Ed Balls, is calling for relatively hefty spending increases elsewhere. Apparently, Balls has asked the Treasury to grant his department – the Department for Children, Schools and Families – real-terms spending increases of 1.4 percent until 2014. That's an extra £2.6 billion in total – and goes beyond previous Labour commitments to "protect" schools spending.
It's a brassy move by Balls and one which is sure to aggravate his colleagues. After all, remember when Labour called Cameron "Mr 10 percent" because the Tory decision to protect health spending implied 20* percent cuts to other budgets? Well, according to the FT, Balls's impromptu request would mean 12 percent cuts for other departments - rising to 20 percent if Labour also protects health spending.
And why is he doing this?
In the end, it's hard not to see this as leadership positioning on Balls's part. Deep down, he must know it's unlikely that he'll get the chance to spend the 2011-2014 schools budget anyway – so this is mostly about striding the post-election landscape as The Man Who Saved Schools From Cuts (until the nasty Tories got in).
Isn't this just the most damning indictment of modern politics? Playing games with the ruined finances of the entire country to "position" yourself for party leadership in 2013 or whatever. And wouldn't it be typical of the uncritical media to let him get away with this shit, too?
This man represents the worst of venal self-interest that is the hallmark of politicians through the ages -- and they are especially fucking unloveable today.
I hope you get face cancer and die a miserable painful death long before you get the chance to "stride the post-election landscape", you unspeakable fuckface.
*I guess this is a typo and should be 10 percent.