Tony Blair

You are the youngest British prime minister this century, so it is difficult to criticise the way you have planned your career. Anyone who captures the number one job in the country certainly knows how to scale the careers ladder.

In order to reach your post you first had to become leader of the Labour Party. This was no mean feat considering the wide spectrum of political hues under its roof. You did this, and then managed to mould the party in your own image, simultaneously rendering it controllable and electable. You went on to achieve a huge majority, thereby giving yourself the leeway to embark on the huge reforms that you coveted.

But leader of the opposition and prime minister are totally different jobs. At first you appeared born to the task. You were an instant statesman respected across the world and by the people that elected you. But the honeymoon had to end. And it has.

Although you still have unprecedentedly high approval ratings, the press seems to have turned on you. It is time to take stock. What are your career options, and what are your aims?

Remaining prime minister is always a difficult task. Do you reign in your long-term plans in order to please the country in the short term? Should you start spending chancellor Gordon Brown’s mythical war chest in an effort to curry favour in time for next year’s election? Or should you stick to your long-term plans, pay off the country’s debts and start spending when the Treasury can truly afford it?

Of course you could always trade the prestige of your present job for the undoubted financial bounty that you could plunder in the London City. If you took that route, you might even earn as much as your wife.

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career, history