We'll be meeting at the Grampus in Lee for "Agnostics Anonymous" this Monday coming (8.00 pm, all welcome) to discuss, over a glass or two, the vexed question of truth and lies. When Jesus, on trial, said he had come to "bear witness to the truth", Pilate famously replied "What is truth?" (thus becoming the first post-modernist, by questioning the very possibility of arriving at "the truth").

It's easy, of course, to call someone a liar. But I heard Chris Mason, the BBC's political correspondent, make a helpful distinction between, on the one hand, lying, and on the other, innocently giving false information. If I tell you the shop round the corner is open till 8.00, while knowing full well it closes at 6.00, that's a lie. But if I tell you it's open till 8.00, because I'm convinced it is, or because someone once told me it is, or because it used to be ... I'm not lying, just giving you information that turns out to be false. You might be annoyed with me, either way, but only if you somehow discover I was deliberately misinforming you (perhaps by my malicious laughter when you come back empty-handed) can you consider me a liar (and never again accept any information from me again, ever!).

There's a lot of misinformation about, but not all of it is lies...