Telling lies is something we all do from time to time. Whether it’s a well meant white lie or an out and out porker, life can be difficult to navigate without some degree of dishonesty.
“A world without lies would be a terrible world[...] A world without lies would be a world without fiction,” remarked Ricky Gervais at the recent premiere of his new film The Invention of Lying.
While lying is sometimes necessary, there are of course degrees to which lying is acceptable and to call someone a liar is still an insult which carries enormous weight. In fact the word liar is so controversial in British politics that the use of it is banned in Parliament.
Once you have been branded a liar it's enormously difficult to shake off the stigma. And while lying is common to all of us, it is particularly stupid if you are high profile or carry a great deal of responsibility.
Some people will never learn however and there are a number of extremely high profile politicians, world leaders and businessmen who have been caught out in telling some pretty major whoppers.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies