For those of you who are not regular readers of this blog, let me declare my bias and my political views – I’m very much a conservative. However, rather unusually, I tended to prefer Ed Balls on economic policy than George Osborne – Balls at least got his economic training at Harvard; meanwhile, Osborne has no formal economic training and very little work experience outside politics – his background being the privileged son of a baronet.
My second level of bias concerns Mary Riddell. For me she is a pompous journalist, who tends to start with her end point or political message and then seeks out related evidence that is loosely concatenated. A particular feature of her writing is that there is frequently no linkage between succeeding sentences.
My third area of bias is rather different. I admire the Fabian Society and often learn from its publications.
Turning to the Riddell piece on McDonnell, I’m sure that her biased start point was that ‘John McDonnell is having a laugh!’ – after all, didn’t he respond to Osborne’s budget speech by producing Mao’s Little Red Book?
The article has some insightful quotes from McDonnell but in her usual form Riddell concatenates them without logical connexion.
For me, the shame is that Ed Balls has left politics and returned to Harvard as a fellow. McDonnell is a light-weight on economics but probably no more than George Osborne. The worry is that shadowy political forces determine economic policy, on all sides.
But in spite of my many caveats, the interview makes interesting reading!