Friday, 21 January 2011

Alan Johnson resigns as shadow chancellor

This man is out...

Alan Johnson: Resigned for personal reasons

And this man is in...

Ed Balls: Smug frog

Opinions vary as to why Johnson resigned. Guido Fawkes is reporting that a person close to Ed Balls maneuvered him out by threatening to reveal that Johnson had an affair with a civil servant. Meanwhile the Daily Mail prefers the saucier: Mrs Johnson had an affair with their police protection officer.

Laura Johnson: Shagged a copper?

A third theory, preferred by this blog, is that Alan Johnson, having finally finished his copy of Economics for Dummies realised the job was too hard for him so quit. He seems to have no head for figures at all. In a recent TV interview he claimed that employer's national insurance contributions were 20% of salary (actually 12.8% rising to 13.8% in April.) In another interview he appeared to have no knowledge of the scale of the current budget deficit. In fact he seems to have got through his political career by carefully memorising half a side of briefing notes written by his civil servants and regurgitating it in tones of great gravitas during interviews.

Ironically Johnson claimed recently that his elevation to high office proved that you didn't need a First in PPE from Oxford to run the country. He may have been right, but you do at least need to understand the concept of percentages.

So Labour are well  rid.

In comes Ed Balls. His prior claims to fame include expensing a visit to a Bilderberg conference in Canada when the rules state clearly that all participants must attend in a private capacity, shouting, "So what?", at "Dave" Cameron when told that New Labour raised taxes to the highest level ever, and flipping a few houses.

However one cannot deny Balls knows his onions. He used to be Ed Millipede's boss at HM Treasury. He's a stronger character than the rubber-faced Labour leader and, although widely disliked for being too smug, he's likely to call the shots at Labour's top table. His arrival shows up the mistake Milliband made in appointing Johnson in the first place.

So call this the first nail in Ed Milliband's coffin.

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