If you know your Greek mythology – and the Herald’s Reader Feedback Liaison Ninja assures me you Sunday lot are a literate bunch – then you’ll know Cassandra was a Trojan prophetess whose curse was to be entirely accurate in her prognostications yet always just as entirely disbelieved.

That definition isn’t mine, by the way. Word for word it comes from Stephen Fry’s book Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold, available in all good charity shops.

Moving on, if you’re someone who has a pension or a bank account or has any dealings at all with things which involve cash – which, let’s face it, is most of the population barring our babies and our Queen – you will doubtless have also heard of Martin Lewis.

For those who have not, Lewis set up a website devoted to saving money in 2003, sold it for £87 million nine years later and now has a net worth of £123 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Following his own advice probably helps with the bank balance too. There’s other stuff – he has a degree from the London School of Economics, used to work as a business and financial journalist, got made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire earlier this year, presents the Martin Lewis Money Show on STV etc. – but let’s not concern ourselves with it here.

Now back to the ancients. You see in the Greek tragedy that is the UK in the 2020s I feel Martin Lewis is too often cast as a Cassandra figure. You can see why. He’s constantly popping up on our TVs and radios to warn us about Big Bad Things – the brutal cost of living crisis steaming towards us is just the latest – and he never seems to be believed.

Worse than that, he’s often derided. “I don’t doubt we’re facing a serious crisis,” boomed Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover last week. “But do the BBC and its favourite prophet of doom Martin Lewis have to be so apocalyptic?”

Not that Lewis is entirely disbelieved because, you know, we can all see the rising price of milk. Nor is he alone in warning about the cost of living crisis. Those at the sharp end of providing for the disadvantaged know all about it. But from the platform Lewis is afforded as a Person Who Knows What They’re Talking About (see also David Attenborough, Linda Bauld, Ian Wright, Tom Devine) I think the landscape he surveys is one spotted with folk who have their heads in the sand and their bums in the air. And Lewis knows exactly who it is adopting that ungainly position – those in power, the ones who should be addressing the coming crisis by, you know, doing something now to mitigate and alleviate it.

He knows the cause of it, too. It’s all about energy, stupid.

It’s a situation not helped by the ongoing Conservative party leadership election and the so-called ‘Zombie’ government bequeathed to us by Boris Johnson’s tragi-comic fall. Like Icarus he flew too near the sun, only the sun in his case was a cake ambush, a party and a great big cheese porcupine of lies.

Interviewed on Newsnight on July 6, the day things really started to fall apart for the greased piglet, Lewis revealed he had recently convened a meeting with the heads of five power companies as well as representatives of three charities but hadn’t bothered inviting anybody from the government. Why? Because in his opinion that institution was essentially “functionless”. Fast forward a month and a bit and nothing much has changed.

Lewis also warned that according to the then-current prediction, energy bills would rise in October to up to £2980 a year for typical household use though he thought this an underestimate. The real figure, he reckoned, would likely to be over £3000. “We’re going to know at the end of August and the panic will set in at that point,” he said from his place on the Newsnight sofa.

Did you scoff then? Did it seem unfeasible for bills to rise so precipitously? Were you sort of bothered but not that much because (a) the central heating is off for the summer anyway (b) you’ve heeded the warning about ‘vampire devices’ and you don’t leave the telly on stand-by at night now and (c) you’ve twigged that it’s free to charge the Tesla at Tesco (other electric cars are available)?

Did you, in other words, view Martin Lewis as a Cassandra and disregard his doomy prognostications?

More fool you if you did because it looks like he was bang on the money, if you’ll excuse the phrase. Even ahead of the announcement of the next price cap, expected from industry regulator Ofgem on August 26, analysts were saying bills will indeed cross the £3000 threshold and reach a cap of £3582. Indeed last week energy consultants Cornwall Insight said thy expected the energy price cap to hit £4266 in January and stay there for the first quarter of 2023.

Back on the Newsnight sofa, Lewis was still talking. “Let’s be plain, it is going to be a very, very bleak winter,” he told Wark. “We are getting close – I have said this before – to a position of civil disobedience in this country … I just give a warning now, you cannot spend too long on this. We have a genuine catastrophic crisis hitting 10 million people potentially moving into severe levels of poverty. We haven’t got enough time.”

Civil disobedience? Blimey.

Now here we are approaching the end of August and, yes, people are starting to panic. Martin Lewis has dropped a ‘Truth Bomb’, as some are calling it, and people are finally starting to take notice. Heads are slowly coming out of the sand and governmental bums are gradually plopping onto governmental chairs around governmental conference tables. Things are finally starting to happen.

Slowly, mind. Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who’s unlikely to still be in the job when the clocks go back, did meet with power companies late last week but nothing much came of it. There will be options, he said. They will be ready to go come October, he said. Deputy First Minister John Swinney, standing in for Kate Forbes during her maternity cover, was clearly frustrated. Pull your ******* finger out, he said. Or words to that effect. On Friday, meanwhile, The Herald revealed that energy consultant Auxilione is now estimating a typical use figure of £5038 kicking in from April. Kick being the operative word there. Frazer Scott of Energy Action Scotland is warning of “a humanitarian disaster” and there are fears that the number of excess deaths could be high.

Prime Ministerial contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak don’t seem to have heard much of this. Sure they pay lip service to the problem but they’re still too fixated on their no-holds-barred, war-on-woke Tory party cage fight to give it any head space. Which is why it has been left to Martin Lewis, the people’s consumer champion, to lead the charge and sound the alarm. This he has done regularly and stridently and in language which has veered into the agricultural from time to time.

Or that just me cheering him on and shouting at the telly?