That Balls speech in full

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls pleased his comrades with a rousing speech today, deflecting blame for Britain's economic crisis upon the Tories

Ed Balls spoke today at the Labour Party Conference
Adrian Moss
On 1 October 2012 15:30

Conference, friends, comrades, Ed.

I remember meeting Gordon Brown once. At a bus stop in Crouch End. I got his autograph. At least I think it was him. I’m afraid I’m not sure I’d recognise him to be honest.

But hey, do you know, it’s great coming home to Manchester, Manchester, the city of my birth! But it’s also sad. Sad to see such a great shipbuilding town like this one brought to its knees by the Tories and their depraved economic policies. (Wait for applause)

At the age of 15, as a humble stonemason’s apprentice, I used to stand in the Kop just down the road from here, watching the incomparable Osgood, Bonetti, and Eusebio and the rest of that great Villa team of the 1970s, and I remember thinking why it was that Classical Post-Endogenous Growth Theory mattered and why me and millions of disadvantaged people like me would see it as a way out of poverty.

And now we’ve turned full circle. The posh, public school-educated elite have destroyed the hopes and dreams of so many downtrodden folks, and, unlike us, they have never held down proper jobs; none of them!

Cameron? Osborne? Gove? They’ve never worked 12 hour shifts doing the lead flushing on building sites like Harriet used to. (Wait for applause)

They’ve never risked life and limb down the South Yorkshire mines like Chuka did, and they’ve never skippered a fishing trawler in the mountainous seas off Iceland like Chris Bryant used to. (Wait for applause)

They know nothing.

And they’re deceitful.

They try to blame us for the state of the economy! Us! We, who so carefully acted as dutiful caretakers of the public finances until the rich bankers and their Ponzi-scheme global thievery brought penury to us all.

We, who carefully accounted for every penny, who presented such openness in the public finances.

We, who never spent more than we earnt, who were the very essence of good housekeeping.

We, who left such a golden inheritance to the spiteful and wasteful coalition.

Blaming us! When we all know, when the whole country knows, that a big boy did it and ran away.

As you know I spent all my formative political years in DeFRA, a long, long way from the Treasury and its workings during the previous Labour Governments. And yet, whilst coming to shadow Osborne and this great department without me actually having any previous association with it has been a challenge, it’s a challenge that I readily and happily accept. To serve. To serve you. To serve the people. To serve my country.

(Wait for applause – make sure microphone is off - mutter under breath ‘And to help myself’ and then wave madly at the press gallery)

Adrian Moss is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator and a screenwriter

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