I started to write about the Compass conference at the weekend which, frankly, was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. If it could go wrong, it went wrong and I was just so sick I barely knew my own name. The one silver lining was the actual seminar on welfare itself which was triumphant. The "most interesting welfare debate ever, surely?" seemed to be the consensus.
I was interrupted this morning by a doctor's appointment, where, yet again, I have been sent home to bed, my laptop is to be confiscated and I have to rest on pain of a hospital admission on Thursday if I don't improve.
I've had 7 weeks now of a crohn's flare that screwed up my immune system, which led to a virus, which turned into a chest infection. If I don't get better, pneumonia is just a blink away.
And all I really wanted to say before I am exiled to a world without even my cyber friends, is that this is why politicians do what they do. And they do it because we let them.
The last few months have taught me that welfare is the murkiest department of all. Crammed with hard-liners, right-wingers, hang-em-an-whip-em, scrounger-crushing, hawks. There has only been one narrative for about 30 years - "How do we stop paying people who are sick?" This has been based on just one assumption - that we're all the man Ed Miliband met with a gammy leg who could be doing something else. Or we're dying of cancer. There's nothing in between.
I don't exist in their ignorant model of disability - or many other people's, Compass taught me that - and should any of us get beyond our station and dare to fight them, dare to speak out and try to make people see, they can be pretty confident that the fight will kill us before anyone's really noticed. Lets not forget the thousands who are so profoundly disabled they don't even know what is being done in their name - they can't argue back can they? An easy target for welfare-psycopaths. (definition : "the inability to form human attachment and an abnormal lack of empathy, masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal.")
I am disgusted by my country - that's the truth of it. Disgusted at what passes for parliamentary research, disgusted that lives can be sacrificed on "assumptions", disgusted with the Machiavellian power struggles that dull even the brightest political stars, disgusted with the arrogance of politicians who never bother to respond, disgusted with a media who choose to look the other way.
But most of all I'm disgusted with myself. Because however hard I try, however determined I am, however much I want to do this, it's killing me. My stupid, useless body just can't keep up with my perfectly capable brain. However I try to coerce it, or pamper it or persuade it, it just won't play the game. Those politicians who are so convinced that we can all just pick up our beds and walk might want to spend a week with me for living proof of someone trying to do just that. They might want to see what it's doing to my life, to my family and friends who get more frightened for me by the day.
But daily I become more convinced that there isn't a scrap of evidence in the world that will make these politicians think again. No statistics, no facts and figures, nothing. It doesn't matter how damning the studies, how wrong we can prove that they are, they just plough on regardless, supremely confident that hurting us is a price worth paying. They know what they want to do and they're just going to do it regardless. It's OK, sick and disabled people have no union, they can't strike, they have no powerful friends or glamorous celebrities. They're too tired or sick or disabled to fight, so don't lose any sleep over them.
Don't want to put disabled access into your 4 star central London, newly refurbished hotel? That's OK, we won't complain. Don't want to actually find us work we could do? That's OK, no-one will ask where you fell through the cracks.
And I'll leave you with this. Anyone reading this who thinks I'm just being a bit dramatic might want to think about the bits I don't write about. The real stories behind all of this that would just make me sound like a screaming conspiracist. The "just between me and you" conversations about politicians or spin doctors that I can't repeat or share. Frankly, my ears are bleeding and I wish I didn't know about any of the sordid, astonishing mess.
As Kaliya concluded in her session at the conference. "We have a choice. We can do this. We can push these reforms through and change the very nature of how we treat the most vulnerable in our society. We can follow the path of 1930s work programmes, institutions and eugenics once deemed acceptable both here and in the US, Canada, Japan and elsewhere and we can turn our backs. We can decide that the sick and disabled have little rights to basic dignity.
Or, we can open our eyes, start to listen, and think NOW, together about the kind of society we want to live in."
But we do have to think now. Because very soon it will be too late. And I think I can assure you that politicians of all parties are going to go for the first option. As a society, we have to start to look behind the scrounger wall they are building around us and decide if abandoning us is a price worth paying.
**I'm told it is bad form to be too pushy, to ask for your support too often, but screw pushy. Before I go off to bed, will you just RT this please? Post it on your Facebook walls, send it to your friends, or your MP. Tell people. Tell them we need their help. Thanks.