by RAY FLEMING
THE only really new thing that came out of Tony Blair's press conference yesterday morning was his statement that he had discussed shortly after the last election Jack Straw's surprise move from the Foreign Office to be Leader of the House of Commons. Mr Blair may be right to say that Mr Straw will be the best person to tackle the “really, really difficult” job of House of Lords reform, but some will not believe his statement that differences over Iran were not a factor in Mr Straw's move. It is always worth looking carefully at the words Mr Blair uses. He talked about “invading” Iran and said the idea was nonsense, but did not refer to aerial or missile strikes. Again, he said that a “nuclear strike” aganst Iran would be absurd but did not mention the use of conventional weapons. On the central issue of when Mr Blair will quit his office, the assembled media put questions from every conceivable angle but all got the same basic reply: “I will ensure a stable and orderly transition”, coupled with a refusal to name a date in advance. To do that, he said, would “simply paralyse the proper working of government”. The prime minister will probably have had a tougher time at the Parliamentary Party meeting last night than at his press conference. Many MPs will want to tell him it is actually his refusal to name a date that is “paralysing government”.