WE were summoned to Marchmont Street for 9.15 yesterday morning to see Ed Balls speaking live. But as the clock ticked towards 9.20, 9.25 there was no sign of the Education Secretary. Then on a TV set on the wall of the community association’s main hall where the rolling BBC News channel had been chirruping away, up popped his face above a caption… Ed Balls Live From Westminster.
The two-timer. There we were, a room full of people expecting to see him in the flesh, and he’s on a plasma almost willfully mocking us from a TV studio in the neighbouring borough. The old ”the minister will be here in two minutes” line wasn’t going to work this time. There was even time for a bacon sandwich adjournment in a nearby cafe.
Truth is, the higher they go, the busier they get, the later they arrive, the less time they have, the more they have to memorise and maybe, just maybe the weaker their punches. We’ll see.
To his credit, Balls must have ripped of his clip mic and beetled across town. He hit King’s Cross at about 10am and gave us a one to one interview – a fair deal for his tardiness? – which will left plenty of questions for Camden’s education department to think about.