Ed Balls should be our next Shadow Chancellor….
A little off-the-cuff I tweeted last night: “There should be a grassroots campaign to elect Ed Balls as our Shadow Chancellor”. A couple of responses showed me this was a popular view within the Labour Party. Although members and trade unionists have no formal role in the Shadow Cabinet elections this is one of the things that needs to be changed; the Party and movement need to move from being passive recipients of their destiny to the leading agents in its formation.
Ed Balls was easily the most improved candidate of the leadership campaign; moving from a feisty fighter to a rounded statesman with a clear vision of where this party should go on the deficit. Much more has to be said because in supporting projects like the Labour Diversity Fund the other head has shown a clear vision for where this party needs to go as a whole. The Labour Diversity Fund is the kind of thing the national party should be doing much more of and in his Contract with Party Members Ed Balls also showed a deep committment to the grassroots of this Party.
Today, in The Guardian, Ed Balls says:
We must make the case for an alternative plan that puts jobs and growth first. That is the credible way to reduce the deficit and get the economy moving again. It is a tough argument to make, but the most vital one to win. We must lead public opinion and not be driven by focus-group polling.
The first thing to do is bring pressure to bear on MP’s to make sure Ed Balls is top of the Shadow Cabinet poll. I would suggest that this can be done through letters, emails (which if they are submitted will be published here) making them aware of the strength of feeling on this issue. Other suggestions in comments would be welcome. Later, Alistair Darling is going to tell us there is no alternative to his plans for deficit reduction; however, he is wrong there is an alternative and Ed Balls should be given the chance to shape that alternative.