Commentary – Coalition 2, Labour 0

The departure of Alan Johnson in sad personal circumstances has done little to help the credibility of the official opposition.

Ed Miliband’s credibility was already strained after his decision to give the now disgraced Phil Woolas a shadow ministerial position and by his appointment of Johnson as Shadow Chancellor, a man who was clearly struggling to master his brief however able he was in other ways.

The lack of talent means that Balls was in some ways the obvious replacement. Even if he is on the thug wing of the Labour Party and can thus shake the Coalition tree a bit harder, he brings baggage.

He is a ‘deficit denier’, preferring the cosy route of printing money over closing the gap through fiscal stringency. This is the road first of all to dramatically higher interest rates (not least to the government itself) and ultimately of a serious dose of inflation.

Worse still, though, he can be credited with the lax banking deregulation system that brought this country to its knees.

Would anyone want this man in charge of our economy again? I think not.

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