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We Don't Do God

Blair's Religious Belief and its consequences

We Don't Do God by John Burton
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In the days following the 2009 presidential election, world leaders lined up in the hope of being the first to visit Barack Obama. In the event it was Tony Blair who, two weeks into the new Administration, stood shoulder to shoulder with Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Blair was back on the world stage eighteen months after leaving office, the man of deep Christian faith who, during his premiership, became a political warrior.
With the new President by his side, the former Prime Minister gave full vent to his belief in the importance of the global role of religion in political life: “The 21st century will be poorer in spirit, meaner in ambition, less disciplined in conscience, if it is not under the guardianship of faith in God.” The impassioned plea was a far cry from his public pronouncements as Prime Minister when he was virtually gagged on the question of religion which, advisers warned, was ‘off message.’ Based on new material from revealing conversations from those closest to Blair, We Don’t Do God traces the influences that helped shaped Blair’s world viewpoint.
Drawn on previously unpublished interviews, the book concludes that his political thinking was ruled by a profound sense of mission, shaped by ‘the four of five principle influences in my life’. John Burton was one of those ‘principle influences’. Burton was Blair’s agent and mentor for the duration of his parliamentary career. In Blair’s words: ‘Without him, it must be doubtful whether I would ever have become Prime Minister.’ Co-author Eileen McCabe, a television journalist in the North East, reported on New Labour’s landslide victories that changed the political landscape for more than a decade. Together, mentor and journalist provide an informed account of Blair’s political and religious journey that will help us understand more deeply one of the most enigmatic prime ministers of the post-war years. Far from being an exercise in hagiography, We Don’t Do God succeeds in being both critical and revealing.
Bloomsbury Publishing; Read online
Title: We Don't Do God
Author: John Burton; Eileen McCabe

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