Miliband repeats support for Ed Balls – and says he’ll be Shadow Chancellor going into the election

December 27, 2013 11:30 am

Last week I noted that despite the anti-Ed Balls chatter in the press, Ed Miliband had continued to support him publicly and had – before the off the record briefings began – confirmed that the Shadow Chancellor will be staying in place through to the General Election.

Today in an interview with the Mirror, Miliband has reiterated that endorsement:

“Ed Balls is going to be Shadow Chancellor going into the general election. He’s tough and you need somebody who can stand up to the Tories but also make tough decisions when it comes to public spending.”

“Why do the Tories go on about Ed Balls? It is because he is getting under their skin. I sit next to him and see he gets under David Cameron’s skin.”

Despite what many would like to believe – Ed Balls is going nowhere.

ed balls marr

  • swatnan

    Well thats just lost us 0.5m votes. Balls is proving to be a liability.
    The fact is Balls is getting under everyone’s skins, inc mine. Its his manners.

    • Chris Cook

      You could forgive his demeanour if his economic policies were anything other than neo-liberal.

    • reformist lickspittle

      I am no huge Balls fan, but I would be surprised if this “news” has cost us even 0.5 thousand votes. Claiming 0.5 million is just deranged wibbling ;)

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      ‘everyone’s skins’……

      How many skins has each person got?

      Different day-Same old semi-literate drivel from swatnan.

      • treborc1

        At least no spelling mistakes, for you to moan about.

        • Doug Smith

          Moaners always find something to moan about.

          It’s a form of attention-seeking.

  • Doug Smith

    Superb news!

    I can’t think of a more forthright advertisement for Labour’s economic ineptitude. Although, having championed the privatisation of the NHS when Brown was PM, Rachel Reeves is a very close second.

    • treborc1

      Do you think Ms Reeves is related to the other banking socialist Freud.

      • Doug Smith

        Ah David Freud, Tony Blair’s mate and a great friend of and adviser to New Labour, now a Tory minister whose policies have been described as “making the poor pay for the risk-taking of the rich.”

        In my view Reeves is an ideological relative of Freud – we could say they share the same political dna. But that’s the LibLabCon for you.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Well. it could be worse. It could have been Mrs. Balls instead. It always staggers me that many people still regard abysmal Yvette Cooper as, potentially, the next Labour leader after Ed Miliband bites the dust.

    Eeek.

    • Daniel Speight

      Anaemic, what a good description Monkey. Hats off for that.

  • Holly

    If Miliband is keeping Balls as his Chancellor just because he ‘gets under Cameron’s/the Tories skin’, well it would appear that neither Ed has learned anything.
    Wasn’t it Blair who gave us unfetted immigration just to ‘rub the Tories noses in diversity’?

    Surely even life long Labour supporters would prefer Miliband to be keeping Balls, because of his economic record…..
    Oh dear. Never mind.
    Least said about that eh?

    • treborc1

      I suspect he asked Darling, Brown and David his brother who popped home in thunder bird five if he wanted the job, Alfred who has been sacked by the local council bin driver division also said no thanks.

      It’s got the kiss of death written all over it.

      • Doug Smith

        Wise words. Quite simply no-one with ambition wants the job of fronting-up Labour’s economic incoherence except for Balls, and he only wants it because he knows it’s the best offer he’ll ever get.

        • leslie48

          Sometimes in politics sacrifices have to be made and I have heard too many southern/ educated/middle class folk claim he does not do it for them as a future chancellor. Sorry its hard but politics is about reality and popularity not blind loyalty or being like rabbits frozen in headlamps. The Tories really will have a happy new year.

          • Doug Smith

            I suppose, being kind (season of goodwill and all that), Balls is doing his best. But the problem is that Labour has nothing coherent to offer economically.

            There is no variation in the LibLabCon offer. There are presentational differences, on account of their different electorates, but their policies are identical. And in my view very little, if any, of it is coherent. They attempt to woo the capricious floating voters who inhabit no-persons land – the blind are leading the blind in a race to take possession of ministerial limousines.

          • leslie48

            You maybe cloud the issue ; I am sure Labour know our economy needs more re-balancing, improved infra-structure ( we should be pro-HS2/Heathrow showing the UK we mean business), less youth unemployment, more high tech skills training like engineering , more research/investment in areas like life sciences/ICT, less capital spending cuts , but (probably) less middle class tax relief/transfers but more funding for the chronically ill over 80s..

