I recently went to an IOD event where Ed Balls was scheduled to talk about the Alternative Fiscal Strategy that Labour would have implemented had they been in power during the recession. Now, to say I was cynical prior to the event would be an understatement. How quickly we could forget the 'prudent' economic policies of Mr Brown, that proved to be anything but 'prudent'. How quickly we could forget the fact that the Financial Services Authority was responsible for governing the financial services industry, and was a government run body, and who wholly failed in any meaningful regulation whatsoever. So, it would be safe to say that Mr Balls was on the back foot as far as I was concerned. How surprised I was then that, having listened to him speak for a very short period, I warmed to him quite considerably. Perhaps it was because he wasn't speaking about politics. Apparently, Ed Balls has a stammer and for that reason he is a major supporter of www.stammering.org . He discussed the impact of a stammer, specifically in the work place and then in an interview situation. It got me thinking about how much more difficult the interview process would be if you had the compounded problems of meeting new people, having to answer unexpected questions and perhaps being in a situation where you either really need, or really want the job. Surely all of these factors have a major impact on the occurrence of a stammer. It certainly struck a chord with me, being in recruitment, that perhaps we don't make enough allowances for people with stammers. I wouldn't suggest for one minute that we'd discriminate but how much do we actively support people with stammers? There's loads of advice on the website for employers and as an employees - if you work with someone who has a stammer or are involved in recruiting then please take a further look. If you're in any doubt - watch this video. http://youtu.be/Xj4UYZNHtxY Mr Balls has quite clearly managed to keep his stammer under control. He will frequently be speaking in front of large crowds of people and frequently, I imagine, be put in situations where he will not know what people are going to ask him. So, well done Ed, and well done for supporting www.stammering.org.