POLITICIANS have always made outrageous claims; outright lies, hypocrisy and dishonesty used to be the exception rather than the norm. Today it is different. Take gun ownership in the United States, for example.

The world looks on incredulously at a country where all citizens (even those who are deranged or are members of neo Nazi groups) are entitled to own automatic weapons but doesn’t seem to understand why citizens continue to be killed by those who hold grudges.

One minute, ethnic minorities bear the ire of a president who claims they are criminals, rapists and gang members threatening to overrun America - the next they are gunned down by someone who fears his state is being taken over.

One week the Governor is on record saying that he wants Texas to become the state with the highest gun ownership – the next he expresses surprise that this tragedy could be visited on them.

The President claims that there is no place for hatred in American society; for two years has tweeted hatred, bigotry and division; he talks about doing more in the future to prevent these things happening; he has failed to act time and time again because it would be unpopular with the gun lobby that paid to get him elected.

Meanwhile on this side of the pond, Boris, a minister in the government that brought us austerity and made public services bear the brunt of cuts to reduce national debt has suddenly found money for a handful of crumbling hospitals in marginal constituencies, like a conjurer producing a rabbit from an empty hat.

Meanwhile the crisis in the NHS workforce, the chronic staff shortages as foreign workers depart in the wake of Brexit and a falling pound, remain unaddressed. One minute, leaving without a deal is ‘a million to one’; the next millions are being spent to convince us that it really is a good idea.

What bothers me most about the fact that those in power now deliberately and openly lie to and mislead the public in the face of irrefutable and undeniable evidence, is the way it undermines respect for the truth. It used to be said that the only crime was being caught. For politicians, getting caught out is no longer a crime. The only crime is losing the support of your voter base; honesty and truth an easy sacrifice.

My son is an avid consumer of TV news. I have tried to bring him up to be truthful, honest, open and not to tell lies. When I watch the news with him, I see I’m fighting a losing battle.

Daily, he is exposed to a world where those in power are the ones who are dishonest, knowingly lie and get away with it. The suckers are the voters that know, dismiss it as colourful language and continue to vote for lies they want to believe.