Blair feared faith ‘nutter’ label

In an interview for BBC One’s The Blair Years, he said that his faith had been “hugely important” to his premiership.

His ex-spokesman Alastair Campbell once told reporters: “We don’t do God.”
Mr Campbell has now acknowledged to the programme that his former boss “does do God in quite a big way”, but that both men feared the public would be wary.

But while it was commonplace in the US and elsewhere for politicians to talk about their religious convictions, he added, “you talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter”.

British voters imagined that leaders who were informed by religion would “commune with the man upstairs and then come back and say ‘Right, I’ve been told the answer and that’s it'”.

Wow, that’s quite a different take on religion and politics from what we’re used to: if an American politician doesn’t “plug” their own beliefs, which better coincide with those of the majority, they’re burned in effigy.

Isn’t that ironic, though? Here’s a country that is based on the principles of the separation of church and state, it’s one of the main articles of the Constitution, the founding fathers left England in search of religious freedom and now our friends across the pond embody more of our principles than we do.

Given a few years, will Americans be making the “return” journey to the British Isles?