Coffee House

Cameron versus Balls

2 November 2011

The real clash at PMQs today was between Ed Balls’ heckling and David Cameron’s temper. Balls was in a particularly chirpy mood. He started off his impression of an Australian slip
fielder as soon as the Prime Minister arrived at the despatch box. The flat lining gesture made an early appearance, along with his signals telling Cameron to calm down.
But the moment when Balls seemed to really get under Cameron’s skin was when he pointed at the overwhelmingly male Treasury bench as Cameron talked about the importance of getting more women
on boards. Two questions later, Cameron responded to a Balls’ heckle by saying that ‘the shadow Chancellor is wrong, even when he’s sitting down.’
This rebuke only spurred Balls on to even greater efforts. Cameron finished his praise of free schools by saying that ‘When a future shadow Chancellor attends one of these schools,
he’ll learn some manners.’ This, obviously, led to Balls raising the volume.
The final question of the session came from Sir Peter Tapsell, who has been appointed to the Privy Council on Cameron’s recommendation, who praised coalition economic policy and derided
Balls’ ‘increasingly maniacal gesture’. At this point, the volume in the Chamber rose and Balls started making all of his gestures at once. Cameron, just about keeping a lid on his
temper, attacked Balls’ ‘questionable salutes.’
But I’ll bet you, Balls will be back next week — louder than ever before. Boorish it may be, but he’s determined to make the PM lose his rag and will know just how close he came
to doing that today.

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Show comments
  • Halcyondaze

    Here’s an idea: why don’t you put your energies into sorting out the terrible mess we’re in? And that’s addressed to the whole lot of the absolute shower that walk “the corridors of power”. We the public are getting absolutely sick of watching you fiddle while England burns.

  • JohnBUK

    May I point out (just in case) that Dr Williams doesn’t speak for me – or at least I don’t think he does?

  • Paddy

    The whole of the Labour front bench are a disgrace.

    Do they think we can’t see them gesticulating during PMQs.

    Balls and Miliband have surrounded themselves with these young ‘things’ who are clueless. Who is the new shadow treasury minister Rachael something or other….who has a strange sounding voice, just like Miliband.

    She won’t last long once Balls starts his bullying.

    Where are all the old labourites.

    Are they too embarrassed to turn up.


    How dare Labour be so beastly as to behave like a real opposition. Why can’t they be more like Nicey Nicey Cameron was from 2006 -2010.

    And Balls will be Balls just as it would seem that Black Country boys will always be Black Country boys.

  • michael

    Decline’s Guru, speechless in the face of economic ‘slowly but steadily coming about’, resorts to yaboo-ing…Presumably wishing that the little wife had been left minding the squat outside St. P’s.

  • Scotty

    Balls is the best thing that the tories could have in order to gain public sympathy – he is just so unnatural, even MilliE is more likeable although just even stranger.
    Neither of them are viable leaders of a government but do help keep the gov on their toes.

  • Peter L. Griffiths

    The best way to improve employment in the private sector would be to treat labour as an allowable input for VAT purposes.

  • Tiberius

    But, Widmerpool, it’s a very close call whether she is actually worse than him. I just can’t get past the look of her hair.

  • Widmerpool

    I feel really sorry for Yvette Cooper if she has to put up with this “teenager” over the dinner table. Maybe that’s why she looks so glum in the Commons sometimes- who knows?

  • laurence

    @Raflles: well said.
    Balls is a waste of space, air and time. Broon’s not so little helper ought to follow his erstwhile master into political obscurity. Take his wife too.

  • Fatbloke on tour


    How long did John Moore last at the top strata of British politics?
    I fear Dave the Rave is built from the same timber.

  • Tron

    The real story from PMQ’s was Cameron saying the nutty Archbishop “speaks for the whole country” when in fact he speaks for the Socialist Workers Party.

  • TrevorsDen

    I thought the House of Commons had a speaker…

  • Rosie

    @Liz Brown – Which doctor would you condemn to examine Ed Balls? – a witch doctor, perhaps?

  • Ralph

    What Balls and to some respect Miliband fail to realise is that games played at PMQs are rarely noticed outside the bubble, unlike how odd the two Eds are.

  • Tiberius

    Just as cream eventually rises to the top, so sh*t will eventually fall into the sewer. Watch out for rats on the way down, Boy Ed.

  • Liz Brown

    I found Ball’s facial gestures most worrying and wonder whether he has some nervous affliction? A doctor’s opinion should be sought immediately

  • Simon Stephenson.

    I suppose it will be 50 years before we will be willing to look back and count the cost to us all of the lost opportunities caused by having a behavioural teenager as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Pity, becuae if we were able to understand this now, and accept what is happening, we could perhaps do something about it and save ourselves the grief.

  • Sir Everard Digby

    FvH and Jayu – and this has what to do with governing the country exactly? There are many pressing issues which need resolution and the nation’s situation is far from good. In those circumstances I would expect the ‘honourable’ gentlemen to behave with a little gravitas.

    Balls continues to demonstrate the failings of cronyism. He is not a ‘bruiser’ he is a coward. No more no less. Much of the nation lost patience with his antics a long time ago. Cameron is rapidly joining that group. It will continueto grow.

    They can play handbags at 10 paces in their own time. Do not encourage them.They are not worth the effort.

    I wonder why PMQs continues as it now seems to consist of various tax-payer subsidised idiots playing to the gallery.

  • Raffles

    Ed Balls is one heck of a weasel. The fact that he is widely loathed by those who sit in the shadow cabinet with him tells you as much. Ignore the little runt.

  • JohnPage

    Where is the Speaker in all this?

  • Jayu

    Balls certainly seems to have a firm grasp of Cameron’s. It is amusing to watch. Cameron knows he shouldn’t rise to but can not stop himself. Balls knows this is the case so plays it for all its worth.

  • FvH

    Cameron flapping and waffling badly today – if he can’t deal with no hopers like Ed M and Balls then he really is in trouble

  • wrinkled weasel

    James, try not to be swept up in the melee and the schoolboy catcalling. I was very impressed when Alistair Darling asked a question about the Greek/EU crisis. The house was quiet and respectful. Darling asked a very important question and Cameron acknowledged this.

    Balls is just a bruiser. Nobody actually likes him which means that he has no future. He has gone as far as he ever will, and when a new Labour leader is appointed, as for sure there will be one before the next election, Balls will not be a player.

  • oldtimer

    For once I watched the first twenty minutes or so. It was a waste of time.

  • Pete

    Balls will lose the next election for Labour.

    Keep up the good work Ed.

  • Robert Eve

    Balls is Balls.

  • telemachus’

    Ed Balls is a superstar

    Let us hail him

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