            The point here is not the policies; it’s going to the skeptical electorate with Mr Balls playing the second most important role. .

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            There is no variation in the LibLabCon offer…..

            Who then should we look to oh wise one? Bloom Ukip, The BNP? We should be told- but of course we won’t be will we Doug?

          • Doug Smith

            It’s always good to have a few guidelines:

            1. Don’t vote for any party supporting unnecessary and destabilising military interventions.

            2. Don’t vote for any party that scapegoats scroungers (i.e. benefit claimants), immigrants or any other vulnerable minority.

            3. Don’t vote for any party that has/wants to privatise the NHS.

            That should keep on the virtuous side of the political divide.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            You’re not going to tell us who, in your view, we should vote for are you Doug?

          • Doug Smith

            Perhaps you’ll be kind enough to produce your arguments in support of voting for a party that:

            1. Supports unnecessary and destabilising military intervention.

            2. Scapegoats scroungers.

            3. Has a record of privatising the NHS and is not prepared to rule out further privatisation.

            Your turn.

          • treborc1

            I;m waiting for the special meeting of labour in March, something will come out of it is my guess the Progress party, may as well we have had One Nation, Blue labour, Purple labour, not heard a word about socialist labour or Red labour.

          • Monkey_Bach

            In fairness I really do not think that George Osborne’s charm, magnetism, straightforwardness, kindness, or character played any kind of a role in helping the Conservative Party end up with the largest number of MPs subsequent to the last general election; and yet no majority despite stilted Gordon Brown having been Prime Minister and the country convulsed by a financial crises.

            Most of the southern/educated/middle class folk that I am acquainted with are repulsed by the many cruelties inflicted by the Coalition, especially the Conservative contingent, on the poor and treatment of the needy, sick, and disabled: almost every person that I know in the category mention is repelled by the Benefit Cap, Bedroom Tax, 1% uprating in benefits (including Housing Benefit) meaning a real terms cut in income to the already struggling poor coupled with an increasing threat of homelessness, cuts to local authorities coupled with ridiculous Pickles-sponsored localism which encourages councils to force benefit claimants to pay part of their council tax out of benefits (never designed to meet such expenses) which impoverishes them further, increasing homelessness, use of food banks – the list of atrocities goes on and on. They may not be featured in the Daily Mail but they are reported everywhere in local newspapers and southern/ educated/middle class folk seem to know more about such business than anybody else. Small tax cuts and sweeteners here and there are no compensation for being forced to live and raise your children in a society whose fabric is fraying, unravelling, and in danger of being ripped apart from end to end.

            http://england.shelter.org.uk/news/october_2014/80,000_children_facing_homelessness_this_christmas

            Osborne has comprehensively failed to meet every target he set himself as a measure of his success as a Chancellor. Not one single bench-mark or goal has been achieved as predicted. Osborne is a failure according to his own definition.

            So speaking personally I want to see the Conservatives ousted from power as soon as possible because they are dishonest, incompetent, cruel, and more unjust than any government I can remember. If that means electing Ed Miliband as Prime Minister and Ed Balls as a Chancellor so be it. There is no other choice as I see it. In our electoral system electing a Labour government is the only way open to stop the Tories from wreaking further carnage and havoc.

            Eeek.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Now look this has to stop- not one single phrase to disagree with here Monkey.

            The only additional point I would raise is that what makes this whole picture absolutely criminal is the reduction in the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p. Of course most of those giving handouts to the Tory Party don’t pay tax (they love our country so much that they live on some Caribbean island or chuck all their money over to their wives domiciled in Monaco -see Phillip Green) or pay themselves in dividends but those that do pay the top rate of tax have had it cut by 10%. All this while food banks have grown exponentially and homelessness is up 60% on last year.

          • Monkey_Bach

            I’m MORE left-wing than you are, my friend, and abandoned the Labour Party in the late nineties because it had become too faux-Tory for my liking. I still neither like or trust most of the people at the top of the party, who slithered up the greasy pole of promotion under Blair and Brown, but after the Liberal Democrats have fatally polluted themselves by means of their association with the Conservatives in coalition there is no choice open to me now but to side with Labour. The excessive cruelty and, yes, wickedness of the Tories must be stopped as soon as possible: so whether the Labour Party is still faux-Tory (I suspect that it is) or something more honourable, or better, I hope and believe that the next government will be Labour (or led by Labour) and hope that they if given the chance that Labour politicians keep their promises, don’t lie through their teeth, and do a much better job than they did last time around.

            Eeek.

