Biographer and chronicler of the Brown years, Anthony Seldon, has a damning letter to Ed Balls in tomorrow’s New Statesman:
“The time has come for you to fall on your sword.
After 20 unbroken years at the heart of politics, quitting in the next few months until, say, 2017 would undoubtedly benefit your leader, your party, your wife and even yourself. Let me explain.
Ed Miliband would be a much stronger leader without you. Forgive me, but you stop Ed breathing fresh air.
With you close to him, his breath will always be stale and smell of a toxic brand. Without a prolonged period out of the public eye, neither you nor the party will ever rid yourselves of the opportunistic, negative and bullying image of the Gordon era.
Without you, Labour could present itself as a clean party, free of the factionalism and brutalism that so tarnished it when Brown was boss and you were his consigliere.
If Labour loses in 2015, you will be blamed and your career will be damaged beyond repair. If it wins, you would return to the front bench in 2017 a redeemed and respected figure. You might even one day become leader, your long-held ambition.”
Worth noting that Balls’ version of his 10p tax debate with Gordon differs markedly from what Seldon claimed in his book. A dangerously respected critic for Balls.
Showing a characteristic display of financial carelessness, the Shadow Chancellor is literally throwing his money about. A co-conspirator passed Guido a paying-in slip for £6,500 that was dropped on the ground by Ed Balls last week, it got the Guy News team digging. Especially as Balls had been spotted before paying in similar amounts that do not match anything in the Register of Members Interests. Team Balls argue he was simply transferring his money between his building society savings account and his current account to deal with his personal deficit. With cheques. Guido would recommend online banking, safer and secure. Balls has always been so reckless when it comes to banks and money…
Ed Balls was never going to stay silent on the growing speculation about a humiliating sacking at the hands ruthless Ed Miliband. Dangerous subversive chatter over the Shadow Chancellor’s future has goaded the Balls spin machine into lashing out. As ever Kevin Maguire was the grateful recipient of the poison:
“Allies of the shadow chancellor whisper that he’d take his bat and balls away and retire to the back benches rather than swallow demotion to another portfolio.”
A pretty unsubtle threat from Ed. Read: Balls is not going to go quietly.
Ed Balls isn’t even speaking this afternoon and he is still the laughing stock of parliament.
Baldemort was loving it…
Today Labour are forcing a vote on welfare reform and the strange thing about it is both the Tories and Labour are happy with the dividing line. Labour’s position is that they want a freeze on public sector pay and to raise benefits – hence the Tory attack poster this morning.
Labour argue that welfare reforms will take money from in work benefit recipents – strivers. IDS argued this morning that since Brown made 90% of workers welfare recipients that is inevitable. In an example this weekend the Observer warned that in-work welfare recipients could lose up to £470 per annum. Ignoring that the tax threshold hike will largely cancel out and compensate for that loss. Taking people off benefits and out of tax – ending Gordon Brown’s madly wasteful money-go-round…
Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls will lose their child benefit today, though with a joint income of some £130,000 they should be able to cope. Millionaires Ed and Justine Miliband probably won’t even notice it is gone with their £400,000 plus income. Labour have to sell on the doorstep paying welfare benefits to millionaires and raising benefits higher than workers’ wages. They think it can be spun as a vote winner…
Bad news for Balls as Polly Toynbee says out-loud what many on the left are already thinking. How, when Balls is so tainted with economic disaster could he possibly remain as Shadow Chancellor for the next election?
By the same logic, surely Miliband is equally covered in the Brown-stuff?
It’s taken some time but it seems the Labour kickback machine is getting into gear. The dividing lines are being drawn over the whether or not Labour back the Welfare Uprating Bill that will apparently be published this side of Christmas. In the meantime a nice row is brewing over the so called “Mummy Tax”. After granny and pasties, hidden hits are de rigueur these days. A friend of Ed Balls tells Guido this morning:
“Osborne effectively branding mums, taking time out from work to be with their new baby, as work-shy benefit scroungers is a big political mistake.”
Guido is not sure how a reduction in hand-outs is a “tax”, but the issue is certainly potent. Mumsnet will be unbearable today…
Ed Balls blamed his stammer for getting his script wrong yesterday but he still did not have anything to say this morning:
“I’m not going to come on the Today programme within 24 hours and start making ex cathedra statements without taking a proper judgement”
That didn’t stop his boss doing just that when he recommended implementing Leveson in full, just five hours after receiving the 2,000 page document.
Over the last year one of Ed Balls’ favourite lines has been to remind us that Britain was almost unique among our G20 friends in entering a double-dip recession. He gleefully twisted the knife in his conference speech, a column in the Tribune and various press releases, also reeling off the line in an op-ed for the Standard. Now that the Eurozone has fallen into a double dip this morning, it’s back to the drawing board.
A new hand gesture too, perhaps?
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
Labour Candidate: Churchill Was a White Supremacist | Mail
LibDems Stand By Disgraced Sex Offender-Linked Mayor | MK
Has Carol Mills Given Up on Westminster? | Canberra Times
Labour Consider Banning Uber | Asa Bennett
Did LibDems Make Up Hancock Disciplinary Meeting? | Scrapbook
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.”