Religion mattered politically in much more than the mundane context of local affairs. State churches, headed by the monarch, enmeshed government in ecclesiastical appointments. This power was an important source of patronage but could also be a significant distraction from the daily affairs of ruling the United Kingdom. The year 1819 had seen a surge in publishing activities linked to widening politicisation. Illustration and comment were increasingly the hallmarks of popular political publications, especially those by London radical William Hone and the engraver George Cruikshank. The Government was profoundly attentive to the voices of local political establishments. The Lord Lieutenant's discomfort epitomised the dilemma of leading Whigs in 1819-1820, as they sought to defend the case for reform without conceding the political authority of the landed establishment. Economic backwardness increased the tendency for Britons to perceive Ireland as something 'other' and, almost alien.