The Tories last night selected Andrea Jenkyns as their candidate to face Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood:
“She has spent over fifteen years in senior management working for multi-national companies, including a stint as International Business Development Manager for an executive management training company”
Her bog-standard candidate CV then takes a turn for the surreal:
“She is also a semi-professional singer, having owned her own record label and recording studio alongside periods as Music Tutor and Musical Director at two Performing Arts Academies.”
Cue weird Kate Bush-esque music video:
The Scrapbook team couldn’t help but be reminded of this:
Unsurprisingly, Cameron’s script for today’s PMQs contained lines on Ed Ball’s anaemic performancein response to the autumn statement:
“I’m surprised the shadow chancellor is shouting again. We learnt last week, like bullies all over the world, he can dish it out but he can’t take it”
The session seemed to show Balls back to his usual robust form, however, leaning towards the dispatch box to wave IFS analysis – showing that working families would be worse off thanks to Osborne — in the prime ministers face. Hi namesake was at it too, with Cameron clearly distracted by interruptions from Ed Miliband:
“I think the leader of the opposition is catching the disease from the shadow chancellor of not being able to keep his mouth shut for five seconds”
Having been accused of diving during a football match with journalists, it seems that Ed Balls will gain more plaudits from hacks playing the piano than playing than playing sport. The shadow chancellor — who passed his grade one piano exam three months ago — was challenged to entertain the media area of Labour conference by by LBC Radio.
The often heated debate on the form that an inquiry into banking practices should take was broken up today by an impromptu display of affection — as Ed Balls blew Kisses across the chamber to Thatcher lookalike Anna Soubry.
Scrapbook wonders what Yvette Cooper will make of the encounter.
It appears that Treasury spinners may have told BBC producers that Danny Alexander would not debate with Ed Balls on Newsnight. With his department stewarding the economy back into recession, Alexander did not engage directly with the shadow chancellor late yesterday — despite being one of the most senior figures in the government with an annual salary of £134,565.
In bizarre scenes, Balls and Alexander were sat opposite each other but never exchanged blows, with the segment split into two seperate interviews with Kirsty Wark.
Danny: if you can’t stand the heat then get back to the Cairngorms National Park press office.
David Cameron is presumably now regretting telling Angela Eagle “Calm down, dear” during heated exchanges on the NHS. Her shadow treasury team colleague Ed Balls was certainly not impressed, repeatedly calling upon the prime minister to apologise.
In a transparent attempt to “win back the wimmin”, Cameron then claimed that Tory MP Sarah Wollaston was a future Commons speaker.
“I have to say to the honourable lady she is a lot better at getting them to shut up than I am. A future speaker in the making.”
Number 10 are attempting to spin this as a ”humorous remark”.
Scrapbook is always hearing how the music and comedy scenes in Britain are so much better when the Tories are in power. Despite this, the current number one single in Britain is Simon Cowell’s newest characterless throwaway singing doll and the current biggest selling stand up DVD is, er, John Bishop. Whether this bucking of the trend is down to the New Politics of Coalition™ is hard to say.
We at Scrapbook Towers have, however, noticed a strange occurrence: a coalition of political music and comedy – reflecting circumstance perhaps? Here are ten that caught our eye this year, chronologically:
The Hayek vs Keynes rap: An epic seven and a half minute rap battle between the two economist heraldeds most by the left and right respectively. The longest and most well-produced of all the list, and a sure contender for the best.
Lord Ashcroft, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? A rare musical effort from the internet satirist Beau Bo D’Or, whose works usually comes in poster form. This song tackles the subject of Lord Ashcroft’s funding of the Tories election campaign. Beau Bo Dor sadly stopped blogging this year.
The Ed Balls Rap: There aren’t all that many political funk songs flying around (‘Funky President’ by James Brown being an exception) but that’s exactly what The Solar Dogs went for when they wrote this stirring endorsement for the Ed Balls leadership campaign. If you know who the people are who refer to Balls as “sex on legs”, please do get in touch.
I Read Some Marx (And I Liked It): Seemingly filmed in an American college dorm (British translation: student accommodation), with little more than a handheld camera, a Katy Perry CD and a copy of Das Kapital, this is probably the most lo-fi song to make our list. It also has, in the form of that bloke in the cap who can’t rap, the most punchable person on our list.
How To Pick Between Milibands: The debate may still rage on as to whether this song swung it for Ed, but this reworking of Rage Against The Machine’s reworking of Cypress Hill’s ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man’ is fondly remembered by Scrapbook for the hours spent trying to think of Miliband related hip-hop puns. A must listen.
Liar Liar: Now that the Christmas number one has been decided (and with ‘Liar Liar’ coming an admirable 81 places off top spot), let’s be frank about this song. It was crap. Like, properly rubbish. It felt contrived, like the songwriters had gathered together a focus group of Guardian readers and asked what they would like from a charity single. Now, feel free to guilt people into buying charity singles because the charities deserve it, but please don’t pretend the song is any good. Take note of Bob Geldof’s focus on the “Give us yer fuckin’ money” hard sell and “Look at all these celebrities we’ve got” soft sell rather than producing anything of artistic worth.
U Can’t Cut This: Another parody, this time of MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This’, was the work of students from University of the Arts, protesting against the Government’s cuts to higher education. Worth watching alone for the rapper’s wonderful “Hammer Dance”.
The Ground Zero Mosque Songs: This entry is actually two songs, arguing whether a Muslim cultural centre should be built in Manhattan or not. They manage to epitomise both sides of the argument through cringey American earnestness. The first is a foot-stompin’, hair-rasin’, darn-tootin’ conservative country song which accuses them Muslims of “thumbing their noses” at 9/11 victims while the second is an angry liberal, eloquent white boy putting the world to rights through his webcam. Verdict: White boy wins. But he looks like a dull, humourless man.
The Wikileaks Rap: Another brash, well-produced geek rap (political hack-rap?) in a similar vein to Keynes vs Hayek. This is well worth the six-minute length for the satirical imitations of Rumsfeld, O’Reilly and Julian Assange before an actual real cameo appearance by Assange himself!
Cameron’s Twelve Days of Christmas: Very funny in parts, and the animation is pleasing, but the singing is like listening to a dying kitten wail as it realises the Government has cut all funding to the industry that produces balls of twine.
It’s been doing the rounds for 24 hours now but this video of Ed Balls on the drums with guitarist David Evans makes for strangely compelling viewing. Growing in confidence throughout the rendition of “A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness, after the minute mark Balls starts showing off with drum rolls and a switch to the ride cymbal: