Sunday, January 28, 2007

Balls to Number Eleven

John Rentoul thinks Gordon Brown should make Ed Balls his Chancellor. He comes up with all sorts of historical justifications for it, all sorts of quotes praising Mr B and meets all the objections to him head on, bar one. And that is that Ed Balls is, well, a bit rubbish.

He may have the intellect of an Oxford don and he may well be the only person in Britain who can explain neo-endogynous growth theories (or indeed spell the word), but the fact is he cannot communicate. Whenever I have heard him on the media he is hesitant, almost mono-syllabic and at times incoherant. It says a lot about Gordon Brown if he is seriously thinking about promoting Balls into the Cabinet and giving him the Chancellorship. As a partisan Conservative I'd be very happy for him to do so.

Read John Rentoul's article HERE.


kingbongo said...

actually Balls doesn't have the brain of an Oxford Don or anything like it. In fact his speech for Gordo referring to neo-classical endogenous growth theory misrepresented it, and wouldn't have got him past his A level economics exam.

He's one of the few people in politics I actually make the effort to dislike. His blinking eyes when skewered by Andrew Neill were a joy.

He should be made chancellor purely for the pleasure of seing all the chickens he helped hatch coming home to roost

Anonymous said...

How can he have any top cabinet job let alone the Chanelors job!....hes not Scottish!

Anonymous said...

"His blinking eyes when skewered by Andrew Neill were a joy".

Must you? I know certain Bedouin tribes are said to regard kebabbed sheeps' eyeballs as a delicacy but really, some of us have more delicate stomachs.

You can just see the Sun headlines if Balls ever becomes Chancellor:

nadders said...

Just confirms Brown is a real James Blunt

newmania said...

There is little doubt as to who will be controlling the treasury whoever is there.

anyonebutblair said...

Balls is a twat and (so I'm told) a nasty piece of work (something he leart from his master).
Try asking George O about him!

Voyager said...

He may have the intellect of an Oxford don and he may well be the only person in Britain who can explain neo-endogynous growth theories

Balls has a typical Journalist approach...he is not particularly adept or knowledgeable just able to bluff his way with the morons who meet him.

Endogenous Growth is caused by Brown having enormous credit expansion and inflating the GDP.....whereas Germany, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea have exogenous growth caused by the enormous demand from basket case economies in USA and Britain running the world's biggest trade deficits.

I am just stunned at the absolute mediocrity of people in government today when you consider the talent that Harold Wilson could attract - men like Nicky Kaldor, Wilf Beckerman

Anonymous said...

Surely 'neo-endogenous' ??

Voyager said...

Surely 'neo-endogenous' ??

No. Neo-Classical which simply means post-Marshall

Neo-endogenous is a meaningless phrase like saying "neo-red". Endogenous means self-generating as opposed to having external stimulus.

I know education is piss-poor in La-La-Land - but ENDOtherminc reaction are different from EXOthermic Prefixes are important

Anonymous said...

Has Ballsy found a new seat yet then?

I thought he was rather pre-occupied with this at the moment.

The man is a political disaster. I hope he gets made chnacellor, Labour won't be back in power for anopther 20 years.

I agree with the rest fo you too, who thinks he is so clever? Broon?

What does that tell you?

Geoff said...

There have been plenty of examples of politicians being unfairly hampered by physical failings; policy-lite John F. Kennedy 'losing' to the sweaty Richard Nixon on a radio debate but 'winning' on same TV broadcast, stutters, ugliness, baldness etc (Iain, launch your leadership challenge sooner rather than later, mate).

Can anyone think of a politician being held back by having such a ridiculous name that they can't possibly be promoted because the media pun-meisters would eat them for breakfast?

Anonymous 9:07 is right - headline writers must be licking their lips for this one.

Anonymous said...

'Neo-endogynous growth' would be growth inside a new woman (Greek _gyne_). Not sure how this fits the picture.

Anonymous said...

That contrived, wide eyed and innocent look, while he spins - badly - for all he's worth. Not an ounce of authenticity or brain to the big bladder of lard.

