I once attended a charity function at Portcullis House and found myself enmeshed with Labour MPs - who were all really nice and caring people for whom I have the greatest respect. The subject of Ed Balls came up. They all turned green and I think would have used the term "toxic" had it been in the conversational lexicon in the moment.
Ed Balls is like Gordon Brown. Unlikeable, aggressive and toxic - but suited to climb within a political party filled with luuvies.
In a strange way Ed Balls is Ed Milliband's secret weapon. When he fails to make an impact on the economy - and he will fail because there will be a huge shock to the EU and US economy that is upon us as a result of his policies of high debt - then Ed can very publicly sack him knowing full well Ed Balls has absolutely NO support on the back benches. Ed Milliband will be cheered privately when he publicly sticks the knife into Ed Balls. It will mark the end of an era of toxic spinning started by Blair and Campbell. It will be a cathartic moment and a new start. Once out of power Ed Balls is nothing. His political climbing skills will make him an outcast with all the nice Labour back bench MPs. Ed Milliband really is the alter ego that Gordon tried to portray but never was. Ed Balls is Gordons toxic heart that we all need anaesthetic to deal with.
Robin Sharp commenting on Jerry Hayes' piece for Dale & Co.