          • Doug Smith

            ” do a much better job than they did last time around.”

            Too late for all that, mate.

            You only have to consider the shenanigans that occurred at Falkirk to see that the situation is beyond retrievable.

            No matter to the Labour elite that hundreds of workers at the Grangemouth petro-chemical plant were humiliated and had to return to work with fewer rights and under worse conditions. All that mattered was that another Westminster insider should take possession of a safe seat.

            Even right-wing commentators have noted that Miliband, by leading the charge to discredit Unite, gave the green light to the Swiss-based corporation which then launched an assault on the UK workforce and was able to wring loan guarantees worth £millions from the UK government.

          • Monkey_Bach

            I’m siding with Labour not because the party has good people and good policies any more but because all other choice increase the chances of the Conservatives ending up with most MPs after the next general election.

            (They have zero chance of gaining a majority.)

            In my opinion these days every political party is riddled with completely amoral careerists who place their job security and chance of advancement light-years ahead of the good of others specifically and the country generally. All most MPs want to do is to remain an MP for as long as possible and so such people are always quite willing, eager even, to give the nod to sundry disastrous populist polices if they half-believe that such initiatives might get them re-elected, to score points within their own particular party hierarchy, and suck up to its leadership with a view to securing promotion, which almost certainly will never come despite persistent arse kissing.

            To ambitious, self-selecting, self-serving, political egoists like this politics is some sort of elaborate game; all that counts is to outwit, outmanoeuvre, and best the other side as often as possible: the fact that the decisions politicians make and the agendas they decide to follow impact upon, affect, and even prematurely end the lives of millions of innocent citizens doesn’t enter into the political calculus at all. All that matters to driven individuals like this is to ensure that they have the opportunity to continue the game as long as possible and best their opponents as comprehensively as possible and as often as possible.

            I don’t know what Miliband, Balls, and company intend to do if returned to office. New Labour did many awful things they did not announce as intentions beforehand and broke oaths and promises made beforehand left, right, and centre without shame or remorse. I’m not sure if what I eventually read in any political manifesto means anything in reality because in the modern world nobody seems to honour their word any more and so very little of what any politician says can be believed, in the first instance, or trusted to happen later. I do however have a very clear notion, thanks to boastful and loquacious George Osborne’s remarks, in respect to what the course of history is likely to be were a Conservative minority government, or ConDem coalition, returned to office in 2015.

            A choice between mutilation or amputation isn’t much of a choice all things considered but having your fingers surgically removed while keeping the rest of the hand seems marginally better than have the whole hand, fingers and all, hacked off crudely and inexpertly at the wrist.

            Hence I shall cast my lot in with Labour once more, not because the party has good people or good policies as far as I can see, although I hope one day that it might, but because election of a Labour government is the only possible way in our first-past-the-post electoral system to prevent the Conservatives from staying in power an doing inconceivable harm to voiceless multitudes.

            Eeek.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            ‘I’m MORE left-wing than you are, my friend’………

            Maybe, maybe not? Who can be the judge of a statement like that? However, if you are more left wing than me how come you like that woeful encapsulation of all things Fib Dem- Sarah Teather?

          • treborc1

            More left wing, well it’s nice you believe that, sadly your miles from being anywhere near left wing.

            You look and sound a bit like a labour party grandee authoritarian, the one thing I’ve noticed about you is that your a chap who will write something if nobody responds or responds not in the way you like you go back and change your comments.

            Left wing I very much doubt you even know what it means.

            Anyone who thinks Miliband is a lefty has to be slighty off target anyway. The bloke is now owned and run by Progress.

          • Monkey_Bach

            To be honest I’m flattered that you take the trouble to read any of comments of mine at all let alone re-read them, or find them memorable enough to notice corrections and/or additional content that I include as an afterthought now and again. Shame on me: I’m not so observant. Whatever my political persuasions are I am not a member of any political party any more and whatever I have written, here and there, now and again, are my own personal views for people to take or leave as they please. I’m neither vain or stupid enough to believe that anything said on this site cuts any ice. Nobody that knows me would consider me authoritarian. Not in the least. Or perhaps I’m so authoritarian that my family, colleagues, and friends are too scared of me to tell me!

            Now you’ve got me worried.

            Here’s the thing: Politically, as far as I am concerned, the burning issue is to see the Conservatives deposed from power. The only way to do this is through election of a Labour government, in name at least if not in actuality. No other alternative. Simple as. End of story.

            Happy new year!

            Eeek.

