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“Is your biggest problem – you are the most annoying man in politics, you live in denial, you smear on behalf of Gordon Brown when you did it, you’re a left wing economist with private education. This is the problem Balls, you don’t listen.”
If Sean from Matfield is anything to go by, Call Balls could become essential Friday morning listening…
Labour are getting into a spin over this morning’s Indy splash claiming they will pledge to outspend the Tories in 2015. Balls has told LBC the story “is an exclusive but it’s wrong”, blaming a report from the Fabians: “it is not our policy, it is not our position”. As Damian McBride speculates, the Indy front page is manifestly true, Labour just won’t confirm it until they release their manifesto in two years’ time.
I'm struggling to decipher the Indie splash on Lab spending: False flag op by the Blairites? Self-puffery by the Fabians? Or just, er, true?
— Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) April 19, 2013
One thing's for sure: no sensible, loyal person in Labour wants that story out now, so whoever briefed it is either a snake or a half-wit.
— Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) April 19, 2013
Labour pledging to spend more is a case of when rather than if. They say they don’t have a position now, but you can bet the scoop will be confirmed by election day…
As the battle rages between ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ and ‘I’m in Love With Margaret Thatcher’ for the highest chart position, you can always rely on Ed Balls’ spectacular lack of timing for a lighter take on the loony left campaign. Asked by the Standard what he gets up to in his spare time this morning, Balls rather unfortunately replied:
As Guido is also a fan of musical theatre, we will let him off this time…
Guido thinks everyone needs cheering up a little. Here’s one way of comparing recent PMs…
In Sunday’s Sun column Guido revealed how a controversial gambling lobbyist was claiming to be a “Business Adviser” to Ed Balls, despite the Shadow Chancellor denying ever having appointed him. Neil Goulden is the chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers, boss of Gala Bingo and the man in charge of the Coral high-street betting shop. He claims to be a “Business Adviser to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls”, yet that is the first Team Balls have heard of it.
Balls’ spokesman insists to Guido that “Neil has not been appointed as a business adviser to Ed Balls”. Interesting that Balls told industry insiders he wanted to curb his party’s anti-bookies rhetoric at a private dinner organised by Goulden earlier this year. And that Goulden also donated £15,000 to Labour in the run up to the last election. Odds on that we haven’t heard the last of this one…
A name to remember for the run-up to a big 2015 dogfight: the Tories have selected Andrea Jenkyns to take on Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood. The seat was almost the scene of the biggest upset of 2010. Expect Jenkyns’ working class striver credentials to be pushed from now until election day, Jenkyns is a local, comp-educated candidate who runs her own business. Conveniently she says fixing the broken welfare system is her main priority. Balls has a majority of 1,101…
Balls has admitted going too far too fast, spoiling a certain Sunday story in a blogpost this lunchtime:
“Like many local people, I was caught out by the never-ending roadworks on the M62. Pulling on to the motorway at Morley I realised too late that the speed restrictions were still in place. I was caught and bang to rights – doing 56 in a 50 mile restriction zone. Going too far, too fast, you might say.
I paid my fine and chose to attend a speed awareness course. I currently have no points on my licence and would like to keep it that way. Which is why, this week, I ended up in the Holiday Inn with 39 others.
The course was very professional and actually really worthwhile.”
The second time he has been done for a driving offence. At least he didn’t get Yvette to take the points…
Guido’s exclusive that Alex Belardinelli, henchman to Ed Balls, is to be replaced by Damian McBride, was always destined to remain exclusive.
Some people have no sense of humour:
Not the first time @GuidoFawkes has published totally invented stories about me. Not holding my breath for a correction or retraction though
— Alex Belardinelli (@abelardinelli) April 1, 2013
Others revealingly project their own Machiavellian ways:
.@GuidoFawkes Ye Gods, it's the old Unpopular Switcheroo Backlash Inducer; I thought over-use on A.Milburn had ruined that tactic for good.
— Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) April 1, 2013
It always amuses Guido when Balls and Brown refer to the Prime Mentalist’s old spin doctor as “Mr McBride”. As Guido revealed in his Sun column yesterday, Balls has been quick to dash speculation that he might bring McPoison back into the fray.
The Shadow Chancellor’s spokesmen tells Guido Balls and McBride have only “bumped into each other twice” since Easter 2009, once at an Arsenal match and then at a Labour fundraising dinner. He insists “they’ve never discussed him coming back to work for the Labour Party”. McBride’s tales from Number 10 will certainly spice up Labour conference this September…
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail
UKIP’s Promise to Defectors | Alex Wickham
Juncker: No Compromise on EU Immigration | Telegraph
Labour’s Numbers Don’t Add Up | Left Foot Forward
LibDems’ Loss is UKIP’s Gain | Telegraph
Fiona Woolf, Leon Brittan and the Establishment Cover Up | Mail
£8 Billion NHS Black Hole | Times
5 Things We Learned From Guido’s Party | GQ
Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:
“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”