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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2017

Non-fiction review - Speaking Out

Ed Balls: 'Speaking Out' for capitalism

Ed Balls - Speaking Out

Ed Balls - Speaking Out   (Click to enlarge)

Derek McMillan, Brighton Socialist Party

Ed Balls has a conversational style of writing which makes this book easy to read. However his view that there is nothing wrong with capitalism will not make him any friends in the workers' movement.

He elicits sympathy for his battle against his stammer. His view that anyone who disagrees with him is a communist will probably elicit less sympathy.

He criticises the Oxford Labour Club for discussing whether to have a hammer and sickle on its banner, and complains they rejected his openly pro-capitalist stance.

The book seems to be more significant for its omissions than for its content. It gives some interesting and amusing anecdotes from the point of view of one of Gordon Brown's henchmen.

But it glosses over the role of New Labour in turning the Labour Party from one promoting peace and public ownership into one promoting war and privatisation.

The Blairites wanted Labour and Tories to be as different as 'left Twix' and 'right Twix'.

He talks of his and Brown's "distress" and "disquiet" over Iraq. He fails to explain why they did damn all to publicly oppose Blair's bloodlust and subservience to George W Bush.

As shadow education secretary he developed a useful skill. Every teachers' organisation in the country was opposed to Sats and academies. Balls managed to (metaphorically) stick chewing gum in his ears every time they spoke to him.

He coined the phrase "every child matters" - except the children of Iraq and Afghanistan, who were bombed from a great height. Clearly they did not matter.

Balls's sycophantic grovelling before the royal family is disgusting. He talks about the privilege of meeting the queen, the richest tax dodger in the land. He also expresses his (probably unique) view that Prince Charles's ventures into politics were of any use whatsoever.

Stick to the dancing, Balls. As Craig Revel Horwood might say, "New Labour was a disaster, dahling."

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In The Socialist 25 January 2017:


What we think

Millions on women's marches around the world: Build a mass movement against Trumpism, austerity and capitalism


NHS under attack

NHS SOS: Save the Women's Hospital

Defiant mood at North Tyneside STP consultation

Lancashire: Hospital workers protest consultation

St Austell: STPs attacked

Paignton: organising against hospital closure


Socialist Party news and analysis

Reject Surrey's 15% council tax increase

Bristol police taser own race relations adviser

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Trident trouble

Isle of Wight independents resign over cuts

Come to the TUSC national conference 2017!


International socialist news and analysis

Huge anger internationally on marches against Trump

India: struggle against land grab in Pune

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

RMT determinedly continues Southern strike

Incensed BA cabin crew strike and protest over pay

Steely opposition growing to Tata pension offer

2017 Unite general secretary and executive elections


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Don't we need competition to spur on progress?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Huge anger against Trump across Britain

Surrey: Save our fire station

South London: march to save community centres

Obituary: Bernard Roome 1947-2017


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Ed Balls: 'Speaking Out' for capitalism

The Socialist inbox


 

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