Ed Balls’ face said it all. Serious, sombre, stoical. What substance he has, what fortitude. He really has the gravel to face the worst.
Yes, the employment figures were in and they were catastrophic. So wholly and voluptuously positive that If you had instructed your statistician to come up with a Balls-crushing statistic and he’d produced this you would have said: “Steady, we want to be a little bit credible.”
The very morning of PMQs heralded the biggest quarterly rise in employment since the Norman Conquest.
Ed Miliband began a line of questions with the words “today’s welcome fall in unemployment” and prompted the longest, uninterrupted barrage of Tory artillery we’ve had for many years.
A welcome fall, he said. Welcome.