I know. It's not an epidemic we thought we'd have to deal with again.
We thought we had become immune.
Sadly, there he was last night on Newsnight, slimmer, but as snake-charmingly mesmeric as ever.
My logical brain shrieked "But listen to what he's not saying" but my media-generation brain shrieked back "But he's saying it so well." The sheer competence and confidence of the man is compelling. He answers questions unflinchingly, still prepared to "think the unthinkable" yet somehow making the unthinkable sound so very reasonable.
A lesson really, in New Labour policy development 2006 - 2010. Think up a really whizzy policy. Only focus on the positives of that policy. If it involves pushing a few thousand souls into poverty and despair, tell people it is all about alleviating poverty. If it attacks single mothers or working women, make sure the interview says how very good it will be for gender equality. If it will disadvantage pensioners, call it the "Fair Deal for Older People"
As we can now see, Cameron has taken the genre and made it his own.
I was shocked after Newsnight last night. I wondered if even I could spend an hour in a room with him debating welfare policy without signing up to some strange cult. I could see clearly how successive politicians might think he was the answer to all their prayers. After I'd stuck forks in my leg to break his spell, I thought of all the people who would be disadvantaged by a contributory based welfare state.
-Women who look after children, therefore not paying in as much as their male counterparts.
-The sick and disabled who became incapacitated at a young age. (note, the poster boy for crip-bashing didn't mention us once)
-Low paid workers when compared to those on higher incomes (of course)
But it's OK, he argued, why should we help all poor children? If their parents show no "responsibility" they should take the consequences. (Which were of course scores of dead children, but see what he did there? Not a peep)
Some already argue that perhaps he has had a Damascan epiphany, mesmerised by his silky charm. I would argue that the Pernicious Mr Purnell has analysed very carefully where the welfare cards are about to fall and ensured that he is the Ace of Spades when they do. Spades. You know, for digging great big holes to hide the "undeserving" in, and bashing the non-compliant over the head with.
He suggested people had fallen out of love with the Welfare state, but could learn to love a "Protection State." Using the model above, it seems that this translates to "Removing protection from those we don't like much" See what he did there?