Bunhill: The boy Blair

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The Independent Online
THAT Tony Blair (3). Now I wouldn't want you to think that I am becoming obsessed by this dynamic young fellow and his big ideas; it's just that people keep telling me things about him, and I have a duty, as a dedicated columnist, to pass them on. It's how a democracy works. Already, you have learnt here about his way with a tune, flared trousers and pasta with sun-dried tomatoes. Today: religion. It emerged last week that Tony and his delightful wife Cherie, who is a Roman Catholic, have visited the London Oratory School, a posh Catholic opt-out in Fulham, with a view to sending one of their children there. There was much predictable Tory backbenchery over this, but the interesting point is Tony's Catholic influences. Nothing wrong with the Oratory School, which is more than can be said for the Oratory church, opposite Harrods, stocked as it is with saturnine clerics who think the Pope some kind of wacko liberal. Tony accompanies his wife and children to the resolutely Irish St Joan of Arc church in Highbury. And, I am told, Tony is to be seen taking communion there, which is not something the Catholic Church is desperately keen on non- Catholics doing. A question of manners, really. Mixed bathing, Catholics call it. The Captain's advice: stay in that pew, Tony, unless you think the country's ready for a left-footer as Prime Minister.