The Thick of It

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ed Balls has balls we need

After last week's Radio Five Live Labour leadership hustings I wrote of how I was impressed by contender Ed Balls. He has been written off by most commentators as not having a chance behind the Millibands. Those two are certainly the front runners. However I feel that Balls has a lot to offer Labour, perhaps just not as leader.

He has been almost the only senior member of the shadow cabinet to land regular blows on the Tory coalition. He is a great attack-dog and that is sorely missing from Labour at the moment. We are suffering from an empty chair crisis and the sooner the leadership is decided the better.

I thought The Economist's profile of Balls was spot on too. Sometimes he is characterised as a brute but there is more substance to him than that. colleagues in the Labour Party should be careful before they dismiss him. He has a role to play and the leadership contest has been good in raising the profile of all the candidates. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the shadow cabinet elections. I hope the PLP sees his value.

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