"Which was the more offensive aspect of Ed Balls’s speech to the Labour conference yesterday: his intellectually dishonest prescription for curing the woes of the British economy, or his hypocritical refusal to acknowledge his part in causing them?
Mr Balls had – or claimed he had – a masterplan for growth. The State stands to make £3billion to £4billion when the rights to operate the fourth generation of mobile phone services are auctioned, and Mr Balls promised to use the money to build 100,000 affordable homes and give first-time buyers a stamp duty holiday.
This promise typified the hypocrisy of Mr Balls’s speech. He wouldn’t, in all probability, become Chancellor until long after the proceeds from the 4G sale have been deployed by George Osborne.
.....The bitter irony is that, privately, Labour insiders say Messrs Miliband and Balls recognise the need to be ‘disciplined’ about spending should they win power. They cannot say this now, apparently, because it would run counter to their hollow but relentless argument that the Coalition’s so-called austerity policies are far too severe."