Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TUC 2012: Ed Balls speaks to Congress

Shadow Labour Chancellor Ed Balls addressed Congress followed by a Q&A.

He was introduced as the man according to David Cameron who is "the most annoying person in British Politics".

Ed started off well by taking the mick out of himself over that title. He then talked about how there is an economic alternative to the Coalition policies, there always has been.

He spelt out the Labour Party 5 point plan. While is all good stuff, I don't think you can really call it an alternative policy to getting us out of recession. He admitted that he understood that the unions cannot just wait for the return of a Labour Government but warned that the Tories are desperate for the unions to go on strike because they will then have someone to blame for the stalled recovery.

"Unlike Nick Clegg we will not make spending promises that we don't know we can deliver. We need credibility with the public". He argued that protecting jobs is more important than pay rises.  

"We need radical Banking reform. It was not too many teachers and health workers that caused Lehman Brothers to bust in New York" He finished by saying that the unions should never stop offering "strong advice" to him and the shadow cabinet (no chance of that) and that "the Labour Party must win back the trust of working people".

During the speech he had a little bit of heckling but was given some more stick during the Q&A. He agreed with Vince Cable that lack of demand was the biggest problem facing the economy but the government does nothing about it. Picture is of Liz Cameron from UNISON asking him the question (to loud cheers) why when she as a public sector worker has had a pay freeze for 3 years at then same time that inflation has increased by 12 % - he won't support a pay rise?

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