Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Ed Balls in conversation with Steve Richards: The highlights

Yesterday our political columnist interviewed Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in the wake of his conference speech. Here are the key lines:

OBR: Balls wants Labour's manifesto to be checked over by the Office for Budget Responsibility, a move presumably added spice to by the recent briefing from the Tory party that there was a £27bn hole in Labour's projected finances.

Government spending: Asked by Richards whether he overdid the Keynsian message, calling for spending in recession,  Balls replied: "in 2010, I thought if you don't make what you think is the right argument you are letting people down."

Balls's argument is that it consistent for him to call for an increase in government spending during a recession, and to say that you have to avoid having government debt go out of control once the economy starts to grow, and that both arguments are consistent with Keynes.

HS2: Balls says Labour supported HS2 but over time the costs have gone up and up and questions are being asked. You can read our summary of the implications of Ball's comments on HS2 here.

Help to Buy: The Shadow Chancellor says the idea of helping young people onto the housing ladder is the right one. But he adds that if you stimulate demand without increasing supply you only add to the problem of rising house prices.

Nick Clegg: Balls says if he stood up and reeled off a policy for free school meals without saying how it would be paid for, he would get slated. Nick Clegg got away with just that, claims Balls.

Thanks once more to the RSA group, who sponsored yesterday's interview.

React Now

Read Next
 

Letter from the Assistant Editor: Domestic violence is no petty matter

Siobhan Norton
 

There’s nothing wrong with GM

Steve Connor
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried