I've just comeback from a lobby lunch with
His biggest laugh came at the end of this anecdote. Gordon Brown rang him one morning and said: "Ed, you may like to know that you are Number 2 in the Economist Top 100 Policymakers". "Great", said Ed, obviously preening himself. "It's a bit odd, though that I've been placed at Number 19," continued the then Chancellor. "I can see why Tony Blair is above me, but it's even odder that Margaret Beckett is above him." Balls then proceeded to get a copy of The Economist, found the article and rang Gordon Brown back. "Gordon, the reason Margaret Beckett is above you and Tony is that the list is in alphabetical order!" Maybe you had to be there but I can assure you it was funny when he told it!
Mr Balls really must stop making speeches most of which revolve around "I", "me" and "myself". He even said at one stage: "And this week I gave xxxxxx £750,000..." What he meant was that his department, or the government, or the taxpayer "gave" the money, but it was all about him. I suppose this should come as no surprise. It's what politicians do. I dare say I have been guilty of it myself (surely not, I hear you all cry in unison).... Did you see what I did there? Two mentions of "I" and one "myself" all in the same sentence. Ed Balls must be a fellow fan of Joan Armatrading. It was she who sang "Me, Myself, I".