Ed Balls’ change of heart

Well that didn’t last long. Last month Ed Balls, that well-known shrinking violet, that hider of lights under bushels, wrote a piece in The Times entitled: “The traps to avoid if Labour is to win back votes”.

He wrote:

First, we risk falling into Mr. Cameron’s trap by focusing our fire too much on the Liberal Democrats. Yes, they have ditched their manifesto and sold their principles for power — and done so on the backs of the unemployed, public sector workers and the poorest in our communities.

But while we must win back voters lost to the Lib Dems, we must not let the Tories off the hook. Even if Lib Dem ministers are wheeled out by Downing Street to defend the most unpopular decisions, we must not forget this is fundamentally a Conservative Government. The reason why the fiasco over school building cuts and the rushed Academies Bill is so damaging for the Government is that a senior Tory is in the frame. So Labour must focus its fire on the Tories, not just on the Liberal cannon fodder shielding Mr Cameron.

That advice seems to have lasted a whopping 39 days. Ed “Cannon” Balls has fired off a furious broadside at Lib Dem education minister, Sarah Teather, who miraculously seems to have found an exemption for schools in her constituency from suffering the fate of other schools across the country with the scrapping of Building Schools for the Future programme. Funny that.

He said:

… it is brazen hypocrisy of Sarah Teather to expect her colleagues to face public anger about cuts to their local school building programmes, while using her position as Michael Gove’s deputy to try to protect herself in her own constituency. She seems happy to go along with the cancellation of over 700 schools in other constituencies, but only as long as hers are protected.

Ouch. Has he had a change of heart about bashing the Lib Dems since writing his Times piece? Was Michael Gove still out for the count on the deck? Or is Sarah Teather’s ‘brazen hypocrisy’ simply too good a target to miss? Even if at 4ft 10in she is a rather small target.

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One Response to “Ed Balls’ change of heart”

  1. Simon says:

    This isn’t a U-turn, he’s done exactly what he said he would. He has focused on the Tories, but that doesn’t mean he won’t call out Lib Dems on occasion. Are you seriously suggesting that in that article Ed Balls implies that Labour should refrain from criticising the Lib Dems (rather than simply recognise the Tories as the primary targets)?

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