Archive for ‘Ed Balls’

January 26, 2011

Spotlight turns on Brown’s two henchmen


Ed Balls in Q&A on educationImage by Downing Street via Flickr

Ed Miliband was today flanked by his new Shadow Chancellor in Prime Minister’s Questions, giving Cameron ample opportunity to test out the Government’s remixed attack of tying the two Ed’s to their Brown past, and his disastrous economic legacy.

CBI annual conference 2010Image by The CBI via Flickr
Perhaps it was Miliband’s fault. His fast question asked who was to blame for the bad GDP figures, which instigated much pointing at Ed Balls and cries of ‘you’ from the coalition. Time and time again though the Prime Minister mentioned the Eds and their previous job. He is painting them as ‘Brown’s two henchmen in the Treasury,’ directly responsible for the deficit that the Government inherited, and the subsequent cuts it has caused.

The Brown mud might just stick.

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January 25, 2011

Someone get Ed Balls some media training

>Christmas has come early for Ed Balls today. He must have been so excited when the GDP figures came through today. So excited was the new Shadow Chancellor that he spewed every thought he has on the economy into a statement. 369 words in total, Balls released something that read more akin to an opening to a university essay than a press release.

Doesn’t look like the combined Miliband/Balls press office is having the desired effect on messaging.

Ed has also just go in a mess on the Daily Politics too, saying he sticks to “every paragraph of the Bloomberg speech” in which he criticised the Darling plan. Then he went onto say that is what a Labour government would be implementing if they were now in power.

January 21, 2011

Brown get his dream team in place, as Balls replaces Johnson as Shadow Chancellor

>Yesterday Alan Johnson decided to call time on his career in frontline politics, resigning his role as Shadow Chancellor. Mr. Johnson had been a surprise choice for the role, bur was seen as a safe and uncontroversial pair of hands by newbie leader Ed Miliband. He will be replaced by failed leadership contender Ed Balls, whose wife Yvette Cooper replaces him as Shadow Home Secretary.

Balls worked closely with Ed Miliband as Gordon Brown’s henchmen at the Treasury. Both, but particularly Balls, are cited as key reasons for the failure of a Lib/Lab talks after the elections last May. The leading Labour team is now totally linked to Brown’s failed leadership, and the mistakes of the previous Government. Looks like GB got his legacy after all.

Despite their similarities, Miliband and Balls have openly expressed differences on economic policy. Ed Balls is a devout Keynesian and deficit denier, who disagrees even with his owns party’s policy of halving the deficit in four years. He simply refuses to accept any criticism for mistakes of the end of the last Labour government. Meanwhile Ed Miliband has dones everything, including forgetting he wrote the last manifesto, to show his Labour party is shiny and new, not brown.

Ed Balls is though extremely well versed in economics, unlike his predecessor, and many expected him to get the role in the first Shadow Cabinet. After a slow start to life in opposition, Labour will be hoping that two Ed’s are better than one.

January 6, 2011

>Ed Balls playing politics with control orders


Picture via The Daily Mail

At the moment Labour should be entitled Her Majesty’s Opportunism, not Her Majesty’s Opposition. On issue after issue they have played politics, fudged issues, and gone for a cheap headline. Today Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls has waded into the control orders debate on his blog. A perfectly reasonable issue for someone is his role to be speaking on you might think. Yes, but his attempts to drive a wedge in the coalition, and try and personalise the issue to Nick Clegg once again are pathetic. Read the piece, for Ed Balls to try and act like he is a defender of civil liberties is so ridiculous as to be laughable. All this after he said he would cooperate with Theresa May!

This issue is not about Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Lord Carlile or anyone else. It is time to show you can take some responsibility Ed, even in Opposition, instead of playing politics and making cheap points about ‘broken promises’.

December 15, 2010

>Lorely Burt takes Ed Balls to task


Ed Balls has been one of Labour’s strongest performers in opposition. Knowing how well he would do must have been one of the reasons he was so keen to take his party back to opposition. However, today he got well and truly taken to task  on the Daily Politics by Lorely Burt, who continues to cement herself as one of VN’s favourite MPs. 
Don’t think we will be going on a date with Ed any time soon on the back of this attempt to seduce:

November 21, 2010

>Ed Balls pays the coalition its ultimate compliment

>If Ed Balls criticises you for being too liberal, you’re probably doing something right. He told today’s Andrew Marr Show “if you always sway to the liberal view, you get things wrong”.

