Mr Balls, who will face the Chancellor for a Budget-related statement in the Commons for the first time, said: "This isn't about trade union leaders – this is about dinner ladies and teaching assistants and people in local government who feel as though they've worked hard for 30 years and suddenly are being stung at a late stage in their career – predominantly low-paid women. I have huge sympathy with them.Maybe he's not such a bad guy after all ...
"The unions still need to give some ground, but I think what the Government is trying to impose is both unfair and very risky.
"I don't think anybody wants a strike next Wednesday... But, despite the best efforts of civil servants and negotiators and maybe some ministers, it's pretty clear that, at the most senior level, the Government's been determined to have a confrontation."
27 November 2011
Quote of the day
Ed "Crybaby" Balls, in The Independent (here):