So when I went to bed last night, the view count on my blog was 335; respectable but hardly something to ring my mum about. Twenty four hours later I am about to go to bed on a view count of 19,868, 2987 shares on facebook, a 5 page thread to itself on mumsnet, a hundred or so mentions on twitter and proudest of all, a tweet from the social policy editor of The Guardian. In ONE DAY.
So why this post? Previously the posts that have done best have been those that included pictures of my breasts; it seems anachronous then that a piece of political commentary should be the one to detonate and send a shockwave through the internet.
Could it be that the right wing caricature of a benefit claimant no longer holds water? Reading through all the hundreds of tweets and comments, the impression I got again and again was the sense that a lot of people had been feeling very uncomfortable with the journalistic and political rhetoric for a while, but didn't know how to express it. People were saying again and again that they were going to use my post as ammunition against people who spread ignorance and hate; a lot of the tweets were aimed at specific people; most notably, George Osbourne and Jeremy Kyle.
The truth is that in the current economic climate, we all know someone on benefits. They are members of our family, our friends and neighbours. We see them struggle to feed their kids, we miss them when they can't afford to come out for a pint and we feel for them when a cold snap means they once again have to choose between eating and heating.
For those who know and love people who have disabilities, it is even harder. The cuts mean that they stand to loose not just their creature comforts but often their basic dignities; some councils are considering cutting funding that pays for people with severe mobility problems to have a carer stay with them at night; in practical terms this means telling adults-I'll just repeat that-ADULTS that they have to wear nappies to sleep in. I received a heartbreaking comment from a guy with a severe, chronic illness who says he often has to skip meals because his benefit payments wont stretch.
The Tories are trying to entice us into a nationwide game of Find the Lady. The game is rigged, the deck is stacked against us but they have willing actors in the form of the media and they play the crowd so delicately that by the time we realise we bet on the wrong card, it's far too late.
Benefit claimants are not the reason you can't afford your rent this month. It is not the fault of those on disability living allowance that you have to work two jobs to make ends meet. The amount of tax owed to this country by large corporations who are happy to benefit from our infrastructure and global status would pay the welfare bill many times over. These same corporations, whilst reaping billions of pounds in profits, also refuse to pay their workers a living wage.
Now, where is the Lady?