Balls for chop in future Labour/SNP coalition deal

Ed Ball’s will be the sacrifice that seals a coalition deal between Labour and the SNP, if senior members of Ed Miliband’s inner circle have their way.

As private debate within Labour circles intensifies on the terms of a potential deal with the SNP, Uncut has learned that some of Ed Miliband’s closest advisers are plotting to sack Ed Balls in a bid to secure Ed Miliband’s tenure in Number 10, in the event of a hung parliament where Labour is not the largest party.

Insiders familiar with these discussions over the past few weeks describe a scenario where Labour would have to “reset its economic standing with the public” and demonstrate to the SNP that it would not be “wedded to austerity-lite.”

For some of Ed Miliband’s closest and oldest advisers, removing Ed Balls would achieve both objectives as well as ridding them of a potentially truculent and obstructive Chancellor.

The animosity between Ed Miliband’s inner circle and Ed Balls is well known. Last year Uncut revealed how team Miliband had plotted to sack Ed Balls in the Autumn reshuffle only to be thwarted by the Labour leader’s weakness coming out of conference season. And just last week the Sunday Times reported on the depth of the recurring tensions between Miliband and Balls.

The recent bitter negotiations between the shadow Chancellor and Labour leader on how to fund Ed Miliband’s cherished cut in tuition fees, are said to have hardened views within Miliband’s circle.

Now this enmity is centre-stage in Labour’s developing psycho-drama over whether to strike a coalition deal with the SNP.

A sizeable section of the parliamentary party, not to mention Labour’s newly elected leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, would be bitterly opposed to treating with the Scottish nationalists.

However, Murphy’s rage at any potential deal with the SNP only sweetens the prospect of a coalition agreement with the SNP for some of Ed Miliband’s advisers, as well as a section of MPs close to the unions, who would be pivotal to bolstering PM Miliband’s position within the parliamentary party.

As one disillusioned shadow cabinet adviser put it to Uncut, when describing the way the disparate coterie around Ed Miliband viewed a deal with the SNP,

“Half of them want to shaft Balls, half of them want to get Murphy and most of all, they all want to keep their jobs and not be out on their ears as failures. Most will say yes to a deal enthusiastically, no-one is going to say no.”

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16 Responses to “Balls for chop in future Labour/SNP coalition deal”

  1. Roberrt says:

    It would be a mistake to sack Balls. He knows what he is talking about unlike most of the Shadow Cabinet. Regarding the SNP, a supply and confidence arrangement would probably be the best option. We should also remember that the SNP has ruled out supporting a Tory government, so their negotiating position will not be particularly strong.

  2. Dave says:

    It would be the most selfish, sel-serving, short termist decision to join in coalition with the SNP.

    Seriously, it would confirm the death of Labour in Scotland and would mean the end of the UK, why can’t anyone in the leader’s inner circle see this? Perhaps they can see it but don’t care, so long as he gets his photograph on the Downing Street staircase.

    Firstly, the talent in the SNP leadership is such that they would run rings around the Labour cabinet. Particularly Salmond now that he will be down in Westminster. Believe me, it wouldn’t be pretty to watch.

    Secondly, nothing that the Labour half of the government would be left wing enough. You can’t out left wing the modern SNP. Scots are to the left of the English, the SNP realise this. The realpolitik of what a UK Labour government is able to get away with is to the right of what the ideal Scottish Labour government would do in Holyrood. Every single decision the govnernment made would be framed in the terms “we tried our best, but we couldn’t get the Red Tories ™ to budge from their right wing position. We’re flying the flag for Scotland and limiting the damage the Red Tories can do to us”. There is no way that UK Labour coould successfully counteract this, and giving the SNP a position in government would make the problem worse.

    Thirdly, give the SNP the keys to Whitehall and they would cause trouble. They’ve begun to escalate their playing English against Scots, and vice versa. The scope for them doing this in UK government would be huge. As I said before, the talent at the top of their party is superior to the top of the Labour Party and I’ve no faith in our ability to successfully guard against this if the SNP are in government.

    Fourthly, do you really think the English electorate would forgive us for letting into government a party of swivel eyed nationalists who want to break up the country? Really? It wouldn’t just be Scotland that we have a problem with.

  3. Dave Roberts. says:

    Even the probability of such a coalition will end the chances of a Labour victory and could spell the end of the party as it is. The country and the members won’t stand for it.

