He notes that immigration and welfare were issues where Labour lost touch, but stresses especially how Labour seemed to voters to fail to understand how views about fairness underpinned those grievances.
We had people saying 'we work hard, and pay our taxes, but there are people who live near us, and are not working, and get more, where is the fairness in that?'
"In marginal seats people have been saying 'you have lost touch with us, you are not our side, you are not in it for us' and we have to understand why they are saying that."
This leads Balls to note the importance of "progressive universalism" - particularly in linking those on middle incomes to redistribution strategies.
"We are now the progressive party of British politics. But you can't assume we maintain that mantle by default.
"It wasn't enough in the general election to say to people don't vote Conservative and it wasn't enough to say to people the Conservatives will put jobs at risk and take away your tax credits. We didn't in the end have enough answers to why we were the on-your-side party for lower and middle income Britain. In some areas that means recalibrating policy."
There are strong resonances in this argument with the Fabian Society's research in the Solidarity Society and research into public attitudes on fairness.
The Balls intervention perhaps highlights how there may be a range of different political responses to arguments about how and why part of Labour's electoral defeat was that it struggled with middle income, and particularly C2 voters, over issues like crime, welfare and immigration.
The Guardian report also has a final blow for the draft Yvette campaign, with the Junction 39 Costa Coffee pact:
"The couple had been discussing the matter in recent weeks, mainly in the queue for a double espresso at the Costa Coffee outlet at the motorway service station at Junction 39 on the M1 during trips between London and their Yorkshire constituencies. The Costa Coffee Agreement, as Balls is not calling his understanding with his wife, is a very pale version of the so-called Granita pact between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. "We didn't go to a restaurant, there wasn't some summit, we didn't have an agenda. I said this is what I thought and Yvette said this is what I think. That is the right way to do it."