British politics could hardly be further away from those of Switzerland: Britain's House of Parliament is built for conflict, and for only two parties. Like opposing armies they face each other across the floor of the House and fight. When one party shouts "white!" the opposing party shouts "black!" - a formula for conflict rather than magic.

The British constitution, which has yet to be written down, specifies that a government can have a maximum life of five years. Often a prime minister will call an election before the end of their five-year reign to try and safely secure a further five years in power. Tony Blair in fact did this in 2001, when he could have left the election for another year, a move that made him the first labour leader ever to secure a second term in power.

At 50, Tony Blair is young for a politician. He is good-looking, energetic and an astute user of the media, always presenting himself well and able to maximize his time before the cameras, reflecting his training as a lawyer. At the same time he is able to appear an honest family man – he even proved it by the birth of his fourth child Leo, the first serving Prime Minister for over 100 years to become a father while in office.

September 11 catapulted Tony Blair from one of the most skillful politicians Britain has seen for many years to an influential voice on the World scene. He is so popular in the United States that there is a 'Blair for President' movement, though this is unlikely to get beyond the T-shirts.

Like a chameleon Blair can change color to match his background. It is hard sometimes to remember that he is leader of a socialist Labour government. Labour were 18 years out of power before he led his party to power by becoming the Conservatives that he replaced. Thatcherism took the British government too far to the right for the tastes of the majority of voters while at the same time traditional Labour policies were far too socialist and left-wing for those same voters. The middle ground of British politics was there for the taking and Blair dragged his party screaming to the center not only picking up but putting on the Conservatives clothes and they were rather a neat fit.

Another one of Tony Blair's assets is his 'Teflon' coating. Whatever is thrown at him, nothing sticks. Taking your country to war is the hardest decision a leader can make. If it goes wrong, it can be disastrous. If it goes well it can win elections, as Margaret Thatcher discovered when she used the 'Falklands Factor' to win by a landslide in June 1983 after her successful war with Argentina. Blair has the 'Iraq Factor', which should be the 'Falklands Factor' in reverse. Despite having half his country, many in his own party and two members of his Cabinet, against going to war; despite not finding any trace or weapons of mass destruction; despite the Iraq war being perceived by many a failure; despite official enquiries into the reasons for that war, Tony Blair, like a cork in water, bounces effortlessly to the top.

If he can shake off the Iraq war, then Blair appears unstoppable. It is widely expected that the expansion of the EU to the east later this year will place Blair in a much stronger position with the EU. The new states are more pro-American and thus pro-UK than the present ones and countries like Poland have strong ties with Britain dating back to the Second World War. At home Blair reigns unopposed. The Conservative opposition supported him in the attack on Iraq and changed their leader three times as they unsuccessfully tried to win back the voters they lost to Blair seven years ago.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Tony Blair can be British Prime Minister until at least he reaches the British national retirement age for men of 65. This would be in 2018. However politics is never so predicable. Tony Blair took over leadership of the Labour party in 1994, when its leader John Smith died of a heart attack at age 55 and the specter of ill health still haunts Blair today. His father, though still alive at age 79, had his own political ambitions ended by a stroke when he was only 39. Last year there was great speculation about the Prime Minister's health in the British press when he had to briefly enter hospital due to an irregular heart beat.

Although Tony Blair has been able to shrug off the persistent questions about his health, and the fact that it was a condition he had had kept quiet for some years, the fact remains that Prime Ministers and world leaders make exceptional demands on their health. Prime Ministers can rarely keep the pace for more than a few years without showing the strain. Margaret Thatcher exceptionally survived 11 years in Downing Street. One look at his gaunt lined face after 7 years as Prime Minister says "Teflon" Tony's chances of beating the "Iron Lady" are very slim.