Simon Carr:

Simon Carr: He's betting on tax cuts, but my money is on yet another war

Sketch: Balls is putting all his chips on red and letting the wheel spin. It's not casino banking but casino politics

Related Topics

The conference warriors continue to curdle the blood of their listeners. "The Coalition has declared war on working people," one said. We are "witnessing an unrelenting attack on our futures", warned another. A 16-year-old declared confidently that "the welfare state is being ripped apart by a vicious right-wing government".

What are they going to say when there really is a right-wing government and public spending is cut back to 25 per cent of GDP (the maximum it should be, in the view of that vicious old fascist Lord Keynes).

Ed Balls told us the Tories were tearing out the foundations of the economy. It made him pale with anger. He just hates to see Tories enjoying themselves.

He gave us his five-point plan. It's tax cuts. And iron discipline in spending. But "don't let anyone tell you we were profligate with public money".

Confused? Yes, because Labour always used to say tax cuts "took money out of the economy".

However there will be tax rises as well, to pay for jobs. They may not all be for strategic outreach co-ordinators as before, but they will probably vote Labour.

Oh, and "tough fiscal rules" (as they worked so well last time) overseen by the Office of Budget Responsibility (which he derides for getting everything of importance wrong).

Maybe he's wrong and maybe he isn't. The one thing that is certain is that he cannot know whether he's telling the truth. Remember those experts in 1981 who became nitwits overnight when Geoffrey Howe turned out to be right? Balls is putting all his chips on red and letting the wheel spin. It's not casino banking but casino politics.

Oh, for steady, sensible Alistair Darling as shadow Chancellor! He was bang on the money when he said it would be the worst recession for 60 years. Even as Gordon was saying – on data supplied by Ed Balls – it would last six months.

Balls told us sadly but sternly that we had to learn the lessons of the past or be condemned to repeat it. One lesson we might remember is that a monetary collapse leads to raving nationalism and thence to war. If the euro collapses I'm putting a fiver on Tony Blair leading us into one last battle – on the Plain of Megiddo against an enemy yet to be determined.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron's 'compassionate conservatism' is now lying on its back  

Tory modernisation has failed under David Cameron

Michael Dugher
Russian President Vladimir Putin 'hits his foes where it hurts'  

Dominic Raab: If Western politicians’ vested interests protect Putin, take punishment out of their hands

Dominic Raab
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform