The headlines make pretty grim reading. Britain seems to be mostly underwater, the threat of Islamic terrorism prevails, an evil universe version of a Sesame Street character is alarmingly close to the most powerful office in the world and it's getting nearer to the time of the year when it feels a bit weird to watch Christmas specials.
Like zombies, they're spreading. Broadband and freely available wi-fi means even the most knuckle-dragging crackhead racists can now add their tuppence (kudos to you if you can decipher what they're saying), with the (slightly) more educated bigot also feeling empowered to step out of the closet thanks to the 'Get out of racism' card championed by the likes of UKIP.
It is difficult to know whether novelty sock puppet Nigel Farage thinks he and his squinty-eyed troop of yokels have really become a force in UK politics or if he is in fact a fully paid-up stooge of a vast conspiracy of right-wing Tories who communicate via secret messages in the weave of their tweed that only they can understand.