Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, gave an abortive performance in response to the Autumn Statement last week; he blamed his embarrassment on the cacophony of jeers from the Tory benches. You might have thought that Balls would lay low this week. Not a bit of it. There he was chanting ‘Dave, Dave, Dave’ and testing his new hand gesture, which is simply to point downwards.
‘He can dish it out but he can’t take it,’ said the PM. Cameron is easily riled by Balls; but he went in for the kill this time: ‘I’ll tell you what’s going down: his career’. It wasn’t a great line; but the fact that Ed Miliband was openly laughing at the gag should concern the dwindling forces in the Balls camp.