What is the real agenda behind calls to ‘Sack Balls?
Dan Hodges wrote an interesting piece in the New Statesman yesterday which called for Ed Miliband to sack Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor. Dan’s case is, how shall we put this gently? Deeply, deeply flawed and is almost soley based around the fact that Balls was integrally involved in the Brown regime. If this is a sackable offence then Mr Miliband will have to start by sacking himself one feels.
Not many more strings really exist to Dan’s bow, bless him. Rather pathetically, he actually concedes the economics that Balls espouses are correct but doesn’t feel it looks quite right ‘politically’. Such poor, empty arguments make you wonder what else could be going on, there must be another agenda because this one is so threadbare. I think there is. It’s well known that the two Ed’s don’t get on, something along with factional thinking that explains Miliband’s poor decision not to appoint Balls from the off and recently Balls has been winning some plaudits on the left for his softer stance towards the unions.
So, say Miliband sacked Balls; there is no doubt in my mind he would no longer feel the need to be loyal to Miliband’s leadership. He would become a powerful focal point for those disenchanted with the current leader. The agenda of Hodge’s becomes a little clearer, he wants to goad Ed (Miliband) into creating a rod for his own back by getting rid of Balls. Hodge’s is a known critic of the leadership and therefore his counsel should be treated with the utmost suspicion. If Ed Miliband sacks Ed Balls he will be putting personal animus before common political sense (not for the first time though) and will potentially destabilise the leadership to the point where it eventually ends. Balls is not blame for his leaders lack of direction and clear narrative; he has the competency and skill to continue in his job and if he ‘looks bad’ that is because of failings closer to Ed Miliband’s home. If he was let off the leash he has a clearer idea of where he wants to go and always seemingly has – maybe that is why Miliband doesn’t like him and can’t see beyond his petty personal jealousies?