A brief aside before I go back to drawing tomorrow's cartoon...
The worst thing about this election is not the leaders who refuse to mix with real people. Nor is it the Tories announcing cynical spending plans after years of 'austerity' (thereby proving, I think, that 'austerity' was merely a word which helpfully disguised the natural instincts of Thatcherite conservatives to reduce the significance of the state). No, the worst part of this election is the crass attempts by the media to swing public opinion.
The Telegraph have perhaps been the worst for this, which barely a day passing without some headline screaming out about the virtues of the Tories and the horrors of Labour. Yet the left leading papers are also as guilty and the following is perhaps the worst example I've seen so far.
I would not, myself, vote UKIP, but I think if you're going to disagree with them, then you have to disagree with them on substance. You don't start running the kind of entirely risible story The Independent currently have at the top of their website.
I've done a fair bit of Photoshopping in my life and I can tell when a picture have been doctored in order to make it fit a composition. I've done this kind of job myself many times, making a bookcase stretch further. It's done to make the picture fit the page and not, as the Indie claim, to make Nuttall look 'more educated'.
They even claim that the book he's reading is an 'illustrated picturebook', which I guess is meant to suggest that he's reading a children's book. Thirty seconds of research shows it's actually 'a brief well illustrated history of British Rebels and Reformers from the medieval period and the Peasants Rebellion of 1381 to the Industrial Revolution and the 19th century and Anti-Slavery, the Luddites, Chartists, and other reforms to the turn of the century with the Fabian Society and others.' It just happens to have illustrations.
Now, I know that in the grand scheme of things this is a nothing story. I know it's a small thing. I guess that I'm the only person this annoys. Yet I don't see how anybody can complain about Putin manipulating people's fears through the media in Russia, whilst we in the UK are currently experiencing exactly the same on a daily basis. Aren't we supposed to be better than this? And if we can't believe something as trivial as this, how on earth can we trust them about the more serious matters?