Sunday, 29 August 2010

Ed Balls' Interesting Spanner

Make You Mind Up Time is moving ever closer . . . for Labour Party members, that is. And Ed Balls has now put an interesting spanner into the works; he’s voiced something many of us instinctively feel is right but nobody has yet really voiced till now. He has spoken against the current, almost universal, thinking that the budget deficit must be cleared quickly. He voices the view that we must continue to support the economy until growth is more established. Rather than saying the deficit must be cleared as quickly as possible, he’s saying it must be cleared as quickly as is appropriate.

There is nobody I’ve met recently who believes that the savage ConDem cuts will lead to growth. In fact the evidence is in front of us; I’ve never known so many people taking voluntary redundancies or early retirements - some even involuntary redundancies. Many of these people may not register as unemployed or jobless, although some will. But, nevertheless, there is a serious danger of unemployment going up, the number of people not working going even more up, and tax revenues falling. In addition the amount of money spent of welfare will not fall - unless the ConDems put through draconian cuts.

Drastic cuts, cuts at a level never attempted before, are a grave danger, and Ed Balls‘ warning is right.

Will Ed Balls win this leadership contest? It seems unlikely. Will he be part of a shadow front bench team? That seems very likely. Will his arguments be heard and taken on board? The country may be ready to give him a proper hearing.

Casting our vote is a serious matter; and it’s just become even more complicated.

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