Thursday, January 20

Ed Balls attacks Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist utopian fantasy



Ed Balls has warned that Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist utopian fantasy will not return the Labour Party to government.

The former shadow chancellor made the criticism within an analysis of Labour’s 2015 election campaign, which he described as astonishingly dysfunctional.

Refusing to listen to the electorate has never been a winning formula, any more than Jeremy Corbyn thinking the volume of the cheering from your core supporters is a reliable guide to wider public opinion, he said.Caution will not win the day; but nor will Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist utopian fantasy, devoid of connection to the reality of people’s lives.

In his memoir, Speaking Out, which is being serialised in The Times, Mr Balls reveals that he and Ed Miliband barely spoke during the 2015 election campaign, and speaks of his shock on being told that Mr Miliband had accidentally left out key passages on immigration and reducing the deficit from his final party conference speech.

The omissions were a symbol of Labour not being willing to face up to the problems the country was worried about, and proof that we were trying to brush difficult issues under the carpet. We weren’t ready  and didn’t deserve  to return to government. It was incredibly frustrating, he said.

Having kept me at a distance in the run-up to the election in 2015, I think we probably only spoke twice in the whole four-week election campaign. That was astonishingly dysfunctional when I compare it to how Tony and Gordon worked.

Mr Balls, who is appearing in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, said Mr Miliband was prepared for every outcome at the 2015 general election, with his lines to take having been prepared for Labour victory, Labour minority government, but not for outright defeat.