Coffee House

Can Ed Balls leave his past behind?

25 October 2012

8:24 PM

25 October 2012

8:24 PM

A large part of the Tory message at the next election will be ‘don’t let Labour ruin the economy again’. One of the things that will help the Tories make this a topic of the campaign is Ed Balls’s constant desire to defend the record of the last Labour government. As Jonathan noted earlier, when Andrew Neil pointed out that Labour was — contrary to Balls’s earlier denials — running a structural deficit in 2007, Balls got into a long-winded attempt to justify both that and his denial of this point last year.

Ed Miliband’s best political moments come when he runs against both the current government and the last one, when he represents himself as the man to break the consensus of the last two decades. But Balls’s determination to stand up for the economic record of the last Labour government, which is understandable given that it is — in large part — his record, makes this that much harder.

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  • cunctator

    Balls should not forsake his past – for he certainly has no future in this country

  • lordylordy1

    I say it’s not necessarily ones past that should define ones future, more the decisions that are made in the present.

    There is a lot of wiggle room here, but my point is that he keeps repeating the same mistakes and expects a different result e.g. 50% Tax!

    What! No one will pay that, no one. Have a flat-rate of tax at Russian levels and you’d make a lot more money and have a lot more happy people!

    He can’t change, he’s a Socialist.

  • Magnolia

    Has anyone else noticed that the (New) Labour male uniform has changed from red tie and black or charcoal grey suit (Balls and Brown above) to the much softer, more Conservative like blue or navy suit and purple tie (the later Balls)? Only a few of Labour’s shadow bench dare to wear a light blue tie now and then (beautiful Chuka being the prime one).
    This is no accident. Labour men must have been told to wear a purple tie because it is a colour that appeals to women and because it distances them from the party’s past misdemeanours.
    The question is, will it work and should our boys also wear purple ties?
    Dave could be really brave.
    Navy, pink!, green, turquoise, even white tie with a blue shirt?
    Or shall we try spots or flowers?

  • Watcher

    Balls was caught out denying a structural deficit in 2006, preceding the Lehmans crash.
    The deficit was the cost of Brown & Balls’ campaign to oust Blair. The money was thrown at an unreformed Public sector to win Unite support for Brown in Labour’s NEC. Also benefits & Tax credits were ramped up to ensure Labour won the election so that B&B would progress smoothly to No10& No 11. Grandchildren will pay for the Brown/Balls abuse of their position and our money. This is why Balls pretends not to know about the structural deficit. As a life-long student of history, I can honestly say we have never had such a corrupt & maliciously damaging Government than New Labour.

  • http://cambriandissenters.blogspot.com/ Daniel Tekel Thomas

    Balls is only doing what he and other politicians have been taught to do at their taxpayer funded media management and interview technique training courses. I’ve taught a few of these courses myself so I should know.
    Never admit you were wrong,
    Always push your own agenda,
    If its a probing question obfuscate then change the subject,
    Never answer a question with the truth if public perception will be negative,
    If all else fails tell outright lies then quickly change the subject,
    Never go off message, always stick to centrally issued ‘lines to take’ and soundbytes,
    If in an interview with an opposition representative, remember it will be time limited so use up as much time as possible by slowly pushing your on agenda or slowly making negative points about the opposition.
    When its the opposition’s turn to speak continually interrupt or talk over them to prevent them making any points. (Balls is a master at this)
    Always get in the last word even if it means talking over the interviewer.
    Socialists are better at it because of their belief that the ends justify the means, lying is an acceptable practice.

  • http://twitter.com/LoganDon don logan

    What are Balls and Broon doing sitting in front of reams of photocopy paper?

  • http://profiles.google.com/alanmdouglas Alan Douglas

    telemachus = Hobsbawn de nous jours. No matter WHAT Balls has done, he’s my boy ….

    Alan Douglas

  • M. Wenzl

    It would be disingenuous if Balls continually attacked the record of the last government. Their tenure was not all bad, contrary to those who allow partisan affiliations to cloud their judgement might think. The running of the deficit was a product of numerous factors which are simplified by coalition and media spin. Balls has to defend the good points of New Labour as much as he singles out the bad.

    • HooksLaw

      ‘The running of the deficit was a product of numerous factors’ – list them then. You can leave out ‘out of control public spending’, we know all about that one.

