The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon. Edward "Ed" Balls is a strange man. He, it is said, cries during Antiques Roadshow. Perhaps he should be more upset when he contemplates the political and economic legacy that Labour has bequeathed to the nation. Despite this slightly bizarre tendency towards the lachrymose, his reputation is uncompromising, even brutal.
Not just his reputation.
His latest journey into folie de grandeur is his invitation to Liberal Democrats- without, of course, their leader, Nick Clegg- to leave the coalition and join with Labour.
This would be the same Ed Balls who dismissed the Liberal Democrat negotiation team in 2010 with words of one syllable.
I think the response of the Liberal Democrats to his- hardly self-interested- invitation will be more or less the same words that he gave to David Laws in May 2010.
Just so all Labourites know, it was Ed Balls who told the Liberal Democrats that they should support a coalition with the Conservatives. It was Ed Balls who told us that there was no way that Labour would or could work with the Liberal Democrats in the national interest. It was Ed Balls who ensured that Labour would go into opposition.
As far as the Liberal Democrats are concerned, Ed Balls should stay in opposition indefinitely.