I trust Ed Balls to fight our corner, says Stacey McNamara

I joined the Labour party when I was 15. Tony Blair had just won his famous landslide victory. I was impressed by his charisma and the effect his campaign had on the national mood. And Labour was part of my community, part of my childhood experience. I’ve always known how central politics is to people’s lives. And it’s important who the party leader is. It was important to me that Tony Blair was the leader back in 1997.

And I think it really matters who the new leader is now. That’s why I wanted to write this article to explain why I am supporting Ed Balls. One of the main reasons I am backing him is because of his economic strength and experience. I feel that his unparalleled economic experience and knowledge can help us be a strong opposition at a time when economics are at the very centre of our battle with the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition. While they are making swinging cuts all around, I believe he has not only the knowledge but the strength of character to resist.

I trust Ed to fight our corner against the cuts. On the Andrew Marr show last weekend, Ed said “There was a phrase which Keynes used in 1936 when he wrote The General Theory about ‘madmen in authority listening to voices in the air’. These voices are back and they’re saying cut, cut, cut, and it’s profoundly misguided.” None of the other leadership candidates has that depth of economic hinterland.

None of the others could have said something like that. That’s why the Tories all wear badges saying “Balls for Labour leader” – because they are threatened by him.

Ed has been taking the fight to the Tory-Lib Dem coalition in a way that I don’t believe the other candidates have. On public sector pensions, he hit back straight away on Sunday morning in his blog against their newspaper announcement of a supposedly independent review. That is what we should be doing; harrying the opposition.

He has tabled dozens of questions to Michael Gove and taken the Tories apart on the Children Schools and Families bill. He has been forensic on their half-baked plans for “free schools” as well as going beyond his education brief on the Sheffield forgemasters loan and campaigning against a VAT rise.

Hearing Ed speak at a recent Child Poverty Action Group seminar, he was passionate and convincing defending breakfast clubs and free school meals from impending coalition cuts. And he’s not just saying these things; he’s campaigning on them. He’s not just talking about protecting the most vulnerable in our society, he’s getting stuck in to fighting for them.

It is suggested that he is not a good communicator. I think this campaign is proving otherwise. You can tell that, as a minister, he had many conversations with parents, teachers and pupils from all backgrounds and he seems to genuinely want to fight for their best interests. Yes, he can come out fighting in parliament, but at the same time he is able to listen to the concerns of the poorest families on the doorstep and relate to them.

It also matters to me that Ed is so clearly on the side of the unions. They are at the heart of our movement and I think Ed is the candidate with the most straightforward appreciation of that. We need a leader who can represent and fight for us.

Whether you are from a council estate, a student struggling to pay tuition fees, a member of young Labour wanting to get more involved, a parent concerned at potential closures to sure start centres, an old lady worried about the closure of her local post office or a working class person worried about the VAT rises.

Whoever you are, we need a Leader who has the strength and the fight in them to stand up for our policies in opposition and one day to carry them through into government. Someone the Tories are scared of. I believe that leader is Ed Balls.

@SkyBlueStacey is on Twitter.

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3 Responses to “I trust Ed Balls to fight our corner, says Stacey McNamara”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by newleader, newleader, Waseem Zaffar, EdBalls4Leader, Stacey™ and others. Stacey™ said: RT @LabourUncut: GRASSROOTS: @skybluestacey backs @edballsmp for the leadership http://bit.ly/dg7MgO […]

  2. Quietzapple says:

    My ex wife had dealings with Ed Balls several times while he was at Education.

    She is quite a good judge (LOL) and was impressed by him as a person, though she did not always agree with his decisions.

    Clearly the best of a good bunch in my view.

  3. Andrew Old says:

    I do love the way that people supporting Ed Balls go on about his experience but manage to miss out what he was doing between 2007 and 2010. I guess they must know at some level what a disaster he was when running our schools and are desperately hoping that as long as they don’t mention it, everyone will forget.


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