  4. Malcolm says:

    Dave how do you contrast “a party of swivel eyed nationalists” with “the talent in the SNP leadership is such that they would run rings around the Labour cabinet.” or “the talent at the top of their party is superior to the top of the Labour Party” ? On one had you praise the SNP party leadership whilst damning them with the other.

    It’s too late now, but Labour at its core needs a clean sweep of the Miliband & Balls teams, in replicating the Blair and Brown years, you’re just moving further and further away from the left and whatever electoral base you once held.

  5. “do you really think the English electorate would forgive us for letting into government a party of swivel eyed nationalists”

    Thanks for that – more votes for SNP for Westminster.

    If any of you had any brains at all, or weren’t in the pockets of the banks, you’d adopt ideas as policy.

    But none of you have intelligence or integrity.


  6. uglyfatbloke says:

    Is there a misplaced apostrophe in the first line? Should it actually read… ‘Ed’s Balls will be the sacrifice that seals etc…’ rather than ‘Ed Ball’s will be the sacrifice….’

  7. Mark Stockwell says:

    Doesn’t it rather undermine it as a negotiation ‘concession’ if you’ve already essentially advertised to the other party in the negotiation – and anyone else who cares to know – that you’re actually quite keen on doing it anyway?

  8. Michael Worcs says:

    Oh dear, it is Brown -Blair all over again!

  9. Pete says:

    The SNP will win at best 10-20 new seats in total, with only 10 maximum from Labour. The majorities in Glasgow/West seats are just too high and Lib Dems/Tory voters will switch to Labour tactically in rural seats to ensure they keep out the SNP.

    But I fail to see what the SNP could do if they don’t support Labour, because the alternative is to walk through the lobbies with the Tories which is electoral suicide in Scotland.

    A deal with the SNP could also come at a high price for Labour in England.

    Although on the plus side a Labour/SNP pact would cause the Daily Mail to spontaneously combust in rage.

  10. Markham says:

    The SNP are hardly unique in wanting rid of Balls and more importantly his austerity lite programme. There are plenty of staunch Labour supporters who believe he and his team are the reason that the polls still show the two main parties neck and neck. They’ve allowed Osborne and his team to cow them into fighting on Conservative territory. They have been unable to put across to the electorate the difference between Labours plan for balancing the books.

    All the electorate see is yet more pain whichever lot hold the reigns of power. Why then should they change horses if the result s going to be the same for them?

  11. Dave says:

    Malcolm – because I disagree with Scottish independence and think it is lunacy, both for Scotland and the UK as a whole. We are so much better off with each other and the implications for both would be staggering.

    That doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge how gifted the SNP leadership are. They have a lot of very good and serious politicians. Particularly Salmond, whose career I’ve followed closely for about 20 years, who I regard as the most gifted UK politician currently. Just look at how he has progressed his cause over the last few decades, it’s extraordinary.

  12. John P Reid says:

    Michael Worcs, comparing Miliband to Blair,that’s treason

  13. Tafia says:

    Will you all forget the idea of a coalition with the SNP. The SNP have already clearly stated (repeatedly) they will not go into coalition with Labour. They are prepared to offer a supply and confidence, with a shopping list that Labour has to work down each time it needs their vote.

    Number one on the list – removal of TRIDENT from Scotland. So the first time Labour need their vote, thats what they have to agree to in return. Then they get progressively more difficult up to and including within the top ten, the full devolution of benefits, the full devolution of taxation, parity for the Welsh Assembly etc etc. And yes, the SNP aren’t going to back down and yes they know it makes for a highly unstable government but they aren’t bothered. And indeed, why should they be. It’s not their problem.

    You pays your money, you takes your chances.

  14. 07052015 says:

    Its all bargaining positions -perfect for miliband playing balls off against snp-he would relish that so no point in getting rid.

    On another front maybe dump umunna for cable.?

  15. Madasafish says:

    Any leader with any nous would have dumped Balls year ago…

  16. Tafia says:

    The problem for Miliband is you can’t dump Mr Balls without dumping Mrs Balls and vice versa or you end up with an enemy in Cabinet.

    And for some bizarre reason Mrs Balls is quite popular with the congregation.

    Really he should have got rid of both the Balls’s and Burnham the day he took over – they are just baggage from the past.

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