I don't know if you saw this extraordinary article in the Telegraph, "I'm starting to think That the Left Might Actually be Right" but when right wing journalists start to seriously question free markets and de-regulation, something has shifted seismically in our political landscape.
Before lefties get too excited, I don't think for a moment that scores of Tories are about to start voting Labour. The article is more nuanced than that. It's also brave.
In the last couple of years it's got clearer and clearer that our establishment and the institutions within it have corruption running through them like a stick of Brighton rock. MPs expenses, our media, our police forces, our government, the Football Association, Banking, energy companies, the care service - it's now hard to think of a major institution that hasn't been rocked by scandal or exploitation.
But all too often, we forget why this matters. We get so caught up in the drama of the scandal itself, we forget who it's hurting. More importantly, the solutions rarely seem formed in the real world either and often leave us feeling even more disillusioned than before.
We are told that the MPs expenses scandal was dealt with. Almost any member of the public probably disagrees. Largely, we have no idea what convoluted legal technicalities parliament massaged its own ego with, but we know it hasn't changed anything. Because the public weren't concerned with the technicalities. They wanted to know why MPs earning over 60k a year got so much paid for in the first place. As ever, the media thought we cared about duck houses and second homes when actually we wanted to know why on earth they all get to claim for flat screen tellies and have their monthly food bill paid when the rest of us must pay for these things ourselves?
If parliament think the public are in any way reassured by their fudge, they're wrong. We just knew that it was yet another battle we'd lost, and we sighed another heavy sigh and went back to our resentment.
We are told that the bankers are now "paying their fair share". Again, I challenge our ruling class to find a single member of the public that agrees. The industry that gambled away our money, took stupid risks, influenced the very markets they were supposed to work within and in some cases, cheated people out of billions of pounds are sitting pretty in their Soho bars swilling Crystal and laughing til their sides hurt. This year, bonuses will be 14 billion. Meanwhile we appear to have underwritten their stupidity. While they bray and jeer, hospitals close, police officers and soldiers lose their jobs and disabled people must hand over their meagre support to keep the Range Rovers running.
The public are furious, make no mistake, but with our government complicit, our media corrupt and supportive and our police apparently all tied up in the same stinking mess, we sighed another impotent sigh and accepted what we could never change.
I could go on but you get the gist. Ordinary people up and down the country have known for a long time that they are powerless. Energy companies want to raise their prices by 20%? Well, we just have to pay it then. We have no faith that the regulator or government will stand up for us. Pensions cut? Benefits cut? Nothing you can do.
The phone hacking scandal was a breakthrough. Just for a second or two the scales seemed to fall from our eyes and oh-so-briefly the lid has been lifted on this Pandora's box of decay. The very interconnected nature of the phone hacking scandal showed people how the whole system has broken, not just small elements within it. Even more importantly, it took just a few small voices to make the breakthrough. Tom Watson and Chris Bryant and Hugh Grant and Max Mosely and a handful of others took on the mightiest powers and somehow after years of patient groundwork, they won.
But it was never a secret. Little changed other than the disgusting revelation that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked. Then the stories and testimony of those wronged was suddenly heard. It had been there all along, it had just been denied and covered up by the very people charged with protecting us. Finally David broke through and Goliath toppled, but it was just one small part of the jigsaw.
If you'll forgive the lengthy introduction, I want to relate this to my own battle.
Years ago campaigners told the then Labour government that Employment Support Allowance was wrong. Not just misguided or badly designed but cruelly and inherently wrong. No-one listened.
We told them that it was based on flawed research and assumptions. They ignored us.
We told them people were suffering. Not just a few, but millions of genuinely sick and disabled people. They simply deny it.
We told them too few people qualified. They used the media to discredit us. Endless stories of scroungers and skivers undermined our arguments, denied our evidence and covered up the victims. Despite these stories being found misleading or downright untrue, the PCC left us to fight alone. Huge private businesses were brought in to divert money from those in need to those with influence. They were lauded by those in power, reviled by those they were supposed to serve.
Stories of deaths have surfaced already as a direct result of sickness and disability policy. They are stories of anguish, despair and great hardship, but only the Guardian will print them.
These wonderful work programmes, designed to find us work fail too. Private companies are paid billions to "help us into work" yet their results are abysmal - in some cases just 8% successful, yet we continue to pay them money that could be supporting those who need it. More than that, politicians are content to roll them out across the country, despite the fact they fail.
We write our stories, we appear on TV and radio shows, we write to Ministers and MPs, we blog, we make videos, we forensically analyse every committee and House of Commons vote, but still, the politicians steam-roller through, ignoring, denying and covering up.
We expose a great injustice, they deny it. We produce tables showing how many people are going to be hurt, they discredit them. We try to warn the public that one day it will be them. One day, there will be no safety net at all if someone they love becomes sick or disabled, but the mighty cogs of the establishment grind into action to assure them all is well.
Our own David and Goliath battle will end as all the others. In a year or two, maybe more, the whole ESA house of cards will come crashing down and those in power will feign astonishment. They will say they weren't warned, they will say it was all done with the best intentions. Well they were warned, they just chose to look away. Everything is on record now and in every committee transcript, every edition of Hansard, there will be evidence, presented by me and hundreds like me to prove that we warned them from the start.
I am totally convinced that ESA and the Work Programmes associated with it will come to be seen as one of the greatest failures of a compassionate, democratic nation that we ever allowed to go unchecked. The news will be crammed with an endless stream of people who are terribly unwell, dying in poverty and desperation. Today, I am seen as a radical, an eager voice with an axe to grind. In a few years, I and all the others trying to tell this story will briefly be the new Tom Watsons, but by then it will be too late.
I want to stop this now. I want politicians to halt ESA altogether and hold a full inquiry into the statistics, facts and evidence available. I want to convince them to listen now. Just for once, I want them to accept that perhaps those affected by their collusion know what they're talking about. We want to help them, not hamstring them, but we can't help if their arrogance makes them deaf and blind to our concerns.
Our case is building, just as Mr Watson's built. Today, over 270 charities have come together to threaten legal action. A further 50 charities have signed an open letter calling for an end to the defamation sick and disabled people are facing daily from the government through their tame media. Crisis have warned of sick and disabled people facing homelessness. Oxfam have warned of sick and disabled people facing poverty. The Unions have warned of sick and disabled people facing hardship. Scope have warned of a worrying rise in disability hate crime. Bloggers like me have tried to tell our stories honestly to highlight just how dreadful ESA is.
I wonder today if the game is nearly up? Perhaps people simply won't sit back any longer and sigh those sighs of disillusionment. Perhaps they will start to listen before it's too late. Certainly, I see no sign of that in government. When even the Minister for Disabilities, Maria Miller acts as a willing mouthpiece for propaganda and defamation of the very group she is elected to represent and champion, it looks unlikely.
They may not believe me today, but they can listen now or they can wait and deny and ignore until it's too late. They can deal with a shambolic, chaotic ESA today and accept that it was flawed from the start or they can deal with millions of desperate people in a year or two's time.
I imagine we all know which route they will take, but wouldn't it be nice, just for once, if they stopped and listened now. Before too many people got hurt?