David Blackburn

Would Britain buy Balls?

Would Britain buy Balls?
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Asks Iain Martin, and I suspect he’s back in Rentoul territory. It is, nonetheless, a question that merits more than a cursory no in reply. For all his egregiousness, you know where Balls stands: in the crude but distinctive colours of the old left. He is convinced that any approach to spending cuts other than his own will precipitate a double-dip recession. As Iain puts it:

Balls is also calculating that the second half of a double-dip recession is on the way and is staking out ground on which he can be the one to proclaim to the country: I told you so.’  

In terms of Britain’s economic debate, I agree with Pete: it would be preferable if Balls were banished to obscurity. But the Labour party is embarking on a long period of internal debate and rupture: Balls will not be peripheral even if either Miliband wins. If the coalition survives it will be at Labour’s constant expense, and it is perfectly conceivable that the next Labour leader will suffer the same fate as IDS.

Recession may have struck again during that time. The cause might not be spending cuts but Balls will declare: I told you so. Then, Britain might listen.