Transcript of Ed’s interview on The World at One


Speakers         Ed Balls

Shaun Ley

SL:                  Are you, in light of what John Mann said, in more than listening mode?

EB:                  Well I think up here in Yorkshire we know that we have got to tackle the cost of living crisis, we’ve got to have proper controls on immigration, we’ve got to have reform in Europe, we’ve got to show we have the policies and also the determination to turn things round ..

SL: He says you haven’t got the policies and they haven’t been communicated to the voters and that is why Labour has suffered so badly against a party like Ukip?

EB: Well look I don’t think John is right about the lack of policy. We have set out very clear policies to freeze energy bills, to crackdown on zero-hours contracts, to control agency workers from …

SL: So why hasn’t that cut through to the voters? You should be showing a much stronger lead now if you are going to be in sight of winning?

EB: Well, all of us, Ed Miliband, me, even John Mann have got to get out there and show Labour voters we have got the policies to make a difference …

SL: You accept you are not far enough ahead?

EB: Of course I do. And I agree with John Curtice’s description of where we are. I am not going to dispute it like Tim Farron. The reality is this was a catastrophic night for the Lib Dems, it was a very bad night for the Tories, but it is not good enough yet for Labour. We have got more to do if we are going to really win the argument. What people have said by voting Ukip – and John’s right, the European elections is an opportunity for people to say we want change and often you see, like then Greens in ’89 …

SL: But what about these local elections?

EB: But let me make the point Shaun, if you don’t mind. People were voting on the same day in the European elections and in the local elections. There is a big vote for Ukip saying we want change. And what people are saying is the Conservatives have collapsed and the Liberal Democrats cannot deliver that change. Therefore, the status quo, whether that is on Europe or on immigration or on the economy, Labour has got more to do to show that we can deliver the real fair change that people which to see. Ukip say they are a change party, but their policies of course don’t bear scrutiny. We’ve got the policies and we have got to win the argument.

SL: John Mann says the strategy is being run by pointy heads in London?

EB: Come on Shaun, let’s not play silly games, John Mann is a southerner as far we’re are concerned up here in Yorkshire. What John Mann has got to do …

SL: I think you just offended quite a lot of people in Nottinghamshire …

EB: I grew up in Nottingham and I was very proud to grow up in the East Midlands. The fact is what we have all got to do, Ed Miliband and me and people like John Mann is get the shoulder to the wheel and get out there and win – on the basis of the policies that we have got – the trust of the British people. And I am saying to you we have got more to do to get that message out. John wasn’t saying to you different policies he wants, because actually we have got policies which I think can win …

SL: And will he get them before the conference in September? There are questions about whether your policy detail is sufficient enough for people to have confidence in what a Labour government would do?

EB: I don’t think that is where we are to be honest. I think we have got more policy detail than any opposition has had at this stage of a Parliament. We have got to show people though that we understand their concerns about immigration and will have tough controls, we understand people’s worries about the cost of living and we’ve got policies and we have to do something like that. And we have got to show people who at the moment feel that politics is not delivering for them, that we are going to knuckle down. And knuckling down means me and Ed Miliband and John Mann on the same side, going out there together and winning the argument. I’m up for that and I hope John is too.

SL: I hope Ed Miliband is up for that too, for your sake …

EB: He absolutely is.


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Posted May 23rd, 2014 by Ed's team

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