David Parkin on Labour’s Ed-ache and sunny Cyprus

IT’S said that two heads are better than one.

In Labour’s case it doesn’t look like two Eds are better than one.

The Eds on the opposition benches of the House of Commons – Miliband and Balls – currently can’t seem to lay a glove on the Prime Minister and Chancellor.

Given the continued languishing of the economy and the limitations that austerity places on any really serious tax cuts or injections of public spending, you’d think the opposition might be making hay as the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition crumbles.

It didn’t look like that during this year’s Budget.

Despite almost choking on a glass of water, Chancellor George Osborne looked confident and in control at the despatch box and even managed to come up with a few new initiatives to support hard-pressed businesses and consumers.

And that appeared to reduce the two Eds to schoolboy sniping from across the Chamber, enough to get Balls chided by the Deputy Speaker for his panto-like approach.

Both carry the baggage from their senior roles in the last Government, whose cavalier attitude to public finance helped dump us deeply in this economic mess.

It looks like the public haven’t yet forgiven them. And their childlike antics suggest there is still plenty of growing up to do, as well as facing up to the realities of the past, rather than trying to blame others for the present.

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“DON’T go anywhere near Trinity Leeds, it’s chaos up there, packed with people,” a colleague warned me yesterday.

The city’s new shopping centre opened without a star-studded ceremony but still drew the crowds. The accompanying photo by talented Harrogate-based photographer Giles Rocholl is a great illustration of the interest in the launch of the biggest retail development in Europe this year.

Whilst celebrating a shot in the arm to the Leeds economy, should we be a little sad that shopping appears to be the new religion?

Not really. Twas ever thus. I remember more than 20 years ago when I was doing work experience at Radio Leeds, one of their headlines was about traffic jams on the M62 when IKEA opened.

Now, a bit like then, I plan to wait for a week or so, before going anywhere near it.

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I HEARD an advert on the radio yesterday encouraging listeners to choose a Mediterranean island as a holiday destination.

The slogan, sung by a sultry female, was: “Cyprus: It’s in your heart.”

And presumably not in your wallet. Snow in spring in Yorkshire doesn’t sound so bad any more.

Have a nice weekend.