The White House and the Reshuffle
Tony Benn was on BBC 1 just before the Andy Marr show. He said this must be “the first reshuffle conducted by an American President”. The BBC interviewer (a non-entity I didn’t recognize) tried to dismiss this with a derisory: “Let’s get back to the main issue if we can?” Anthony Howard, to his credit, said he agreed with Benn, that Straw had been moved for being “a bit too independent”, and that Beckett was appointed because Blair believes he can control her. (To a large extent Blair conducts his own foreign policy anyway). Of course, Benn is exaggerating when he says that Bush conducted the reshuffle, but it is quite plausible that Bush’s displeasure was one factor in Straw’s demotion and this is yet further evidence (if any were needed) of Blair's servility to White House.