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Hitler better leader than Blair: official

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As Tony Blair celebrates 11 years at the head of the Labour Party he will doubtless be delighted to learn that he has been beaten by Adolf Hitler in a poll of "most impressive" leaders through history.

The poll, conducted (we think) by PR and marketing outfit Taylor Herring in advance of its 2005 "Leaders in London 2005" beano this autumn, asked 1,000 "high profile business executives, Chairmen and Company Directors, the predominant age group being 30-50, 65% of whom were male and all with businesses employing over 500 personnel" to name their favourite political go-getter.

Winston Churchill unsurprisingly emerged as top dog, closely followed by Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, in that order.

Maggie Thatcher, meanwhile, scored a creditable eighth spot, presumably for her simultaneous liberation of the UK from the forces of Scargill-driven tyranny and las islas Malvinas from the forces of corned-beef-driven tyranny, while the ever-popular Hitler ranked 20 on the most impressive leader board, soundly beating Our Tone into 25th place.

It's clear then, that few if any of the "high profile business executives" polled have read Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad - a case study in how not to run your business (in this case the German 6th Army) - which outlines how Adolf's highly individual management style sent the share price of the Third Reich into a tailspin.

Mind you, the voters rated Hitler above both the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa. And Saint Lord Sir Bob Geldof, who just scraped in at number 50.

We say we think it's Taylor Herring who are behind this illuminating study because to get the full gen from the Leaders in London website we'd need to register and then we'd just get pestered for our vote in the "Most Impressive Most Impressive Leaders Poll of all Time - Ever!" poll. For the record, we rate this poll above the poll in which 500 PR bunnies voted Robbie Williams the man most likely to restore peace and democracy in Iraq, but well below that which unanimously declared Bill Gates "Top Jumper Wearer of the Year 2001" - an accolade he shares with previous winners Giles Brandreth and Albert Speer. ®

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