Ruth reports what Tony had to say about his former press secretary Alastair Campbell’s infamous words “We don’t do God”. Blair said:
In our culture, here in Britain and in many other parts of Europe, to admit to having faith leads to a whole series of suppositions, none of which are very helpful to the practising politician.
He went into this in more detail, reported by Ruth, finishing with this:
And finally and worst of all, that you are somehow messianically trying to co-opt God to bestow a divine legitimacy on your politics.
So when Alastair said it, he didn’t mean politicians shouldn’t have faith; just that it was always a packet of trouble to talk about it.
Ruth is happy to report that with his new Faith Foundation
he’s not afraid to ‘do God’ now.
But I think she goes over the top in her enthusiasm when she writes:
There’s a vacuum in our national religious leadership at present which badly needs filling, and Tony Blair could be just the man to do it.
Yes, there is such a vacuum, but I don’t see that the public will ever trust Blair enough again to let him fill it.