Johnson resignation brings promotion for Ed “blinky” Balls.
The news of Alan Johnson’s resignation probably came as a shock for most of us, including the media and front line Labour politicians, this morning both The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail, reveal that Johnson’s wife has had an alleged affair with the former Home Secretary’s close protection officer Paul Rice. Detective Constable Rice has currently been employed to protect the new Home Secretary Theresa May who was out of the country yesterday, and it is reported that he has been made the subject of enquiry by the Metropolitan Police Directorate of Professional Standards, which investigates complaints about conduct.
A Metropolitan Police statement said only that “certain matters regarding a constable were referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards”, adding “we are not in a position to discuss this matter any further”.
The messy outcome of the problems in Johnson’s personal life have been nothing short of a disaster for Labour’s new Leader Ed Miliband for a number of reasons, he has lost the “balance” in his Shadow Cabinet where Johnson was seen as the moderating communicator, even though his grasp of economic affairs appeared to be tenuous, the resulting promotion of Ed Balls to Shadow Chancellor brings back a man who was deliberately overlooked as Miliband tried to put some distance between himself and the outgoing Labour administration, the quick reshuffle of portfolios gave additional strength to the cohorts of Brown supporters, Miliband will also be seen as handing a communications “gift” to David Cameron and George Osborne who will gleefully spend months reiterating that Balls was one of the principle architects of Labour’s spend and burn economy.
All of a sudden the news agenda has shifted away from David Cameron and his difficulties with the NHS and the care of severely disabled children and on to the two “Edded” hybrid which is charged with running the Opposition, Tories will make great play of the failed ambitions of Ed Balls to win the Labour Leadership election and of the weakness of Ed Miliband in having his hand forced in appointing a new Shadow Chancellor. With new appointments for “wee” Dougie Alexander, Ball’s wife Yvette Cooper, Tessa Jowell and Liam Byrne (the man who admitted they’d spent all of the money) his team becomes almost a replica of Labour’s last Cabinet, there appear to be only two missing, Gordon Brown and South Shields MP David Miliband. This will not be lost on the coalition government who will point out the lack of new ideas and direction within the Labour Party, they are also likely to allude to the comparisons with Brown and Blair’s fractious relationship and try to develop the wedge that separates Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’ driving obsessions on economic policy.
Additionally this morning former Prime Minister Tony Blair is back in front of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war where he will attempt to tell bits of the truth, the edited truth and nothing harmful to himself about the truth.
Oh yes the boys are definitely back in town today, spelling a total communications disaster for Miliband Minor as events and circumstance move totally outside of his control.
Of course they may be some truth in the old adage that it’s better to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer!
Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, haven’t much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy
ps – Did anyone else notice last night, just after the news of Ed Balls’ appointment that Sarah Brown sent a Tweet out from Gordon about economic policy? I guess he couldn’t manage to do it himself then and didn’t want to muddy the waters by making a press statement.