In 1992, Mark Higson, the Foreign Office official responsible for Iraq, appeared before the Scott inquiry into the scandal of arms sold illegally to Saddam Hussein. He described a "culture of lying" at the heart of British foreign policymaking. I asked him how frequently ministers and officials lied to parliament.
"It's systemic," he said. "The draft letters I wrote for various ministers were saying that nothing had changed, the embargo on the sale of arms to Iraq was the same."
"Was that true?" I asked.
"No, it wasn't true."
"And your superiors knew it wasn't true?"