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The question Prime minister


Press speculation has been rife this week over the future of prime minister Tony Blair.

Who would you like to see running the country?

Anyone as long as they are not a politician or an (ex) editor of a national newspaper. I think it was Jeremy Paxman who said that anyone wanting to become a politician should automatically be banned from doing so because they must be a megalomaniac.

Brian Rousell, 32, construction support team, Sussex The list of prospective candidates for this job is long and colourful.

Greg Dyke perhaps, or Ian Hislop. I hear Piers Morgan is flicking through the situations vacant as we speak. But for real spice, great energy and enormous imagination I would like Billy Connolly, Paul Merton or David Brent from The Office. Of course, having said this, top of my list would be NCE's editor Antony Oliver.

John Dadson, 53, television journalist, Cambridge There is no doubt that our leader should be a small grey pebble.

Only such an inanimate and inoffensive object could avoid making any of the gaffs that are blown out of proportion by our hysterical media.

Mat Toy, 39, principal engineer, south east England If it was not so serious I might suggest Clare Short for plain speaking but it has got to be Michael Howard. He is the only serious contender to get Britain back on an even keel.

John Park, 55, senior engineer, Glasgow We need a charismatic leader who understands things, makes friends in all the right places and is a person you can believe in and follow. Hey ho, that's present political leadership counted out. Tell you what, my wife is nifty at organising things and she's available right now.

Dudley Swain, 57, performance manager, Exeter Almost anyone so long as they stand up to George Bush.

Kenneth Brown, 31, structural engineer, Edinburgh The Norwegian prime minister.

Norway does not expect to have problems with pensions. Like the UK and unlike most of Europe, Norway receives an enormous source of wealth from North Sea Oil. It then sets 7% of the income aside to meet future pension needs. If only we, with the same monies and the proceeds of privatisation, had shown the same foresight. Norway also opposed joining George Bush's war, while approving of the fight against terrorism. Sounds good to me.

Mike Dommett, 47, engineer, London Purely for comedy value, I suggest Boris 'Have I got news for you' Johnson as prime minister and Paul Merton for deputy prime minister.

David Lavin, 31, engineer, Cardiff My vote goes for former England cricket captain Mike Brearley. He was and still is a very clever man.

He was not a great cricketer but a superb leader who was respected by all and who always got the very best from the resources and players he had available. He didn't do spin - he did honesty. He was the one who bought Ian Botham back from the brink and motivated him and the rest of the team to produce some awesome displays in the summer of 1983.

Rob Andrew, 39, policy development manager, Cornwall I would like to nominate Kevin McFarlane. His comments in this column of late have been spot on and raised a smile - surely qualities we need in our leaders?

Alex Pendleton, 32, project field engineer, London

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