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Balls sets Labour against Clegg (again)

12 March 2011

10:18 AM

12 March 2011

10:18 AM

It’s not just the protestors who are rallying against Nick Clegg today. Here’s what Ed
Balls has to say about the Lib Dem leader, in interview with the Guardian:

"’Clegg looks an increasingly desperate, shrill and discredited politician, losing both public and party support. People think that if Clegg says something, it cannot be the truth. The
Liberal Democrats need to have some real hard thinking about what they stand for’

He says it would be impossible for Labour to govern with Clegg after the election, arguing: ‘I don’t see how Nick Clegg could change direction again with any shred of credibility, or how he
could work with Labour now, but that is not true of Liberal Democrats more widely.’"

That Balls thinks so little of Clegg is unsurprising, especially given his prior relations
with the Lib Dem leadership. But I’m not quite sure how this sits alongside his leader’s plans. A few days after appointing Balls as shadow chancellor, Ed Miliband suggested that he might work alongside Clegg, after all. Either Labour have now officially
gone back on that. Or Balls has – a one-man wrecking ball.

And what a pity – as it deflates the air of studied reasonableness that Balls deploys elsewhere in the interview. "We are behind," he admits, "on the argument on the
deficit." And he adds that, "We can’t go around saying a limitless amount of money will solve every problem and we have to be disciplined about spending." Now, that does sound more
in line with MiliE, than with the Balls of last year.


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