Our own take on what anyone in public life says is coloured by what we think of them already. It is what makes this week at the Leveson Inquiry (or the Leveson Inquiry full stop) so impossibly frustrating. Should you believe messrs Brown, Osborne, Major, Miliband and Cameron, or from the pre-Jubilee era Inquiry: Blair and Campbell, Michel, Hunt and Smith? Or, did you believe Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks, and Rupert and James Murdoch?
Many of you tell me you don't believe any of them. If one thing is clear, it is that they cannot all be telling the truth. It is for Mr Jay and Lord Leveson to sift through all this. Is there a point at which it might become a self-defeating exercise; where so much trust in politicians, police and much of our media is lost that it would be a Herculean task to restore faith in Britain's institutions?
I might be wrong, but I do not think we are there yet. Instead, I believe that public interrogation of several prime ministers, other top politicians, police chiefs and the media elite is something that we should all be proud of – that is as long as it all goes somewhere.
Leveson delivered a speech at the start of yesterday's session in which he appeared to appeal to the Conservative Party to continue to support him, playing down the focus on the BSkyB bid. Just why he felt the need to do so is unclear, but Leveson has been scrupulous in his dealing with politicians thus far. For him to say anything at all is significant. It's his awareness that his honourable labours need a meaningful denouement. For that to happen, he knows he needs politicians on side. This is his own, extraordinarily tricky realpolitik.Follow @stefanohat