      • M. Wenzl

        Running a deficit necessarily equates to public spending, but that level of public spending was prompted by bailing out banks, as well as stimulating the economy during the first recession. It was also a product of the counter-cyclical fiscal policy Brown adopted whilst he was Chancellor. I suggest you read Simon Wren-Lewis on this point:

        http://mainlymacro.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/facts-and-spin-about-fiscal-policy.html

        • Silly old Telemachus

          No, there was a structural deficit before then. Why have a structural deficit during the boom years when you have no hope of paying it back or keeping a budget under control when times aren’t so good. Oh yes, boom and bust had been abolished. Don’t make me laugh. There was an election coming and brown spent to ensure he won it. He gerrymandered with our money and didn’t know how to stop.

        • http://twitter.com/robvsnature Rob Broome

          Bailing out the banks has accounted for a net cost of about £25 billion to the taxpayer. In the period since the credit crunch started government overspend has been about £600 billion. That leaves £575 billion of spending which is nothing to with the banks. All that on ‘stimulating the economy’. No, most of it was proverbially pissed up against the wall on gimmicks and schemes and nonjobs in the public sector. Essentially, the money wasted would have been emough to provide the best infrasture system in the world for the UK, now had that been where the money went it might have been worth it but it wasn’t.

          • M. Wenzl

            Jobs needn’t be productive. The idea was that the more people you had in employment, on a salary, the steadier all-round consumer confidence and spending would be, and similarly the higher tax receipts would be.

  • Jebediah

    Balls is a liar. A deficit denier. And a liability to Ed Miliband. Were Ed stronger I’m sure he’d like to sack him. I am torn between wanting to keep Balls in position (his every appearance helps the Conservatives), and sending him to the wilderness in case he ever gets his paws on the Chancellor job.

  • Realist

    Labour to ru(i)n the economy again? What’s the matter with the British electorate – does it have a death wish or something?

    • http://twitter.com/ianwalkeruk Ian Walker

      No, it’s just that 45% of them get more money out of the state than they put in, so voting for defecit reduction is a bit of a turkeys/Christmas situation.

  • dalai guevara

    No.

    • Yoda the Tory

      The farce with you is.

      • dalai guevara

        my dog you remind me of, colonel

        • Yoda the Tory

          A dog more honest than a socialist is. A dog owned by a socialist to be pitied is.

          • dalai guevara

            A competitive socialist the true wealth creator is. Following me around Yoda just is, like a dog.

  • IRISHBOY

    That pic would serve well as an ad for Tesco’s mince!

  • 2trueblue

    Balls can not escape his past whatever the BBC do to rent him at every opportunity to spin his c..p. He was one of the architects of our present situation. Together with Brown, Milliband x 2, , Blair, Whelan, they sought to change this country totally. They ran the most corrupt parliament and all of them became wealthier, whilst the taxpayer got a very rough ride and a poor return for what we were paying for. Balls was at the centre of this government and no matter what words he uses to wiggle, he cannot, and should never be able to walk away from that responsibility.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Are you suggesting that Brown Balls Blair etc profited corruptly and illegally while in office. If you have clear undisputed evidence of this you should place it in the hands of the police at once. I for one would applaud such nobility of action in the nation’s interest – of course it could be just empty baseless blather. The norm for Tory blowhards.

  • David B

    If he was wrong then, then what should we think of his economic assessment now which can be sumed up as more of the same! He is obviously incapable of change and unable to critically analysis his own actions. In short incompetent and unfit for office

  • HooksLaw

    Off topic – The Greens are upset over Andrew Lilley being appointed to the Energy Committee.
    Well they and the rest of us should realise that the Germans, as well as subsidising the rest of Europe, now have to subsidise their own green energy sector to the tune of 20 billion (up from 14 billion). Businesses there say energy costs have reached a “barely tolerable level that threatens the de-industrialization of Germany”

    Furthermore businesses in the US find their energy costs falling and their competitive edge rising thanks to rapid expansion of shale gas.

    It would be nice to think that the conservatives can offer a sane energy alternative to the blinkered lib dems.

    • telemachus

      Not quite off topic
      Load of Balls

      • HooksLaw

        Really? So the USA is not benefiting from shale gas? Whilst lefty greenies delay British exploitation?

  • realfish

    Not only is Balls inextricably linked to Labour’s economic failures, he and his wife are tax (CGT) dodgers.

    • telemachus

      You can peddle these half truths as much as you like
      Come the election folks will be so sick of the incompetent coaltion that they will welcome the team that saved the world’s banks and have an international reputation of respect in all things financial

      • molly

        “…..an international reputation of respect in all things financial”. Surely you speak tongue in cheek (or somewhere unmentionable….)

        • telemachus

          I guess you should go to wall street and ask them about their relative views on Osborne and Brown

      • kyalami

        Didn’t they “save the world”?

