On the night of 7 May 2015, Ed Balls thought there was a chance he would wake up the next morning as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Instead he woke up without a job.
For two decades he had occupied a central position within Labour, rising from adviser to Cabinet Minister during the years in power and Shadow Chancellor in Opposition. Throughout one of the most tumultuous periods in recent British history, he made a point of speaking out, whatever the consequences. But on that May morning, he was silenced.
Speaking Out is a record of a life in politics but also much more. It is about how power can be used for good and the lessons to be learned when things go wrong. It is about the mechanics of Westminster and of government. It is about facing up to your fears and misgivings and tackling your limitations - on stages public and private.
It is about the mistakes made, change delivered and personalities encountered over the course of two decades at the front line of British politics. It is a unique window into a rarely seen world. Most importantly, it explains what politics is about and why it matters.
©2016 Ed Balls (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
Normally like books narrated by he writer but for me Ed's voice actually spoiled it. May try it as a book sometime but have returned the audiobook.
Ed Balls shares some of his insight and experiences at the top of politics with admirable reflection of what failed as well as succeeded. The section on managing privacy for the family was fascinating and issues around his and others' stammers were moving and informative too. The most useful chapters were where politics combines with the economy and which should lead which. The fact Ed Balls gives the narration dramatically improves the impact and emphasis on his thoughts and lessons for the future. Balls has lectured at Harvard since losing his seat in 2015 and through this audiobook we get an impressively reflective lecture on a wide range of material that poses as many questions as it answers, but is no worse for that.
The honesty and way Ed is capable of reflection and awareness of mistakes is refreshing. I am so gad he narrates it himself. If you are interested in politics of any colour or interested in current affairs this is a must listen. I wish so much he was leading Labour not Corbyn!
Retired Psychologist Love reading/audiobooks, travelling, animals Favourite saying The fact that you believe something does not make it true
This seems like a very interesting book, but I'm now at chapter 11 and will have to return the audiobook and read it instead. Ed Balls has done extremely well in overcoming his speech impediment. Unfortunately, although it would not be a problem at all in Parliament, an after dinner speech etc, it is something of an issue in reading a long audiobook. The breathing exercises etc that he uses makes the resulting speech too staccato for me to be able to listen to for a long length of time without distraction.
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