‘Democracy is in crisis: it seems to serve the people no longer, but rather vested interests.” The more money you have, “the more government pays attention to your concerns”. And, of course: “Our democracies are increasingly captured by a ruling class that seeks to perpetuate its privileges.” No, I’m not regurgitating quotes from old columns: these are the ruminations of Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s former adviser, a man who left the prime minister’s court in 2012 with a demand to slash £25bn from social security.
Not, then, the natural new posterboy for a left that is traumatised by the recent Tory victory. It’s easy to dismiss his utterances as those of a self-serving rightwing ideologue who helped craft the programme of a government shovelling wealth and power to those at the top, who is now masquerading as an anti-establishment insurgent. But in a society where there is all too little scrutiny of the powerful – that, of course, is reserved for those at the bottom of the heap – any excuse to refocus our attention towards those at the top should surely be seized upon.