman, Lazard International
Baroness Williams of Crosby, Member, House of Lords
Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
José Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission
Timothy F Geithner, Former Secretary of the Treasury
Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
Sherard Cowper-Coles, Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc
Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP plc
Thomas Enders, CEO, EADS
J. Michael Evans, Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.
François Fillon, Former French Prime Minister
John Kerr, Independent Member, House of Lords
John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands
David H. Petraeus, General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister
Peter D. Sutherland, Chairman, Goldman Sachs International

Politicians, bankers and arms dealers break bread…

The guest list in full can be seen here.

Balls Abandons Universality to Save His Job

Ed Balls has finally blinked, tearing up the party’s previously unbreakable commitment to universal benefits, alienating the Labour left and cynically conceding to the centre ground. He announced today that Labour would cut winter fuel payments to the rich, something Miliband has previously defended as “a bedrock of our society”. Channelling Osborne, Balls will say:

“In tough economic times we have to make difficult choices about priorities for public spending and what the right balance is between universal and targeted support. So at a time when the public services that pensioners and others rely on are under strain, it can no longer be a priority to continue paying the winter fuel allowance to the wealthiest pensioners.”

This is of almost no financial significance, it is however hugely significant politically. Abandoning such a historically fundamental Labour policy reveals much of Balls’ fears for his own job. He knows that if he cannot improve flat-lining public confidence in his competency by next year Miliband has a decision to make. This LabourList/Survation poll is why Balls knows being fired could easily become a reality:

ed-kinnockIn the Sun today Trevor Kavanagh says Miliband is the new Kinnock. This is a comparison Guido has made in the past, not least to Ed himself, that he would go the same way as Labour’s 1992 leader. It makes sense for Miliband and Balls to change track two years before the election rather than leave it any later and risk their credibility sinking even lower. They have two years to get the party, then the people, on board…

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Low Spinning Balls

Where there are unemployment figures, there is a chance to spin. Especially for Watson-trained Balls Political Adviser / bruiser Alex Belardinelli. There he was, gleefully tweeting killer stats to talk down today’s unemployment figures:

You wouldn’t realise from that tweet that the unemployment rate is actually 0.2% lower: falling from 8% when Gordon left to 7.8% today. The total number of people in employment has risen 880,000 from May 2010. The total number of unemployed has risen by 100,000 from May 2010. With a growing population, Belardinelli knows exactly what he is doing. In reality the facts point to better employment figures today then three years ago, albeit hardly by much more than flatlining. There is spinning and then there is misinformation… 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Darling of the Lobby

The two Eds will have been following Alistair Darling’s Lobby lunch very closely this afternoon. Darling laid down the gauntlet to Balls, showing a fair amount of leg about a possible return: “At the moment I’m totally focused on the referendum. After that I’ll see where I stand. I will maintain an interest in wider affairs.” 

Some choice words for Miliband too. Darling says Ed “needs to do more to argue case for staying in the EU”, but at least apparently he’s “doing better than people give him credit for” and there is “no need for line by line manifesto” with two years to go. He was coy on Gordon: “I have never provided a running commentary on any conversations I may or may not have had”, but was willing to jokingly flirt with another foe: “there are times I have been tempted to join UKIP”. The tease…

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where’s Ed Balls?

When the going got tough, Gordon Brown would pull his favourite Macavity trick and disappear. It seems his prodigy Ed Balls has learnt exactly the same trick. There has been a lot of grumbling over the weekend in Labour circles that the Shadow Chancellor all but disappeared in the wake of the local election results and was silent on the airwaves, leaving the mop up to the likes of Chuka and Tom Watson. He managed to Tweet his congratulations to the new MP for South Shields, but apart from that has stuck to local issues in his seat and talking about Shepherd’s Pie. His absence has been noted by more loyal colleagues…


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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