I cannot believe all the fuss that has been caused by the likelihood of Tony Blair’s conversion to Catholicism. He had an audience with the Pope at the Vatican yesterday, fuelling speculation his conversion will take place soon after he steps down from office. My abiding reaction is to say ‘so what?’
Tony Blair has been in power for over ten years. During that time he has taken this country along its first tentative steps to becoming a police state. We have more CCTV cameras than ever before; restrictions on our freedom of speech; police constabularies whose priority tasks must be to collect money on behalf of the government through speed cameras and mobile units (my neighbour had his car badly vandalised last Wednesday and he is STILL waiting for an officer to come and take a statement to begin the investigation into finding the culprit); and laws galore which tend to place the biggest burdens on those who are traditionally law-abiding anyway. He has also presided over a repulsively large influx of immigrants; has pandered to vocal ethnic minority sensibilities; allowed IRA terrorists into power in Northern Ireland; brought the fragmentation of the Union into sharp focus through his experimentations with devolution; presided over the crippling tax burden placed on the middle classes; and made spin the substitute for action when steering government policy to a degree never before seen.
Blair would still be far and away the worst Prime Minister we have had for forty years irrespective of whether he was Protestant, Catholic or Other. Converting to the Church of Rome won’t alter what he is fundamentally: a power-hungry and ego-centric individual whose premiership has irrevocably changed this country for the worse. Religious labels matter little. Inner morality and goodness is what really counts.