Monday, June 14, 2010

More Balls

Ed Balls was interviewed by the Mirror today. In the interview he makes this ludicrous claim...

I started studying it [the economy] in 1983 when Thatcherism was at its peak - and I realised immediately that I wanted to show you could run an economy in a way which delivered social justice. All through my university days and my career I've been driven by the desire to prove that Labour could run the economy well. We now hear that unemployment is heading back to three million under the Tories. If anything makes me want to lead our party it's the chance to do something about it.
All well and good, except that Mr Balls's memory is clear at odds with reality. Because as is now public knowledge, at university he was a member of the Oxford University Conservative Association...

This bombshell news, which lay unreported for 20 years, has emerged thanks to Philip Hollobone, Tory MP for Kettering, and a former member of the Oxford University Conservative Association. He tells me that Balls signed up to OUCA, whose previous members include half the Shadow Cabinet, while at Keble College in the 1980s. I was there from 1984-87, and at that time Ed Balls was also a member of OUCA," says Hollobone. "It was well before he was famous, but I was secretary for one term and can distinctly recall the name."

(The Independent, 5 July 2006)

23 comments:

The Random Punter said...

Iain, you've missed an "i" out of "run" in the 4th line.

Nick Drew said...

hmm - many people joined all the university political clubs, just to attend the speaker-meetings

some further and better particulars needed here

like ... a photo of Balls in nazi uniform ?

Old Politics said...

Iain, as anyone who has ever been near OUCA will tell you, it has an enormous membership. As any ex-Secretary will also be able to tell you, that's because the elections have been systematically dodgy for decades.

For every person who joins OUCA, four are "joined" by election candidates, who fill in the forms and pay the costs for friends of theirs - their political affiliation is unimportant as long as they are prepared to vote the right way.

In exchange, the social events were always quite good.

Norton Folgate said...

Balls and Hollobone

Ooer Matron.



WV: dican But can she?

robertmbrown said...

Are there no Tories that believe in Social Justice?

Paul Burgin said...

To be fair, a lot of people joined the Young Conservatives for social reasons and not ideological ones. Indeed some were simultaneously members of the Youth Wings of the SDP, Labour, and Liberals

Dave Cross said...

Might be worth quoting a bit more of the article:

"Ed hasn't exactly advertised the fact, but he's never sought to hide it either. It even featured in the jokes at his wedding," I'm told.

"He joined the Tories at Oxford because they used to book top-flight political speakers, and only members were allowed to attend their lectures.

"Ed was, however, also a member of the Labour Club. He was more active in that, and was always, at heart, a man of the left."

Not quite so damning when you have the full picture, is it?

Tom said...

Everyone was a member of OUCA in those days, they had the best speakers and best events.

Of course, you, being an alumnus of University of East Anglia, wouldn't understand... (I had to get some Oxbridge snobbery in somewhere didn't I?)

Jim W said...

Iain: er, everyone with a vague political interest joins party club at Oxford. Only way to get the free drinks/food/occassional decent speaker.

TheBigYin said...

His name is a godsend to the tories, isn't it. Keep 'em coming Iain.

JonW said...

Are you going to link to that article from the Indy, which explains *why* Balls joined OUCA?

If you don't, you are going to look pretty dishonest.

Unsworth said...

@ robertmbrown

And your definition of 'Social Justice' is what, exactly?

Gareth said...

Leaving aside the actual subject, this is pure Balls:

"All through my university days and my career I've been driven by the desire to prove that Labour could run the economy well. "

The last 10 years proves otherwise.

Why, if Balls was such an economic leviathan, was the British Government borrowing £30 billion a year from 2003-2007? Keynesian teachings are that you should fix the roof while the sun is shining. Either the sun wasn't actually shining or Labour cocked up. I favour the former hypothesis - the economy was not as rosey as Brown painted it to be.

It would be nice to have some logical consistency from *any* politicians, starting with the ones most culpable for the mess we are in.

Jabba the Cat said...

"Balls talks balls"

Has a nice ring to it every time...

Fausty said...

We now hear that unemployment is heading back to three million under the Tories

There they go again - blaming the Tories for their ill-deeds. Blimey, the coalition has only been in government for a few weeks. Quite an achievement for them to make 3 million unemployed in that time!

Nick said...

(a) You haven't linked to the full article which actually explains why he joined

(b) Even now, people join to vote for their mates/see good speakers, and often don't take an active role in the club. It's a bit like most of the people where I live who are card-carrying members of the Conservative Party not because they are Conservatives, but because the beer's cheap

GarethS said...

Iain, you've missed the point. THIS IS THE LIE

"We now hear that unemployment is heading back to three million under the Tories. If anything makes me want to lead our party it's the chance to do something about it."

Unemployment is heading back to 3M BECAUSE of ED BALLS and his master.

doctorhuw said...

"We now hear that unemployment is heading back to three million under the Tories. If anything makes me want to lead our party it's the chance to do something about it."

The real figure of unemployment in April was c. 4.5 million. It was kept lower by deliberately massaging the figures so that only a handful of people counted as unemployed - barely half the true figure. The rest were flung on various income supports, and part time work, the black economy, no money at all, etc. Labour didn't care about them, because they care about figures not about the poor or unemployed.

So if unemployment is down to under 3 million already, that's a very good start by the coalition, although personally I find it rather difficult to believe.

PIENOMICS said...

This man is a complete f*****g idiot. Is he really suggesting that the unemployment Labour created is
of the new Governments making? It's quite pathetic.

Libertarian said...

According to the ONS the number of people of working age NOT in work as of March 2010 was 8.17 Million

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12

Remind me who the government was in March 2010 Ed.


Also would someone please explain to me a definition of social justice

Simon Harley said...

So, Balls joined a political party not because of his principles but because of the perks.

Such integrity!

Jeffrey said...

Iain, this is my first comment on your blog. I enjoy reading a lot.

I have to say that as an ex-OUCA member and an ex-Ox Union President, this story shouldn't damage Balls.

When I was at Oxford (1997-2001), people of all political persuasions joined OUCA. The organisation was something of a laugh, in that the membership was vast and the piss-ups extravagant, but really it wasn't a true Conservative association. Indeed, many left-wingers joined in order to act as spoilers in elections, and to turn up at boozy OUCA parties. If Balls is to be mocked for this, then many others will have be too.

Gillibrand said...

Which faction did he ally himself with? I remember a Balls in Ouca but did not until today realise it was Balls who has gone up in the world!