15 years as Gordon Brown's right hand man is a poor preparation for a future Chancellor. Ed Balls is the biggest single liability for the Labour party, and yet they refuse to sack him. He is the most unpopular part of Labour on the doorstep when I discuss with constituents about the country going bust, the Labour years, and the debts we are trying to pay off. He is stuck with his 15+ years of service to Gordon Brown, and his continued denial that anything pre 2010 was his fault. But have a look at him in the Commons now and you see a man struggling.
My take on it is this:
- Balls can’t talk about his record in government, because he presided over the biggest recession ever.
- He can’t talk about the deficit because he has no plan to deal with it. He favours more spending and borrowing.
- He can’t talk about infrastructure, because he was the person who tried to break the consensus on the biggest project of all, namely HS2.
- He can’t talk about housing because there were 420,000 fewer affordable homes at the end of the Labour government. Less homes built than since 1930's.
- He can’t talk about business rates, because they went up 71 per cent under Labour.
- He can’t talk about support for business because he wants to put more taxes on business, even though they create the jobs.
- He can’t ask about standing up to the powerful because he is funded by the trade unions.
- He can’t ask about jobs because he wants more jobs taxes. He predicts that tightening our belts and paying off our debts would make more people unemployed. In reality job numbers have gone up massively locally and nationally.
- And he can’t ask about banking and financial services because he was the City Minister who presided over the bust, and continues to block regional banking
To avoid all of this he learns the piano! I admire that, but ....Eventually Labour will realise that they cannot go into or ever hope to win an election with a liability like this? But that is their choice. Bizarre.