Little Dave has come in for quite a bit of stick in blogland, largely thanks to his own blogging efforts, but this strikes me as a decidedly sensible choice – not least because, in person at least, he’s an impressive public speaker.
He’s also (and more importantly) got a nice European background (grandparents being Polish Jewish, and his decidedly respectable father born in Brussels, fleeing the Nazis in 1940), plus has studied in the United States – so should have a decent chance to balance the tricky transatlantic divide. This has been the major stumbling block for pretty much every Foreign Secretary since the late 1950s, and no one (bar possibly Robin Cook) has quite got the balance right yet – least of all Beckett.
Admittedly, Miliband’s made little progress in sorting out the mess at Defra caused by his predecessor (again, Margaret Beckett)’s disgraceful mishandling of CAP payments, but his short time as Environment Secretary will, at least, have given him some direct insight into the workings of the EU.
Plus, most importantly, there’s going to be no John Reid. Huzzah!
Update (11:08am): I may have spoken too soon – apparently Hazel Blears is meeting with Brown now… Come on, Gordon – don’t give her a job… please?
Oh, and this pictoral guide to the Cabinet from the BBC looks to be useful and all – handy comparison of Blair’s and Brown’s.