Last week a Tory council candidate disparagingly referred to Ed Miliband as 'the Jew', a UKIP MP referred to gay people as A** bandits and the prospect of Boris Johnson running the country was actually being seriously discussed. This week is election week and it is fair to say my loss of faith in the political system is at its highest.
With 194 marginal seats in the UK, needing only a 5% change in behaviour for them to switch allegiance, the party that has utilised effective online marketing campaigns targeted at voters in these constituencies could have helped provide a deciding factor in these last couple of weeks of the campaign.
Every election campaign targets particular types of voters and some come to be defined by swing groups: Mondeo Man, Worcester Woman, Soccer Moms. Indeed, the political lexicon is awash with such groups "hard-working families", "the squeezed middle, "strivers" and "alarm-clock Britain" amongst others. As we hit the 18 month mark to the 2015 General Election there is, naturally, increasing interest in this electoral battleground...
The latest psychological research suggests the protracted campaign, adversarial debates, plotted strategy, choice of running mates, elaborately groomed wives, and carefully schemed policies, have a lot less to do with the final result, than the politicians or the media pundits, would have you believe.
The news for George Osborne continues to get worse. YouGov's latest survey for the Sunday Times was conducted following the news that Britain's economy contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter of this year - a worse figure than most economists had predicted. Even if, as I suggested last week, the final revised figures are not as bad as this, the pressure for the time being on the Chancellor is growing more intense.