In the interests of impartiality, (I know, I know, Ladbrokes have stopped taking bets on my succession to Ban Ki-Moon), I have tried to look dispassionately at the Shadow Chancellor’s pledge to raise the top tax rate to 50p if/when Labour retrieve the keys to No’s 10 and 11 Downing Street. This notably coincided with the announcement last week of a record drop in unemployment. Firstly, like the majority of those in a position of power in any political party, (step forward, Dave, Ed and Nick-but only if your wife says so, Nick), he has minimal – make that miniscule-experience of working in a job that has actually produced anything, employed people and had the all too real maxim of not reaching targets meaning not having a job because there isn’t the money to pay the wages. Speaking of there being no money, he was of the same political team who on leaving power left a note mockingly telling their successors, “There is no money left”. Your parents must be so proud of you boys. When he did work in the Treasury with his chieftain, Mr Brown, he was mindful of the power of the City and the need to be seen to be supporting it and its wealth generators. Hence keeping the tax rate at 40p until a last desperate ‘up the workers’ throw of the dice before the general election. He insisted yesterday that he wasn’t anti-enterprise although the letter in Sunday’s Daily Telegraph signed by the likes of my uncle Ian, (of the ‘Sir’ variety, CEO Kingfisher) and other business leaders, does beg to differ. These people do employ massive workforces and do strive to meet and surpass targets – because it generates wealth- yes, for them, (and no doubt they will have fantastic holidays, a penthouse and a permanent table at Le Caprice), but also for the broader labour force, (note the lower case ‘L”). They are vehement in their dismay at Labour’s seemingly ex post facto step. What also concerns me as an alumnus of Fairwater Comprehensive is that Mr Balls is a former Harvard Kennedy Scholar (Economics). What ever colour one’s political flag one has to admire the intellect that attained such a high level of academic achievement. So what happened? He got it horribly wrong the first time; has he learnt nothing from his former misguided endeavours?
Finally, continuing my quest to alter my post code from NP44 to NY 10017, (look it up), I have to admit that on a purely personal basis, man to man, he has a face that I just want to smack with a scaffold plank.