Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

David Cameron

Highs: Following May general elections, Cameron, the young, dynamic leader of the UK's Conservatives, brought to an end 13 years of Labour rule by forming a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. He took office as Prime Minister on May 11, promising renewal for a nation that had fallen out of love with Labour's incumbents.

Lows: Facing colossal debts and the aftershocks of the global financial crisis, Cameron's government advocated tough love and austerity. On Oct. 20, it announced unprecedented budget cuts — some $128 billion to everything from state spending on housing and the military to subsidies for education — which some critics say will only exacerbate the economic woes. In November, angry protesting students sacked the Conservatives' party headquarters, and the demonstrations have continued.

Ishaan Tharoor