Remember 10p? Ed Balls does…

March 11, 2013 3:21 pm

Amid all of the discussion recently about Labour’s plans to reintroduce the 10p tax rate, there was much comment (including on this site) about the obvious snub to Gordon Brown that this represented from two of his closest former advisers – Balls especially. Speaking in Bedford after the announcement, Balls went as far as comparing Brown to Osborne – which is about the most harsh thing the Shadow Chancellor can say about someone.

But it seems that the 10p tax debacle has long been a bugbear.

I’m told by someone who certainly carries no torch for Ed Balls, that whenever he had a difficult negotiation with Gordon Brown in the years after both men had left the Treasury, Balls would just say “Remember 10p”.

The implication was that he warned Gordon against 10p and held it over him afterwards.

Balls was always considered the most loyal of Brown’s lieutenants but last year he said “Nobody is going to look back at any point in history and say that Gordon Brown was a great prime minister” – and I’m told the two men rarely speak anymore.

Something caused a distance to open up between the two men – was it just the General Election and the fallout from it?

Or was it, perhaps, 10p?

  • Raging Leftie

    Per’aps we will never know…the suspense is killing me.

  • charles.ward

    When Brown was powerful Balls was “loyal” to him. Now Brown cannot assist Balls’ career Balls is happy to stick the knife in.

  • charles.ward

    When Brown was powerful Balls was “loyal” to him. Now Brown cannot assist Balls’ career Balls is happy to stick the knife in.

  • Hugh

    “was it, perhaps, 10p?”

    Seems a tad unlikely since Brown and Balls were close for years after, and Brown was trying to replace Alistair Darling with Balls in 2009.

    Seems rather more likely this is Labour party spin.

  • Hugh

    “was it, perhaps, 10p?”

    Seems a tad unlikely since Brown and Balls were close for years after, and Brown was trying to replace Alistair Darling with Balls in 2009.

    Seems rather more likely this is Labour party spin.

  • Dave Postles

    This dumping on Brown has to stop. You will all become damaged goods in the process. You should be accentuating all the formative and material benefits which accrued and his response to the global crisis caused by international financial services: AIG, Bank of America, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, etc alongside the London- and Edinburgh-based banks. The mistake that he made over 10p was an attempt to woo middle-income voters with a general reduction in income tax – well, that strategy is exactly one proposed by some of you here (to woo the middle-income groups in the south).

  • Dave Postles

    This dumping on Brown has to stop. You will all become damaged goods in the process. You should be accentuating all the formative and material benefits which accrued and his response to the global crisis caused by international financial services: AIG, Bank of America, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, etc alongside the London- and Edinburgh-based banks. The mistake that he made over 10p was an attempt to woo middle-income voters with a general reduction in income tax – well, that strategy is exactly one proposed by some of you here (to woo the middle-income groups in the south).

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      You give him too much credit for some rather obvious (in that no other choices were available, so it was “Hobson’s”) choices over a six month period. You ignore the catastrophic choices that he made in the 8 years between 2000 and 2008, to run completely stupid unfunded deficits, and to fail to effectively regulate. Who cares if the tories were “egging” him on and indeed may have gone further? They were not in charge, had no input, and as Mandy Rice-Davies famously said in a completely different context, “Well he would say that, wouldn’t he”? It is because they are tories, it is how they think. Gordon Brown had the luxury of 13 years of big majorities and every possibility of using those majorities to regulate effectively, and yet he did precisely nothing.

      I see today that the behaviour of the City of London remains as (EDIT) stupid short term as it ever was. Without making a judgement as to whether this young lady is heroine or villainess, or more likely somewhere in between, the legal report today from an ongoing tribunal reveals that it is still “Dodge City”. How on earth can a 32 year old with no apparently relevant qualifications be guaranteed a £600,000 bonus, or about 25 years of the national average wage? It appears to still be like Sodom and Gomarrah in that square mile. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9918494/Banker-who-earned-750000-a-year-was-only-hired-for-her-body-tribunal-hears.html

      As a nation, we should have rather better expectations of our Prime Minister, whether tory or Labour, than the reality of recent years of a Scotsman and a Englishman who are both incapable of seeing common sense, whether it be over-spending and under-regulating, or banging his head on the granite block called “austerity is not working”.

      • Dave Postles

        Heard it all before – no more impressed than the previous x other times.

        • colinfoster

          Heard it all before – no more willing to learn than the previous x other times.
          There fixed it for you.

    • MonkeyBot5000

      Under his reign at the Treasury, HMRC’s buildings were sold of and leased back from a company called Mapeley who are based in an offshore tax haven! That’s his legacy.

      And the mistake he made over the 10p tax rate was raising my taxes so he could give money back to wealthy middle class people and thinking that I’d be too stupid to notice because I’m not rich.

      • Dave Postles

        On your second point, I said it was a mistake. On your first point, I was addressing advocates of the Labour Party – you are not one. Advocates of the Labour Party should emphasize the rehabilitation of hollowed out public services which Labour achieved and the general attempt to mitigate the inequalities in our society. There is no point in constantly dumping on Brown. His heart was in the right place, but he made wrong calls. The problem with Labour now is that it doesn’t even have a heart.

