Sep 9 2012
The Liberal Democrats should join forces with Labour to pressurise the Tories to adopt a Plan B to re-invigorate the economy, Ed Balls said as he sought to woo Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The shadow chancellor said he could start work with Mr Cable immediately to kick-start the economy with a capital spending programme but ruled out Labour forming a future alliance with the party's current leader Nick Clegg.
Mr Balls insisted he wanted an outright win for Labour in 2015 but said that in the meantime his party should be working with the Lib Dems as he sought to undermine the coalition ahead of the party conference season.
Speaking to Andrew Marr on the BBC, Mr Balls said: "I wish George Osborne would see Vince Cable as a man to do business with and listen to, rather than telling the newspapers he is putting his allies in (to the Business department) to try and surround him and hold him back.
"Vince should be listened to on banking reform and on the economy. I could work with Vince. I would like the Liberal Democrats to say right now that this coalition has failed and we're going to change course."
Asked whether he thought the junior coalition party was more closely allied to Labour thinking, he said: "I think that is true of many Liberal Democrats but I don't think that is true of Nick Clegg, whose instincts are clearly much closer to David Cameron and George Osborne.
"I am not somebody who thinking to myself I want a coalition for the future. I want a Labour majority government elected in 2015.
"But right now I want decent people who put the country first and are sensible in their thinking to come together and do the right thing and stop undermining the long-term future of our economy and businesses. I think Vince is one of those people. I could work with him today."
Mr Balls also used the interview to attack the leadership of Prime Minister, who he accused of "treating women badly" - a reference to the way Mr Cameron apparently sacked Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan in last week's cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Balls added: "This idea that good politics is somehow butch or macho, the Cameron view, what a load of nonsense. People don't get to where they get to by shouting loudly and throwing their weight around. It's all in the end about judgment and making the right calls."