A short trip over the hill tonight to Denton Labour Club for a Q & A session with Ed Balls, organised by Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gywnne.
Around 100 people filled the room at the club including a variety of Tameside and Stockport Labour Councillor’s along with many of the Labour political tweeps from across Tameside.
A quite good introductory speech from Ed Balls, covering a range of subjects, including comments on the budget, the fib dems, the effect of the budget on public services.
The speech covered some of the areas where it was felt mistakes had been made, the need for continued campaigning, and some fairly direct comments on the likes of Frank Fields who was viewed as not being part of the labour movement Ed belong to.
What there wasn’t in the introduction (which to be honest went on a little to long) was enough details on how he would change things if he becomes leader, with in particular (and I would have asked a question about it if I got the chance) how the party nationally could better support marginal seats in campaigning.
The questions came next with again a good mix of subjects being raised but possible the questions were a little too long to fit in the many that folk wanted to ask with the answers being good but again a little on the long side.
There were however a few useful points raised in the answers including the comment on the new proportional representation referendum being timed by the Lib Dems to take people’s focus off the damage to local services being done by their cuts, and welcome news from my point of view with Ed’s support for Northern Rock to be returned to a building society, and his opposition to proportional representation (at least as likely to be put forward in the referendum).
All in all, whilst a good performance it wasn’t enough to quash my existing view on Ed Ball’s, but it may well push him up the list as a possible 2 or 3 preference, which may well be more important than who you put at the top of the list.