Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sick of the hypocrisy of Blair

So Tony Blair wants to keep faith out of politics, eh? Then why the hell is he choosing such an overtly religious organisation to spread his message? Why is he, in the speech in which he makes the aforementioned statement, deliberately commending the work of evangelical organisations in supporting the city academy school, in return for a greater control of the curriculum?

His speech yesterday was deliberately targeting the religious vote - portraying the Labour government as one which wanted to see Christian groups play a larger role in society. I might also add he is by no means above the most base pandering to the Muslim vote imaginable - Fagin posters reminding the distressingly large proportion of the country who would not vote for a Jewish Prime Minister of Michael Howard's religion.

Mr Blair said he valued Christian and other religious groups' contributions to voluntary services and called on them to get still more involved.

"I would like to see you play a bigger not a lesser role in the future," he told them.

So why does he want religion kept out of politics? Quite simply, because he fears that the "moral values" of Britain are out of touch with the values that the Labour Party put forward. They don't want abortion, for example, to be a political issue, because they fear that it will turn the religious vote against them. Be that as it may - as An Englishman in Philly rightly pointed out a few days ago, anything that a government has a right to legislate on is a political issue. Indeed, I would go further and say that anything that a politician may be able to make political capital out of is political.

And so Blair is now trying to have his cake and wolf it down as swiftly as possible. Deliver a speech in which there are huge bones thrown to the evangelical lobby, but try and stop religion casting a shadow over British politics when it might cost Labour some votes. I shouldn't be surprised that Blair continues to be so hypocritical - it just amazes me he is going to get away with such flagrant opportunism, whilst trying to pretend to be principled. Once again, it's say one thing and do another. No wonder apathy is spreading.