Peter Hoskin

Ed Balls is now a caricature of Ed Balls

Ed Balls is now a caricature of Ed Balls
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Meanwhile, in other Labour news, Ed Balls has just jumped into the deep end without any armbands.  Speaking to the BBC this lunchtime, everyone's favourite Labour leadership candidate said that he didn't - and doesn't - approve of Labour's plan to cut the deficit in half "through spending cuts."  As if to underline the point, he added that he's reluctant to identify cuts until after "this huge risky experiment has been tried on our economy by the Conservatives and the Liberals".  So he's got the fiscal insanity and anti-Clegg positions nailed, then.

Coupled with Balls' grandstanding on schools cuts, there's a gruesome possibility that this rhetoric could boost his appeal among the Labour faithful - something that would delight many Tories and, indeed, CoffeeHousers.  A Balls leadership is the best chance of finishing the Labour party, is how the argument goes.  But I'd rather that Balls was resisted at every juncture.  If we're to get a sensible debate on the public finances in the crucial years to come, then there's no room for his brand of crude politicking.