|Ed Balls reacts to the Brent North motion (not really!)|
Locally this has emerged in a motion tabled by Labour veteran Colin Adams at Brent North Labour Constituency Party General Meeting last Thursday.
The motion claimed that Balls' approach is 'hardly designed to win over any of our potential voters who may be wavering, as it send a message that there is not much to choose between the main parties in their approach to austerity and its impact on the welfare state.'
I couldn't have put it better myself.
This is the full text as tabled:
Brent North CLP is extremely concerned that the Coalition government`s cuts to public sector spending are causing huge damage to the fabric of the welfare state. The Coalition parties have shown that their policies are not governed by economic necessity but by ideology. They are committed to shrinking the role of the state and allowing public services to be taken over by the market. In Brent, as in other councils, impossible decisions about which services should be prioritised for cuts are being forced upon local politicians.Labour must go into the upcoming election with policies that show clear differences with the Coalition parties, otherwise there is a grave danger we will not win an overall majority. In particular we need to show that we are prepared to fund local services adequately.We were thus dismayed at the recent statement by the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, that the election of a Labour government would not necessarily lead to an easing of the pressure on public services. This approach is hardly designed to win over any of our potential voters who may be wavering, as it sends a message that there is not much to choose between the main parties in their approach to austerity and its impact on the welfare state. It is electorally damaging to say we are going to stick with the existing government`s spending plans.We call on the Labour leadership to rethink this strategy and state that, upon the election of a Labour government, a new budget will be drawn up for immediate implementation with the aim of reflating the economy and protecting public services.