David Blackburn

Ed Balls saves the pitch till last

Ed Balls saves the pitch till last
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Predictable lines from Ed Balls this afternoon. ‘DIY free schools’ are iniquitous; Michael Gove is like the child snatcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang. Naturally, he made a pitch for the shadow chancellorship. Nick Clegg was his target and his pitch was avowedly left-wing:

'It was Nick Clegg: the man whose own election leaflets said ’Vote Liberal Democrat or you’ll get a Tory government, who said ‘stop the Tory VAT bombshell, who said spending cuts now would be ‘reckless’ and put jobs and the recovery at risk.

It was Nick Clegg who has given us: a Tory Prime Minister, a Tory Chancellor, a massive and unfair hike in VAT and a Budget which even George Osborne’s new head of Budget responsibility says will hit the poorest hardest.

I say to Liberal Democrats MPs: It is one thing to want to be in power. It is quite another thing to sacrifice your Manifesto and – yes – your principles for power. But to do so on the backs of the young and the poor and the pensioner and the vulnerable is a disgrace.’

Balls referred to his 'moral cause' throughout his speech; his righteous indignation was at its most acute when talking about economic policy. Balls would be the moral chancellor...