With those sort of assets, he'd make a great nulab party leader - and contribute wonderfully to nulab's failure ever to be elected again.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I want a Chancellor who can't communicate and who just gets on with the job in hand. Nigel Lawson was a dodgy speaker with a mighty mind and he did alright. Besides, who ever is Chancellor will report to Brown anyway, he's spent far too long in No. 11 so it'll be hard for him to tear himself away from the Treasury.

Besides, when I have heard Balls speak, he comes across like Brown: didactic, partisan and arrogant. No wonder the Cyclops of Kirkaldy likes him.

And it's "neo-classical endogenous growth theory", a fancy way of saying economic growth generated inside the economy, by say education or encouraging corporate R&D. So there you go.

Anonymous said...

Brown's already made a Balls of the economy so he might aswell have him as Chancellor to carry the can when the housing bubble bursts and it all goes tits up later this year.

Anonymous said...

'Neo-endogynous growth theory': a return to the womb? Milton gave a good account of this in _Paradise Lost_, II.777-809. Clear parallels with the current scene in Nos 10 and 11, I think.

... Pensive here I sat
Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown
Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes.
At last this odious offspring whom thou seest
Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
Tore through my entrails, that with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transform'd: but he my inbred enemie
Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal Dart
Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out DEATH;
Hell trembl'd at the hideous Name, and sigh'd
From all her Caves, and back resounded DEATH.
I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems,
Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far,
Me overtook his mother all dismaid,
And in embraces forcible and foule
Ingendring with me, of that rape begot
These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry
Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd
And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
To me, for when they list into the womb
That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw
My Bowels, their repast; then bursting forth
Afresh with conscious terrours vex me round,
That rest or intermission none I find.
Before mine eyes in opposition sits
Grim DEATH my Son and foe, who sets them on,
And me his Parent would full soon devour
For want of other prey, but that he knows
His end with mine involvd; and knows that I
Should prove a bitter Morsel, and his bane,
When ever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Removing ourselves from reality for a moment, when does being partisan begin to conflict with our principles of having economic interests at heart?

Richard Allen said...

The smart money should still be on Alistair Darling as Chancellor.

Balls might be fairly bright and he might be very good economically but politically he is a disaster.

Like most advisors parachuted into safe seats he never learnt the basio skills of politics or has needed effective communication skills. Pat McFadden is a similar example

Anonymous said...

And you think Alistair Darling is any better?

Richard Allen said...

I am no fan of Darling but he does possess the basic political and media skills that Balls so clearly lacks.

Geoff said...

Anonymous 11:32 is right. All of our most interesting Chancellors of recent times have been the ones with odd eyebrows.

Plus the added bonus of plenty of "Darling" jokes for headlines. I think my previous post might have been more relevant than I thought...

Anonymous said...

Balls, Brown, Darling, its all starting to sound a bit homo-erotic.........

Robin Hoodie said...

Andrew Neill destroyed any possibilty of Mr Balls moving into No. 11.

The odds are now on Mr Darling.

Anonymous said...

I think Mrs Balls should be given a prominent role next to her husband - Yvette Cooper is such a Cherie-like waif

griswold said...

Balls with brains is rubbish. Ask around The City and FT. Utter plonker. He probably advised Brown to flog 50% of our gold reserves. A doctrinaire decision like many others. This Treasury duopoly could not run Curly's Corner Store and make a profit. Ministerial positions should be barred to those who do not have ten years commercial experience.

Vlad the Impala said...

Like his boss, Ed Balls has an inflated idea of his own capabilities, the respect with which he is held in the City and shares Broon's outstanding communication and interpersonal skills. Unsuprisingly, he is every member of the Opposition's first choice as Chancellor. It will be a delight to watch him implode, along with the government's economic policies, on a raft of increasingly incoherent economic thinking.

jafo said...

Last year I saw Balls make a total prat of himself on TV when attempting to discuss economics with an economist. It was obvious the expert WAS an expert on the subject, and that Balls knew nothing about it but thought he did. He also attempted to patronise the expert - big mistake.

