Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Ed Balls: Labour Leadership Special

Ed Balls is the Shadow Secretary of State for Education and previously served as an economic advisor to Gordon Brown. Balls is closely associated with the Brownite wing of the Party and, unlike most of his rivals, he has championed decreasing deficit reduction to below the level proposed by Alistair Darling.

Ed is being supported by serial Tweeter Stacey McNamara:
I’m backing Ed Balls because of his unparalleled economic knowledge and experience. Ed has taken the fight to the coalition in a way that no other candidate has. He has tabled dozens of questions to Michael Gove and taken the Tories apart on the Children, Schools and Families Bill. He has campaigned doggedly against their half-baked plans for “free schools” and the VAT rise. But he’s not just talking about protecting the most vulnerable in our society, he’s getting stuck in to the fight.

Furthermore, Ed is clearly on the side of the unions. They are the heart of our movement and Ed is the candidate with the most straightforward appreciation of that.

Whether you are from a council estate, a student struggling to pay tuition fees, a member of Young Labour wanting to get more involved, a parent concerned at potential closures to Sure Start centres, an old lady worried about the closure of her local Post Office or a working class person worried about the VAT rises, we need a leader who has the strength and the fight to stand up for our policies in opposition and one day carry them through into government. We need a leader the Tories are scared of. That leader is Ed Balls.
Do you agree with Stacey? Is Ed too closely associated with Gordon Brown? Is his bullish vehemence in opposition appropriate for the role of Prime Minister? Or does his economic expertise make him more suited to the role of Shadow Chancellor? Let us know what you think below.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at David Miliband.

10 comments:

New Balls Please said...

Balls would be an absolute disaster as Labour leader. He is a bumbling fool and comes across as an inarticulate idiot on radio and TV. He may be associated with New Labour, but he has none of the charm and presentation skills. The Tories wouldn't believe their luck if he won

Jack W said...

I find Balls' style refreshing. Politics shouldn't be about how well someone performs, it should be about substance. Balls might not be 'made for TV' but he's certainly 'made for politics'. He has strong convictions and is passionate. That should count more - and is something the other candidates don't have.

Dan @ Eyes on Power said...

Interesting. Balls certainly seems to be a candidate that divides opinion - which could be seen as a good or bad thing.

I have to admit that I've found Balls very effective in opposition. His pursuit of Gove on the schools building fiasco was brilliant and he seems to have the most economic sense. I believe that his approach to the economy has been the most radical of all the candidates - even Diane Abbott - as he has been much more specific about reducing the rate of deficit reduction. Deficit reduction isn't just about quick cuts, it's about raising revenue through progressive taxation. No candidate has gone far enough, but Balls' economic plans seem the most comprehensive.

My major reservation with Balls, however, is that he is an 'opposition politician'. His Bolshey militancy is great in opposition - and is fuelled by the fact he divides opinion - but would this translate to being Prime Minister? Or would too many voters be turned off? You can be an economic expert all you like, but it doesn't make you a popular PM... look at Gordon Brown.

Tom @ Eyes on Power said...

I think Dan has it right here. Balls is an opposition attack dog but has too much baggage from the New Labour era to make him someone who will unite the party. He is not close enough to the unions to please the left and grass-roots of Labour, and he is not smooth and camera-friendly enough to pull-off a Blair-style revamp. By all means keep him in the shadow cabinet, but not as leader.

paul said...

so we need both a 'Blair-style revamp' and someone who is close to the unions and can 'please the left and grass-roots of Labour'. good luck with finding a candidate to vote for!

Jason said...

Balls for Chancellor! I like him and agree that he's been the most successful candidate at opposing and challenging the Conservatives. However, I think he's just lacking charisma to be the new leader. Especially when he's standing next to Burnham and David Miliband.

David McCormick said...

Hmmmmmmmmm... dunno. Can I watch telly now?

Tom @ Eyes on Power said...

I wont be voting for any of the candidates as I'm not in the Labour Party! I just meant that none of them are the 'whole package' that seems to be required to pass the media acid test these days. I personally would've rejoined if McDonnell had been on the ballot. He's got integrity, is a good orator and has what I think are real Labour values. As it stands I don't think any of them reflect the wider Labour Party and movement.

Balls said...

I'm I the only person who sees the obvious problem here? His name is Balls. Image it. "Arriving to meet the President of the United States is Prime Minister Balls". Prime Minister Balls? Never going to happen.

Liza said...

Got nothing against Ed Balls personally - all it boils down to for me is that he seems like a traditional Labour Leader, therefore I don't feel I can relate to him for a better more progressive Labour Party - really lame I guess, but honestly it's all I can think of re Ed Balls.
If the others weren't there - yes he'd "do" for me though.

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