Remember how Gordon Brown used the Treasury to keep the rest of the Cabinet on a short leash? Seems like Ed Balls is up to the same trick:
It’s almost cliched to paint Balls as the the crudest of tax and spenders, throwing money at a failed system in a desperate attempt to turn the ship around. To read much of the media coverage around the shadow chancellor (and for that matter, the Labour leader), you’d presume they long for nothing more than another spending binge.
Yet tell that to the shadow cabinet, many of whom feel stymied in their attempts to even float potential new policies (nevermind make concrete spending commitments) by the strict control Balls’ office has maintained over even potential spending commitments. Nothing that could even notionally impinge on economic policy is put forward without the explicit say so of the shadow chancellor – a cause for silent frustration for many seeking to make their mark around the shadow cabinet table.
I am sure Ed Miliband is enjoying this as much as Tony Blair did.