Some readers may have already seen this at Socialist Unity. Ed Balls will not get my first or second preference vote for a number of reasons, but I do think he's done the best job of all the candidates of savaging the Tories and their economic illiteracy. For this reason alone he will be very useful on Labour's front bench when the contest is over. The might be useful for Labour members to keep in mind when the elections to the shadow cabinet take place.
Ed Balls speaking The new Tory-Lib Dem government is fond of saying that there is ‘no alternative’ to their austerity programme of cuts to public services, attacks on our welfare state and unfair VAT rise. They say it is unavoidable.
But I believe they are wrong. And what Labour needs right now is strong and confident leadership to say loud and clear: there is an alternative.
Today’s growth figures show Labour’s policies to support the economy were working. But all the evidence shows that George Osborne’s emergency budget is having the opposite effect – undermining jobs and growth and risking a double-risk recession.
That’s what I set out in my speech this morning. You can read it on my website here: http://action.edballs4labour.org/alternativespeech
This will be the most important issue of the next few years. If we are to win the next election we have to win the argument with Cameron, Osborne and Clegg on the economy. And we have to challenge their view that cutting the deficit at all costs is the most urgent priority in Britain. It isn’t – the most urgent priority must be securing the recovery and boosting jobs and growth.
So we need a leader who has the experience, judgement and credibility to win the economic argument. But the whole party from the leader down to every activist, union member and councillor needs to be part of this task too.
I hope my speech will give you the key arguments to start winning this debate in your community too: http://action.edballs4labour.org/alternativespeech
But there is not just an alternative on the economy. I believe there is an alternative in this leadership election too. Some would have you believe this leadership election was over before it ever really began. And the media have been claiming for weeks that it’s a two-horse race.
Ed Balls and a pensioner knitting Not a single vote has been cast and over the next few days and weeks I will be holding events around the country to meet party and union members. I hope you will get the chance to come along – find out where I will be on my website here: http://action.edballs4labour.org/events
Many party and trade union members have said after my meetings that they are changing their minds and voting for me as their first preference. Over the last few weeks a number of MPs who nominated other candidates have decided to give their first preference vote to me instead.
And I’m pleased to have won the support of people from across our movement, including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and the Communication Workers Union.
If you’d like to support my campaign too then please let me know by filling in the form here: http://action.edballs4labour.org/support
I’m fighting to win – to show there is a credible and radical alternative to the ConDems on the economy and a credible and radical alternative in this leadership election.
P.S. You can read Ken Livingstone’s letter on why he is giving me his first preference vote at http://action.edballs4labour.org/kenletter and you can see a video of my Q&A at Demos last night here: http://action.edballs4labour.org/demos