"The people's voice is odd"
Tony Blair is presenting himself as the voice of the people. Lawyers are wrong. Judges are wrong. Civil libertarians are wrong. Anyone who disagrees with Tony is wrong. He knows what the people of this country - the real people, the working class - really think.
It's a lie. Tony Blair may have picked up a few slogans, tabloid headlines and comments from focus groups but he is not in touch with the people of this country.
Leaving aside the question of money - and it's hard to leave it aside when the prime minister and his wife have taken on a mortgage debt of four million pounds - how would our prime minister know any longer what "the people" think?
Tony Blair lives behind security gates in Downing Street. His journeys are protected by armed police. He uses helicopters and the royal flight. He doesn't just go round the supermarket, pop out for a curry or to the chip shop, or have a quiet drink with friends in his local. He meets carefully selected individuals who have been vetted for security. And he meets a large number of people who defer to him.
How, from this experience, does Tony Blair begin to think of himself as "the voice of the people"?
"The people" are not the simple-minded mass that Tony Blair suggests. People - real people - have a range of views and a capacity for complex thought not imagined by our prime minister. People are varied and delightful and infuriating and stubborn and willing, when they think things through, to change their minds. They live in a more dangerous world than the prime minister's and they show a daily courage with which he is unfamiliar. Some people do dreadful things. Some people (sometimes they are the same people) perform startling acts of generosity.
Tony Blair seems to have an interest in calling on people's fear and intolerance. There is more to human beings than that.
One man cannot be "the voice of the people". The people's voices are too many and too various. It is time to think, speak, debate and listen to one another. There have been enough spin-doctors and focus groups. It is time to remake democracy.