Ed Balls is a pathological ideologue in a post-ideological political age. Whilst the rump of Blair's New Labour and the Cameroons shuffle uncomfortably together on the crowded middle ground, one look at Balls tells you he would rather that Labour went down with red banners flying in a raft of legislation that would force the Nirvana of socialism onto the reluctant nation. As ruthless as any Stalinist functionary, truly Brown's Lavrenti Beria, Balls would have little conscience about slaughtering the first-born of the UK if the Fabian Society produced evidence that this would advance the cause of socialism. As with Islamic fanatics, he sees the imposition of socialism on we kuffirs as a Jihad or holy struggle; the end justifies the means. "So what?" at the pain; the end justifies the means. His present frustration with Brown's vacillation is palpable. Labour have a majority in Parliament and nothing to lose. Like Beria, Balls would no doubt declare "Let our enemies know that anyone who attempts to raise a hand against the will of our people, against the will of the party of Kier Hardy, will be mercilessly crushed and destroyed".
Balls is not alone in the Labour party. To many of the comrades, Blair's New Labour was always supposed to be a Trojan horse, a means only to obtaining a Parliamentary majority. They're still waiting for the belly of the horse to spring open and the red battalions to spring out and do battle with the post-ideologues. Make no mistake; Balls is a central Statist even more radical and more ruthless than Brown. The reason the tsunami of cash that flooded the poor has failed to create equality of wealth is not that it was not enough (as Brown thinks) but that the State had insufficient control over people's lives to impose it. Anything that encourages meritocracy and individualism is to be crushed; quotas will replace equality of opportunity, and it's not enough that that the less-able are advantaged, the more-able must be disadvantaged if they are not to accumulate more wealth than others.
Well, we'll soon see if Brown reshuffles his cabinet. Will he, in a last desperate fling, cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of socialism from the belly of the Trojan horse, or will he let Labour go down, perhaps for ever, not with an ideological last stand but with a whimper?