I'd never seen him before but heard lots about his so-called intellect. Ever since then I've thought that if Gordon Brown thinks this bloke is clever, he's a bigger fool than I gave him credit for.

Anonymous said...

If Brown makes Balls his Chancellor,then it will be an appointment of a personal assistant and not an independent heavyweight politician who has earned his spurs on the floor of the House of Commons.The way things are going,we will have a cabinet system on the American model soon,where members don't necessarily have to be party politicians and are answerable only to "the boss".Parliament will become more like Congress and we will suffer.

Anonymous said...

Gordon's Government will be a complete joke and a total disaster.

It's a total F**king disgrace that he's going to be foisted on us.

NuLabour have wrecked this country in less than 10 years. No wonder people are voting with their passports.

Anonymous said...

Iain - Balls is on Question Time this week: could be a crucial test.

I dearly hope he screws it up, for all our sakes. Few in government or the City like him, but they all fear crossing him because of the power he exercises through his closeness to Brown.

Anonymous said...

Ed Balls has resolved his objections to the Boundary Commission.

For all those of you who he think he's useless - I bet you can't wait for the day that Gideon takes the reins.

Probably the least-qualified person to be Chancellor in many a long year.

Anonymous said...

the fact that Ed Balls isn't very good is the whole point - the perfect scapegoat for when Brown leaves the Treasury and the mess that he's created over the past ten years catches up with the incumbent unfortunate enough to follow him...

Observer said...

One thing that would be fun is to investigate Goldman Sachs and the information flows from the Treasury over the past 10 years.....not that any of it might be price-sensitive on the trading-floor....

I wonder which Bonk will want to hire Ed Ballso after he takes a Gavin Davies "Pantouflisme" Trip

Shuswap said...

Couldn't agree more Iain. Like you, every time I hear him on radio I am stunned to think that this guy is a former journalist (i.e. was paid to communicate) and is now a leading politician (i.e. is paid, at least partly, to communicate).

Anonymous said...

It's possible, of course, that Brown might go ahead with this idea of splitting the Treasury into a Finance Ministry and and Economics Ministry, and give Balls the latter post. You certainly wouldn't want to rule out such a promotion in view of the closeness between the two men, but even as someone fairly sympathetic to Gordo I think it would be a seriously bad call at this stage of Balls' career. He has still not got over his tendency to talk at people and spout facts and figures at them and, up against Mr touch-feely Cameron, the Brown administration badly needs to get away from that sort of hectoring approach.

If Balls has to be in Brown's Cabinet, it should be in a much lower-profile role to begin with in my view, either Chief Secretary or perhaps even the Cabinet Office. But as Iain rightly suggests, Balls in a high-profile role going into the next election will be an absolute gift-horse for the Tories.

Anonymous said...

Balls can communicate pretty well when he is in command of the script and he is getting better at the interactive stuff. Will blog something tomorrow on this, perhaps tonight.

Anonymous said...

'' Balls, Brown, Darling, its all starting to sound a bit homo-erotic.........

12:56 AM ''

Surely ''Darling Brown Balls''..

Anonymous said...

No No No to paraphrase 'the lady'.
Alistair Darling- Chancellor
Ed Balls- Trade and Industry sec
Hilary Benn- Foreign Sec (if not DPM)
Des Browne- Work and Pensions sec
John Hutton- Defence Sec
Margaret Beckett- Booted up to Lords, Leader of the House of Lords
Harriet Harman- Health sec
David Miliband- Home sec
John Healey- Chief Sec. to tres
Jacqui Smith- Education sec
Nick Brown- Chief Whip
Patricia Hewitt- Leader of the Lords

Anonymous said...

sorry, i meant 'Leader of the commons' for Hewitt. Frankly though, have you ever thought she could be the Labour version of Thatcher- certainly the only person MORE patronising than her

Anonymous said...

I used to work as a government economist and still remember being with a group of government economists including a very senior one when some fatuity from Balls reached us. There was a shaking of heads, some tutting and then, from our boss, who never badmouths anyone, "Ed Balls is a VERY bad economist". We thought about leaking a correction, but in the end just let it pass.