The basic point is this: Ed Balls is not in office and Ed Balls has to wear many different hats now.
His Bloomberg Speech was brilliant, and deserves a re-read (yes a re-read, a second read, if you haven’t already read it hang your head in shame), however, its contents won’t, whatsoever, be implemented as policy. This is something of a tragedy.
Ed Balls is not chancellor, he is shadow chancellor, and as such has a very different role. Phil is on to something when he say…
With a strong advocate for investment over cuts in one of the most influential political positions in the land, the hand of the labour and anti-cuts movement has been strengthened ahead of the fights to come.
…but will a Balls provide this? He was taken a strong public order line in his home affairs brief, and it may be difficult for him to be an advocate for anti-cuts movements if it remains (understandably) somewhat fraught with tension.
Both Duncan and I argued for Balls to be Shadow Chancellor initially in September. Duncan now says things “are about to get interesting,” I think that things are not so positive. I think you have to be a member of a small coterie, not expanding far past Duncan and I, to use the word “interesting” with respect to macroeconomic policy making.
The basic point is that being interesting, being supportive of the anti-cuts movement while being parliamentary effective may not be compatible. I don’t want to be immediately negative, but I think some counterweight to the positive reaction Balls has initially recieved is necessary.