Daily Archives: February 19, 2011

Jim Pickard

Sorry for the blogging hiatus; I spent Thursday on a train up to Stoke-on-Trent and back with Ed Balls (who said political journalism wasn’t glamorous?): The results of the interview are here (Balls warns King on Bank credibility) and here (Remember voters’ aspirations, warns Balls).

One of the best lines that ended up on the cutting floor was the shadow chancellor denying that he was a bully:

“If I was five foot one people wouldn’t call me a bruiser, unfortunately in politics if you are male and a bit heavy, a broad frame, you always get a bit of that,” he says. “I’m the opposite of somebody who throws things around the room.”

In the meantime I’ve been struck by two comments about the economy, both by senior members of the cabinet, in the last two days.

The first is Ken Clarke in today’s FT, admitting that he is “very pessimistic” about the short term economic outlook – although naturally the justice secretary believes in the deficit reduction programme.

I’m very pessimistic aobut the immediate outlook for the economy. I think we are going to be bouncing along for a bit…I am not expecting a quick bounce back.”

That looks like a deviation from the official script. Read more