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Jerry Hayes

Depriving family Balls of an economic brief has isolated Miliband. He is hated by the Blairites and distrusted by the left. It’s not Game On, It’s Game for a Laugh.

October 8th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

If there is interference with your television set, don’t be troubled, it will be coming from Number Ten. A heady mix of hysterical laughter and incredulity can play havoc with the electrics and the neutering of Labour’s two most effective economic troublemaker’s, Balls and Cooper is taking a joke a little too far.

The one message that rather edgy Cabinet Ministers whispered to me this week, was that although Balls is a repulsive little shit and his wife gives the impression of being the pantomime boy, both would be deadly with economic briefs. “Very effective”, was the consensus. Putting them in at any combination of Treasury and Business would not be fatal for the Coalition, but would have caused some very serious injuries. And a great deal of anxiety.  So, on the 20th October, when the government would be at it’s most vulnerable since the election, Alan Johnson, bright, charming and a gifted Commons operator, but never the owner of Treasury brief, will lead the fight back without the advantage of a shield of a fiscal policy, nor a deep understanding of Economics.

What does it tell us? Firstly, that MiliEd doesn’t trust Balls, because he knows that his thuggish determination would hijack the Shadow Cabinet and undermine his authority. Secondly, that by appointing the wife to any economic brief, it would give the impression that there was a very powerful back seat driver guiding the controls.

For Miliband’s short political survival this was a shrewd move. For making a fist of defeating the Coalition it is insane. It also shows that Johnson is merely going to be an economic fig leaf, and the real Shadow Chancellor is going to be one Ed Miliband. In government, this was last attempted by Ted Heath, who totally controlled Tony Barber.  He engineered a U turn which led to his party’s extinction at the polls and spawned Margaret Thatcher and all her works. Oh, and nobody has been daft enough to try it in Opposition. Until today.

So what has Miliband achieved?  The making of two powerful mortal enemies for a start. Two Balls are more useful than one. The Ballette is not to be underestimated. After all, she garnered the highest Shadow Cabinet vote. Putting Balls in a downgraded Shadow department leaving him just to attack May on such delights as ASBOS, and Dangerous Dogs, is both incomprehensible and a total waste of his considerable talents. Giving the Foreign Office, a non job in Opposition, to Ballette  is just a criminal waste. And  imagine the secret discussions that are taking place with another Miliband casualty, former Chief Whip and Brown fixer extraordinaire, Nick Brown. The fightback has begun, but it will Balls’ not Ed’s.

But the abject stupidity and sheer political naivety of these appointments is how isolated Miliband has become. The majority of the PLP and grass roots didn’t vote for him the Blairites are bitter and briefing against him. Now, he has upset the left and the Unions because he is adopting the Darling approach of halving the deficit in four years, a sort of Osborne lite.

This is not Game on. It’s Game for a laugh.

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In less than a generation Labour has regenerated from, Camelot to Gormghast & now the Inbetweeners. Tommorrow expect less Red Ed & more Adrian Mole.

September 27th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

In less than a generation, labour  have regenerated from Blair’s Camelot to Brown’s Gormanghast and now to Ed Miliband’s Inbetweeners. It’s all very strange, as every single Labour MP  was elected on a New Labour manifesto which has now been cast onto the bonfire of the inanities.

So goodbye New Labour and hello to….well none of us have got a clue. I don’t buy all this Red Ed guff, but it’s a Redtop’s dream which will stick stick like shit to a blanket. And I don’t really think he is quite so daft as to be in the pockets of the trade unions. But politics is more about interpretation than truth. So what does Ed stand for? Again, I’m not entirely sure and neither are the poor political meercats sniffing the air, nor the silent curtain twitchers desperate to impress their new boss to get their grubby little hands on a red box. All we know is, he won’t be Blair or Brown and he rather likes the squeezed middles classes. Whether that means he wants to press them to death or hold their little hands at an Ed Balls Dignitas clinic remains to be seen.  We might get a bit of a clue tomorrow, but I won’t hold my breath.

Now there’s a conundrum, what to do with Balls? Well, plugging his seat into the mains would be a helpful start, but that’s not going to happen. He is so desperate for the Shadow Chancellorship you can almost see it whizzing round the room like a medium’s ectoplasm. But, if David retreats to the back benches, Balls would be a gift to the Tories. Not just because he’s a nasty bully, but because there must never be a tissue paper between a leader and his Treasury man on policy. And between those two there is a chasm. Also, they can’t stand each other. Did you see the body language at the announcement? Ever leadership candidate got a hug, Ed just got a nod. If pure hatred could have been bottled you just had to look into his eyes. I hear that he has been briefing against David’s wife Louise. Very unwise, for blood is even thicker than Diane Abbott. I suspect that the Home Office beckons.

And what about the missus? Some are saying that she’s not quite up to it, others moan that she dresses like a nun on holiday. Anyhow, it would be an insult too far to a very dangerous man. The most sensible solution came to day from Lord Desai, a former Treasury spokesman and the finest economist of his generation: Hattie. She’s an old bruiser, ran some big spending departments and deserves a  proper job. What’s more, she’s no political fool.

Ironically, poor old Ed has to do what his been urging the banks to. Try and make an assessment of his toxic assets and decide where to dump them. This will not be easy. He will enter a hall tomorrow where the majority wanted his brother to win. He will have to win over the associations and the PLP. There is only one way to to this and that is to show that this is not an academic thesis or a social experiment. He must prove that he is hungry for power. That he is a winner. Tricky, when you’ve just ditched a formula that has been the most successful election winner that Labour has ever launched.

Choosing a Shadow Cabinet will not be so difficult as he thinks, but what will be a nightmare is who will occupy the Chief Whip’s Chair. For reasons beyond modern psychiatry, the job is directly elected by backbenchers and is not within the gift of the Leader. In office yes, in Opposition no.It’s a bit like the Iranians electing the head of their secret police.  Mili E has wisely decided not to interfere. But I will suspect that there will be a backlash against old Brown plotter and Balls intriguist, Nick Brown. Watch out for a respected neutral like Gerry Sutcliffe.

So what do we expect tomorrow? No policy, lots of mood music and a lot of reaching out. Not so much Red Ed as Adrian Mole.

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