SKETCH: The Ghost of Coulson Reaches Treasury Questions

Treasury questions began with the single most depressing sentence that can fall on Labour ears. The fact is, Osborne declared, we are experiencing the fastest growth in employment since records began.

What a terrible time to fight an election from the left – its ideology is being cut to ribbons by events.

In a time of public sector cuts, employment is unaccountably soaring.

Tax cuts are perversely producing higher tax revenues.

Austerity refuses to stifle growth even though anyone who is anyone knows it must.

And while the Right keeps talking about its long term economic plan (14 mentions today), the Left has neither a long term communications strategy – or even a short term one (their Leader’s Welfare reforms from last week: 0 mentions).

Ed Balls looked like the stuffing had been knocked out of him. That’s a lot of stuffing.

But wait. At Topical questions the energy flooded back into him. His power and purpose returned. What could have invigorated him – a bank failure? The closure of a car plant? The collapse of the global economy? The fatal struggle of his leader with a trouser press?

No, he rose to inform the House that Andy Coulson had just been found guilty of phone hacking. Would the Chancellor now accept –

The Speaker rose, a little embarrassed at having to interrupt his old friend. He pointed out apologetically that Andy Coulson didn’t have any immediate particular obvious connection with the British economy or the Treasury. And if there had been a relevant connection it would surely have emerged by now? Or wouldn’t it? Oh, go on then, have another go.

Balls had another go. Hadn’t Osborne brought the Treasury into disrepute by hiring Andy Coulson? Tory rage, a biting reference to Damian McBride, cries of “Disgraceful!” from all sides.

Eyes bulging, voice booming, rage blossoming. It was good to see Ed Balls’ spirits restored.

Poor fellow, he fears with sick dread that tomorrow will heap more disaster on his head: more employment, higher growth, lower inflation. They might even not put up interest rates and he would have to admit that everything he’s ever believed was wrong.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
EU Game Teaches Kids to “Collect More Taxes” EU Game Teaches Kids to “Collect More Taxes”
Kezia: I’m A Hypocrite, Get Me Out of Here Kezia: I’m A Hypocrite, Get Me Out of Here
Siemens to Cut European Jobs, Expand in UK Siemens to Cut European Jobs, Expand in UK
WATCH: DD Meets Cliff Edge WATCH: DD Meets Cliff Edge
Momentum Plot to Treble Council Tax For 15,000 Households in Bristol Momentum Plot to Treble Council Tax For 15,000 Households in Bristol
75% of European Medicines Agency Staff Want to Stay in London 75% of European Medicines Agency Staff Want to Stay in London
Newsnight’s Royal Farce Newsnight’s Royal Farce
MPs’ Security Costs Rise 1395% MPs’ Security Costs Rise 1395%
Just 12% of MPs Vote to Stay in Customs Union Just 12% of MPs Vote to Stay in Customs Union
WATCH Scottish Labour Leader: “I Support England” WATCH Scottish Labour Leader: “I Support England”
Majority Think Work Porn “Career Ending” Majority Think Work Porn “Career Ending”
Paperchase Faces Backlash After Bowing to Anti-Press Freedom Cranks Paperchase Faces Backlash After Bowing to Anti-Press Freedom Cranks
WATCH: Moment Stephen Kinnock Realises Corbyn Is Staying WATCH: Moment Stephen Kinnock Realises Corbyn Is Staying
New Scottish Labour Leader’s Old Boys’ Black Tie Dinner New Scottish Labour Leader’s Old Boys’ Black Tie Dinner
Labour Outsources Flashy New Website to Bernie’s US Consultants Labour Outsources Flashy New Website to Bernie’s US Consultants
Unilever’s Remain Ultra CEO Threatens to Drop London Listing Unilever’s Remain Ultra CEO Threatens to Drop London Listing
Hammond Re-Announces Existing Tory Housing Policy Hammond Re-Announces Existing Tory Housing Policy
Stanley Early Favourite to Win I’m A Celeb Stanley Early Favourite to Win I’m A Celeb
Sunday Show Highlights Sunday Show Highlights
Royal Mail’s Tweets Deliver Truth About Nationalisation Royal Mail’s Tweets Deliver Truth About Nationalisation