The good news for the Labour Party is that they've got themselves a new, combative, economically literate shadow Chancellor, a man who was put on God's good green earth to make George Osborne's life intolerable. "Attack Dog" is a terrible cliché, but it fits Balls's bull mastiff-like demeanour. He will pursue his mission with all the monomaniacal zeal that his mentor, Gordon Brown, brought to the task of harrying the confidence out of successive Tory chancellors in the 1990s.
They had the big stories, but where were the big laughs?
Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson dramatically quit the Labour front bench tonight 'for personal reasons to do with my family'.
The Monday Interview: Did Alan Johnson really need a primer on economics when he was made Shadow Chancellor? The 'best leader Labour never had' reveals the truth to Christina Patterson
Oh, all right. I wouldn't have got it either. Sad but true: if you had asked me what the national debt was, I wouldn't have been able to give you a figure. If you asked me the difference between that and the budget deficit, I probably wouldn't get it either. Thank goodness it's not part of my job.
George Osborne received a double helping of good news yesterday: better-than-expected figures on the strength of the recovery and an upgrade from the credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor.
Outlook One small part of the spending review that the shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, chose not to address in his response was Mr Osborne's announcement of a £1.5bn compensation settlement for victims of the Equitable Life injustice. No wonder: the Chancellor was quite right to accuse his Labour predecessors in Government of "dithering" in their response to a series of reports from the Parliamentary Ombudsman, calling for redress for those who lost out as a result of the failure to properly regulate Equitable. Moreover, on the face of it, the offer made to Equitable victims looks to be a decent one.
Alan Johnson condemns the cuts as an ideologically driven assault on the state and based on a series of economic myths
As George Osborne puts the final touches to this Wednesday's Comprehensive Spending Review, Matt Chorley and Brian Brady reveal how much pain the big departments face.
Yet many big departments are still in talks over scale of cuts
The new Labour leader's choice of Alan Johnson as shadow Chancellor is a signal of economic intent, says Andrew Grice
Alan Johnson was appointed to the key role of shadow chancellor in Ed Miliband's first shadow cabinet today.
A scheme to protect women from domestic abuse by removing violent partners from the family home is being scrapped by the Government as part of its drive to cut public spending.
The Home Secretary yesterday read the last rites for Tony Blair's flagship policy for dealing with noisy neighbours, drunk teenagers, fly-tippers, graffiti artists and vandals.
If politics is showbusiness for ugly people, these beauties feel entitled to go the whole hog when it comes to regressing
The Home Secretary confirmed yesterday that directly elected police commissioners will take charge of police forces in England and Wales two years. Announcing what she called "the most radical reforms to policing in at least 50 years", Theresa May also announced the formation of a National Crime Agency.