David Blackburn

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The Labour conference has started badly for Ed Miliband, with David Blunkett criticising the party for allowing the Tories to define the national economic debate. Blunkett was concurring with shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander’s view that the Tories had been successful in “framing a public language that made more sense of the economic crisis”. To be fair to Miliband, he made the same point in his recent interview with the New Statesman, but he is yet to provide a coherent or credible alternative to the government’s policies.

So, inquiring eyes turn on Ed Balls (and today’s Mail relates another alleged tale of his part in our economic downfall). The shadow chancellor has written an article on economic policy for the Guardian. And he’s quite a tease, our Ed. He says, ‘We must explain that if we had won the last election, we would have faced tough choices on spending and tax too.” But, having flirted with revealing his spending cuts, he withdraws to the safety of secrecy, making spirited references to the “Tory policy of kamikaze deficit reduction – too far and too fast” and so forth.

Blunkett warns that Labour won’t win an election on its current trajectory. It almost certainly shouldn’t win, but...