Thursday, December 05, 2013

The faces behind Balls

Having just watched the Autumn Statement, the activity behind Labour's Ed Balls caught my attention. Actually, it should better be described as lack of activity. Whilst Balls ranted and shouted in response to the Chancellor, the faces of his leader Ed Miniband, the deputy leader Lady Harriet and other Labour MPs in shot were glum and largely motionless. Whilst we have been spared the ear-busting screech of Harriet (listening to her is only marginally more preferable to fingernails clawing their way across a blackboard), it seems there was a lack of enthusiasm for Balls. This is all the more surprising given that I am used to Labour members madly cheering their own people, regardless of actual performance. Indeed, they would applaud one of their own members breaking wind! Perhaps the reticence this time was a genuine response to what was, generally, an unimpressive speech by Balls. My guess is that, as an economist, his enthusiasm for Labour's "economic policies" (what few they have) is moderated by his knowledge that they are unlikely to work.

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