          • http://batman-news.com Lee Denham

            that reply was to Mr. OConnor I think

          • treborc1

            look at whom the comment was intended I did not reply to yours…

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            If EM is owned and run by Progress then I’m a Welshman.

          • swatnan

            Och aye the noo!
            I do hate it when ex-Labour types try to justify their existance by declaring themselves to be more ‘Lefty’ than Labour. The fact is they are not at all ‘Lefty'; I won’t say what they are because it would be unprintable.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Makes me want to throw up swatnan- its the bilious combination of claiming the moral high ground and the vast sweeping statements I think..

          • Monkey_Bach

            Erm.

            Just to get the hating straight is it me or treborc1 that you’re having a pop at here?

            Eeek.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Who said anything about hating?

          • treborc1

            I’m stuffed who ever wins for god sake, Reeves is an ex banker, if the Tories win I will have Freud until the Pratt returns to labour. And I suspect after 45 years in Labour not the pretend bunch of Blair Brown and Miliband mind you I can call my self what the F*ck I like. Right now it’s not Labour under Blair sorry Balls and Miliband

          • Doug Smith

            Perhaps you could help me out here Bill, I’ve been trying the think of a proposal offered by Miliband that Progress wouldn’t like.

            Haven’t yet succeeded.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Perhaps you could help us out- tell us which party you support. But that isn’t going to happen is it Doug?

          • Doug Smith

            “tell us”

            “us”?! There you go again Bill. You’ve appointed yourself the spokesperson for the whole of humanity and you’re asking a question their behalf.

            By Jove, you probably think you’re the Queen of Sheba as well.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            OK. Tell me then.

          • Bik Byro

            He doesn’t have to tell you anything, you tedious nonentity

          • Doug Smith

            The gestapo approach doesn’t work with me. You’ll have to bring your manners, if you have any, into play.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Thanks for the abuse.

          • treborc1

            Di Bach, knew it.

          • Danny

            If Ed Miliband is owned and run by Progress, shouldn’t someone tell Progress?
            The regular, tantrum-filled comments emanating from their members don’t exactly lend themselves to your theory treborc.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Why?

            Because prior to the last election the Liberal Democrat Party seemed to offer a more enlightened left-of-centre agenda than the Labour Party, which was then under insipid Yvette Cooper, busily implementing the Freud/Purnell welfare reforms that led to social catastrophes like the Flexible New Deal, Work Capability Assessment, Atos, Employment Support Allowance, and floating ideas in Labour’s last manifesto (called “A Future Fair for All” and written by Ed Miliband) like compulsory six month unpaid workfare placements for the unemployed over 25s, and stripping all benefit entitlements from young single mothers unless they agreed to live supervised in cloistered dormitory-like institutions, called Foyers, dotted around the country, probably tens of miles away from friends and family. Stuff like that drove many a left-winger away from the Labour Party I can tell you, sport. So to me it’s less a question of why I left rather than why people like you stayed and chose to remain loyal to so sh*t a Labour government led by so utterly cr@p a Labour leader capable of announcing an such things because, flailing around and desperate for votes, they were advised that cracking down on certain kinds of benefit claimants might do them some little good electorally?

            It is what the Liberal Democrat leadership, once divorced from its membership, ended up turning the parliamentary contingent of the LibDem party into after entering into a coalition with the Conservatives to form a government that is woeful. They touched the Devil and discovered once they had done so that they couldn’t let go.

            So the truth of the matter is that I don’t believe that Labour at its core is much better these days than it was when last in government but things have become so bad now that even someone as disenchanted, disillusioned, and disgusted by the Labour Party’s previous actions (and inactions) as me is now prepared to vote Labour again as the least worst choice from a selection of almost equally awful options but with little or no enthusiasm whatsoever.

            Eeek.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Because prior to the last election the Liberal Democrat Party seemed to offer a more enlightened left-of-centre agenda than the Labour Party….

            Yes but it was a con-trick wasn’t it?

          • Monkey_Bach

            The Lib Dem agenda did turn out to be a confidence trick at the end of the day but one perpetrated by the leaders of that party on the general public and grass-roots membership of said party itself, much of which has since left and/or defected to other political parties. But, honestly, Labour hoodwinked the public in similar ways, e.g., promising to release capital receipts to local authorities from council house sales to build more council houses before breaking the pledge as soon as elected and trying to transfer as much council housing as possible to other landlords such as housing associations or arms length management organisations.

            Eeek.