        • MonkeyBot5000

          I was addressing advocates of the Labour Party – you are not one.

          Then you should be more specific in your wording – you’re posting in a public forum, not a party strategy meeting. Which brings us to another problem…

          You should be accentuating all the formative and material benefits…

          We already know what the benefits were, we were alive then to see exactly what happens and it doesn’t matter how hard you try to spin things, you’re not going to make people forget their own personal experiences. One of the reasons people despise Brown was his arrogance. The kind of arrogance that let him think that if he just kept repeating something long enough, we’d believe him. It didn’t work then and it’s not going to start working now.

          Labour will never win my vote by telling me how awful the alternative candidates are or by telling me how wonderful you were the last time around. Enough with the marketing messages, thank you – it’s time to start showing us the actual product.

          • Dave Postles

            You know what: it’s Labour List. if you want to be an interloper, then accept the context of the forum. Personally, I don’t care if you vote Labour or not. You seem to think that you are the only person who has ever been poor. I’ve news for you: most of us have and paid tax at 35%. You might like to think more widely than just me, me, me.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            The context of the forum is not “party members only” so if you’re going to say something solely directed at them, you’re going to need to specify that or people will think your statement is directed at everyone here.

            Personally, I don’t care if you vote Labour or not.

            Clearly you do or wouldn’t be telling people to stop attacking Brown and play up the good side of things. You might not care about the “me” posting, but the “me” in the ballot box is a left-leaning, non-aligned voter who’s there for the taking.

            You might like to think more widely than just me, me, me.

            Go through my post and replace I/we, me/us etc and it still holds true. There are plenty of us who won’t vote Tory, but we don’t really see Labour coming out and offering any solid alternatives.

          • Dave Postles

            No, I really don’t care if you vote Labour or not. I left the Labour Party and see no prospect of returning. It was impartial advice to those in Labour who think that dumping on Brown is a good strategy. Despite his multitude of personal issues (from which all politicians suffer to a greater of lesser extent), he was essentially a good person. He wanted to do the best he could for the underprivileged, although the means which he chose was perhaps for the one of least resistance.

          • Dave Postles

            No, I really don’t care if you vote Labour or not. I left the Labour Party and see no prospect of returning. It was impartial advice to those in Labour who think that dumping on Brown is a good strategy. Despite his multitude of personal issues (from which all politicians suffer to a greater of lesser extent), he was essentially a good person. He wanted to do the best he could for the underprivileged, although the means which he chose was perhaps for the one of least resistance.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            The context of the forum is not “party members only” so if you’re going to say something solely directed at them, you’re going to need to specify that or people will think your statement is directed at everyone here.

            Personally, I don’t care if you vote Labour or not.

            Clearly you do or wouldn’t be telling people to stop attacking Brown and play up the good side of things. You might not care about the “me” posting, but the “me” in the ballot box is a left-leaning, non-aligned voter who’s there for the taking.

            You might like to think more widely than just me, me, me.

            Go through my post and replace I/we, me/us etc and it still holds true. There are plenty of us who won’t vote Tory, but we don’t really see Labour coming out and offering any solid alternatives.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            The context of the forum is not “party members only” so if you’re going to say something solely directed at them, you’re going to need to specify that or people will think your statement is directed at everyone here.

            Personally, I don’t care if you vote Labour or not.

            Clearly you do or wouldn’t be telling people to stop attacking Brown and play up the good side of things. You might not care about the “me” posting, but the “me” in the ballot box is a left-leaning, non-aligned voter who’s there for the taking.

            You might like to think more widely than just me, me, me.

            Go through my post and replace I/we, me/us etc and it still holds true. There are plenty of us who won’t vote Tory, but we don’t really see Labour coming out and offering any solid alternatives.

  • AlanGiles

    If this is supposed to make those of us who don’t rate Balls, or wouldn’t trust him any further than they could throw him, think what a nice chap he is – the article fails.

    It merely shows him to be two-faced, devious and cowardly. Hitting a man when he is down is easy – braver to do it while he is still standing.

  • AlanGiles

    If this is supposed to make those of us who don’t rate Balls, or wouldn’t trust him any further than they could throw him, think what a nice chap he is – the article fails.

    It merely shows him to be two-faced, devious and cowardly. Hitting a man when he is down is easy – braver to do it while he is still standing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

      It depends how you choose to interpret it. If Balls was uncritical of Brown then people would be attacking him for being too loyal to a failed politician. What is Balls supposed to do?

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        To acknowledge his ten years of failure and the results of that failure from when he was in positions of increasing influence in Government, and to retire from politics. There will no doubt be compensations for him in academia and lecturing on how things can go disastrously wrong. Public life would be better for all of us without him (and indeed Labour if they have the courage to think about it, and the Party’s future).

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

          Well being critical of Brown is at least part way to an acknowledgement isn’t it? I’d like to see a broader critique of New Labour come out of the front bench, but I’m not holding my breath.

