Monday, September 01, 2008

Can you really conceive of Ed Balls as Chancellor?

This all has the feel of collapsing masonry as the house that Gordon built falls apart. The Darling interview has, as you would expect, produced some sharp demands for Darling to be sacked. Having just seen this in the Mail on Sunday, I genuinely now feel that figures around Brown must have lost it completely.

The thought of Ed Balls as Chancellor will do more than scare the horses. Apart from his making my skin crawl, I can't recall ever seeing a good word written about him by anyone other than the most sycophantic members of the Brown-Ball fan club of Labour MPs. Indeed, the more hostile the world becomes to Labour, the more sycophantic are the comments of the fan club about Balls. But the comments in the Mail just make me want to be sick.

One unnamed Labour MP, described as "close to Brown", was quoted as saying, ‘Alistair has got to go and his job must be given to Ed Balls. Ed is the cleverest person in the Cabinet and has the full confidence of the Prime Minister. If anyone can get us out of this hole, Ed can. Alistair Darling’s comments are self-indulgent rubbish.’

How short memories are. Labour's in-a-hole-but-continue-to-dig situation began with the balls up over the election-that-never-was last year. And who was the key person driving forward and whipping up the speculation. None other than Ed Balls himself.

I can't comment on whether Balls is clever or not. I have not exerienced anything he has done that is "clever". But his antics so far don't inspire.


Bernard Salmon said...

Balls, Ed - "Up" as he's known - would shatter whatever is left of Labour's credibility. Let's hope he gets the job.

Paul Linford said...

Whatever his talents as a backroom boy, I have never found Balls a credible figure in an upfront political role. He has an alarming tendency to talk down to people and shoot facts at them and would only exacerbate New Labour's reputation for continually bashing us over the head with record tractor-production statistics and suchlike. If Brown does not realise that this is how he comes over, he is either stupid or extremely badly-advised. The appointment of Balls as Chancellor would be the final act of political madness to set the seal on Gordon's descent into the bunker mentality. It would quite literally be the modern-day equivalent of the insane Roman emperor Caligula appointing his horse a senator.