          • treborc1

            As expected, Labour promises not to raise the basic, higher or top rates of income tax over the life of the next Parliament. There is no such commitment on VAT, though Labour does pledge not to extend it to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers and public transport.

            Launching the document at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Mr Brown said the manifesto was ”a realistic and radical plan for Britain that starts with securing the recovery and renews Britain as a fairer, greener, more accountable and more prosperous country for the future”.

            Trust never trust a manifesto or the leader, the simple fact labour set a trap for the Tories and they had little choice, if we did not have a banking crises I wonder what the tax rate for the better off would have been 35p.

            After all Brown did not like the 10p tax band for the poor.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            As expected, Labour promises not to raise the basic, higher or top rates of income tax over the life of the next Parliament……

            Reference?

          • treborc1

            Ah it’s from Labour manifesto, if you read it instead of glancing you would see mention Mr Brown not Mr Miliband.

            The issue is simple read every single manifesto labour had written it always stated it is business friendly.

            I do not know what Miliband manifesto will be since it’s to early I will wait for policies.

            But for such an educated man surely you would have seen that was labour 2010 manifesto.

          • leslie48

            We all totally agree about the effects of Osborne; but we are definitely not talking about core Labour voters or even lower middle class ‘public service’ voters ( who are feeling the brunt of public sector cuts/ pay freezes/worsening job conditions ) we are talking about those who will flirt with Labour , whom we certainly need in marginal constituencies, who are fairly comfortable but know this Tory lot are the nasty party yet again. Now as the economy ‘inevitably’ emerges from this last nasty recession and growth speeds up they will be exposed to nasty propaganda about the return of Mr Balls. In the end and especially down here in the South East and elsewhere across the leafy suburbs the ‘economy stupid’ will be the dominant factor.

          • Monkey_Bach

            The mistake you make is to believe that a majority of voters are wholly self-interested and support parties most likely to give them more personally and materially no matter how nasty, cruel, and unenlightened such parties might turn out to be in government. I can only speak about what I know and about who I know and I know, as sure as death, that all the people that I know are NOT automatons who think or live their lives like that. (If the British people were quite so selfish charitable appeals and telethons would not raise countless millions of pounds for good causes to help strangers.) I may be lucky to find myself permanently in the company of civilised compassionate people but pretty much everybody I know, personally, would never accept someone else’s poverty, homelessness, or suffering as a price worth paying to make them a little better off via a tax cut or tax threshold adjustment, nor would it encourage most of them to work any longer or harder.

            Economically we’re still in trouble. What growth there is has been fuelled via domestic spending by individuals drawing on savings, or credit, rather than by significant investment from private business (which is actually a drag on growth, i.e., far too little investment is happening to enable the economy to grow as fast as it could) and there has been next to no widespread rebalancing of the economy. Jobs have appeared in their hundreds of thousands but many of them are of such poor quality that people taking them pay little or no tax (so very little extra money flows to the exchequer to help pay for services and reduce the deficit, let alone pay down the national debt) and remain dependent on social security in order to survive. Inflationary pressure is building up and an interest rate raise is on the cards, possibly as early as next year, which will take away what wind there might now seem to be in the economy’s sails.

            What we have now is unsustainable in the mid to long term.

            My suspicion is that Osborne will try as best he may to stoke growth artificially up until the next election, hoping that the British people will be fooled into thinking that things will continue to improve, as far as growth is concerned, in the foreseeable future, and worry about what happens next after the 2015 general election.

            I believe that the re-emergence of blatant aggressive Tory nastiness will see that party ousted from office in a year and a half or so. In 2010 the population gave the Conservative Party, after thirteen years in the wilderness, a chance to prove that it had mended its ways. Could the party rule justly and compassionately, protecting the helpless and the needy, while at the same time managing the economy efficiently?

            The answer has been a patent and comprehensive, no. The carefully fostered myth that David Cameron was a new kind of “compassionate Conservative” (oxymoron?) different from the “nasty” ones that preceded him, who had contaminated the Tory brand so much that the party became unelectable for thirteen years and only just managed to squirm back into power as the largest partner in a coalition because of a global financial crash, has been well and truly blown. The pain of the cuts has been focussed deliberately, with laser-like precision, on certain select helpless and needy minorities savagely demonised by the Conservative Party and their supporters, in the media, for years beforehand, revelling in an orgy of low behaviour normally associated with cowardly bullies of the very worst kind.

            These loathsome people are not fit to govern.

            I believe that in 2015 a majority of citizens will agree with me.

            Eeek.