      • Yoda the Tory

        Telemachytroll off his trolley is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mattallicamatt.bell Mattallica Matt Bell

        He just gets worse don’t he boys & girls

      • George_Arseborne

        Yeah Yeah, Gordon, Balls, Milliband you name them got a grip and save the world from falling into great depression. These morons has nothing to offer that is why Euro, IMF and the Markets are not taking them serious.

        • Silly old telemachus

          Well, you certainly picked your name correctly. I don’t know how any Labour troll can keep a straight face when they come out with the rubbish they do. It is all the Tories fault, they eat babies, and don’t wash. Brown was our worst PM ever, he just had a PR team around him to keep the press under control.

          • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

            If you have a bank account you can thank Brown and Darling for its continued existence.. ‘Worst PM ever’ is just proofless declamation. Ask yourself who was cheered at the ParaOlympics and who was jeered. People are not daft they know what is what and what is happening. Despite a terrible long term hatchet job on Brown and Labour and the political genius etc, etc, of Osborne., the Consevatives failed to get a majority although they act as though the nation agrees with them, which it doesn’t.

            2015! Bye bye the Bullngdon Boys and 30 years in the wilderness for the swaggering lot of them..

            • Silly old Telemachus

              You don’t understand do you what the long term damage having all this debt has done. It means that instead of building hospitals, schools, providing infrastructure etc for the next decade, we have to pay 40 billion in interest, every year. Do you get that. 40 billion that can’t be spent anywhere else, on the needy, on more capital projects, on hospitals, every year. this s the legacy of the last Labour Government. But you are too red eyed to realise it. Only Labour have the answers you say, well we had 13 years of them and they screwed up. Not to mention a needless war that has cost hundreds of British lives, thousands of Iraqi lives, and cost billions of pounds to wage. All on a lie. For that alone, Labour does not deserve power. That is the biggest crime of all. Lying to the British people on such a massive scale. Yet for you, the sun shines out of their rear orifices. Disgusting.

      • sarge

        as opposed to your quarter truths(and I am being generous)

    • 2trueblue

      How many times did they flip their properties and walk away with a tax free gain? Paid for by the tax payer.

  • HooksLaw

    Ed Miliband, the man who wrote the 2010 labour election Manifesto, is the man to break the consensus of the last 2 decades?

    Ed Miliband – the man who worked for Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown?
    Ed Miliband, who was appointed as a special adviser to full time Chancellor Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2002?
    Ed Miliband, who worked on the first Scottish Labour Assembly election campaign?
    Ed Miliband, who worked with Senator John Kerry?
    Ed Miliband, who Gordon Brown appointed as Chairman of HM Treasury’s Council of Economic Advisers as a replacement for Ed Balls, with specific responsibility for – ‘directing the UK’s long-term economic planning’ ?
    (yes what a success that was)
    Ed Miliband who immediately Gordon Brown became PM was sworn into the Privy Council and appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and promoted to the Cabinet?

    Do you mean that Ed Miliband?
    There is a mistake here somewhere surely?

    • telemachus

      Exactly
      We got a reality check from Ed Balls today
      “A one-off boost from the Olympics is welcome. But it is no substitute for a plan to secure and sustain the strong recovery that Britain desperately needs if we are to create jobs, get the deficit down and make people better off.”
      And his friends
      “We now need plan to strengthen & sustain recovery – build houses using 4G funds, temp VAT cut, bank bonus tax to fund jobs for young people”
      Forsyth makes a big mistake trying to shrug off the charismatic superstar for the weak and wobbly Miliband just because of a few good one liners at PMQ’s

      • kyalami

        Yeah, yeah, yeah.

        Remind us who caused this spectacular deficit. Clue: not the Tories.

        • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

          Why do you need reminding? OK then, here goes. It began in the US with the collapse of Lehmann Bros followed by the collapse and need for rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddiemac. The whole of the western financial system was found the be a can of worms. manipulated by amoral greedy bankers, as Iceland collapsed, followed by our own wonderful ultra successful strutting Lords of the Universe banks revealing they were broke and all our accounts were in jeopardy, although their bonuses and pensions were quite safe, , thank you.. Brown and Darling stepped in and saved our savings, buying Northern Rock. RBS etc until we had virtually partially nationalised most , but not all our banks. The ensuing recession became global and the Euro began to totter ( Thank the Lord the crazy Brown person kept us out of that mess) The banks kept payigg themselves bonuses, accepted cartloads of QE and refused to lend to small businesses. Enter Osborne and Co, the towel folder and political genius. etc. etc.. Inheriting an economy that was beginning to recover he led us happily, via Plan A, into a double dip recession.
          Now do you rememeber?

