Seeing Tony Blair yesterday at the Iraq war enquiry made me realise just how good a politician he was – surely the best communicator of modern times and intellectually robust as well. But, and it’s a massive but, his driving force was (and is) utterly wrong. It wasn’t socialism, or Europeanism, or Anglo-Americanism or any other “ism” – it was religious fervour of the most dangerous kind. If you seek to find why Blair bowed to Bush’s bidding hubris was only part of it. It really was, though, utterly absurd for Britain to go it alone with the US on Iraq and shameful the way that Blair gave two fingers to our European partners (and most of the rest of the world). But the real reason for this has to be Blair’s religious convictions.

Regime change for Bush was an ideological and quasi-religious imperative and Blair bought it hook, line and sinker. Praying together in the Oval Office was only part of it. “Evil” is a difficult concept to define – unless, that is, you have a religious context to refer to to help you define it. Saddam was a monster but what drove Bush and Blair on to launch and unprovoked attack against him was their view that he was part of the “Axis of Evil” and that concept can only really be understood if it is placed in a Judeo–Christian context.  Blair wittered on about Iran yesterday so it is clear that in his mind the “Axis” is alive and well. How dangerous is that?

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