First of all, it was great to see Ed Balls looking so solemn after Alan Johnson resigned as Shadow Chancellor yesterday.
A cat trying very hard not to look as though it had gotten all the cream, Ed Balls was one happy man yesterday. As he said in the news clip that smirk is taken from, he’s been involved in economics for 25 years, and would have loved the Shadow Chancellor job when it came up in October. He would probably have been given it as well, if Ed Miliband didn’t hate his guts.
I also get the impression that Ed Miliband wanted Alan Johnson as Chancellor so that he, as leader, could have more of a role in dictating economic policy. With Balls as Chancellor, that just won’t happen. Miliband has been trying to change tack slightly on spending cuts, saying that Labour needs to talk openly about them. I can’t see this line surviving unscathed now Balls is Shadow Chancellor.
Still, Labour’s front-bench team looks better with Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor. The only downside for Miliband is that he now has a Machiavellian, too-intelligent-for-his-own-good, ruthless Shadow Chancellor who will spend his time trying to become his successor as Labour leader. I’m pretty sure we’ve been here before.
One more thing: not quite a Fantastic Headline, but a Fantastic sub-heading from the Daily Mail:
Miliband forced to hand job to Balls
Which is wrong, on so many levels. Not least that he wasn’t forced to give Ed Balls the
hand Shadow Chancellor Job. He could always have appointed Yvette Cooper, or even Liam Byrne, if he was really opposed to Ed Balls becoming Shadow Chancellor.
Anyway, that’s enough Ed Balls puns. The man has suffered enough.