          • kyalami

            Golly. A lovely mix of fact and half-truths there.

            The fact is that Osborne (who I will readily admit needs a kick in the pants from time to time) inherited an economy with truly terrifying levels of debt, thanks to Balls and Brown. The interest alone on that debt exceeds what we spend on education and the police COMBINED.

            The deficit is so utterly appalling that despite the much-heralded cuts, we will still have a deficit in a few years’ time. The total debt will take a generation to pay off – thanks Brown and Balls.

            Now Balls’s plan to fix this is add yet more debt. If you want to know what happens in such circumstances, look at Greece. That’s where Balls’s plan would take us.

            Balls is the strongest reason not to vote Labour.

      • David B

        Why do you comment on economic issues when u regularly state in your posts that you know nothing about it. Something about keeping your mouth shut and let people think u are stupid rather than typing drivel like this and proving your stupidity beyond all doubt. Read John Redwoods blog for a breakdown of the GDP figures, but 0.4% of the increase came from increased public expenditure. I also seem to remember labour predicting the net effect of the Olympics would be negative ie the increase in spending on Olympics offset by reduction in other areas such as central London being empty! They are not saying that now, we’re they wrong?

        Basically Balls is proposing cracking open a big bowl of punch and getting the consumer party rocking again. Lets give the alcoholic more booze and hope the next hangover does not kick in until he has his pension. He got it wrong over the structural deficit and he has got it wrong again.

        Lets hope he never has the opportunity to drive the economy back onto the same rocks his master drove us onto the last time

        • telemachus

          Redwood?
          Was he not an ancient Welsh leader deposed for not singing the National Anthem?
          Or was it for not applying Woad
          Anyway his economics are of that era and we surelyall would prefer the logical perambulations of Ed Balls.
          He said a plan to secure and retain
          Does Osbourne have such a plan?

          • David B

            A man who predicted the rescission, bank collapse, structural deficit, squeeze on incomes, the mess of the bank bail out, and a lot more before they happened. I suggest you read his blog

      • HooksLaw

        yada yada yada …. So Balls has found another windfall to waste away has he?
        Plus another source for the proceeds of his bottomless pit of a bank tax?

        Balls – the man with his post neo classical endogenous growth theory totally buggered Britain.
        ‘I was Gordon Brown’s brain’ – what an epitaph.

        • telemachus

          In a speech at the 2009 Conservative party conference in Manchester, Osborne offered a sneering overview of Labour policy with all sorts of claims about how the streets would be paved with gold if only the Tories were to win the next general election and he was made chancellor.

          *

          Osborne did not make the mistake yesterday of coming out to crow(he sent out head prefect Danny instead)

          *

          However as Ed said a few Olympic ticket sales do not make a sustained recovery .Sensibly, Balls hasn’t fallen into the same trap as Osborne did just before the election. He doesn’t need to say too much about what Labour would do, other than to reiterate that he will wait and see how serious is the mess he is likely to inherit in 2015. It is a truism that things would have been a lot better had he been in charge. We would not have gone thru the second part of a`double dip for a start

          • kyalami

            It’s not a “tru-ism”. It’s a “lie-ism”, an area where Balls excels.

            He’s the arsonist: it would be folly to put him in charge of the fire brigade.

          • alexsandr

            Come on tellytubby. They are all useless lying shites. Liebour, limp dump and the tories. Yes the coalition are crap, but not quite as crap as labour were.
            The problem is the useless ‘professional’ politicians who have never had a proper job and never worked outside the westminster bubble. It is they who have had their day.

          • HooksLaw

            There was no ‘paved in gold claims’. You are simply thick. The mess is being cleaned up now and it belongs to Labour.

            A few Olympic tickets are not capable of pretending to be a recovery you you fail if you try to use that as an excuse.

            You and Balls’ idea of recovery is piling us ever deeper and more reliant on debt. How is that a way to rid us of debt?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

            Olympic boost 0.2 percent of the 1 percent said the ONS.

            You and Balls either can’t read or can’t tell the truth.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Tit

      • George_Arseborne

        Telemachus you said it all. If the Tories are so stupid, let them adopt James’s slogan. The electorate are tired of this blame game. The Tories know they are unelectable. We will listen to what Balls can offer not empty gimmicks from the Conservatives. As a matter of fact they should be ashamed of all their shambles so far.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

          ‘We will listen to what Balls can offer’ The man who borrowed £152bn to ‘create’ 2 percent growth?

