Amid all the ponderous guff in the election campaign about 'trust', one interesting fact has been strangely absent from the discussion. We are all agreed that politicians rank low in public esteem, down there with estate agents, property developers and other kinds of spiv. But there is another occupational group that ranks even lower than these creatures of the deep.
I refer, of course, to journalists. We are despised by the public - yet the fact that we shape the public's attitude toward politicians remains unremarked. Thus we have a really weird vicious circle.
So how might we do better? Last week, Geoff Mulgan, the Prime Minister's former policy supremo, provided an interesting answer: we should learn from Ebay. In an intriguing Demos pamphlet, which he co-authored with Tom Steinberg and Omar Salem, entitled Wide Open: Open Source Methods and their Future Potential (www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/) he argues for an Open Commission for Accuracy in the Media (OCAM).