          • leslie48

            Agreed again but never overlook the power of propaganda which is already in full swing under the Aussie dog whistle strategist Lynton Crosby & the collusion of the Tabloids. Hope Labour have experts to combat that lot!

          • treborc1

            But that why it’s taken so long, the banking crises stopped people from borrowing, you cannot borrow you cannot spend you get massive redundancies and people laid off and you have Brown in no10, thinking my god the BNP will be in power soon.

            The simple fact if the people had been spending five years ago we would have a recession not a depression.

            I really do think no matter what labour say the people will be reluctant to allow labour back into power it maybe close then expected but I think because we are in recovery the Tories will get an extra term, how many times have we seen it in the past. Each term that Thatcher won she was expected to lose and labour win, it never happened because the people did not trust labour.

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        7 thumbs up all from the resident Tory trolls- says it all really Treborc.

        • Holly

          Are they really Tory trolls, or are they simply British people who wish Labour would get their act together, stop playing silly populist games for a ‘quick short-term’ headline, that will do little, if anything to fix what Labour did so disasterously wrong during their previous thirteen years in office.

          Some of Miliband’s/Balls’s proposals may be welcomed by the public, but fall apart when the conscequenses are pointed out.

          Miliband has to understand that utopia does not exsist, and will never exsist no matter how much money he spends, or tries to tax the ‘rich’ to pay for it. So he will inevitably have to let Balls do the only thing he knows….borrow.

          Politics of the mad house…Labour 1997-2010 proves you end up in a ditch when you spend more than you have coming in.

          You may find that many of us ‘Tory trolls’ are just as bloody angry with Cameron, as we are wary of Miliband & Balls.

          And do not, for one nano second, think I will be voting UKIP at ANY upcoming election.
          I am also NEVER going to be persuaded to change my mind, so any UKIPers on here please save your breath.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Are they really Tory trolls, or are they simply British people who wish Labour would get their act together………

            However, at the moment, they’ve clearly got their act together rather more effectively than the Fibs, Tories or UKIP haven’t they Holly?:

            The final YouGov poll of the year is up here. Voting intentions are CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. The six point Labour lead is the same as the average in YouGov’s polls across December
            -Source: UK Polling report.

          • Holly

            ‘However, at the moment’……
            Only in polls,(which Kinnock found are meaningless) and at ‘getting under Cameron’s skin’. WOW!

            The polling is for the Labour party.
            Miliband and Balls simply do not get the same kind of support.
            So please save your glee for later, because Miliband and Balls have a long way to go, and a lot of changing to do.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Well as you know, in addition to issues with basic literacy, one of the common characteristics of the Tory trolls on here is their ability to see into the future -so scrub up that crystal ball that you nicked from Mystic Meg’s less successful sister Holly and tell us what will happen.

          • Holly

            No one knows for certain what will happen in 2015, especially when the leaders of ALL THREE parties are not what the public want, for different reasons.

            Clegg…Lying, backstabbing, liberal gonk, who will weave and turn when he does not get his own way.

            Cameron…Needs to get a grip on which parliament rules this country. Stop pandering to Clegg, and right wing nut jobs.

            Miliband…ultra control freak, from banks, to energy, to thought.

            The public will make up their minds based on the economy…

          • treborc1

            Shows really your inability to say much except polls in a period which is miles away from the election, everyone know the party in power gets rubbish polling and then as the period get closer.

            I saw a poll last week which was shocking in that many of the five million who walked away from voting have little intention of voting at the next, which would make it very hard for any party to win except Cleggs

          • leslie48

            Will not debate it again Holly but you really should know by now ;

            Many top economists do not believe the Last Labour governments ran large deficits indeed we had good economic indicators in jobs, inflation, growth.

            It was a *global* financial crisis which led to the worst post war *global* recession not Gordon. Gordon was *not* running the US, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece…as their financial systems/Banks collapsed. Suggest you read a bit more & read the Daily hate Mail less..

          • Holly

            As I did not mention the ‘global’ crisis, deficits or banks, here is what I think is vital to understand….
            Who was meant to be regulating the UK banks when Gordon & Balls were in a position to do something?

            You can blame some of the problems on ‘the world’, but if you are name dropping other countries, at least have the guts to hold the UK Treasury, and the regulatory body they set up to account for their dereliction of duty to the country’s finances.

            If these two jokers had done things properly we would not be having this ‘debate’, the truth is they failed. So hung up on Gordon being PM, that everything, and I mean everything, was left to decay.