          My point is that Balls can’t win. People demand he apologize for Gordon Brown, and then when he admits that Brown got it wrong they accuse him of being devious and cowardly.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I acknowledge your point, that Balls cannot win. My point is that Labour cannot win until they get rid of Balls. And what is a better cause?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

            I’m not convinced that that is true. It’s perfectly reasonable to think that Labour could win with the existing shadow cabinet.

            There is a problem with the front bench however, and it is far wider than just Ed Balls, who needs to be there to maintain factional unity. There are very few big names left in the Parliamentary Labour Party because of the intense factionalism inside the New Labour establishment under Blair and Brown. Relatively few younger MPs were promoted under the old regime, so now that the older generation are either retiring or have lost their seats Miliband has fewer cards to play with and needs to take a risk with inexperienced MPs, none of whom are suitable to shadow top departments yet.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            Also, a fair few Labour MP’s actually retired in the last few years, prematurely, or lost their seats in the last election

          • AlanGiles

            Let’s hope a few more old has-beens retire in 2015. I think especially of the likes of Kauffmann, who could then seek treatment for his OCD, Field, dowager of Birkenhead, Duncan-Smith etc.

          • AlanGiles

            I think the truth is, that a lot of todays younger politicians (regardless of party) went into politics for the wrong reason. They thought it would be a bit of a giggle, or a relative or friend (or parents friend) in high places helped them get a safe seat.

            Few have really strong convictions, and I suppose it beats working for a living. Three or four day weeks, allowances for this and that, and if that isn’t enough, think of a few “extras” (cleaners who don’t exist, or wives who “work” as your secretary, only they don’t) and if you do get caught, a quick embarrassing rap over the knuckles, but none of the legal consequences that would be forthcoming for ordinary mortals .

            I was reading yesterday how local councillors are charging companies to “help” with advice to help companies with the new relaxed building regulations. Anything for money. There seems to be far too many people, in all parties who are far too avaricious,self-centred and greedy, who enter politics for what they can get out of it, not what they can put into it. I think it is worse now than it has ever been.

            Some of them are lousy speakers, as well. No names no packdrill but I heard a rising star on Any Questions a few days ago, who sounded more like a fishwife than a politician.

          • AlanGiles

            I think the truth is, that a lot of todays younger politicians (regardless of party) went into politics for the wrong reason. They thought it would be a bit of a giggle, or a relative or friend (or parents friend) in high places helped them get a safe seat.

            Few have really strong convictions, and I suppose it beats working for a living. Three or four day weeks, allowances for this and that, and if that isn’t enough, think of a few “extras” (cleaners who don’t exist, or wives who “work” as your secretary, only they don’t) and if you do get caught, a quick embarrassing rap over the knuckles, but none of the legal consequences that would be forthcoming for ordinary mortals .

            I was reading yesterday how local councillors are charging companies to “help” with advice to help companies with the new relaxed building regulations. Anything for money. There seems to be far too many people, in all parties who are far too avaricious,self-centred and greedy, who enter politics for what they can get out of it, not what they can put into it. I think it is worse now than it has ever been.

            Some of them are lousy speakers, as well. No names no packdrill but I heard a rising star on Any Questions a few days ago, who sounded more like a fishwife than a politician.

          • AlanGiles

            I think the truth is, that a lot of todays younger politicians (regardless of party) went into politics for the wrong reason. They thought it would be a bit of a giggle, or a relative or friend (or parents friend) in high places helped them get a safe seat.

            Few have really strong convictions, and I suppose it beats working for a living. Three or four day weeks, allowances for this and that, and if that isn’t enough, think of a few “extras” (cleaners who don’t exist, or wives who “work” as your secretary, only they don’t) and if you do get caught, a quick embarrassing rap over the knuckles, but none of the legal consequences that would be forthcoming for ordinary mortals .

            I was reading yesterday how local councillors are charging companies to “help” with advice to help companies with the new relaxed building regulations. Anything for money. There seems to be far too many people, in all parties who are far too avaricious,self-centred and greedy, who enter politics for what they can get out of it, not what they can put into it. I think it is worse now than it has ever been.

            Some of them are lousy speakers, as well. No names no packdrill but I heard a rising star on Any Questions a few days ago, who sounded more like a fishwife than a politician.

    • llanystumdwy

      The problem for Labour is that they were both two-faced, devious and cowardly and nobody in the party had the courage to do anything about them.

  • Amber_Star

    Ooh I love some tasty ‘inside Labour’ gossip – but this archaeological dig at Brown’s expense doesn’t actually qualify as gossip; it’s more like barrel scraping.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    Osbourne is continuity Brown. It’s why we rae still in the shit.

  • Algernon the meek

    Balls is a middle-class climber who only cares about money and his own ambition. The Labour party is infested with the middle-class. It is time the working people took back the charge of their own party. I know this sounds a bit 1970s and I am not for class-war, but the Labour party needs to be governed by the working people, for the working people.

    Let’s kick Balls out and take back the second homes he and his wife stole from us.

  • Dave Postles

    No, you’ve arrogantly fixed it for yourself.

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