Monday 29 August 2016

Why Ed Balls should stick to practising his dance moves

It's no surprise that Ed Balls has come out of the woodwork to attack Jeremy Corbyn's policy of actually opposing the Tories instead of weakly imitating them, because he's from the right-wing Labour faction who still believe in the ludicrous fantasy that agreeing the Tories into submission is a viable electoral strategy.

Ed Balls has got some incredible brass neck to lecture anyone about "electibility" given that he is the guy who came up with Labour's catastrophically uninspiring austerity-lite strategy for the 2015 General Election and then lost his own seat in the resulting capitulation.

As well as laying into Jeremy Corbyn for actually trying to oppose the Tories, Ed Balls has also tried to cast the blame for 2015 onto Ed Miliband. Of course as 
party leader Ed Miliband bears some responsibility for what happened in 2015, but Ed Balls was the Labour shadow chancellor and the guy who was in charge of defining Labour's economic policies.

Balls tried to claim that the 2015 Electoral defeat came about because of some kind of lack of communication at the top of the Labour Party, but the only communication failure of any significance was the lack of people willing to point out to Balls that his austerity-lite strategy was ... well ... a load of balls.

Instead of choosing to repeatedly pointing out that Osborne had abjectly failed to eliminate the deficit with his austerity nonsense like he had promised to in 2010, and setting out an economically coherent "investment based recovery" strategy, Balls decided to meekly accept the ridiculous fiction that "let's cut our way to growth" is a sane economic policy and then weakly imitate George Osborne in the hope of wooing Tory voters.

Just think about it. How little confidence must someone have in their own abilities in order to try to gain economic credibility by imitating a massively over-promoted towel re-folder like George Osborne?

Austerity-lite failed because "we're not quite as malicious as the Tories" is not the kind of thing that appeals to anyone. Millions of traditional Labour voters chose to vote SNP, Green or just stay at home because Austerity-lite turned them off so much. Meanwhile this weak imitation of Tory economic policy was never going to attract many Tory voters, because why would anyone who believes in right-wing economic fairy tales vote for ersatz austerity from Labour when they could have the real deal from the Tories?

Labour's decision to try to weakly imitate the Tories rather than directly confront George Osborne's socially and economically destructive austerity agenda was an extraordinary failure*, and if anyone single person is the most to blame for this strategic ineptitude then it's clearly Ed Balls.

Balls lost Labour the 2015 General Election with his catastrophically uninspiring austerity-lite rubbish, he lost his own parliamentary seat, and he saw the traditional Scottish Labour heartlands evaporate away to nothing because the SNP gleefully took up the anti-austerity role to add into to the wave of fury over the way Labour politicians had cosied up to the Tories during the independence referendum debate.

Perhaps Ed Balls would be better off if he decided to stop making a fool of himself by pretending that his austerity-lite strategy was anything but a disaster and lecturing other people about "electibility", and concentrate on practising his dance moves so that he doesn't make a fool of himself on Strictly Come Dancing too.

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*Theresa May's failed immigration policies were another area where Labour could really have attacked the Tories, but they chose to imitate Tory rhetoric on immigration (remember that damned mug?). Instead of drawing public attention to Theresa May's catastrophic blend of malice and incompetence, they gave her a total free ride and set her up to become the next Prime Minister.

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