On Thursday the BBC’s Nick Robinson revealed that Conservative Central Office briefed the Tory press on how to smear the Liberal Democrats. One of the pillars of our democracy is a free and independent press. A press that we all know will scrutinise politicians not be led by politicians. Publicly no politicians wants Britain to become like Berlusconi’s Italy. But this revelation indicates how close we could become.

The good news is that this revelation significantly boosted Liberal Democrat fund raising – records donations through the web.

The bad news. IF the Conservatives were to win outright do we believe the press would truly scrutinise them?

Isn’t the knowing silence over MPs expenses for all those decades by political hacks one of the reasons things got so very bad.

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