The other day, the Guardian covered Ed Balls’ interview on Sky News where he said that most people did not spend their time watching Commons debates and that what was much more important was winning the debate among the public at large. Balls was quoted as saying:
The nature of politics is, you either spend your time in the bubble, obsessed, reading all the diary columns, worried about the Daily Mail, or you think let’s go and talk to people about what’s happening in their lives.
One wonders who does the talking in this supposed dialogue with the people. Of particular interest is whether Balls acknowledges in these big conversations that much of what is going on in people’s lives today, from a financial perspective, stems from the economic policies and reckless borrow and spend he presided over.
Judging by what passes for Labour economic policies these days, the evidence suggests not.
On planet Balls, the financial mismanagement and mountain of debt that built up that took place under Labour before May 2010 has nothing to do with him or his champagne socialist friends. Every financial ill and economic woe is the fault of the Con-Dem coagulation.
He rails against and criticises everything, but the sum total of how he would manage the economy is to say ‘not like this’, or ‘we would not have gone this far this fast’, or to attack the ‘slowest recovery in history’ while most other countries are not recovering at all.
The factors that brought about Labour’s worst election performance in 2010 are unchanged. They still believe in the same bankrupt dogma that saw the much of the electorate still willing to vote turn against them. So quite why so many people seem prepared to give them another five years to wreak more havoc, both economically and socially, only this time under Ed Miliband, the architect of rising energy prices to subsidise corporate interests, eludes rational explanation.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter if Labour wins or not. Whoever takes office will maintain the same corporatist direction of travel at our ever rising expense, regardless of the colour of the rosette. But even so, Labour’s lead in the polls defies logic.