God and country

God and country
: Tony Blair is looking at involving religion in government:

Blair is to allow Christian organisations and other ‘faith groups’ a central role in policy-making in a decisive break with British traditions that religion and government should not mix….

The Prime Minister, who this weekend becomes the longest continually serving Labour Prime Minister in history, has set up a ministerial working group in the Home Office charged with injecting religious ideas ‘across Whitehall’….

The new high-powered ministerial grouping will have an input across government. Although based in the Home Office, it will advise the Departments for Education, Culture, Media and Sport and Trade and Industry….

Membership of the committee will also include representatives of the Jewish, Sikh, Muslim and Hindu faiths.

So you could see this coming a mile away:

Some No 10 officials are concerned that the Government will fall victim to unfavourable comparisons with the Republican administration in America, where President Bush makes no secret of his religious faith and right-wing religious organisations have a powerful input into policy-making, particularly on sensitive issues such as abortion.

Opportunities for Bush/Blair snarks aside, I would be nervous, too.