        • Procrustes

          Who is this ‘we’ of which you speak? Balls has no gimmicks and no answer to anything apart from that which benefits him.Telemachus has not ‘said it all’ it just feels like it. Quite the opposite in fact -hot air and bugger all else.
          That you find substance in it speaks volumes for you too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mattallicamatt.bell Mattallica Matt Bell

        Still braying like a trained donkey then i see

      • El_Sid

        A one-off boost from the Olympics is welcome……”We now need…temp VAT cut
        A temporary VAT cut sounds like an attempt to engineer a one-off boost to me. And even then there’s no guarantee that it will succeed – just look at the one cynically timed before the last election, only 8% of people changed their spending habits as a result. 5% didn’t even know it had happened – no wonder, because the likes of Amazon and Starbucks didn’t reduce their £x.99 prices accordingly, it just added to their profits. And we know how much we get to see of those back in tax revenues.

        That last VAT cut cost £12bn – and we’re still paying for it today.. The latest lot of 30-year gilts went at 3.271% so that last VAT cut means that today we are paying £393m every year to financial institutions – for nothing. That’s £393m/year that could be spent on schools, nurses or whatever your pet cause is. Has that 2009 VAT increase increased tax revenues by at least £393m/year forever? I somehow doubt it – unless you invest it in things that actively generate enduring tax revenues, debt just makes you poorer.
        It’s a cliché to say that debt is just stealing from your future self – well today we are living in Gordon Brown’s future, and he’s still making us poorer.

    • Dimoto

      Have a read of Fraser Nelson’s piece in the DT today.
      He has FINALLY seen the light, and (two years too late), has realised how deeply the Brown gang are dug into the fabric of the country.
      Forsyth should read it ….. so should Cameron.

      • ButcombeMan

        I agree, a seminal piece but Fraser has Isabel doing the same thing. Why?

    • HellforLeather

      On reading this, I’d say Ed Miliband (and I’m certainly no fan of him/Labour) scares the shit out of you right now. And that’s good, given the way your crap coalition is running the country.

      • lordylordy1

        Britain is not a country of coalition governments, that’s a Continental thing, but that’s Dave’s fault, if he couldn’t win against Brown, well, that’s his fault. I bet it would’ve been a different story if Farage was in charge, but that would have made too much sense wouldn’t it.

        Labour is only polling high because DC’s making a lot of mistakes and not because Ed’s any good at what he does, don’t forget Governments are not voted in, but out. It’s a shame that all we have to choose from are these two monkeys, which is why I’ll be forcing change and voting UKIP.

  • Adrian Drummond

    But surely Ed Miliband was a key component of the last government, just like Balls?

    • telemachus

      Exactly so see my post below
      Things change
      Balls tells it like it is.

      • ToryOAP
        • telemachus

          Just look at the joy radiating from the photograph
          Contrasts with the miserable demeanour of Osborne

          • ToryOAP

            He has the terrified look of a nervous catamite waiting for his master to start in on him again. Makes my flesh creep Jimmy.

            • telemachus

              Happy and trustworthy compared to Osborne’s Nixon

              • Hexhamgeezer

                telesavile

          • HooksLaw

            That photo looks like the first one of Brown since he’d had his teeth done. You know, the procedure he went privately to have done.

          • pilsden

            honestly they look photo-shopped!

      • kyalami

        Except when he tells porkies (ie when he speaks).

  • telemachus

    Forget your bile.
    Folks like this charismatic superstar.
    You crow after a vicious attack by Neil who hates him.
    He dealt with him well
    Until the BBC spin decided to bait him.
    Dismiss him at your peril.
    He is more dangerous to you than darling of the moment Miliband(whose political persona is akin to Romney-he says what he thinks folks want to hear.
    Balls is true to himself.
    A true rarity in politics

    • ToryOAP

      Balls proving why, as a liar and incompetent, he can never be trusted with the nation’s finances. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I40hCvYJl04

      • telemachus

        As I said elsewhere
        Neil is a vicious bastard who has it in for Ed.
        Out of context.
        As here.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=Yb6jY6BPfeY&NR=1

        • HooksLaw

          An outrageous outburst of expletives which surely must remove you from public debate

          • telemachus

            You mean the ultra right Neil
            I agree

            • HooksLaw

              ultra right?

              You are in fact the Red Queen, whose words mean what she wants them to mean

        • Hexhamgeezer

          You need a nappy change yet?

    • kyalami

      Balls is not so much true to himself as megalomaniacal.

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