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April 13, 2010

Ed Balls told me Sure Start was a reason to vote Labour

Filed under: Featured — andrewchilvers @ 3:30 pm

I was chatting with Ed Balls yesterday (yes, really), quizzing him about children’s services, and how he intended to make a better world for people in Britain. Above all, I told him I was a wavering voter (probably not true) and what could he say to help make up my mind to vote labour.

The Sure Start programme will make a difference to thousands of lives, he said. Bringing children and parents together in preschool communities, sharing ideas and helping each other.

I know Sure Start will make a difference to the 3,000-odd people involved, but let’s face it that’s a very small population. Most preschools and nurseries rely on charity and donations to exist, people who work there often work for peanuts, or nothing.

The local authority tends to overlook such institutions when it comes to funding, yet Ofsted is keen to ensure that standards are maintained for the country’s tots. So ironically these places are not funded, but they need funds to meet Ofsted regulations. People who work there are not paid, but need to go on paid courses to work there.

What, Mr Balls, are you doing about that?!! Sure Start is small potatoes in comparison to most preschools and nurseries around the UK.

It was at that point that my new friend Ed decided not to continue with the discussion. You see as I would probably never get chance to chat face to face with Ed Balls, I decided to collar him on Twitter (he’s famous for his evangelistic tweets).

Yes, Twitter.

Once upon a time politicians spoke AT you at mass rallies, cosied up to handpicked audiences in TV studios, and answered letters and more recently emails (if you’re lucky). With the advent of social media they now answer to you on Twitter if they want your vote (and if they’re savvy enough to understand the medium).

Funny, it’s amazing how Ed Balls can still come across as smug, lofty and self important in just a few characters, but that’s politics for you.

But it also illustrates how everyone should start engaging in social media to help transform the world around them. People still scoff at me when I tell them to get a Twitter account. To all those naysayers, if you want to chat with Ed you know where to go.

Below are several reasons why they should sign up.



  1. I met him in the flesh a couple of weeks ago and he is *exactly* like that in real life! My daughter was very taken with him, despite us having gone there on purpose to take him to task over the home education parts of the CSF Bill

    Comment by Sarah — April 13, 2010 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

    • Sarah

      Interesting he’s like that in the flesh. He sent me a message saying he enjoyed my blog but disagreed over Sure Start. I suddenly had a lot more respect for him. Making the effort to talk to people makes a difference.

      Comment by andrewchilvers — April 15, 2010 @ 8:40 am | Reply

  2. oops, brain ran ahead of me there, meant to say, he was very charming in a smarmy sort of way and made silly noises which is a sure fire way to win the approval of a 7 yr old!

    Comment by Sarah — April 13, 2010 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

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