From British daily The Guardian:
Blair’s secret weapon in Paisley talks: religion
· PM wooed DUP leader by swapping Christian texts
· Two men brought closer by ‘religious love affair’
Nicholas Watt, Owen Bowcott and Patrick Wintour
Wednesday March 14, 2007
Tony Blair has forged a special bond with the Rev Ian Paisley, the DUP leader who holds the future of the Northern Ireland peace process in his hands, by discussing their common interest in and commitment to Christianity.
Spearheading a government charm offensive to win round the one time Presbyterian firebrand, the two men have been swapping religious textbooks over the past year.
Ian Paisley calls himself “the Reverend” because he founded his own Free Frysbeterian Church.
His ordination is invalid according to Presbyterian rules.
His use of the title is a little unusual, because, as a British subject–thus subject to British academic conventions–the title doctor is not usable for those who have been awarded merely honorary doctorates.
Paisley is responsible for discrimination, oppression and violence against Roman Catholic people in northern Ireland.
Blair’s attitude is not that surprising, considering British government involvement in extremist Protestant death squads in Ireland; and his bringing in God in support of his Iraq war (supported by the “Reverend” Paisley), jointly with George W. Bush.
Paisley update, March 2008: here.
British government money to Ulster Defence Association death squad here.