In fact I don't know how much this will really matter in Tony Blair's case. I suspect that he has a few reserve tanks of fuel, hard though this may be to believe. By this stage of the summer my idea of pressure has shrunk to the extent that all I need is for someone to ask me whether I could possibly stop thumping my keyboard quite so loudly and I'll spend the rest of the day snapping at innocent bystanders and committing gratuitous acts of road rage.
As for really fundamental decisions such as whether to leave a comma in the fourth column of the back page of the travel section or not - the quota of these that I am now capable of dealing with has fallen to about one and a quarter per week, if my colleagues are very, very lucky. Any attempt to pressurise me into raising this quota is certain to fail until after I have taken my summer holiday.
How Tony Blair spends five minutes doing his job without then needing to spend several months or even years recuperating from the stress of it on the Costa del Sol completely beats me. How do people attempt to put an end to centuries of strife in Northern Ireland while simultaneously conducting faraway wars in the former Yugoslavia, without being entirely overwhelmed by the desire to retire to small cottages in the south of Italy and leading out the rest of their lives in utter peace and tranquillity? The funny thing is that I cannot think of a single world leader who has really done this since the Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus, who was in any event sacked while still a teenager (as opposed to retiring voluntarily).
I always imagined that there was a relationship between the amount of work you did and the amount of holiday you needed. But there seems to be something very wrong with this theory indeed. If Tony Blair is getting a fortnight in Tuscany, what should people like me be getting? Five minutes over a cup of tea outside my own front door? A short ride on a double- decker bus across London, on condition that I disembark as soon as I reach the office?
If, on the other hand, I am seriously proposing to take a fortnight in France and Spain (as in fact I am), Tony Blair should be getting the whole of Tuscany as his personal fiefdom for the next 10 years, with all suspected communists and paparazzi forced into service clipping his hedges, cleaning his swimming pool and drying his tomatoes. And if he doesn't want to go I say we should insist.Reuse content