Masks barely obscure the face; but, to be fair to Balls, his opponents benefit from recalling his unpalatable past. During the New Statesman’s leadership debate, Ed Miliband said: “It’s just like being back in the Treasury, Ed!” So it’s plausible that the anti-Burnham briefings may have been aimed at two targets. Balls thinks so. He is presenting himself as a long-suffering victim. He told Hasan:
‘Both of us (him and Burnham) think there is mischief being made -- but it's not coming from my team or his team. It's coming from a third party. I've had three years of people ringing up people like Rachel Sylvester and making accusations against me, off the record.’
Elaborate bluff? Or wronged innocent? With the inscrutable Balls, you never know. He's not Brown’s heir for nothing.