Tony Blair gave an extraordinary speech about the global importance of religion yesterday, telling an audience which included the newly-inaugurated President, Barack Obama, that faith should be restored "to its rightful place, as the guide to our world and its future."
The former prime minister also said he believed the 21st century would be "poorer in spirit" and "meaner in ambition" if it was not "under the guardianship of faith in God." He had been invited by President Obama to lead the prestigious US National Prayer Breakfast, a spectacular event in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel.
Mr Blair also managed to rain on Gordon Brown's parade, meeting the President before any European leader. He dashed ahead of the Prime Minister and other political heavyweights, including Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Vladimir Putin, to lay on the hands and tell the President: "It is fitting at this extraordinary moment in your country's history that we hear that call to action; and we pray that in acting we do God's work and follow God's will."
Sucking up to US presidents and bleating about God - it's what Blair does.