This statistic will disturb you: according to MORI just over half of us believe that a man or woman in the street will tell us the truth where as only 14% believe that politicians will do the same.
And yet we do not entrust our future, the reform of our pensions, deliberations about the fate of the NHS or plans for our economy to the ordinary man or woman in the street but to elected politicians.
Why do we trust them so little?
The answer is not complex. They have a loose relationship with the absolute truth. That's not to say that they lie. They don't. It's that they represent their truth in such a way as to give rise to an interpretation which may turn out to be other than ours.
If there is one group of people who are adept at choreographing the angels on a pinhead, their cousins and their wardrobe staff, it is those who inhabit our political class.
If that weren't enough, there have been occasions when they have promised one thing and delivered another. Student fees?
Of course, they will (maybe have) argue that circumstances have changed, priorities have had to alter and that actions, that were hitherto unforeseen and unforeseeable have had to be taken blah blah blah. But to the voters who went into the showroom (election day) to buy a black Ford and who discover a bruised pineapple on their drive the next morning, this tendency to leave the door open to different courses of action slash interpretations can be frustrating.
And the result is that whereas people will trust the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent with their vote, they won't trust our elected leaders.
Membership of political parties is falling, as is fundraising, as are election turnouts. No fancy elections devices will get away from the simple fact that people are far more likely to trust someone who could turn out to be an axe murderer than their local MP.
We rightly prize democracy in the UK but the core of it - the trust in those who lead us - is being eaten away and all, if we're not careful, that will be left will be a husk; the symbol of representation but no real connection to real people and, in time, no legitimacy.
How low do turnouts have to be before they lose legitimacy in all but name?
So how could politicians turn this around? Could they win back trust?
Yes they could.
First, tell the unvarnished truth. It's not always pretty and it can be painful but all adults deserve to hear it. There are no doubt very uncomfortable truths about the challenge of looking after an ageing population, of maintaining quality in the health service when costs are rising and patient numbers growing, of maintaining pensions when fewer people are working, of keeping the lights on when nobody wants to hear of nuclear power and of dealing with the post banking-crisis crisis. If we know the truth, we can work together to address the reality rather than living in a trust-me-and-it'll-be-alright fantasy.
Second, stop fearing the tabloids. They will always focus on the worst and find flaws that can be paraded and exaggerated. That desire to shock and entertain in equal measure will not go away. But it doesn't mean that people believe what's written. Tabloid journalism is fun but it has little to do with the real world.
Third, stand up for what you believe in. If you think it's right to close down public services to cut costs and revitalise the economy with the savings made, say so. Don't dress it up or attribute blame elsewhere. Don't hide from what you really think. People will vote or not depending on what you say and do.
Fourth, don't spend your entire airtime undermining other politicians. If you're in power, forget what's gone on before. Get on with what you're doing now. If you're in opposition, don't keep trying to undermine the government. It feels weak. Set out what you would do rather than what they're not doing. If you're not able to move things forward, say nothing. Filling airtime with malignant commentary does nothing to build anyone's credibility.
Fifth, admit your mistakes. Where policies fail, say so. Some have. Don't brush failure under the table or hide it in written answers. Generally people who are able to admit to their mistakes earn respect.
Sixth, be humble from time to time. Don't feel the need to always look as if you have all the answers. Given the chaos of recent public policy, you (collectively) clearly haven't. Nobody would. We live in very challenging times. There are no magic bullets or easy answers. There never have been. But lots of people will be keen to help you to solve the problems that the UK faces if only major political parties were apparently receptive to ideas. All that glisters in the Think Tanks is not gold.
Finally, do what you can every day to build trust. Every action counts. So no more spin, no more weasel words and no more false promises.
The world will be a less colourful place and our future far more ordinary but it's likely to be one that people will trust and believe in.
Follow Mark Fletcher-Brown on Twitter: www.twitter.com/morque