Martin Bright

Ed Balls and Tribune

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Ed Balls has just started on Twitter and he's already an avid user. I have always found Ed perfectly charming, but then, unlike Fraser, he has never bawled me out about anything I have written (even when I suggested he was a socialist).

But when I saw the following "tweet" I thought he was demonstrating his legendary capacity for threatening behaviour: "despite glossy makeover, it's still the same old Tribune -- just like the Tories." Being able to sound menacing in a "tweet" is some skill. What was he getting at? Could he really be saying that Tribune was as bad as the Tories? Had the paper's mild-mannered editor, Chris McLaughlin committed some appalling act of disloyalty.


Turns out, it's a joshing reference from Balls to his latest column. And here's the joke it full:

"I hesitate to start this column by drawing a parallel between Tribune and the Tories. It's courageous, I know. But I hope you will hear me out.

I'm a big fan of the new-look Tribune. But the most important thing about Tribune's transformation over the years - from weekly newspaper to full-colour magazine, with a few steps in-between - is that its core values and beliefs haven't changed. Thankfully for all its stalwart readers, once you've got used to the glossy new look, it's still the same old Tribune.

The last few weeks have been equally reassuring for stalwart Conservatives. We’ve already had the Tory party’s relaunch and glossy make-over. We know they look different. However, as we are seeing more and more with each passing week, the Tories’ core values and beliefs haven’t changed a jot either. This is where the parallel with Tribune ends."

Thank goodness for that. For a minute there I was imagining Balls was falling into the trap of thinking even his friends were against him.