            And for the last time I DO NOT BUY/READ NEWSPAPERS!

          • leslie48

            Forgive me but you said ‘Labour did disastrously over 13 years’ you will find many NHS doctors, graduates, economists, sociologists, historians who will not see the social, economic and political progress ‘made across the UK’ during those years in that light nor did the voters who elected a Labour government three times see it that way. Maybe you are correct we should have regulated banks like RBS ( whose global collapse swallowed billions of our tax money) more, but then no other UK party were for more regulation and alongside all the politicians, it was big bankers, BOE, economists, risk officers, mortgage advisers and of course auditors who rated all these banks and sub-prime mortgages as AAA etc., – should be in the dock as they did the mislead us. In America of course some of those responsible have been punished not here as London’s oligarchy always protects itself.

            But it was USA, Ireland , Iceland, and Europe involved too; it was a systemic financial crisis which went down like a global. pack of cards of which poor Gordon was only one player and who redeemed himself by re-stimulating the economy with Obama in 2009 & prevented a massive slump. .

          • JoeDM

            Utterly delusional. Words from Gordon Brown’s cloud-cuckoo land.

          • leslie48

            Your silly comment lacks evidence. Everything I said has been verified. Labour generally had a ‘goldilocks economy’ before 2007/8 . Labour ran a deficit very similar to the Tory govts; nothing was untoward *until* the US Sub-prime mortgage securitization market triggered a global collapse which led to rescues like RBS. Clearly by 2009 a global recession was in full swing which affected UK hard because of RBS/HBOS rescue & our over dependence on tax revenue from the City. Banks here & in USA & Europe had lent too much to too many risky borrowers and the credit crunch hurricane brought down many countries like USA ( partly), Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain. BUT not the UK. JoeDM go read some books about 2009/10 etc.,

          • treborc1

            I would not care whom you voted for I will more then likely vote UKIP at the next election for the simple reason I have voted at all elections except the 2010 I just gave up it has become obvious to most politician are in the main a greedy bunch of people in it for themselves, so I will go down to vote but UKIP looks to be my target just to put down an X , until somebody comes along who speaks to me.

        • treborc1

          These days I’m rather proud of being called a troll better then Labour sorry Progress, I can tell you,

      • Holly

        I was wondering why you mentioned thunder bird five.
        Last night on the Brain of Britain quiz, this was in one of the questions….
        made me smile…Cheers.

  • Steve Stubbs

    Cameron will be delighted!

    • treborc1

      With Osborne I doubt it, what I think this will be about is which party can keep the swingers happy and the middle class.

  • JoeDM

    That’s a nice Xmas gift for Cameron.

  • leslie48

    A great pity Ed M has not read the analysis here from a week back. The swing voters will be reluctant to re-elect someone associated with the last Gordon Brown government. It does not matter what the causes of that 2008 crisis were or that it was global or that GB’s measures were a rescue or stimulus. All the truth is buried in 5 years of Tory Tabloid misinformation.

    The Tory Tabloids will have a field day portraying the errors of that last govt. and the big scare will be Balls’s return ; this matters little to the core Labour vote but in the marginals and for the lower middle class whom we need it will be influential. This is a big risk and makes the brand look damaged. Ed has called this wrong I feel.

    • John Ruddy

      Except polling shows the swing voters dont associate Ed Balls with Gordon Brown, And what about Ed Miliband, who was also associated with the Gordon Brown Government? Or Andy Burnham?

      • leslie48

        Sorry it will be about how tabloid led propaganda plays out in the last few weeks. Recall 1992 and the victory of J Major after a vicious assault on N. Kinnock etc., Nothing has changed – the Daily “hate ” Mail , the Sun, D/Telegraph, D/Express, The Times / Sunday Times will be the same again and will collude in their attacks.

        • Doug Smith

          I expect it to be worse than ’92.

          The problem now, after New Labour decided it was too good for ordinary people and jettisoned much of the membership, is that Labour no longer has a ‘ground force’ sufficient to counter media propaganda.

          Instead, out-of-touch Labour will have to rely on digital/social media response consultants. Though often talented, these aren’t always the best people to understand what works for ordinary people so they’ll be dependent on polling.

          Expect more ham-fisted, muddled nonsense.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Except that is partly what happened during the last election. My gut feeling is two things may decide the election, the cost of living situation, if enough people start to see direct benefits it may give the tories enough weight to justify their misdirected policies, secondly i’d say if either of the two leaders makes an extraordinary ‘out of touch with the normal voters’ gaff.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Wow so many ‘wills’ in this piece I couldn’t count them! Whose crystal ball have you been using?

