Balls by name ...
On the Today programme this morning, Secretary of State for schools, (and would-be chancellor), Ed Balls was defending the government's refusal to carry out a spending review, claiming that although they cannot say how much Labour will spend on schools it will be an increase, and although we don't know how much Labour will spend on schools the Conservatives will spend less.
Balls based this allegation on the fact that Michael Gove had refused to match one of his empty promises for extra spending - appparently it did not occur to this self-styled financial genius that perhaps, unlike the government, Gove was too responsible to promise to spend money which neither Labour or the Tories know they actually have to spend.
Balls also suggested that the reason he could afford to spend more money on schools is that Britain is recovering from recession faster than anticipated.
Shortly afterwards when I arrived at the building where I was working today, the first thing I saw was a big TV screen in the foyer with the news of the official statistics for growth or rather lack of them.
And far from showing that the economy is recovering faster than expected, national income for the first quarter of this year had
1) dropped, not recovered
2) dropped by more than expected, so the position is worse than expected, not better
3) dropped by the largest quarterly amount in around 50 years.
In other words, Balls is not just the name of the school's secretary, it an accurate description of what he was talking on the radio this morning.
Only in this Labour government could the fact that a Chancellor with Alistair Darling's track record successfully defended his job have saved the country from someone much worse.