So the view of the now Shadow Home Secretary is that liberalism, and the civil liberties associated with it, are bad and lead to mistakes. After he was at the heart of a government who lead 13 years  of authoritarian intrusion on civil liberties this probably shouldn’t come as surprise.

Coalition high command should take his comments as the ultimate compliment that they are winning the argument on civil liberties.

November 18, 2010

>Nick Clegg wins Politician of the Year Award


Nick CleggImage via Wikipedia

After an increasingly trying six months Nick Clegg has finally got some recognition for his recent achievements. He picked up the the Politician of the Year award…at the Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year ceremony.

Just what he needs to re-endear himself with the left of his party.

Other moments to note were Ed Balls being awarded Parliamentarian of the Year, by Prime Minister David Cameron, and Osborne and Alexander’s award for ‘Double Act of the Year’. VN can’t wait for their Christmas special.

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September 10, 2010

>Has Ed Ball’s fallen into Tony Blair’s music trap?!

>Today the Ed Balls brigade rolled into Cornwall, and took a play right of the Blair hand book by picking up a musical instrument. The former PM famously played his guitar in public, having been a member of student band Ugly Rumours while at Oxford.

Mr Balls played the dubious choice of The Darkness’ ‘I believe in a thing called love’ with his pen pal David Evans, who contacted the MP 3 years ago about the problems he encounters as a result of suffering from Aspergers Syndrome.

David’s guitar playing seems pretty good, but Ed Balls seems ever so slightly to fast and out of time, although not actually a bad performance from the Labour leadership hopeful.

September 6, 2010

>Labour risk phone hacking inquiry by getting tribal with Coulson

>The Andy Coulson, News of the World, phone-hacking case has continued to rumble on today. Labour MP Tom Watson is going to raise the issue in Parliament, and Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates has said the inquiry could be reopened should new information come to light. Furthermore, Conservative Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee John Whittingdale has said that he will not have people play politics with his committee, which conducted the initial inquiry into claims that News of the World journalists hacked the phones’ of public figures while No. 10 Communications Chief Andy Coulson was the editor. 

It is quite clear that Coulson has questions to answer. One of his former journalists claimed that he was aware phone hacking was going on in an extensive article in the New York Times. It is possible to believe that the editor of a large newspaper would not know if an individual journalist was participating in rogue practices. It is though harder to believe that if a practice such as phone tapping was in widespread use by an organisation that the boss would not have both known about it and sanctioned it. 

However, relishing the chance to attack one of the figures who was key in their removal from power, tribalist Labour MPs have reduced this important issue into a petty game of partisan politics.  The five candidates for the Labour leadership have all called for further inquiry into the issue, with Ed Balls seemingly spending the whole weekend talking about it to anyone that would listen. The Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson has also added his voice to the calls for an inquiry, and Alistair Campbell has unsurprisingly joined in on twitterIt shows a staggering lack of political subtlety on the part of them all, and risks an important media story being lost in the corridors of Westminster. The more tribal they get, the more Conservative high command will protect their man.

As far as Andy Coulson is concerned, how long until he finds himself faced with the ‘Malcolm Tucker conundrum’ – when you become the story it’s time to go.

August 3, 2010

>Time for opposition policy

>In today’s Times Labour Leadership contender Ed Balls has tried to reignite his ailing campaign by claiming that the centre ground is Labour’s, and that Lib Dem are ‘cannon fodder’ for a Tory government and should simply be ignored. Well Mr Balls, that attitude cost you Government.

By definition the Coalition has the centre ground, it has to be there to survive. VN could also reel off a list of LiB Dem policy in action, but that can easily be found on the Liberal Democrat website.

Labour needs to be brave and provide a credible left wing alternative instead of simply spewing their ‘righteous’ anger, which is getting very boring very quickly. It is also particularly hypocritical when we have not heard one credible, alternative, policy from Her Majesty’s Opposition. In opposition the Lib Dems did not get away with that, so why should Labour?

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