What Mr Blair fails to realise, of course, is that when he says "this is not another stealth tax and is definitely not a further extension of Big Brother", if you're wearing well-padded Maturin Ears (patent not applied for), you hear exactly the opposite: "This is a stealth tax and this is definitely a further extension of Big Brother."
No doubt my reply below will be one of the millions trashed without any monkey in Whitehall reading it, despite my paying their ill-gotten wages, but it did make me feel slightly better to write and send it:
Dear Tony,Well, it keeps me off the streets.
Why don't you just stick it where the sun doesn't shine and then clear off to America to make some loot. Please buy a one-way ticket. And don't come back.