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By Tim Montgomerie
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Paul has already done a fine job of explaining the importance of George Osborne's determination to link Ed Balls to the economic failure of the Brown years.

Ed Balls was at Brown's right hand from the very beginning as his principal economic adviser.

Balls was there when Labour designed the failed tripartite system.

Balls was there when Brown raised taxes one hundred times.

Balls was there when the deficit was allowed to grow during good times – the very opposite advice of the Keynesian creed he supposedly follows.

Balls was there when Brown kept insisting that he'd abolished boom and bust.

Balls was also inside Brown's kitchen cabinet when Damian McBride was practising his dark arts.

It was perfectly legitimate last week when the Chancellor suggested that the man who wants his job had questions to answer about Labour's involvement in the Libor scandal. It may be that those questions will be answered with a clean bill of health for Ed Balls and Labour ministers. Time will tell. It's certainly too early for people like Andrea Leadsom and Lord Lamont to know for sure.

In the meantime all Tories should pause for thought. Labour would be united if the tables were turned. They'd be blackening the Tory brand for a decade if we'd left the country in the mess that they did. There are questions about George Osborne's competitiveness agenda but he's 100% right about going after Ed Balls. If that man ever got his hands on the Treasury levers again I can't bear to contemplate the consequences for our country.

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