The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Ed Balls: A Challenger Appears

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 23, 2010 @ 09:26

He deserves to be Labour's next leader on the strength of this picture alone.

The headline in today’s Telegraph, of all places, says it all:

Ed Balls: my struggle to overcome stammer

Is it just me or is this article an attempt by Ed Balls to make himself appear more human? More normal…

Of course it is. As soon as Ed first realised Gordon was toast he has been mobilising ever since. He never used to appear on TV so regularly, but now it is hard to move around the schedules, especially on Sunday, without seeing his ugly mug staring back at you from Andrew Marr’s, Adam Boulton’s or Jon Sopel’s sofas…

And, as everyone knows, you can’t seriously expect to lead a party these days, let alone the country, if you have no personal connection with the electorate. Well, that is unless your name is Gordon Brown.

To win elections, you have to appear personable. You have to have to be liked. And if you’re liked, all of a sudden that magic word “electability” gets attached to you.

The problem with Ed Balls is that he just isn’t likeable. He is crafty, shifty-looking and downright evasive at times. But then again, most politicians are exactly the same.

To fix that problem, it’s clear we’re going to get a stream of cosy soft-focus “profiles” in the months ahead, detailing his career to date and his ambitions for his Britain of the future. Until Brown has gone, all of this will be coded as if to say it is what he will be working towards as part of Gordon’s Cabinet.

The truth is anything but.

Balls used Brown to ascend to power, to a position of national influence, and is already in process of ditching him and preparing for the next phase.

I’ll bet he’s glad, though, he never did get a chance to be Chancellor. That one was left to the fall guy, Alistair Darling.

All seems a bit clever to me. A bit too clever, perhaps…

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