The problem with the promotion of Ed Balls to Labour's economic brief isn't that he is a serial backstabber who will play dirty to destroy anyone in his way- that is abhorrent but quite a useful trait in politics. It isn't that he was Gordon Brown's right hand man as he wrecked our finances- who will recall that? It isn't even that his strategy for dealing with the downturn is to keep on borrowing until we make Greece look like a model of financial probity.
The problem with the appointment of Ed Balls as Labour's Shadow Chancellor is that it shows that Ed Miliband has no idea what the economic policy of a future Labour government should look like. Alan Johnson's economic outlook was more moderate and recognised the need to tackle the deficit than that of Ed Balls- who believes that cutting the deficit should wait until after the economy recovers.
Obviously I think Ed Balls is wrong but that isn't the point, the point is that by appointing Alan Johnson, Labour were advocating one approach and just three months later they have flipped and are now promoting a previously rejected strategy.
How can Labour hope to effectively communicate with the public if their leader does not know what it is that he wants to communicate. The only hope of any coherence to Labour's economic strategy is to cede control to Balls- which would put Miliband in the same position Tony Blair was with respect to Gordon Brown.
A Rugby train at Market Harborough in 1966
6 hours ago