Plenty of cynical comment in the media about the 'Bliar - sorry, Blair Faith Foundation' but Tony's address on Faith & Globalisation needs to be read before reading other people's sniping at it. The text is up at : http://tonyblairoffice.org/2008/04/speech-on-faith-globalisation.html
Seems to me like a concise, helpful statement of where faith fits in the globalised world. It says nothing that people working in the field haven't been saying (and acting on) for decades; but the trouble is that nobody (including Tony) listens to *those* people. (In Oxford, Christian and Muslim leaders have been engaging with one another intensely since 11/9 addressing practical issues of peacemaking.)
Will they listen to Blair, though, or is he 'damaged goods'? First, let's acknowledge that bad people can do good things, and good people can do bad things : there's a smug self-righteousness around that allows people to be lazy. Just because Iraq was a huge political, moral, religious, legal mistake doesn't mean Tony has nothing to say on 'faith and globalisation'.
The problem is that he hasn't acknowledged it - he still defends it. He is still tainted with the suspicion that he just believed, in the teeth of the evidence, that "it was the right thing to do". As Menzies Campbell commented: "You just can't argue with someone who 'just knows' what is right." The people tried to argue - especially the people he now commends in his speech - but he knew better.
I don't know where this leaves me. I welcome the high-profile raising of the 'faith and globalisation' initiative, but really wish it wasn't him doing it.