Over the past few months there has been lots of speculation about whether Tony Blair wants to be “President of Europe” – or, more accurately, president of the European Council. But I think it is increasingly clear what job he would most enjoy – Pope.
Now that he is both retired from politics, a Catholic and head of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the former PM is giving full expression to his spiritual side. I was struck by this recent article in The Guardian, headlined – “‘Materialism a threat to planet and human identity’, says Tony Blair“. To be fair Blair’s speech to a Catholic conference in Italy (full text, here), covered a lot of ground – from Chinese attitudes to climate change, to globalisation. But there was also a fair chunk about the evils of materialism. Blair insisted: “We only need to contemplate the financial crisis to understand that the pursuit of maximum short-term profit, without proper regard to the communal good, is a mistake and leads to neither profit nor good. Yet, at a deeper level, the case against a purely individualistic or materialistic philosophy has to be made.” Read more