After the first full day of the Labour conference, the assembled punditry may have disagreed on many things, but those at the Mail were sending out a message of rare and clear unity: they are frightened crapless of the prospect of a majority Labour Government, and clearly believe that prospect is real. This is, as so often, not admitted directly, but by their assault on one favourite hate figure.
Biased? What the f***'s it to you, c***?!?
And that figure, to no surprise at all, is shadow chancellor “Auguste” Balls, who as any fule kno is A Very Bad Person because, well, he’s combative, knows too much for his own good (translation: more than the hacks), and also, and most crucially, Gordon Brown. Yes, the worst thing about Balls is that he once advised Pa Broon. This is a heinous and unforgiveable act.
So it is that the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has ordered his motley rabble to perform a variety of hatchet jobs on Balls, headed by the preposterously puffed-up Simon Heffer, who is so incensed that the shadow chancellor is permitted to address conference without his prior approval that he talks of the speech in terms of its perceived degrees of offensiveness (this from a Marine le Pen fan).
The Hefferlump froths about borrowing during the Labour years, but manages not to notice that the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet, is managing to borrow an awful lot more than at any time Balls was advising Pa Broon. Otherwise he sniffs at Balls’ “intellectual dishonesty” (which means he doesn’t understand economics) and “hypocrisy” (obligatory buzzword).
Heffer is backed up by lame Tory spinner Nick Wood, another one who blames the financial crisis solely on Pa Broon and those around him. He also asks if his fellow Tories have “anyone who can take [Balls] out”. Ordering a hit job, are we? But even Dacre himself, the voice of “Daily Mail Comment” is getting in on the attack, asserting that two and a half years after the event, it’s all his fault. Still.
And the attack is completed by the serially dishonest and odiously righteous Quentin Letts (let’s not), who is ready with a Mafia smear. Here was more guilt by association: yes, the gestures at the podium meant that Balls was really Brown all over again. Not only that, Quent had to suffer delegates using greetings such as “comrades” and people from Denton and Reddish. Oh, high tirribly valgah!
There was “menace”! And “splurging”! Balls sported a “harsh parting”! Mil the Younger somehow became a “professor” (word in your shell-like, Quent: the humour ain’t making it). There was naked ambition! Pow! Zap! Dull! As Sir Sean almost said, I think we got the point. The formation freestyle Olympian ranting display by the Mail was intended to do down the shadow chancellor. But it has revealed just one thing.
And that is that Dacre thinks Labour will win next time round. And he’s frightened.