The London Shuffle


Blair, at right, moved Straw from the Foreign Office

At our best when we're boldest," used to be Tony Blair's catchphrase. He'd better hope it's true after a brutal Cabinet shakeup in the wake of multiple scandals and poor local-election results. Blair's top scalps included John Prescott, who remained his deputy but lost his departmental responsibilities, and Home Secretary Charles Clarke. But why did Blair demote Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to a job running the House of Commons? Perhaps Straw's efforts to cozy up to Blair's likely successor Gordon Brown rankled, but he's generally considered an effective minister with excellent relations in Washington and European capitals. His replacement is Margaret...

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