Archives for November 2013

Ed Has Balls

I have just listened to a short video recording of Ed Balls talking to Sheila Fogarty on BBC Radio 5 Live about how stammering impacted on his life. Now I am fully aware that he and I are from somewhat different backgrounds however I must say that the guy has shown some real bottle to achieve what he has. I think that he should be a real inspiration to other people that have a stammer.

I can certainly relate to a lot of what he said however he is certainly a bigger man than what I ever was. To choose a career in politics knowing that his speech would be scrutinised is quite incredible. Comparing that to my approach below will enable you to realise why I think he was far braver. Yes I did eventually battle to overcome my demons and to achieve fluency but that was more out of desperation than anything else.

I was a person that decided to leave school at sixteen. This decision was made for one reason – due to the speech impediment. I was a person that hated school with a passion and yes I am fully aware of how strong the word “hate” is.

Why did I “hate” school so much? It was not due to any form of dislike for education but more because I wanted to get away from the seemingly constant “mickey taking”. I was a child that quickly matured, certainly at a far quicker rate than my fellow class “so called” mates.

I then had to think about obtaining a job and here again the speech played a major role in deciding what I thought I could and could not do. In fact my speech and my lack of fluency dictated virtually every decision I ever made including for example what I would order in a restaurant and a bar. I may have wanted a “bottle of bud” however I would order a “pint of Carling” as I found “b” words hard to say.

Therefore for Ed to choose politics as a career just shows how much “balls” the man has. So the next time you hear him stammer instead of thinking any less of him and instead of chuckling just take a moment to think – and to think just how remarkable the guy is. Are you as remarkable? Are you as brave?

Are you brave?

Now this is not in any way about politics. Just because I think Ed is a true inspiration does not mean that I will be voting for his party at the next General Election. The decision on which party I vote for will be made in the usual way. This is simply a post to highlight the character of the man etc.

Where I let my speech impediment have a major say and impact in the life decisions that I made Ed Balls seemingly did not and for this I say FAIR PLAY TO YOU SIR!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at