  • RAnjeh

    When the so-called largest grassroots website have to report every time that Miliband says that Balls will stay his job, you know that some in the party are worried that Balls won’t be in post. Many MPs and members want Balls out.

  • Steve Stubbs

    Actually, the prospect of Ed not being leader by the next election is growing. And when he gets shafted by the unions in the special conference he will become a liability. Could we then have a socialist leader?

    • Holly

      And when you get your ‘socialist leader’ who is going to pay for it?

      Socialist stuff is all fine & dandy IF you ensure individual personal responsibility for your life choices are made clear.

      Take the example of the single mum, who bemoans her fate that she hasn’t enough money for food for her & her children…
      Maybe if she hadn’t have BORROWED so much, and gave more of herself & her time to her children, instead of material things, she and her children would not be in the mess they find themselves.

      Why don’t some parents do stuff with their children any more?
      Making things from paper, walking & chatting, board games, picnics, camping in the garden.
      Entertaining children does not have to cost so much.

      • leslie48

        Surely no one believes future Labour governments will be into income transfers to jobless unmarried mums of school age kids or even married mums or dads – there will be no return to the 2000s when indexed linked CB, Child tax credits and working tax credits lifted large numbers out of poverty, or helped subsidize low wages or helped middle class families up to 50K per year . The money will be distributed in new ways such as pre-nursery provision ( not cash) or it will go into government spending on capital projects, training or elderly care; the aim will be to improve the economy. Social Democratic Politics has changed here & across Europe as the state reconsiders its priorities.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Oh dear, how utterly desperate.

      In reality, Miliband has rarely been more secure in his position than he is now – hardly surprising when he has been setting the political agenda on just about everything for months. And the leadership and unions will come to an agreement about reform that they are both (mostly) happy with – the idea that the latter will happily “knife” a Labour leader barely a year before a GE is simply delusional garbage. Whatever their faults, they aren’t *that* stupid.

      But dream on…….

  • John Ruddy

    If the Tories thought Ed Balls was a liability to Labour, they would be keen that he stays in place.

    The fact they want him removed shows they know how effective he is.

    • Holly

      ‘Effective’ at what?
      Getting under Cameron’s skin?
      How is that going to convince the public that Miliband will be any different from any other ‘Tory hating’ Labour MP’s?

      That will be another problem for Labour.
      You can not expect to gain power just because you hate the Tories, you have to have some plausable policies, and a bit of a better track record than Labour have had in the past.

      So far all Miliband has proposed is CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL!!!
      Balls…SPEND, SPEND, SPEND…Oh and BORROW/TAX.
      Why should anyone vote for something we just rejected?

      Balls may be ‘effective’ at being Balls, but the public, especially the voting public, expect and deserve a heck of a lot more than what is on offer so far.

  • treborc1

    Question of course who would want it now, I doubt Darling would be interested and he’s the only one with the experience.

    • RAnjeh

      When Darling was asked by Andrew Neil he consistently failed to rule it out. He wants it but does Ed Miliband have the balls to move Ed Balls? Well Ed Miliband took a stand in favour of HS2 (against Ed Balls) and remember what he did to David Miliband?

  • Mouch

    It seems to me Ed M is in a catch 22 situation. On the one hand ditching Balls would be akin to accepting Osbourne’s plan has succeeded and Labour were wrong. On the other hand with an improving economy, keeping Balls renders him increasingly out of step with reality, particularly as the cost of living ‘crisis’ affects fewer and fewer people over time.

    Balls and Labour have to come up with a coherent economic policy – one that tells us how it will generate wealth and reduce debt when it’s raison d’être is to redistribute and spend.

    • JoeDM

      “Osbourne’s plan” was, of course, originally Labour’s Darling Plan.

      Oh the irony of it !!!!!

  • Danny

    “so-called largest grassroots website”

    Is that an inference that it isn’t? And which website would you put forward as having a greater claim? Please, please, please do not suggest Labour Uncut. The article authors there are so woefully poor that it’s beyond a joke. It’s embarrassing for the party that the word “Labour” is used in their title.

    • RAnjeh

      Not prepared to debate the issues, just prepared to hurl insults at people. Well, have a Happy New Year.

  • MRSHUTE

    Even the Tories would rather have Ed Balls than the zombie chancellor that is George Osbourne. He is a dead man walking. He has been a disaster.

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